What are the most affordable cars to own?

February 24, 2015 08:06 AM

Kelley Blue Book recently named its winners of the Five-Year Cost to Own Awards. The organization selected several vehicles as having the lowest estimated ownership costs, which combines fuel, insurance, depreciation, vehicle maintenance and other potential factors to see how much a purchase is really costing a driver. 

Drivers must focus on the long-term picture
If money is not an object, then you're probably not worrying about cost. These situations are few and far between, however, so you likely want to pay attention to some of the winners and the trends taking hold throughout the industry. Knowing about the best values could save motorists money in the long run - provided they take the time to look at the big picture. 

"­­New-car shoppers usually pay a lot of attention to how much a car will cost upfront; however, sometimes an even more expensive car on the front end can actually save you money during the first five years of ownership by having low total ownership costs," said Dan Ingle, vice president of vehicle valuations for Kelley Blue Book.

"Kelley Blue Book's 5-Year Cost to Own information evaluates the other out-of-pocket expenses drivers will incur beyond the initial purchase price, which helps consumers choose the vehicle that fits their needs and their long-term budget best, helping save money down the road," Ingle continued.

Who are the winners? 
A few brands stood out among the competition. Kelley Blue Book named Subaru as the top automaker for five-year cost of ownership. Its high-class counterpart was Lincoln, which won the award for best five-year cost of ownership for luxury brands. Both of these manufacturers boasted fair purchase prices to start, and they also had low depreciation, a manageable average cost of auto repair and good fuel efficiency. 

Kelley Blue Book also selected winners for individual segments. The 2015 Chevrolet Impala was a noteworthy champion, as it has been named the best full-size car every year since the awards began in 2012. Also besting the competition was the Chevrolet Colorado, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Ford Mustang GT, GMC Sierra and Lexus LS, among others. 

No matter what car you're driving, you can do your best to keep all costs low. It starts by taking care of the vehicle. Following a plan for scheduled maintenance is key, as it ensures all aspects of a car are being attended to and updated as needed. 

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