Gas Prices: Which Cars Face a $100 Fill-Up?
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We thought it would be entertaining - in a horror show kind of way - to look at a selection of vehicles that already topping the $100 mark for a fill-up. Then we checked out some more entries that could hit the triple-digit mark if gas prices kept rising.
Here’s a list of vehicles already hitting $100 a tank:
The federal Energy Information Administration is predicting that gas will average $3.86 a gallon nationally through the summer months of heavy driving. (Pump prices already top $4.00 in California, Illinois and a few other states, and are near $4.50 in Hawaii). But as we have seen recently, new troubles in the Middle East or another unforeseen event could drive gas prices even higher.
So what if gas prices hit, say, $4.50 a gallon? Smaller SUVs and big sedans, like the Audi A8 (at top) would hit the $100 mark.
And at $5.00 a gallon? Expect the pain to extend to sedans and minivans.
These calculations are, of course, all about the size of gas tanks. So we looked at some of the top-selling cars whose tanks were smaller than 20 gallons to see how high gas would have to go to for them to hit the $100 fill-up ($7.87 a gallon for the Honda Civic sedan pictured at right, for instance). If you own that Civic, these numbers might be mildly reassuring.
A note about the methodology: We based our tables on specifications for 2011 models and their gas tank sizes (data supplied by Edmunds.com). We used combined city/highway EPA mileage rating, and calculated how far each vehicle could drive on that full tank before hitting empty.
One fact stands out: A big tank will take you a long way on one fill-up, but very high mileage can make up the difference. Despite its small 11.9-gallon gas tank (because of the battery pack that must be squeezed in), the hybrid Toyota Prius, with its EPA 50 mpg combined city/highway rating, can go nearly 100 miles farther on one tank than competing popular sedans with standard engines and much bigger tanks.