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    • Image Credit: Toyota
    Buying a car is not a one-time payment. Too often, people don't think about how much it costs to own a car over its lifetime. Between gas, depreciation, maintenance and other expenses, you'll continue to sink money into your vehicle for a long time after you pay for it at the dealership.

    The reality is that you should absolutely factor these costs into you purchasing decision. After all, one car may seem affordable solely based on its sticker price. But taking these long-term costs into account could quickly make it a much more expensive piece of machine that you thought.

    Consumer Reports recently released the results of a study that showed the cars that cost the least to own over time, factoring in depreciation, fuel costs, loan interest, insurance premiums, sales tax, and maintenance and repairs. Click through to see the cars that are the cheapest to own in their respective segments, according to testing, and find out which cars can save you money over the long term.
  • Subcompact Car: Toyota Prius c
    • Image Credit: Toyota

    Subcompact Car: Toyota Prius c

    Sticker Price: $19,080 - $23,360
    Invoice Price: $18,127 - $21,746
    Fuel Economy: 53 mpg City, 46 mpg Highway

    Cost Over First Five Years: $24,600

    The little brother of the Toyota Prius, the  Prius c enjoys a very low cost of ownership, given its stellar fuel economy, reliability and low rate of depreciation. It may not be the most exciting car on the market, but it's not going to give you any problems and will take you a long ways on a single tank of gas.

    Research the Toyota Prius c
    Toyota Prius c Overview
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  • Compact Car: Toyota Prius
    • Image Credit: Toyota

    Compact Car: Toyota Prius

    Sticker Price: $24,200 - $30,005
    Invoice Price: $22,748 - $27,930
    Fuel Economy: 51 mpg City, 48 mpg Highway

    Cost Over First Five Years: $28,200

    The Toyota Prius is essentially synonymous with the word "hybrid" these days, outselling every other green car by a huge amount. The Prius is super fuel efficient and versatile, making it a solid option for almost everyone, whether you're single and living alone or have a family. Low fuel economy costs and reliability help keep the cost of Prius ownership low.

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    Toyota Prius Overview
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  • Midsize Car: Toyota Camry Hybrid
    • Image Credit: Toyota

    Midsize Car: Toyota Camry Hybrid

    Sticker Price: $26,140 - $28,625
    Invoice Price: $24,049 - $26,336
    Fuel Economy: 43 mpg City, 39 mpg Highway

    Cost Over First Five Years: $31,800

    Boasting the room and versatility of a midsize sedan in conjunction with great fuel economy and reliability, it's no surprise that the  Toyota Camry Hybrid -- the variation of the best-selling passenger car in America -- doesn't cost much to own.

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    Toyota Camry Hybrid Overview
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  • Large Car: Toyota Avalon Hybrid
    • Image Credit: Toyota

    Large Car: Toyota Avalon Hybrid

    Sticker Price: $35,555 - $41,400
    Invoice Price: $32,000 - $37,260
    Fuel Economy: 40 mpg City, 39 mpg Highway

    Cost Over First Five Years: $41,400

    Seeing a pattern? Toyota vehicles are apparently the cheapest brand of vehicle to own in general. According to Consumer Reports, the Avalon Hybrid is the least expensive large car to own, due to its low fuel costs and reliability. The Avalon also has a great, quiet interior that can rival some luxury cars.

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    Toyota Avalon Hybrid Overview
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  • Luxury Car: Lexus ES 300h
    • Image Credit: Toyota

    Luxury Car: Lexus ES 300h

    Sticker Price: $39,500
    Invoice Price: $37,000
    Fuel Economy: 40 mpg City, 39 mpg Highway

    Cost Over First Five Years: $42,000

    The  Lexus ES 300h is the hybrid take on the successful Lexus ES 350. Fuel economy is great and deprecation is low, making this luxury hybrid easy to own. Buyers are also rewarded with a great interior that cuts out road and wind noise, even at highway speeds.

