So before gas hits $5 a gallon, we thought it would be a good day to look at the Chevy Volt; voted Top 10 most fuel-efficient rides you can buy -- based on EPA combined mileage ratings that better reflect what you'll average per year -- and the cost to drive it.
We've included an industry price and trend tracker -- the cost to drive this car 15,000 miles a year, at $3.52 a gallon (the national average) and at $5 a gallon. We also included the Volt's sticker price and calculation of what people actually have been paying for one in the past 30 days.
(Yes, you could bypass these and go for a pure electric -- if your commuting needs allow, if your family vacations are "staycations," if you have a garage to handle a charger, etc. But that's a lot of ifs, and their availability is limited.)
2011 Chevrolet Volt
Type: Compact sedan
Base model sticker price: $41,000
Average people pay: $40,893
Combined EPA rating: 37.1 mpg
Gas burned in 15,ooo miles: 404 gal.
Cost per 15,000-mile year at $3.52/gal.: $1,424
Cost per $15,000-mile year at $5/gal.: $2,022