• Feb 9, 2012
Kia has taken home the first ever Kelley Blue Book award for Total Cost of Ownership among consumer brands. As you might expect, the award goes to brands and vehicles with the lowest projected ownership costs. KBB examines depreciation, fuel costs, fees associated with finance and insurance, maintenance costs and state fees. Both the Optima sedan and Sportage CUV helped Kia cinch the win this award's inaugural year.

Kelley Blue Book also examined the cost of ownership among luxury brands, and Audi took the top nod in this category. KBB specifically pointed to the German automaker's low depreciation and good average fuel economy as reasons for the brand's win. The A3, A4 and Q5 all helped the automaker in the total cost of ownership evaluation.

The award is also broken up by individual vehicle categories, and there were some surprises among the winners. The Honda Insight took the Hybrid Car award while the Chevrolet Volt nabbed the Electric Car win. We would have expected to see the Toyota Prius and Nissan Leaf take those categories, respectively. Follow the jump for the full press release that reveals individual winners in each model category.
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KELLEY BLUE BOOK ANNOUNCES INAUGURAL TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP AWARD WINNERS

Top 2012 Models, Brands Honored for Lowest Projected Costs during Initial Five-Year Ownership Period

IRVINE, Calif., February 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Kelley Blue Book, www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new and used vehicle information, today announced its inaugural Total Cost of Ownership Award winners. The all-new 2012 awards honor current model-year vehicles and brands (in both the luxury and non-luxury categories) with the lowest projected ownership costs, based on Kelley Blue Book Total Cost of Ownership data for the initial five-year ownership period.

While depreciation (or loss of value) may be the greatest expense in owning a vehicle, followed by fuel costs, there are other factors that can have a significant impact on a consumer's pocketbook. Available on Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com, Total Cost of Ownership information reveals depreciation, expected fuel costs, finance and insurance fees, maintenance and repair costs, and state fees for new models.

Kelley Blue Book's Total Cost of Ownership Awards, like all new- and used-car information provided on kbb.com, were established to help shoppers make more informed car-buying decisions by breaking down typical ownership costs and naming the models with the lowest projected five-year total.

2012 TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP: BRAND
KIA

2012 TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP: LUXURY BRAND
AUDI


2012 TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP: BY VEHICLE CATEGORY

SUBCOMPACT CAR:

Nissan Versa

COMPACT CROSSOVER:
Nissan JUKE

COMPACT CAR:
Kia Soul

CROSSOVER:
Hyundai Santa Fe

MID-SIZE CAR:
Hyundai Sonata

LUXURY CROSSOVER:
Lexus RX 350

FULL-SIZE CAR:
Chevrolet Impala

MID-SIZE SPORT UTILITY:
Jeep Wrangler

ENTRY-LEVEL LUXURY CAR:
Volvo C30

FULL-SIZE SPORT UTILITY:
Ford Expedition

LUXURY CAR:
Audi A5

LUXURY SPORT UTILITY:
Audi Q7

HIGH-END LUXURY CAR:
Lexus LS 460

HYBRID UTILITY:
Ford Escape

SPORTS CAR:
Mazda MX-5 Miata

MID-SIZE PICKUP TRUCK:
Toyota Tacoma Regular Cab

HIGH-PERFORMANCE CAR:
Lexus IS F

FULL-SIZE PICKUP TRUCK:
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Regular Cab

HYBRID CAR:
Honda Insight

MINIVAN:
Mazda MAZDA5

ELECTRIC CAR:
Chevrolet Volt

(2012 model-year vehicle's projected ownership costs are based on the average Kelley Blue Book Total Cost of Ownership data for the initial five-year ownership period).

"Car shoppers should take the time to compare vehicles on their consideration lists to fully understand the financial implications involved with cost of ownership," said Juan Flores, director of vehicle valuation for Kelley Blue Book. "While a vehicle might be less expensive up front, the cost of fuel for that model, insurance and other expenditures could make it the less appealing choice for their wallet in the long run."

Based on Kelley Blue Book's analysis, Kia and Audi are among this year's prestigious brand winners. Kia is the top brand among all manufacturers, while Audi is the top luxury brand, for low average total ownership costs. With a number of successful redesigns, greatly improved quality, superior fuel economy and competitively priced models, Kia sets itself apart from other non-luxury brands. Some of the key models contributing to Kia's success are the Soul, Optima and Sportage. Audi is a stand-out luxury brand because of its low depreciation and superior fuel economy among its lineup. Among the models driving Audi's achievement are the A3, A4 and Q5.

Other notable wins include the Chevrolet Volt, which was neck and neck with the Nissan LEAF. The Volt's slightly lower maintenance and insurance costs gives it the competitive advantage, making it the 2012 Total Cost of Ownership Award winner in the Electric Car category. The Chevrolet Volt has a five-year ownership cost expected to total $40, 629, while the Nissan LEAF's five-year expected total is $42,089 with all key costs to own a vehicle considered.

In the subcompact car segment, less than $400 separates the top three models. The 2012 Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris and Hyundai Accent come in close with their five-year Total Cost of Ownership totals. However, the Nissan Versa comes in No. 1 with the lowest Kelley Blue Book® Fair Purchase Price (the price consumers typically pay a dealer for a new car) among the three models. Its low Fair Purchase Price, combined with the best residual value, results in nearly 10 percent less depreciation than the other vehicles.

With some fierce competition, the 2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata is the hands-down winner in the Sports Car category, coming in with the lowest expected costs among all ownership factors against its competitors. The MX-5 Miata offers the lowest expected fuel costs with more than $1,000 in savings against the Hyundai Genesis Coupe and Chevrolet Camaro. While the model's Fair Purchase Price is nearly that of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, it expects savings of more than $1,500 with its low depreciation over time.

