These Are the Least Expensive Cars to Own

2020 Acura MDX


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2020 Acura MDX

The Cost of Ownership

The cheapest cars to own can sometimes cost you more in the long run from frequent repairs, bad gas mileage, rapid depreciation, and low resale values. Other times, some of the least expensive cars are also the cheapest vehicles to own over time. Every year, Kelley Blue Book announces the vehicles from every segment that it believes will have the lowest ownership costs over the course of five years. Here’s a look at the winners.

Related: The Cheapest New Cars and Trucks of 2020

2020 Hyundai Venue
Hyundai Motor America

Subcompact SUV: Hyundai Venue

Predicted five-year cost to own: $30,936
The Hyundai Venue is cheap to own — and to buy. It starts at just $18,470 including a $1,120 destination charge. Although it’s packed with impressive features, it’s the least expensive vehicle in its class by far, which is cause for its popularity as well as its place at the top of the cost-to-own rankings.

2020 Subaru Forester

Compact SUV: Subaru Forester

Predicted five-year cost to own: $35,362
The Subaru Forester is designed for active families. Thanks to Subaru’s standard all-wheel drive, this crossover is great in rough weather, and off-road enthusiasts will appreciate its 8.7 inches of ground clearance.

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Motor America

Two-Row Midsize SUV: Hyundai Santa Fe

Predicted five-year cost to own: $40,674
The Hyundai Santa Fe has an impressive menu of advanced safety and tech features, especially when you consider its starting price of $26,995, which includes a $1,095 destination charge.

2020 Mitsubishi Outlander
Mitsubishi Motors

Three-Row Midsize SUV: Mitsubishi Outlander

Predicted five-year cost to own: $40,995
The Mitsubishi Outlander starts under $26,000, including a destination charge, and is cheap to upgrade to better trim packages — the SE version costs just $1,200 more. All but the top-of-the-line package have underwhelming 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines, but those engines get an impressive 30 mpg on the highway.

2020  Jeep Wrangler Two-Door

Off-Road SUV: Jeep Wrangler Two-Door

Predicted five-year cost to own: $39,045
This Jeep Wrangler has solid axles and anti-roll bars that can be disconnected electronically. It has the same off-road capabilities that have made Jeep a favorite for off-roaders for 75 years, but the 2020 is the most commuter-friendly model in the brand’s history — and you can still take off the doors and fold down the windshield.

Related: 24 Timeless Jeeps Everybody Still Loves 

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe RST
2021 Chevrolet Tahoe RST by General Motors (CC BY-SA)

Full-Size SUV: Chevrolet Tahoe

Predicted five-year cost to own: $65,178
The Chevy Tahoe is not only the cheapest to own, but a common sight at the top of the general KBB Best Buy Award list. The nine-passenger beast can tow up to 8,600 pounds and it’s known for driving surprisingly well for a massive truck-based SUV. It is, above all else, powerful — a 5.3-liter, V-8 engine comes standard.

Lexus UX
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.

Subcompact Luxury SUV: Lexus UX

Predicted five-year cost to own: $46,215
The Lexus UX is the least expensive and smallest vehicle in the Lexus lineup, but has all the luxury synonymous with the name. The interior is crafted from high-quality materials and bursting with tech features. The standard model gets as much as 37 mpg; the hybrid does even better.

2020 Lexus NX
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Compact Luxury SUV: Lexus NX

Predicted five-year cost to own: $47,881
Lexus has a lock on this segment as well, with the NX. The entry-level package comes with a 235-horsepower four-cylinder engine, and there’s a hybrid option with standard all-wheel drive. The interior is what you’d expect from a Lexus, and the exterior looks like no other compact SUV on the road, massive mesh grille and all.

2020 Lexus RX
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Two-Row Midsize Luxury SUV: Lexus RX

Predicted five-year cost to own: $56,252
The dependable RX comes standard with a V-6 that generates 295 horsepower, and with front-wheel drive, although AWD is available (as is a less-powerful hybrid engine). Like the NX, the RX has an edgy and unique look outside to match its luxurious interior.

2020 Acura MDX

Three-Row Midsize Luxury SUV: Acura MDX

Predicted five-year cost to own: $55,270
The Acura MDX has high resale value, low maintenance costs, and a sticker price that’s comparatively low for the segment. It’s got a powerful 290-horsepower V-6, but one of its coolest features is the easy accessibility of the third row thanks to the easy-to-move second row.

2020 Infiniti QX80

Full-Size Luxury SUV: Infiniti QX80

Predicted five-year cost to own: $83,155
Lower-than-average depreciation is part of the reason the Infiniti QX80 is a repeat winner in this category. Rugged on the outside and luxurious in the interior, the QX80 is a powerhouse that can seat eight. It roars with a 400-horsepower V-8 that can tow 8,500 pounds.

