• Mar 14th 2012 at 7:44AM
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The Honda Insight was the only hybrid to make it onto Kelley Blue Book's list of new cars that will cost less than $30,000 to own during the first five years of ownership.

The Insight, which has a base MSRP of $19,120, was joined by 15 other models, all of which are high fuel-economy gas models whose MSRPs range from $11,770 for the Nissan Versa to $16,890 for the Toyota Corolla. The Volkswagen Jetta was the least fuel-efficient of the bunch, with a combined EPA rating of 27 mpg. Read here to see the complete list, which factored in depreciation, refueling costs as well as repair and maintenance expenses.

Last month, Kelley Blue Book compared ownership costs of electric-drive vehicles such as the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in hybrid and the Nissan Leaf battery electric, and concluded that the Volt was about $1,500 "cheaper" to own than the Leaf during the first five years of ownership. The Volt, which Kelley estimated will cost the driver about $40,600 during the first five years, beat out the Leaf in part because of lower insurance and maintenance costs.

Honda could certainly use the help moving the Insight, which was launched as a look-alike competitor to the Toyota Prius. Last year, Honda sold 15,549 Insights in the U.S., which was down 26 percent from 2010 and was about one-ninth of what Toyota sold in Prius hybrids last year.
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Kbb.com Reports Most Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Available With Five-Year Total Cost of Ownership Less Than $30,000

Analysts Recommend Car Shoppers Consider Long-Term Expenses in Choosing Next New Car
IRVINE, Calif., March 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Kelley Blue Book, www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new and used vehicle information, today reports the most fuel-efficient vehicles available with a five-year Total Cost of Ownership less than $30,000. Available on kbb.com, Kelley Blue Book's Total Cost of Ownership information reveals depreciation, expected fuel costs, finance and insurance fees, maintenance and repair costs, and state fees for new models for the initial five-year ownership period.

In today's economy, most families are looking to save money wherever possible. Going out to eat less often, cutting back on premium cable channels and nixing expensive coffee shop habits are a few ways consumers can reduce their weekly expenses in the short term. However, with gas prices on the rise, many consumers are looking beyond short-term savings by considering more fuel-efficient vehicles to help offset the rising price of fuel. For those shoppers who are ready to purchase a vehicle soon, Kelley Blue Book provides a list of fuel-sipping new vehicles that are most affordable in the long term, according to the company's Total Cost of Ownership data.

"When it comes to purchasing an automobile, consumers need to think long term to determine all of the costs associated with owning a vehicle," said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book. "It is simple enough to estimate monthly payments or even the cost of fuel on a short-term basis; however, the cost of insurance, maintenance and repairs are far more difficult to obtain on a case-by-case basis. Kelley Blue Book provides this helpful information for free on kbb.com with its Total Cost of Ownership data for new cars."

Kelley Blue Book analysts focused on highlighting the vehicles that provide excellent fuel economy with a five-year operating cost of $30,000 or less. Shoppers looking for a small car can choose from a variety of new or redesigned subcompacts such as the Hyundai Accent, Ford Fiesta or Chevrolet Sonic. For consumers who need a little more space, the Hyundai Elantra, Honda Civic or Volkswagen Jetta would make an excellent choice.