Among luxury vehicles, the 2012 Audi A5 may not have the lowest Fair Purchase Price, but with all major expenditures considered, it offers the best five-year Total Cost of Ownership by nearly $5,000 compared to the other models in its class. Outstanding residual values also give it the lowest depreciation. In addition, it is the least expensive to insure among all other vehicles in this segment.

The number of hybrid models available to consumers continues to grow, offering more competitive choices. "In regard to Total Cost of Ownership, the top three hybrid models are all Honda vehicles," said Flores. "Between the Honda Insight, CR-Z and Civic Hybrid, the Insight provides the best expected five-year costs at $32,884 for the initial ownership period. This model offers the lowest Fair Purchase Price, resulting in the lowest depreciation over time."

In addition, although the Jeep Wrangler has a higher purchase price than the Toyota FJ Cruiser and Nissan Xterra, it beats its competition in the Mid-Size Sport Utility category with the lowest expected insurance and maintenance costs, combined with approximately $600 in fuel savings.

Kelley Blue Book Total Cost of Ownership is developed using Kelley Blue Book® Residual Values to calculate depreciation costs. Kelley Blue Book calculates total ownership costs for new vehicles by applying sophisticated valuation methodology along with critical financial data from third-party providers.

For more information about the 2012 Kelley Blue Book Total Cost of Ownership Award winners, please visit www.kbb.com/car-news/all-the-latest/2012-total-cost-of-ownership-awards/. For more information and news from Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com, visit www.kbb.com/media/, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kelleybluebook (or @kelleybluebook), or like our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kbb.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 53 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        MJC
        • 2 Years Ago
        It only costs $790 to maintain an Audi through the first 50K miles. That is the cost of the AudiCare plan, which covers all routine maintenance. After 50K, well...that's another story.
          clquake
          • 2 Years Ago
          @MJC
          It should be included with the car considering the profit margin on these things.
      scriber72
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ironically, I'll probably never buy an Audi because they don't depreciate enough to get a sweet deal. Dang you, S5, I do love the way you look.
        JayP
        • 2 Years Ago
        @scriber72
        You said Audis don't depreciate... Times have changed for sure.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @JayP
          No kidding. In 2000 when I had my Audi I talked to a guy at the car wash, he said he liked my car and he used to buy Audis but he moved up to M-B because he took too much of a bath on Audis due to low resale value.
        jtav2002
        • 2 Years Ago
        @scriber72
        Resale value is always an interesting factor. On one hand, buying new, it's nice having a vehicle you know will hold a lot of value for a long time thus this would be viewed as being good, then on the flip side those looking to buy used don't really want a vehicle to have exceptional resale value.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      aviboy97
      • 2 Years Ago
      How on earth is an Audi projected as a low cost brand to own? First, they are very expensive and maintenance is super expensive. I call BS on this new KBB award. Means absolutley nothing. Resale on Kia's are still terrible as well. You can get 2011 Kia Optima's for $15-$17K all day long.
        Sean
        • 2 Years Ago
        @aviboy97
        Audi is the lowest coast LUXURY brand, which means they compare it to other LUXURY brands. The fact that Audis hold their value significantly better than cheaper to maintain luxury vehicles, like the Infiniti, offsets the more expensive maintenance.
        Truth
        • 2 Years Ago
        @aviboy97
        maintence on an audi is $800 for 4 years... its called Audi Care is is worth every penny.
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      Audi? I guess they just mean for the period under warranty?
        imtoomuch1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        Haha exactly!
        piggybox
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        I think at least half of Audi on road are leased rather than bought to avoid out-of-warranty headache.
        SloopJohnB
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        That would explain it. I own two Audis...most expensive cars I've ever owned in terms of maintenance and repairs. Love the quattro/cars, hate the cost. Wife will never buy another one, me maybe (S8 V10 probably). And FWIW, the initial lease on our 2K4.2A6 was very good for a V8 German luxury car and the maintenance was indeed zero for the 39-month lease and the residual value % was high, but not enough that the true value of the car was enough to walk away from it.
      SpeedyRacer
      • 2 Years Ago
      I declare shenanigans on KBB!!! There is no way that the Volt has a lower five year total ownership cost than the LEAF. The only maintenance on LEAF is a 7,500 mile tire rotation. Volt has all the internal combustion engine costs of higher fuel prices, oil changes, etc -- and it costs more to start with!!!
      Scr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Audi? Really? It's just a Volkswagen with the same terrible reliability but twice the parts and service costs.
        Truth
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scr
        saying that is like saying a bentley or lambo is just an audi with a bentley badge or lamborghini badge.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scr
        [blocked]
      Xedicon
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Volt is NOT an electric car! It's a hybrid! Gah! WHY do people insist that it's an electric car?! The gas engine can drive the wheels - hybrid. End of story. /pet peeve
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Xedicon
        [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
        bazingacooper
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Xedicon
        Wrong the gas engine is a generator for the electric motors that drive the wheels. This is how they get around calling electric.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @bazingacooper
          [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          @bazingacooper
          [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Dvanos
      • 2 Years Ago
      Shouldn't total cost of ownership go to BMW since all you have pay for is gas and tires.
        SloopJohnB
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dvanos
        No. For one thing, you have to pay for BMW brakes and rotors. At one time for Audi you didn't have to pay for brakes/rotors. The other problem with BMW is the run flat tires....exorbitant replacement cost.
          Clinton
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SloopJohnB
          FYI brakes pad, rotors, fluid flush, all covered with BMW. Audi care is a $790 package, does not cover any of that. Also, Run Flat tires are about 15% more than non's.
      fat kid
      • 2 Years Ago
      Since Geely bought Volvo Car outright, I expect Geely to take only a few years, at most, to reach Hyundai / Kia's level.
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