Despite the higher cost of premium, consumers continue to buy vehicles that require or perform best on higher-octane blends, shrugging off the additional expense as a necessary cost of driving what they really want instead of focusing on operating costs. The 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata is among those vehicles. Despite having a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a modest 155 horsepower, the 2018 MX-5 Miata requires premium gas.
That's going to cost you more at the pump this week. Gas prices climbed for a second week in a row, and the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said Thursday that the national average for regular was $2.87, up 2 cents from a week ago. Premium gas also rose 2 cents, to a national average of $3.41, and diesel fuel was up a penny to $3.16.
With either the standard six-speed manual transmission or optional six-speed automatic, the EPA combined city-highway rating is 29 mpg. (Note that for 2019, the MX-5 Miata will gain 26 horsepower, and Mazda says fuel efficiency should improve, as well.).
Here is what it would cost to fill the 11.9-gallon tank based on AAA's prices posted on Thursday:
- Using the national average of $3.41 for premium, filling the tank from empty would cost $40.58.
- In Chicago, where premium averaged $4.13, the cost would increase to just over $49.
- Premium was $3.14 in Mobile, Ala., and filling up would cost $37 and change.
Alabama and Mississippi had the lowest average price for regular at $2.58, the only states under $2.60. Hawaii had the highest average price, $3.77, followed by California at $3.62. Regular averaged more than $3 in 10 other states.
As is typical, some of the biggest price swings occurred in the Great Lakes area. Regular fell by 7 cents in Michigan but rose by 5 cents in Illinois and 6 cents in Indiana and Ohio. Regular also jumped by a nickel in Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Pump prices rose in most states the past week, a product of the recent run-up in oil prices. The Energy Information Administration said demand for gas also was at near=record levels, putting upward pressure on pump prices.
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