For Your Interest

SAFE Engineering Inc. is pleased to bring you the following general interest articles….

Some cheaper cars may cost more to own than higher-priced alternatives
52% of Americans would rather be dead than disabled

Hydration is the key to summer fun and safety 
Automaker websites should target over-50s 
How to improve stormwater management in your yard 

Some cheaper cars may cost more to own than higher-priced alternatives

A cheaper car can cost consumers more in the long run compared with a more expensive alternative, according to Consumer Reports’ new owner-costs comparisons.

For example, at about $17,500, a Mitsubishi Lancer could cost $5,000 less than a Mini Cooper to drive home. But considering the total costs of ownership for each car, the Lancer could cost drivers around $3,000 more over the first five years. A Toyota Highlander can cost $3,000 more to purchase than a V6 Ford Explorer, but owning the Ford after five years can end up costing an additional $6,500.

Consumer Reports recommends that in addition to looking for a good deal on their next car, car shoppers also consider how much the model will cost them to own. To help, CR is introducing new owner-cost estimates (found online at or in the magazine’s annual April automotive issue). This information can help consumers compare models and possibly save thousands of dollars.

The differences in long-term costs are affected by depreciation, fuel costs, interest, insurance, maintenance and repair, and sales tax. Because depreciation is factored into the estimates, CR assumes that the vehicle will be traded in after five years.

CR’s calculations in seven common automotive categories show that the most expensive vehicle to run for five years is the Mercedes-Benz S550 at about $101,750. CR calculated that the least expensive vehicle to run over five years was the Toyota Yaris with a manual transmission, at about $23,250.

In analyzing ownership costs, CR made some notable discoveries:

. Most Lexus models have relatively high maintenance and repair costs (primarily due to maintenance), despite excellent reliability. The Lexus ES350 racks up an average of $2,300 in maintenance and repair in the first five years, about twice what a consumer would pay for a Lincoln MKZ.

. The Toyota Prius hybrid actually costs less to own than similar conventional models. The Prius costs about $7,500 more to buy than a similarly sized Chevrolet Cobalt, but costs almost $2,000 less over five years.


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