Fuel Economy

Pricing

Incentives

Make

Model

Trim

City

Comb

Hwy

MSRP

FPP

Rebate

APR

TCO

Nissan

Versa

Sedan 4D

30

33

38

$11,770

$11,093

$25,818

Hyundai

Accent

GLS Sedan 4D

30

33

40

$13,320

$12,657

3.9%

$27,743

Kia

Soul

Sport Wagon 4D

29

32

36

$14,650

$14,111

1.9%

$28,131

Toyota

Yaris

Hatchback 2D

30

33

38

$14,875

$14,009

$28,167

Mazda

MAZDA2

Sport Hatchback 4D

29

32

35

$15,325

$15,153

0.9%

$28,457

Ford

Fiesta

Sedan 4D

29

33

40

$13,995

$13,488

$500

3.9%

$28,639

Honda

Fit

Hatchback 4D

28

31

35

$15,945

$15,441

$29,370

Hyundai

Elantra

GLS Sedan 4D

29

33

40

$16,120

$15,519

3.9%

$29,498

Kia

Rio

Hatchback 4D

30

33

40

$14,150

$13,513

1.9%

$29,862

Scion

xD

Hatchback 4D

27

29

33

$16,075

$15,689

$29,913

Honda

Civic

DX Coupe 2D

28

32

39

$16,375

$15,386

1.9%

$29,928

Honda

Insight

Hatchback 4D

41

42

44

$19,120

$18,382

$30,647

Mazda

MAZDA3

SV Sedan 4D

27

31

39

$15,995

$14,789

0.9%

$30,784

Toyota

Corolla

Sedan 4D

27

30

34

$16,890

$15,877

$30,807

Volkswagen

Jetta

Sedan 4D

24

27

32

$16,135

$15,167

0.9%

$30,868

Chevrolet

Sonic*

LS Sedan 4D

29

33

40

$14,660

$14,261


All incentives listed are subject to change and may or may not be combined, check with your local dealer or manufacturer's website to verify local offers
Kelley Blue Book's Fair Purchase Price (FPP) relies on actual transactions from around the country
Kelley Blue Book's Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) considers FPP, Fuel, and other factors to reflect a 5-year estimated cost of ownership
At the time of publication KBB did not have sufficient data to publish a TCO for the Chevrolet Sonic

"We featured only the most affordable trims available for each vehicle on our list, so some creature comforts and amenities may not be available at these bargain basement prices," said Gutierrez. "Consumers can always opt to spend a little more to jump up a trim or two to get all of the features they want, but those determined to spend as little as possible on a new vehicle need look no further than this list."

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.

