While we’ll never again be paying twenty-five cents a gallon like Jack Kerouac – never mind the gratuitous amounts of methamphetamine – it still is possible to afford a road trip across the country for something comparatively cheap. Thedailygreen.com just produced a list of twenty-one different 2010 cars and SUVS that get at least 30mpg. Assuming you can afford the car initially, gas mileage should be no problem.
First on the list is the ever-popular-and-sometimes-controversial Toyota Prius. Starting at about $22,000, this nice little ditty will get you 51mpg city and 48 highyway. Dailygreen has it worked out that this car will cost you about $801 annually for fuel, assuming the price of gas remains stable. Compare this to something like the Ford Fusion Hybrid, if you prefer American-made. This will cost you an only-slightly-heftier $27,000, and get you about 41mpg city. The estimated annual fuel fee for this car will run you a few-hundred more, at $1,025.
Also on the list is the Mr. Bean-esque car, the Smart ForTwo. It’s not a hybrid, but it will get you 36mpg and only set you back about $12,000. It’s not a big road-cruiser, so you might feel a bit out of place when you’re buzzing down interstate 80 across Pennsylvania, but in the city, it’s perfect. Easy to find parking, and easy to find.
If you like SUVs, consider the Ford Escape Hybrid or the Mercury Mariner Hybrid. They will both run you about $30,000, and get you at least 30mpg, buy you will also get 4WD, though the Green Police might still frown down upon you.
Having done a handful of road-trips over the past few years, I can attest to every extra mile-per-gallon counting when you’re driving across the country. Some motels can cost as much as hotels, and not all burgers are created equal (in price), so saving money where you can, when road-tripping, is important. Or you could do it Hunter Thompson-style, and let mescaline get you there.