It's getting down to crunch time for me to decide whether to pop for a new Ridgeline. Part of it depends on some negotiations going on at work. But I wanted to see where my decision might cost me. Obviously, in the price of gas, mostly.
As on another thread I started, I think one needs to decide carefully if the cost of gasoline is a huge contributor in this decision. If it is, then I shouldn't be looking at a Ridgeline. The opposite extreme might be the Prius.
Here's an Excel 2003 spreadsheet I put together to let me compare my current 2004 PT Cruiser with a new 2008 Ridgeline. I added a typical small car based on the NHTSA report stating they got 31MPG on average in 2007 in the US. I do not think it is necessarily fair to compare a Small Car vs. an All-Wheel Drive Truck, but many of us are thinking of getting into a truck for the first time -- and the Ridgeline, specifically. So I thought it bears thinking about.
FuturePundit: US Average Car Fuel Efficiency Rises
But you can use your own numbers from other vehicles to see your results. If such a chart has been posted before, forgive me. This was just a thought...
One big thing for me is I would reduce my insurance by $500.
I drive an average of 10,500 Miles Per Year.
So by switching, it's almost a wash -- if gas is at $4.10 a Gallon.
In other words, I could be driving a new 2008 RL without feeling like I shot myself in the proverbial "lead foot". If gas goes to $8 a Gallon, I'd be hating the fact I never bought a Prius (which would then be selling for $60,000, probably, as Americans lost any sight of reality).
My PT Cruiser "should" use High-Test because it has a Turbo.
But I used only one Price in my chart because I think I almost always buy the same Grade. This $4.10 Per Gallon is a little high in my area... right now. That means I did not bother calculating going from "always using High Test in the PT" vs. dropping down to Regular in the Ridgeline. That should skew the results by the percentage difference between High-Test vs. Regular.
I could increase my Miles Per Year up to 15,000 before it started to pinch me much. Being single, maybe it doesn't pinch me as much as a driver with a spouse, supporting 3.2 kids. And a dog. Waitaminnit -- maybe it's a cat.
If you have questions on this spreadsheet, let me know. The 37% Increase is if I go from my PT to the RL. The 77% Increase is if I were going from an NHTSA "Average Small Car" to the RL. Just change the numbers to make it match your current vehicle.