About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com)
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the industry. Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website www.kbb.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In and Retail Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new cars this week. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies as well as governmental agencies. Kbb.com provides consumer pricing and information on minivans, pickup trucks, sedan, hybrids, electric cars, and SUVs. Kelley Blue Book Co. Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AutoTrader.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 56 Comments
      smog
      • 3 Years Ago
      it would be nice if the Honda CVT last longer than 120 000 miles / 200 000 km
      Rick
      • 3 Years Ago
      Honda had always intended the Insight to undercut the Prius in initial cost. If these numbers are correct then their mission was a success. Unfortunately in this class it matters most to have the best fuel economy (in respect to popularity and sales) and not just great fuel economy.
      BipDBo
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Prius C will surely climb high on this list.
      BipDBo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow, it's rare to see someone on the comments who is actually qualified to comment. Thank you. I see your logic, but I still think that it would be more useful to use a longer period than 5 years because: * I would think that the typical customer of an economy car would be planning to keep it longer than the average 71 months. I have heard that Mercedes, for example are usually kept for only 2-3 years, because the typical Mercedes customer has the means to buy new cars more often. I find this ironic considering their reputation for longevity. Perhaps I'm wrong. Do you guys have this data broken down to different vehicle types? * The average of 71 months is already 6 year old data. With cars increasing in quality and reliability, cars bought today may be kept longer on average than 71 months. What may be really optimal would be for KBB to have an interactive website that would require inputs from a user to calculate a personalized lifetime cost. Inputs could be: * How long do you expect to own the vehicle? * Do you plan to lease or buy? * How many miles do you drive during the year? * What percentage of your driving is city and what percentage is highway? * If the car is used, how many miles does it have? * Have an option for manual override on purchase price and/or financing based on dealer quote. * Have an option to either estimate or manually input insurance The math for such a program would be relatively simple. Unless I wreck it, I plan to keep my 2010 car until I pass it along to my daughter when she turns 16 in 2020.
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hi Rebekah. Thanks for posting. Perhaps you would explain your figures for the Volt/Leaf comparison, where the supposed difference favouring the Volt is the essential cause of the Volt appearing cheaper: 'Insurance.............$4,405.....$8,640 - what a load of crock. With state farm (usually more expensive than most) I hit 90 on the leaf per month and 85 on the volt, not a 2 times difference KBB has. This figure seems absurd to the rest of us. Why on earth do you use it, and so arrive at figures which are the converse of reality, as Leaf drivers could tell you had you asked them?
      PR
      • 3 Years Ago
      Rebekah K Thanks for your posts. They are very informative. I also researched the Volt vs. Leaf cost of ownership issue that DaveMart mentions, and found that the insurance estimates of $4,405 for the Volt, vs $8,640 for the Leaf were wildly incorrect. I do see where these numbers could have came from, because it has been well documented on this site and on other sites that there are some companies who are giving outrageously high insurance quotes for the Leaf. One such company is Progressive Insurance who advertises on your site. On the other hand, there are also plenty of companies who offer highly competitive insurance rates for the Leaf, often at the same or even lower rate than for the Volt. Anyone who actually cross-shops their insurance for their Leaf quickly finds this large gap in quotes between insurance companies who clearly do not want the business, and competitively priced companies. Everywhere on the net where high Leaf insurance quotes are talked about, the same folks who got outrageous quotes then turned around and found competitive quotes with other companies. So in the real world, actual Leaf owners are insuring their cars for much less than the Kelly Blue Book estimates. How does Kelley Blue Book calculate their insurance rate quotes in unique situations like this? Does KBB just blindly average the quotes they get from their insurance companies, such as the wildly overpriced Progressive Insurance quote? Or does KBB actually attempt to exclude extremely high outlier quotes that don't reflect actual real-world insurance purchases? Thanks.
      Rebekah K
      • 3 Years Ago
      @oollyoumn You're right! In certain markets, we did see Prius transactions taking place above MSRP. We explained this increase in values for Fuel-Efficient vehicles in the July Blue Book Market Report. Here's a link to the full report: http://mediaroom.kbb.com/download/Blue+Book+Market+Report+-+July+2011.pdf Cheers, Rebekah King Kelley Blue Book
      Bryan Lund
      • 3 Years Ago
      Honda's improving the looks of the Insight quite a bit. About time!
      marcopolo
      • 3 Years Ago
      @Rebekah K Thank you for your insightful information. Unfortunately you will never be able to fully satisfy those critics who not understand the difference between a generalised publication intended as a guide, and highly specific, personalised accuracy for every given instance! But thank you for your excellent input, please contribute more anytime!
      PR
      • 3 Years Ago
      ATTN: Danny King It looks like it might be a good time to add an UPDATE to this story, and perhaps create a new story to replace last month's TCO comparison blog. KBB no longer says that the Volt is "$1,500 "cheaper" to own than the Leaf during the first five years of ownership" as you say in your story. That sentence is now out of date. Now KBB says that "Leaf ownership costs are projected to be $1,010 less than the Volt for the first five years of ownership". This blog should be updated to reflect this. Rebekah from KBB posted the following in a response below: "we update our Total Cost of Ownership information every two months. As a result of this frequency, we've received updated insurance cost information and have made updates to the Total Cost of Ownership information on our website. With changes in insurance data from our provider, the Leaf ownership costs are projected to be $1,010 less than the Volt for the first five years of ownership. You can keep tabs on these updates yourself via our website. The Volt costs are available here: http://kbb.com/chevrolet/volt/2012-chevrolet-volt/base-style-ownershipcosts/?vehicleid=364169&intent=buy-new&category=sedan The Leaf costs are available here: http://kbb.com/nissan/leaf/2012-nissan-leaf/sv-ownershipcosts/?vehicleid=364584&intent=buy-new&category=hatchback
