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The cheapest—and most expensive—cars to drive

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid.
David Cooper | Toronto Star | Getty Images
Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid.

With gasoline prices on the rise again, many Americans are probably curious to know: What's the cheapest car to drive?

Well, gas-price comparison site GasBuddy.com crunched the numbers and the winner is ... the Toyota Prius!

The hybrid vehicle clocked in at just 7 cents per mile, beating out more than 700 cars for the title of cheapest ride.

Not surprisingly, hybrids across the board topped the least expensive list.

Lowest fuel-cost-per-mile

  • Toyota Prius c (7.2 cents/mile)
  • Ford Fusion Hybrid (7.6 cents/mile)
  • Ford Fusion C-MAX Hybrid (7.6 cents/mile)
  • Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid (8.0 cents/mile)
  • Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (8.0 cents per mile)

GasBuddy.com calculated the fuel-cost-per-mile by taking the combined EPA fuel economy ratings for each vehicle and divided that by the national average for a gallon of unleaded gas.

By comparison, the Bugatti Veyron, a 16-cylinder supercar that sells for $2.25 million dollars, is the most expensive car to fuel, coming in at 36 cents per mile.

"I suppose you could argue that someone driving a 16-cylinder car like the Veyron isn't worried about spending 36 cents per mile to drive their car!" said Tom Kloza with GasBuddy.com. "But for most people, this is a good gauge of how fuel efficient their car is out on the road," he said.

GasBuddy.com says the cars that cost the most to fuel uptend to be the most expensive cars, including ultra luxury sports cars and bigger, heavier trucks and vans.

Highest fuel-cost-per-mile

  • Bugatti Veyron (35.9 cents/mile)
  • Ford E350 Wagon (32.6 cents/mile)
  • Chevrolet 2500 Suburban (29.9 cents/mile)
  • GMC 2500 Yukon Xl (29.9 cents/mile)
  • Lamborghini Aventador (29.9 cents/mile)

GasBuddy.com also broke the list down by automaker and individual brands that carry the lowest cost to fuel up. Topping the list — Smart, maker of the Smart car.

Lowest average fuel-cost-per-mile

  • Smart (10 cents/mile)
  • Fiat (12 cents/mile)
  • Scion (12.5 cents/mile)
  • MINI (12.6 cents/mile)
  • Honda (12.8 cents/mile)

Overall, most people spent less per mile on fuel in July of this year compared to July of 2012. That's a reflection of the moderate gas prices we've seen this summer.

What's a fair price to pay per mile?

According to GasBuddy.com, almost 500 vehicles cost less than 20 cents per mile to drive. What's a reasonable expectation? Kloza says anything under 19 or 20 cents per mile. "19 or 20 cents per mile is a fair expectation," says Kloza. "You can get a great car for that price and a lot lower without having to give up much."

—By CNBC's Phil LeBeau. Follow him on Twitter @LeBeauCarNews.

Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com.

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