Ford's plan to introduce the 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine in the U.S. in the 2020 Escape arriving this fall is a smart move.
Although car buyers aren't placing fuel economy atop their priority lists while gasoline is relatively cheap, that could change quickly if fuel prices keep rising. A hike in gasoline and diesel taxes also is a possibility.
Since 1993, the federal government has taxed gasoline at 18.4 cents per gallon and diesel fuel at 24.4 cents per gallon. One of the few issues the major political parties agree on in principle is the need to fix the nation's crumbling roads, bridges, railroad crossings and highways.
The Trump administration is said to favor a 25 cents per gallon tax hike on gasoline and diesel with the funds earmarked for infrastructure improvements. Michigan is also considering raising fuel taxes. In fact, the governor was elected in part on her promise to "fix the damn roads."
Also, since the beginning of the year, oil prices have risen sharply -– about $12 per barrel -- which you are now seeing at the pump. AAA says the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.75, up from $2.66 a year ago.