      BipDBo
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't think it's really fair to do the analysis based on five years of ownership. On average, people are keeping cars longer now. The average is something like 7 years if I remember right. I think that the average for people who would buy a car based on total cost of ownership, however, would be a bit higher. The cheapest car to own is the one that's already paid for. When I have ever bought a car, or have advised friends, I used the assumption that a car will give you fairly trouble free service for 120,000 miles. After that, in most case, you're driving on borrowed miles. With that assumption, I take the purchase price, the city mpg and the insurance cost and calculate the cost per mile. If buying a used car for example, with 60,000 miles, I base my calculations on only getting another 60,000 miles out of the car. In doing this, I found that buying a new economy car gave me lower cost per mile than a used one. Higher end vehicles still tend to have better value when bought used. Anyway, starting with an assumption of a longer lifespan than 5 years would be to the advantage of cars with higher purchase price and higher efficency such as hybrids. This would be especially true if you could model a steady increase in fuel prices.
        Rebekah K
        • 3 Years Ago
        @BipDBo
        Hi BipDBo - My name is Rebekah King and I work at Kelley Blue Book. I thought you might like to know that R. L. Polk & Co just released an update on the average length of U.S. Vehicle ownership, based on actual vehicle registrations among U.S. Households. Their data is showing vehicle ownership has reached a record high of 71 months for new cars and 50 months for used cars. While 71 months works out to five years and 11 months, you can see that the average going back to late 2002 is around 60 months or five years. We calculate our Total Cost of Ownership values based on a projected five-year ownership period as this 60 month ownership trend indicates the five-year data would be most useful to the average consumer. Polk does require a free login to get the report, but here's a link in case you would like to check out the data yourself: https://www.polk.com/knowledge/polk_views/length_of_u.s._vehicle_ownership_hits_record_high I hope that helps to explain why we use the five-year or 60-month projected timespan, even though some consumers keep cars longer (or shorter) than that average. Rebekah K Kelley Blue Book
          marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Rebekah K
          @DaveMart Dave, we are never going to agree. This is because we have very different expectations of KBB . You seem to see KBB as an oracle of accuracy in every detail. I use KBB as a simple guide and indicator, not an infallible manual. When the Leaf was introduced, the insurance underwriters would have no actuarial information available, so they would base the insurance value on known assumptions. They would see the Leaf as a high repair cost vehicle, imported parts, specialist repairs, no generic components, oddball model, massive depreciation, owned by hippies in inner suburban areas, not garaged, risky technology, etc etc Of course, such a general assessment, would prove inaccurate as real statistic's began to become available. The cost of insurance will always be reduced on the individual drivers record, location, status, etc. KBB, makes those adjustments as the information becomes available. Not being gifted with a crystal ball, KBB will always be only responsive to trend and fluctuations in the auto-market. Most of it's users accept that. On the whole, KBB is an excellent guide, as it's nearly 100 years of publication proves.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Rebekah K
          @marco: Actually it is yourself who does not understand that those of us who do not find that the case Kelley's has presented on costs is accurate are using individual cases to illustrate that. More specifically averaging will occur, but it is quite clear that the method chosen of using one company's insurance prices as representative is inaccurate. No-one is objecting to some degree of give in the figures, but that doesn't mean that any old figure is good enough, as you seem to believe. I note that Kelley have knocked a couple of thousand dollars off of their insurance prices on the Leaf. That has not happened because the risk has changed, but because the original figure was way out of line. I like and understand global figures, but they have to be accurate enough to provide some useful information. The previous claim that running a Leaf is more expensive than running a Volt, was, on average, wrong. Maybe you like wrong figures. Some of us prefer looking at why it was wrong and trying to get figures on a reasonably accurate basis.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @BipDBo
        @Rebekah: 'The insurance premium information is provided by a nationally respected and recognized insurance company. ' That explains the inaccuracy. No one insurance company will be a good indicator of relative costs - I used to work in insurance. The people who set the rates just do not fancy some cars, and their rates reflect this. Consequenty they do very lttle business in this category, which goes to companies where the view is more favourable and so the price lower. If the figures you gave were weighted by what people are acually paying, they would be far lower. I would very respectfully suggest that this is a source of major inaccuracy, and is systemic to the approach you use.
          PR
