When you plan to buy your next car, you probably calculate the cost of your car payment and think about how the new vehicle will affect your insurance costs and taxes. However, it’s easy to overlook how much the vehicle you choose affects another budget line: your spending on fuel.
We tend to pay for fuel in little bits — $20 here and there to top off the tank or $60 to fill it for the week — so it’s easy to forget that most Americans spend a lot on fuel every year. In fact, the average American household spent just under $2,000 on fuel in 2017, which works out to be 2.4 percent of their income. The type of car you drive makes a huge difference in your fuel cost. With increased fuel prices this year, people who drive an Ford F-Series truck will see their spending go up an average of $413 in 2018, while those who drive a Toyota Camry or Honda Civic will only spend an additional $206 on fuel.
Especially for people who commute, fuel costs can add up quickly. Here are five of the most fuel-efficient vehicles currently available on Carvana, each of which meets the needs of a different type of driver.
If You’re Really Dedicated To Reducing Fuel Costs: The Chevy Bolt is a fully electric vehicle, which will bring your fuel costs down to $0. However, your electricity bill will increase about $540 annually to meet the cost of charging the Bolt. The Bolt can transport you more than 200 miles using just the battery, so you can leave range anxiety behind. Being electric, the Bolt has great acceleration and sporty handling, and it is surprisingly roomy inside, making it the perfect commuter car.
If Reliability Is Important To You: If the most important quality about your car is that it always gets you where you need to go, choose the Kia Optima Hybrid. The Optima looks stylish and is ultra reliable. Plus, if anything goes wrong you can fall back on Kia’s 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty. The plug-in hybrid version of the Optima get 39 miles per gallon city and 46 MPG highway, which is sure to make a dent in your fuel costs.
If You Need To Fit The Family: Most people think of electric and hybrid cars as small, but minivans and SUVs are increasingly going hybrid to meet consumer’s needs for fuel economy. The Toyota Rav4 Hybrid will fit all your friends and family and let you tow your boat or trailer, all while giving you 34 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway.
If You Like Luxury: Bigger, flashier cars have a reputation for guzzling gas, but Americans sure do love their luxury SUVs. If you’re looking for an SUV that gets decent fuel economy — with or without a hybrid engine — the Lexus RX is perfect. This mid-sized SUV is stylish and reliable, with a high-end interior and smooth ride. The RX will give you 20 MPG city and 27 MPG highway, while the hybrid version will boost your fuel economy even further.
If You Want To Skip The Battery: Hybrids offer great fuel economy, but some consumers want to stick purely with the pump. If that’s you, the Honda Civic is a great commuter car that relies fully on gas but is still efficient. The Civic’s ample cargo space and responsive handling is what makes a favorite among compact cars. Plus, the Civic gets impressive fuel economy, with up to 32 MPG city and 42 MPG highway.
Next time you’re shopping for a car, take some time to consider fuel economy and how saving a bit of money at the pump each week can really add up over the years that you own the vehicle.