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Least Expensive New Cars to Own

August 23, 2012

When buying a new car, most people overlook the long-term costs.

Everyone focuses on the price, when in reality, they should really be focusing on things such as depreciation cost, fuel costs, insurance, financing, maintenance, and repair.

For example, you could save more than $7,000 over 5 years by buying a Toyota Highlander instead of a Ford Explorer, even though the Explorer is $3,000 cheaper. This comes from research done by Consumer Reports. The following is their list of the best and worst cars to own when it comes to long-term ownership costs.

Make, model & typeCost/yr over 5 years
Small cars
BestToyota Prius C$5,000
WorstChevrolet Cruze Eco$7,500
Family sedans
BestToyota Camry Hybrid$6,500
WorstVolkswagen Passat (V6)$9,250
Upscale cars
BestBuick Verano (2.4)$7,750
WorstChrysler 300 C$11,500
Luxury cars
BestHyundai Genesis 4.6$11,000
WorstBMW 750Li$21,500
Small SUVs
BestToyota RAV4 (4-cyl.)$7,000
WorstCadillac SRX$11,750
Midsized SUVs
BestChevrolet Equinox/GMC Terrain (4-cyl.)$8,000
WorstJeep Grand Cherokee (V8)$12,750
Large & Luxury SUVs
BestFord Flex V6$10,500
WorstCadillac Escalade (base)$17,250
Sporty cars & convertibles
Best Mini Cooper Hatchback Base $5,750
Worst Jaguar XK $19,000
Wagons & minivans
BestToyota Prius V$6,000
WorstVolvo XC70/Chrysler Town & Country$10,750
Light-duty pickups
BestToyota Tacoma (V6)$8,500
WorstChevrolet Avalanche$13,000

When you're ready to buy a new car, use the CarWoo Deal Finder

My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar No-Haggle and Edmunds Price Promise are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.

California Residents - Important:

There is a new online car buying service called Roadster, available only to California residents, which I highly recommend you try - especially if you hate the stress of haggling with a car salesman. They provide an expert concierge who negotiates the price of the car and delivers it to your home with zero hassle - you never have to interact with a dealership. Here is my in-depth review of Roadster and why I recommend it.

- Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan


Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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