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          DaveMart -- I completely agree with you, in theory. But again, reality strikes. As an independent broker, do you get access to that sort of raw data? Every time I've worked with an independent broker, they had to do an individual query to each insurance company to get the day's rates. The brokers seem to have a feel for what companies will quote the best rate based upon what they know about each individual customer, but don't seem to know the actual rate until the individual quote is gotten directly from the insurance company. Do independent agents ever get the entire raw list of rates from all the companies? I would also think that passing on the pricing information to a 3rd party for any purpose other than soliciting new accounts would violate their agency agreement. If it were already OK for independent agents to distribute this sort of information, I'd think that somebody somewhere would have already figured out a way to put it on the internet and make tons of profit off of it. I can think of at least half a dozen ways I could make a killing with the ability to freely release that sort of data to anyone I wanted. So again, I love the idea, but I see big problems in making it into reality.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Hi PR. I've worked both for an insurance company and as a broker. If they are dependent on agreements and sharing advertising space etc then they should cut the deal with a broker. They would give reasonably accurate 'best price' information as the broker could simply provide their best price info, with the name of the company deleted, and would have a whole range of insurance companies with very different policies on different models available. It might not be spot on all the time, but it would be good enough.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Hi PR: Unfortunately the methodology they have chosen is guaranteed to give inaccurate results. All insurance companies go for certain sections of the market, even the biggest, and the sectors which they are most uncompetitive on they will of course have the smallest share of, and so there is a kind of negative weighting to their high figures. In their efforts to get national average rates they have introduced a worse bias. You'd be better off selecting an area which has average rates for all insurance, perhaps the proverbial Normal, Ohio, and getting a few quotes for a particular model there. I suspect that they have done something similar with the supposed maintenance costs on the Leaf. Perhaps they have simply asked a garage chain how much the servicing on a Leaf would cost, and said chain without a clue about electric vehicles have simply named a figure, For the Volt the same chain although unfamiliar with the vehicle would perhaps name a lower price since they are more familiar with GM than Nissan. Presumably most people in the US just like in the UK would actually take the car in to the brand garage, where I suspect that the Nissan price advantage in maintenance would become clear. The statistical basis they are working on is simply not robust enough to provide good answers, much though I appreciate their service in Rebekah coming on here to answer questions. With great service like that the statistical basis can always be improved - but it certainly needs that to provide accurate comparisons.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @PR: The brokers you worked with had some pretty ancient computer systems, by the sound of it! You have to run the car, but that can be all in the set up. Before you start, you make averaging assumptions, As I commented before, to get a national figure you can either compare hundreds of different data points for each individual case, or do that as a ball-park figure to get an average area, average customer and so on, and run the check once per car. Any averaging system will be less than perfect, but you can certainly do better than simply taking one insurance companies prices as representative,
          PR
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          DaveMart -- I completely agree with you about the problem with their methodology. Theoretically, having a much, much larger pool of data would greatly increase the accuracy of their numbers. I bet even KBB would agree with that. But then reality steps in and interferes with the theoretical. The only way KBB could get more data points from more insurance companies, would be if more insurance companies cooperated directly with KBB and provided more information. It isn't like you and I who can just call up and get a quote for a couple of cars from a dozen companies. This is raw data for hundred and hundreds of cars collected every 2 months. You can't get that just by calling up companies, you have to get their cooperation, and get a raw data feed directly from the insurance company. Now I'm going to go out on a limb here, and suggest that the reason that KBB might get that raw data for hundreds and hundreds of cars on a bi-monthly basis might be because they get that data in exchange for mentions of the insurance company on the KBB website. Insurance companies just aren't going to share that raw data for free. Click on the "Research Tools" --> "Insurance" link on KBB's homepage to see what I mean. The problem is that there isn't room for multiple insurance companies to cut the same deal for that kind of exposure. I would actually guess that there may be some sort of exclusive access agreement in place. I would demand that if I were providing that data to KBB. So while I completely agree with you, I think the business side of this means that what we are getting now is just what we're gonna get, no matter what. Until KBB's source of insurance rates changes what they charge, we're just going to have to be happy knowing we can adjust out the insurance bias manually by subtracting out the difference.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          PS Providing average price information through brokers could also be done.
          PR
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          DaveMart -- I think you nailed it. That matches the exact same conclusion we came to back on the original Volt vs. Leaf TCO thread. Since KBB is probably just happy to have a single national insurance company cooperating with them and giving them rates, we'll all just have to do our own TCO adjustments. Keeping in mind the impact of insurance rates on KBB's numbers, here is the general rule of thumb we can all use: If your own personal insurance quote is the same for the Volt and the Leaf, the Leaf will likely cost $3,100 less over 5 years of ownership than a Volt. Adjust cost of ownership accordingly if one car has higher insurance cost over the other, based upon your own quotes.
      Ford Future
      • 3 Years Ago
      Did Honda design the Insight to fall into this category? My 2010 Insight has needed no dealer work other then normal maintenance. The Insurance is low.
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