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    Lexus ES 300h Overview
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    Lexus ES 300h Local Dealer Price Quote
  • Sporty Car: Honda Civic Si
    • Image Credit: Honda

    Sporty Car: Honda Civic Si

    Sticker Price: $22,790
    Invoice Price: $21,174
    Fuel Economy: 22 mpg City, 31 mpg Highway

    Cost Over First Five Years: $34,800

    The Honda Civic Si is a super fun, affordable coupe. It also has the lowest cost of ownership in the sporty car category, according to Consumer Reports. The Si has some faults with its lackluster interior and rather loud ride, but its handling and acceleration is superb. Shoppers looking for an inexpensive thrill should give this a shot.

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    Honda Civic Si Overview
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  • Small SUV: Subaru XV Crosstrek
    • Image Credit: Subaru

    Small SUV: Subaru XV Crosstrek

    MSRP: $21,995 - $24,495
    Invoice: $20,876 - $23,178
    Fuel Economy: 23 mpg City, 30 mpg Highway

    Cost Over First Five Years: $34,200

    The  XV Crosstrek is an interesting vehicle in that it's kind of a souped up Subaru Impreza. With all-weather capability and very distinctive styling, this new small SUV may fly under the radar for many car shoppers, but we think it's a great choice. Subaru has a great track record for reliability and safety, making its cost of ownership quite low.

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    Subaru XV Crosstrek Overview
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  • Midsize SUV: Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
    • Image Credit: Hyundai

    Midsize SUV: Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

    Sticker Price: $24,950 - $32,400
    Invoice Price: $23,964 - $30,706
    Fuel Economy: 20 mpg City, 27 mpg Highway

    Cost Over First Five Years: $36,600

    The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is one of our favorite crossovers on the market right now. It has a great interior, excellent styling and can be had for less than much of its competition. Its utility, safety and cheapness to own make and even stronger case for this vehicle.

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    Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Overview
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  • Large SUV: Chevrolet Traverse
    • Image Credit: GM

    Large SUV: Chevrolet Traverse

    Sticker Price: $30,795 - $43,255
    Invoice Price: $29,563 - $40,660
    Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City, 24 mpg Highway

    Cost Over First Five Years: $51,000

    The Chevrolet Traverse is a nice eight-passenger large SUV, well-suited for active families. Cost of ownership in this category is generally quite high, given these big cars burn a lot of gasoline. The Traverse is the least objectionable, with a five-year cost of ownership of $51,000, according to estimates from Consumer Reports.

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    Chevrolet Traverse Overview
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  • Compact Luxury SUV: Mini Countryman
    • Image Credit: Mini

    Compact Luxury SUV: Mini Countryman

    Sticker Price: $22,100 - $34,950
    Invoice Price: $20,330 - $32,155
    Fuel Economy: 28 mpg City, 35 mpg Highway

    Cost Over First Five Years: $37,800

    This not-so-mini Mini has the lowest cost of ownership in the compact luxury SUV segment, according to Consumer Repots. The Countryman is fuel efficient, comfortable and a blast to drive, though reliability tends to be an issue for the BMW-owned British brand. Trunk space is also cramped, limiting its versatility as a crossover.

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    Mini Countryman Overview
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  • Midsize/Large Luxury SUV: Buick Enclave
    • Image Credit: GM

    Midsize/Large Luxury SUV: Buick Enclave

    Sticker Price: $38,890 - $48,465
    Invoice Price: $36,946 - $46,042
    Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City, 24 mpg Highway

    Cost Over First Five Years: $54,600

    The Buick Enclave has the lowest cost of ownership out of all midsize and large luxury SUVs. Fuel efficiency is generally pretty bad in this category, but the seven-passenger Enclave gets a decent 24 mpg on the highway, which helps to keep costs down. This SUV is comfortable, roomy and comes with a very nice interior.

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    Buick Enclave Overview
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