Consumer Reports: Total Cost of Car Ownership

Consumer Reports have recently published an analysis on the total cost of ownership of a new vehicle over a one, three, five and eight year period.  They have used a number of factors in their analysis including depreciation, fuel, interest on financing, insurance, sales tax, as well as average maintenance and repair costs.

Their analysis has produced some interesting results.  First and foremost the median cost of ownership for a new vehicle is more than $9,100 a year, over a five year ownership period.  Furthermore, the largest single cost in a new vehicle is depreciation, making up 48% of costs in the first five years. This of course assumes that you will be eventually selling the new vehicle down the road and not driving it into the ground.

Consumer Reports Analysis

Courtesy: Consumer Reports.org

The second largest cost is fuel accounting for 24%, while interest on vehicle financing is third with 11%, again over a five year period.

As indicated at the beginning of this post the Consumer Reports analysis is based on a number of assumptions, such as the cost of fuel ($4.20/gallon or $1.11/litre), insurance, interest (6%, 15% down, 5 years – also assumes the vehicle isn’t bought outright at the beginning) and sales tax (5%) to name a few.

All of their assumptions are reasonable and necessary for a broad based analysis, but can vary widely across different jurisdictions. One should keep this in mind when reading the results.

Nonetheless, based on their analysis, the least expensive car to own is Toyota Prius which costs just $5,000 a year to own for five years.  While the most expensive vehicle in the list is the BMW 750Li at a whopping $21,500 a year, for a five year period.

A complete breakdown on the ownership cost per model can be found below.

For a more in depth analysis, including further details on the assumptions used and how that may relate to your situation read the complete article here.

Ownership Costs by Vehicle
(Source: Consumer Reports)

