Though the final purchase price is the most important factor when calculating the cost of a car, it's not the only thing shoppers should be focused on. Spending more on fuel, maintenance, and insurance can easily cut away at any upfront savings. Kelley Blue Book has released its 2017 5-Year Cost to Own Awards that lists the best vehicles in each class.
Image Credit: Chevrolet
Subcompact car - 2017 Chevrolet Spark
The 2017 Chevrolet Spark is one year into a complete redesign. The compact is slightly bigger and far more refined than the model it replaced. According to KBB, low maintenance and fuel costs combined with an MSRP of less than $14,000 make the Spark the most affordable vehicle of 2017.
This is the fourth year running that the Toyota Corolla has come out on top in 5-year ownership costs. The Corolla may get dinged for being slightly bland, but there's no arguing that it's a simple, affordable, and honest means of transportation.
There is something just right about the 2017 Honda Accord. Few cars are as well rounded as the midsize sedan stalwart. Few cars that are as inexpensive to run and operate are as usable and drive as well as the Accord. The fact that Accords hold their value certainly doesn't hurt matters either.
Like the Accord, the 2017 Honda HR-V does just about everything well. Everything about the HR-V, from usability to resale value, gets high marks. It may not be the most exciting crossover out there, but no one will complain about the HR-V's costs.
While the 2017 Subaru Crosstrek may stretch the definition of "crossover," the facts show that it's one of the least expensive vehicles to own. The high-riding Impreza hatch is roomy, practical, and gets descent fuel economy. Standard all-wheel drive and a rugged appearance only add to the charm.
This is the third consecutive year the Jeep Wrangler topped KBB's 5-Year Cost to Own list. The current generation has been around for nearly a decade, meaning most of the major maintenance problems have been worked out. The extra money spent on fuel is made up for with a high resale value and affordable insurance.
They don't make them like this anymore. In a segment being increasingly dominated by car-based crossovers, truck-based SUVs like the 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe stand apart. The Tahoe is robust and hugely capable and surprisingly affordable to own.
Seeing the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado make the list should be no surprise considering how closely related it is to the Tahoe. While the competition from Ford and Ram are investing in aluminum, turbos, and diesel, the Silverado remains a distinctly old-school proposition. No other full-size truck is as affordable over five year period.
A low MSRP helps the 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan top KBB's list. Most other minivans start at thousands more than this Dodge. The Grand Caravan is simple, gets good fuel economy, and has decent resale value. The new Chrysler Pacifica may get all the spotlight, but there's still some life left in the Grand Caravan.