2020 Hyundai Elantra
Hyundai Motor America

Compact Car: Hyundai Elantra

Predicted five-year cost to own: $31,056
The Hyundai Elantra, available as a hatchback and sedan, feels more like a midsize than a compact car despite starting under $20,000. It also boasts an impressive list of driver-safety features and tech offerings for its segment, and its 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty can’t be matched.

2020 Honda Accord
American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Midsize Car: Honda Accord

Predicted five-year cost to own: $35,185
The Honda Accord is a perennial favorite after 10 generations, and one reason is its famously low ownership costs. As one of the last cars on the road still available with a manual transmission, it also starts under $25,000 including a destination charge.

2018 Chevrolet Impala
2018 Chevrolet Impala by General Motors (CC BY-SA)

Full-Size Car: Chevrolet Impala

Predicted five-year cost to own: $49,006
The vaunted Chevy Impala has spent nine uninterrupted years at the top of the cost-to-own list for this segment. Starting under $33,000 including delivery charges, it’s relatively affordable, especially for its size and power. The only engine option is a 3.6-liter, V-6 that produces 305 horsepower.

2020 Fiat 124 Spider
FCA Group Marketing S.p.A.

Sports Car: Fiat 124 Spider

Predicted five-year cost to own: $40,558
The Fiat 124 Spider takes the segment for the second year in a row. The roadster starts under $27,000 — including a delivery charge of nearly $1,500 — making it an attractive alternative to the similar Mazda Miata. Sleek and sporty, the soft-top convertible is quiet, powerful, and reliable.

2020 Acura ILX

Entry-Level Luxury Car: Acura ILX

Predicted five-year cost to own: $40,146
The Acura ILX tops its category for the third year in a row. The five-passenger sedan starts under $30,000 — impressive for its category, to say the least, since that’s thousands less than its main competitors over at BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz. The only engine option is Acura’s battle-proven 201-horsepower, normally aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder, which offers more than enough power as well as excellent gas mileage.

2020 Volvo V90
Volvo Cars

Luxury Car: Volvo V90

Predicted five-year cost to own: $62,116
The Volvo V90 is actually more of a five-seat wagon than a car. That gives it an impressively roomy interior — and it’s plenty powerful with a turbocharged version offering 250 horsepower, and a supercharged option good for a full 316 horsepower.

2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A

Hybrid Car: Toyota Corolla Hybrid

Predicted five-year cost to own: $30,918
The Toyota Corolla Hybrid is like other Toyotas: famously reliable and known for retaining value for a potential resale. More importantly, the Corolla hybrid gets an impressive 50 mpg fuel economy.

Related: The Most Trusted Toyotas of All Time

2020 Nissan Leaf
Nissan USA

Electric Vehicle: Nissan Leaf

Predicted five-year cost to own: $40,186
The Nissan Leaf has 10 years in the EV market — a longer history in the segment than any brand except for Tesla (which dates back to 2003). Chief competitors Chevy, Kia, and Hyundai don’t come close. It starts at $32,525, including the destination charge, but winds up close to the $25,000 mark when factoring in a federal EV tax incentive. Here again, no competitor comes close.

Related: 20 Electric Cars Cheaper Than a Tesla

Chrysler Voyager

Minivan: Chrysler Voyager

Predicted five-year cost to own: $44,300
Chrysler’s newest minivan is the Voyager, a pared-down and more affordable version of the Chrysler Pacifica. It’s the chief competitor to the Honda Odyssey, which it just dethroned as the most affordable minivan to own. Although it’s missing some of the higher-end comfort and tech features of the Pacifica, the seven-passenger Voyager starts under $27,000 — more than $6,000 less — and is otherwise virtually identical.

2020 Toyota Tacoma
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A

Midsize Pickup Truck: Toyota Tacoma

Predicted five-year cost to own: $39,496
No other truck in the segment can match the Toyota Tacoma — and not just this year: The Tacoma has won its category every year in the award’s history. With two choices of cab, two choices of engines, and 30 possible configurations, its reputation for customizability is nearly as potent as its reputation for dependability and reliability.

Related: 32 Most Reliable Pickup Trucks of All Time

2020 Chevrolet Silverado
2020 Chevrolet Silverado by General Motors (CC BY-SA)

Full-Size Pickup Truck: Chevrolet Silverado

Predicted five-year cost to own: $47,697
Full-size pickups are so popular that all three of America’s best-selling vehicles last year came from the segment. Only one can be the cheapest to own, though, and that would be the Chevy Silverado, which at 13,400 pounds also boasts the segment’s highest towing capacity. Like the venerable Tacoma, it comes with a seemingly endless variety of configurations, including five engine options.