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  • Cheapest Cars to Own: Introduction

    Cheapest Cars to Own: Introduction

    These costs can vary tremendously by model. For instance, drivers of the Toyota Yaris might pay out $4,927 over five years for fuel while Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 drivers will shell out almost three times more--$14,123. And over five years, while a Mini Cooper should be worth just over half of its $18,550 MSRP, the Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG could lose about $133,000 (66%) of its original value.
  • Cheapest Cars to Own: Introduction

    Cheapest Cars to Own: Introduction

    If you're looking to pinch pennies on your next new vehicle, a low sticker price is just one aspect. What some car buyers don't consider ahead of time are ownership costs. Over several years, you'll have to pay for insurance, fuel fill-ups, maintenance, and probably even a few repairs. And at the end when it's time to trade up, the vehicle will be worth just a fraction of what it was when new.
  • #15 Cheapest: Pontiac Vibe

    #15 Cheapest: Pontiac Vibe

    Trim: Base 5-door hatchback
    MSRP: $16,100
    EPA fuel economy (City/Hwy): 26/32 mpg
    Five-year cost of ownership: $28,725
    The Vibe is closely related to the Toyota Matrix yet many prefer the Pontiac's styling. It also comes with electronic stability control (optional on the Matrix) and a longer GM warranty. Data shows that the Vibe will depreciate less in five years than the Matrix, too.
  • #13 Cheapest: Toyota Tacoma

    #13 Cheapest: Toyota Tacoma

    Trim: Reg. Cab 2WD, manual
    MSRP: $15,170
    EPA fuel economy (City/Hwy): 20/26 mpg
    Five-year cost of ownership: $28,588
    The Tacoma is the only pickup to make the list. That's because it has such strong resale value. It also has one of the lowest estimated repair costs in the first five years, and the economical four-cylinder engine keeps costs at the pump to a minimum.
  • #11 Cheapest: Scion xD

    #11 Cheapest: Scion xD

    Trim: 5-door hatchback, manual
    MSRP: $14,650
    EPA fuel economy (City/Hwy): 27/33 mpg
    Five-year cost of ownership: $28,037
    Frills like A/C, cruise, and keyless entry come standard on the xD, but it's still fiscally responsible. Like the small Toyotas on which it's based, the xD has top-notch reliability and it's inexpensive to insure. Dealerships offer plenty of accessories, too.
  • #9 Cheapest: Toyota Corolla

    #9 Cheapest: Toyota Corolla

    Trim: Base 4-door sedan, manual
    MSRP: $15,350
    EPA fuel economy (City/Hwy): 26/35 mpg
    Five-year cost of ownership: $27,841
    For decades, the Corolla has maintained a reputation for reliability, good fuel economy, and low running costs. The 2009 Corolla is no exception and appeals to a new generation of cheapskates the way few cars do--with manual, wind-up windows.
  • #7 Cheapest: Honda Fit

    #7 Cheapest: Honda Fit

    Trim: Base 5-door hatchback, manual
    MSRP: $14,750
    EPA fuel economy (City/Hwy): 27/33 mpg
    Five-year cost of ownership: $27,291
    The Honda Fit has a lot going for it. It's not only one of the best-rated small cars because of its perky driving feel, vast interior, and versatile interior; the Fit is also top-rated for safety, holds its value well, and is one of the cheapest cars to maintain and repair.
  • #5 Cheapest: Chevy Aveo

    #5 Cheapest: Chevy Aveo

    Trim: LS 5-door hatchback, manual
    MSRP: $11,495 ($11,965)
    EPA fuel economy (City/Hwy): 27/34 mpg
    Five-year cost of ownership: $26,732
    The little Aveo has become a rental-car mainstay--probably for this reason; it's among the cheapest to own. The only exception? Vincentric estimates its maintenance cost to be nearly $3500 over five years--more than double that of the Honda Fit or Chevy Cobalt.
  • #3 Cheapest: Hyundai Accent

    #3 Cheapest: Hyundai Accent

    Trim: Base 5-door hatchback
    MSRP: $9970
    EPA fuel economy (City/Hwy): 27/33 mpg
    Five-year cost of ownership: $26,237
    The Accent holds the crown (for 2009) of being the lowest-priced car in the U.S. Even though it loses most of its value after five years, that doesn't keep it from being one of the cheapest to own. Having no A/C or power accessories also keeps down potential repair costs.
  • #1 Cheapest: Nissan Versa

    #1 Cheapest: Nissan Versa

    Trim: Base sedan, manual
    MSRP: $9990
    EPA fuel economy (City/Hwy): 26/31 mpg
    Five-year cost of ownership: $23,540
    For 2009, Nissan introduced an even cheaper, 1.6-liter version of its Versa subcompact. It has a four-figure MSRP, you don't have much to lose to depreciation, it's good on gas, and insurance is among the lowest of any vehicle. In these tough times, the Versa points the way to frugality.
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