with most vehicles that require premium gasoline, owners don't have much choice: either they use the more expensive, higher-octane gas or they risk losing performance or even damaging their used engine . but the 2018 lexus nx 300, a participant in our recent 2018 luxury compact suv challenge, offers a different choice: either a turbocharged four-cylinder used engine that burns premium or a hybrid model that uses regular — and gets higher mileage.
that will be of some use in the current fuel climate. gas prices fell for the second week in a row, but the average price of regular remained above $3 in 13 states, and motorists on average were paying nearly 60 cents more per gallon than a year ago. the aaa daily fuel gauge report said the national average for regular was $2.91 on thursday, down 3 cents from a week ago. premium gas was down 3 cents to $3.45, and diesel fuel was down a penny to $3.19.
the front- and all-wheel-drive nx 300 models use a 2.0-liter turbo used engine and six-speed automatic transmission and have a 15.9-gallon tank. the hybrid nx 300h, which has standard awd, uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a continuously variable automatic and has a 14.8-gallon tank. here are the numbers for filling them up:
- filling up an nx 300 with premium in san francisco (average price of $4.10 for premium) would cost about $65; in chicago (average price of $4.25), it would be $67.57; and in washington, d.c. (average price of $3.66), it would be $58.19.
- filling the hybrid 300h with regular gas in san francisco would be nearly $57; in chicago, it would cost less than $51; and in d.c. it would run $44.70.
- in addition, the nx 300h has an epa combined city/highway mileage estimate of 31 mpg, versus 25 mpg for the front-drive nx 300 and 24 mpg for awd models (including the performance-oriented f sport).
pump prices fell in most states over the past week, with the biggest declines in the great lakes area. regular fell 7 cents in illinois, 9 cents in ohio and 10 cents in michigan. hawaii was among the few states that saw prices go higher. regular rose a penny to $3.73 in hawaii, edging out california by 1 cent to have the highest statewide average in the u.s. south carolina had the lowest average price for regular, $2.57, on thursday, and was the only state below $2.60. a year ago, regular averaged more than $2.60 in only six states.
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