Lowest cost Highest cost
Make & Model Cost/year over 5 years Make & model Cost/year over 5 years
Small cars
Toyota Prius C $5,000 Mitsubishi Lancer ES $7,000
Toyota Corolla Base 5,250 Mazda3 Hatchback 7,000
Honda Fit (base) 5,250 Nissan Sentra 2.0 SL 7,000
Smart ForTwo 5,500 Ford Focus Hatchback 7,000
Honda Fit Sport 5,500 Kia Soul 7,000
Mazda2 (MT) 5,500 Kia Forte Hatchback 7,000
Scion xD (MT) 5,500 Kia Forte Koup 7,250
Toyota Yaris Hatchback 5,500 Chevrolet Cruze 1.4T 7,250
Scion xD (AT) 5,750 Suzuki SX4 Hatchback 7,500
Toyota Corolla LE 5,750 Chevrolet Cruze ECO 7,500
Family sedans
Toyota Camry Hybrid 6,500 Toyota Camry (V6) 8,250
Volkswagen Passat TDI 6,500 Ford Fusion (V6, FWD) 8,250
Toyota Camry (4-cyl.) 6,750 Chevrolet Impala (3.6) 8,250
Hyundai Sonata Hybrid 6,750 Nissan Altima (V6) 8,500
Hyundai Sonata (2.4) 6,750 Subaru Legacy 3.6R 8,500
Honda Accord (4-cyl.) 6,750 Chrysler 200 (V6) 8,500
Ford Fusion (4-cyl.) 7,000 Kia Optima 2.0T 8,750
Mazda6 (4-cyl.) 7,000 Ford Fusion (V6, AWD) 8,750
Nissan Altima (4-cyl.) 7,250 Mazda6 (V6) 9,000
Subaru Legacy 2.5i 7,250 Volkswagen Passat (V6) 9,250
Upscale & luxury cars
Lexus CT 200h 7,750 Lincoln MKS AWD 13,000
Buick Verano (2.4) 7,750 BMW 535i 13,250
Audi A3 2.0T 8,000 Mercedes-Benz E350 13,500
Buick Regal (2.4) 8,000 Jaguar XF 13,500
Acura TSX (4-cyl.) 8,250 Hyundai Equus 14,000
Buick Regal (turbo) 8,500 Lexus LS 460L 16,000
Buick LaCrosse eAssist 8,750 Jaguar XJL 19,000
Infiniti G25 Sedan 9,000 Audi A8 L 20,000
Toyota Avalon 9,000 Mercedes-Benz S550 20,500
Volkswagen CC 2.0T 9,000 BMW 750Li 21,500
Lowest cost Highest cost
Make & Model Cost/year over 5 years Make & model Cost/year over 5 years
Small SUVs
Toyota RAV4 (4-cyl.) $7,000 Subaru Forester 2.5XT (turbo) $8,250
Honda CR-V 7,250 Nissan Xterra 8,750
Nissan Juke 7,250 Mitsubishi Outlander (V6) 9,000
Mitsubishi Outlander (4-cyl.) 7,500 Kia Sportage (2.0T) 9,250
Hyundai Tucson (2.4) 7,500 Volkswagen Tiguan 9,750
Midsized SUVs
Hyundai Santa Fe (4-cyl.) 8,000 Dodge Journey V6) 10,750
Chevrolet Equinox (4-cyl.) 8,000 Nissan Pathfinder (V6) 10,750
GMC Terrain (4-cyl.) 8,000 Ford Explorer (V6) 11,250
Kia Sorento (4-cyl.) 8,250 Jeep Grand Cherokee (V6) 11,250
Jeep Liberty 8,500 Jeep Grand Cherokee (V8) 12,750
Large SUVs
Ford Flex (V6) 10,500 Dodge Durango (V8) 13,500
GMC Acadia 10,500 Ford Expedition 14,000
Chevrolet Traverse 10,500 Chevrolet Suburban 14,000
Ford Flex (EcoBoost, V6) 11,750 GMC Yukon XL 14,250
Dodge Durango (V6) 12,250 GMC Yukon (5.3) 15,000
Upscale/luxury SUVs
BMW X3 (3.0) 10,250 Mercedes-Benz ML350 14,250
Land Rover LR2 10,500 Land Rover LR4 14,250
Infiniti EX 10,500 Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTec 15,000
Audi Q5 3.2 11,250 Porsche Cayenne (V6) 15,250
Lexus RX 350 11,250 Infiniti QX56 15,500
Buick Enclave 11,250 Lincoln Navigator 15,750
Volvo XC60 11,500 Toyota Land Cruiser 16,000
Mercedes-Benz GLK350 11,500 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 16,250
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 11,500 Mercedes-Benz GL450 16,500
Acura MDX 11,750 Cadillac Escalade (base) 17,250
Lowest cost Highest cost
Make & Model Cost/year over 5 years Make & model Cost/year over 5 years
Minivans & wagons
Toyota Prius V $6,000 BMW 328xi Wagon $10,000
Volkswagen Jetta Wagon TDI 6,250 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 10,250
Volkswagen Jetta Wagon SE 7,500 Kia Sedona 10,500
Mazda5 7,750 Nissan Quest 10,500
Subaru Outback 2.5i 8,000 Chrysler Town & Country 10,750
Sporty cars & convertibles
Mini Cooper Hatchback Base 5,750 Lexus IS 250 Convertible 11,000
Honda CR-Z 6,000 Subaru Impreza STi 11,000
Fiat 500 Sport 6,000 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible SS 11,000
Volkswagen Beetle 2.5 6,500 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 11,250
Fiat 500 C 6,500 BMW 328i Convertible 11,750
Mini Cooper Hatchback S 6,500 Audi A5 2.0T 11,750
Scion tC 6,500 Infiniti G37 Convertible 11,750
Hyundai Veloster 6,750 Chevrolet Corvette Base 12,750
Kia Forte Sedan 6,750 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 14,500
Honda Civic Si 7,250 Jaguar XK 19,000
Pickup trucks
Toyota Tacoma (V6) 8,500 Chevrolet Avalanche 13,000
Chevrolet Colorado 9,250 Dodge Ram 2500 Turbodiesel 13,750
Nissan Frontier 9,250 Ford F-250 Turbodiesel 14,000
GMC Canyon 9,500 GMC Sierra 2500HD Turbodiesel 14,250
Honda Ridgeline 9,500 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Turbodiesel 14,25
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One thought on “Consumer Reports: Total Cost of Car Ownership

  1. Pingback: the wcs vehicles music » Consumer Reports Analysis About Hybrid Vehicles

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