When buying a car, people generally consider factors like the purchase price, performance, safety and reliability, and that’s good. But fuel efficiency is another big item that can drive up your cost of ownership.
Go for the car with the best performance or most luxuries and you might find yourself shelling out much more at the pump than you would for another vehicle from the same class.
In compiling a list of the worst gas guzzlers in every class, we found that many of the vehicles have big engines and commensurate price tags. These are factors that can also cost you on your insurance bill, because performance cars tend to have a higher accident risk, and pricier cars cost more to replace.
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It may be that you’re rich enough not to worry about how much you spend on gas and insurance. Then again, you didn’t get to be able to afford a Lamborghini or a Bentley by throwing money away, did you?
Top gas guzzlers, by category
Small car: Subaru WRX STI, 21 combined city and highway miles per gallon. Base price, $35,195. Highlight -- a high-performance suspension “developed by STI racing engineers with the input of world-class drivers. It features inverted dampers, revised spring and damper rates, and aluminum-alloy lower L-arms with pillow ball mounts,” whatever all of that means.
Family sedan: Volkswagen CC 4motion (3.6-liter engine), 20 combined miles per gallon. Base price, $44,355. Highlight -- driver’s seat massage.
Luxury sedan: Bentley Mulsanne (pictured above), 13 combined miles per gallon. Base price, $306,425. Highlight -- an interior featuring a choice of 24 leather hide colors and 12 different wood veneers, plus stainless steel, deep-pile carpets, and an “infotainment” system with a 60-gigabyte hard drive and two 10.2-inch tablets integrated into the backs of the front seats. It also goes from zero to 60 miles per hour in 5.1 seconds and has a top speed of 184 mph.
Large sedan: Chevrolet SS (automatic), 16 combined miles per gallon. Base price, $46,575. Highlight -- the SS probably provides the best balance of price and performance on this list, going from zero to 60 mph in about five seconds, while not costing as much as a house.
Sports car: Lamborghini Aventador Roadster, 12 combined miles per gallon. Base price, $443,800. Highlight -- this four-wheel-drive convertible goes from zero to 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour in three seconds flat and has a top speed of 350 kilometers (217 miles) per hour.
Wagon: Mercedes-Benz AMG E63, 18 combined miles per gallon. Base price, $104,300. Highlight -- features a handcrafted 5.5-liter V-8 577-horsepower engine that propels it from zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds.
Minivan: Kia Sedona SXL, 19 combined miles per gallon. Base price, $39,900. Highlight -- Napa leather “lounge” seating with adjustable leg rests and winged headrests.
SUV: Mercedes-Benz AMG G65 (pictured above), 12 combined miles per gallon. Base price, $217,900. Highlight -- a handcrafted 6-liter biturbo V-12 621-horsepower engine that gets it from zero to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, along with three lockable differentials “to help maintain the ideal balance of torque and traction for the situation.”
Pickup truck: Roush Performance F150, 13 combined miles per gallon. Base price, $37,640 (base Ford F-150 price of $26,540 plus $11,100). Highlight -- Roush Performance takes a Ford F-150 and kicks it up a notch, adding a distinctive front grille, bumper cover, fender flares, clearance lighting, hitch cover, suspension system, 20-inch wheels and side-exhaust exhaust system “to provide a deep rumble.”
If you’ve got your heart set on one of these vehicles, that’s fine. Just go into it knowing it will cost you at the pump, and probably on your insurance bill as well.