Feeling the Burn from Costly Gas

How much are drivers forking out with the rising price of fuel? Here's a calculation for some popular cars

By Janet Ginsburg and Ilma Ajanovic

Every time the price of oil goes up a buck, America's national economy takes a multibillion-dollar hit. But what about your personal economy? Exactly how much is increasingly pricey gasoline costing drivers?

Since 2000, the average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gas shot up 39%, from $1.51 to $2.10. With record-breaking oil costs and seasonal summer price hikes, experts see no relief in sight. "The price at the pump will more than offset any increase in Saudi production," notes Trilby Lundberg, publisher of the Lundberg Survey, a market researcher that tracks the industry. Some experts predict gas will hit $3 a gallon in some parts of the country within a few months.

LIGHTER WALLETS.

  To find out how this affects your fuel bills, BusinessWeek Online has put together a list of the 20 most-researched vehicles on car-information site www.Edmunds.com and calculated the cost of operation per 10,000 miles, based on the Environmental Protection Agency's city mileage ratings, across a range of gas prices. We included hybrid models like the Toyota Prius, as well as a Hummer and a Mini Cooper (the EPA has no ratings for Hummers, but 12 miles per gallon is a reasonable -- and more likely a generous -- estimate).

If you chalk up 20,000 miles per year, double the totals. If you drive mostly on the highway, your costs will be lower. But in all cases, drivers' wallets will be lighter -- by hundreds of dollars.

  Cost over 10,000 Miles at Various Gas Prices
Type of Car (miles/gallon*) $1.51/gallon $2.10/gallon $2.50/gallon $3/gallon
H2/Hummer (12**) $1,258 $1,750 $2,083 $2,500
Ford F150 (14) $1,079 $1,500 $1,786 $2,143
Nissan Pathfinder (15) $1,007 $1,400 $1,667 $2,000
Toyota Tacoma, Honda Pilot, Infiniti G35 (17) $888 $1,235 $1,471 $1,765
Toyota Highlander, Toyota 4-Runner, Ford Mustang, Ford Escape, Lexus RX 330 (18) $839 $1,167 $1,389 $1,667
Toyota Sienna, BMW 3 Series, Honda Odyssey (19) $795 $1,105 $1,316 $1,579
Acura TL (20) $755 $1,050 $1,250 $1,500
Honda Accord EX (21) $719 $1,000 $1,190 $1,429
Honda CR-V (22) $686 $955 $1,136 $1,364
Nissan Altima (23) $657 $913 $1,087 $1,304
Toyota Camry, Mazda 3 (24) $629 $875 $1,042 $1,250
BMW Mini Cooper (25) $604 $840 $1,000 $1,200
Honda Civic (29) $521 $724 $862 $1,034
Ford Escape Hybrid (36) $419 $583 $694 $833
Honda Civic Hybrid (48) $315 $438 $521 $625
Toyota Prius (60) $252 $350 $417 $500

* EPA city mileage ratings

** estimate

Source: Gas price data for self-serve regular is from Lundberg Survey Incorporated

Ginsburg is a Chicago-based writer and Ajanovic is an editorial intern based in BusinessWeek's Washington bureau

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