Consumers turn to the Internet to research the cars and trucks they plan to buy. Roughly one in five (21%) new-car buyers say that the Internet influences their vehicle-buying decision, according to SEMA data. Cars.com, an automotive research website for new vehicle buyers, recently advised consumers of its top vehicle picks based on overall cost of the vehicle: fuel economy combined with sticker price.
More car shoppers are making fuel efficiency a top priority, according to Cars.com. They say that while gas mileage typically takes center stage, combining the sticker price of a car with its predicted lifetime fuel cost can offer consumers a guide to their overall savings during the lifetime of a car. As a result, Cars.com looked at the top 10 vehicles in various vehicle segments that they say deliver the best bang for the buck based on vehicle price and average lifetime fuel costs.
The list above was compiled by combining the base sticker price with a fuel cost estimate based on the car's estimated gas mileage. Fuel-cost estimates assume the car will be driven 15,000 miles per year, with 45% of those miles on the highway and 55% on city streets. The cost of regular unleaded gasoline in the estimate is $3.13 per gallon, and it assumes the car is owned for eight years. Premium fuel costs are estimated at $3.44 per gallon.
"Hybrid cars get a lot of attention when gas prices start to rise. They certainly can save money at the pump and are typically better for the environment," said Patrick Olsen, Cars.com managing editor. "However, not everyone can afford to own a hybrid, and some consumers have needs that are not met by hybrids. If your primary goal is to save money, there may be better options."
Sources: Cars.com. (May 22, 2007). "With Gas Prices Skyrocketing, Cars.com Identifies Cars that Deliver Best Bang for Your Buck." Cars.com press release courtesy of PR Newswire; SEMA Research & Information Center