As gasoline prices continue to climb, the cliché "pain at the pump" is being thrown around with great frequency. But, how much pain is it really? Inspired by anecdotal complaints of drivers boasting of wallet-denting fill-ups, we crunched the data to see what the most expensive tanks are to fill, and we found more than 20 vehicles go beyond the $100 mark.
No surprise: The most expensive vehicles to fill up have massive tanks, and the tally is typically made worse by a need for diesel fuel or premium gasoline. Almost all the vehicles in this exclusive club are large SUVs and pickup trucks.
Generally, these vehicles tend to offer rather modest to poor fuel economy, making matters worse. Not one returned 20 mpg or more overall in our tests. However, most offer tremendous theoretical range, based on their performance in our highway fuel economy tests. Often the city fuel economy is about half that highway figure, so as always, your mileage may vary.
To run these numbers, we started with almost 300 vehicles in our current test ratings, then multiplied the fuel capacity against the current nationwide average fuel costs, according to the Energy Information Administration. The results put 23 models over the $100 threshold.
Just behind this group is about 10 midsized SUVs and a luxury car poised to cross the $100 mark should prices go up a dime per gallon.
There is no question that Americans are feeling pain. With the average age of most cars hovering around nine-years old, most motorists bought their current ride based on different assumptions. Namely, that gas would be about half the price it is today, and they likely shaped their life around these assumptions, such as distance to work and other frequent destinations. But now, armed with this trivia, you will know which drivers are being hit with the greatest fill-up bills.
See our guide to fuel economy for advice on saving gasoline, including how to get the best gas mileage with your current vehicle.