Edmunds.com True Cost to Own Study Reveals Which Cars Offer Best Value

Edmunds.com True Cost to Own Study Reveals Which Cars Offer Best Value


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Edmunds.com True Cost to Own Study Reveals Which Cars Offer Best Value

Honda Civic Least Expensive Vehicle to Own Over Five Years

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — October 24, 2008 — Fluctuating gas prices and economic turmoil are motivating consumers to look for the least expensive cars to own and operate. A new study by Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, reveals which vehicles are the best choices for consumers looking to save money.

The Honda Civic DX-VP 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M) is the least expensive vehicle to own and operate atapproximately $.40 per mile, according to Edmunds.com's True Cost to OwnSM data, which estimates total vehicle costs over a five-year period. Based on the data, the non-sales weighted average for all vehicles is $.74 per mile with the most expensive vehicles costing over $3.00 per mile.

"Especially in difficult economic times, consumers should be aware of total ownership costs rather than simply looking at purchase price and fuel efficiency," said Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor for Edmunds.com. "We recommend that each household devote no more than 20 percent of its income to automotive expenses, including maintenance, insurance and other costs that consumers may not be thinking about when shopping for a car."

Consumers can check out the True Cost to OwnSM data for new and used vehicles at http://www.edmunds.com/apps/cto/CTOintroController. True Cost to Own Ratings allow consumers to see how well each selected vehicle's operating costs and depreciation compare to those of other vehicles on the market.

The study evaluated the True Cost to OwnSM of hundreds of 2009 vehicles assuming gas prices of $3.06 per gallon for regular fuel, $3.29 per gallon for premium fuel and $3.77 per gallon for diesel (the national averages on October 17, 2008). The following are the ten least expensive vehicles to own:

Rank Make Model Style True Cost to OwnSM Cost Per Mile
1 Honda Civic DX-VP 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M) $30,062 $0.40
2 Honda Fit 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M) $30,513 $0.41
3 Hyundai Accent GS 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M) $30,646 $0.41
4 Chevrolet Aveo 5 LS 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M) $30,894 $0.41
5 Toyota Yaris 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M) $31,411 $0.42
6 Nissan Versa 1.8 S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6M) $31,482 $0.42
7 Scion xB 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 5M) $32,592 $0.43
8 Scion xD 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 5M) $32,647 $0.44
9 Kia Rio 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M) $32,656 $0.44
10 MINI Cooper 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 6M) $32.729 $0.44

The True Cost to OwnSM study incorporates projected average depreciation, financing, taxes, fees, insurance premiums, fuel costs, maintenance and repairs for each model. Edmunds.com's True Cost to OwnSM data is the automotive industry's most comprehensive and includes regional variances. When all of the factors are considered, some popular vehicles look considerably less appealing on a cost-per-mile basis than their fuel economy would suggest.

As shown in Edmunds.com's June 2008 True Cost to OwnSM study, hybrid vehicles fail to provide a low total cost of ownership relative to many compacts and subcompacts as a result of their higher purchase prices. According to the Edmunds.com's latest study, the highest ranking hybrid vehicle is the Toyota Prius Standard 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) in the 24th spot with a True Cost to OwnSM of $36,271 ($0.48 per mile).

"Depreciation should be a significant consideration for anyone shopping for a vehicle that they intend to drive for five years or less," said Jesse Toprak, Edmunds.com Executive Director of Industry Analysis. "Take for example the Mini Cooper; its low depreciation makes it cheaper to own over five years than many subcompacts even though it is less fuel efficient, costs more to purchase and requires premium fuel."

Edmunds.com's True Cost to OwnSM calculations make the following assumptions:

  • Ownership expenses are for a five-year time span
  • Vehicles are driven 15,000 miles per year
  • Vehicles are financed using traditional financing and not leased
  • Buyers pay 10 percent down on the vehicle
  • Buyers are in the "Gold" credit tier for the purpose of determining the finance rate
  • The loan term is 60 months
  • Buyers represent the average demographic in their state for insurance rates

About Edmunds (http://www.edmunds.com/about/)
Edmunds publishes four Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers, enthusiasts and insiders. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive consumer information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site. Its most popular feature, the Edmunds.com True Market Value®, is relied upon by millions of people seeking current transaction prices for new and used vehicles. Edmunds.com was named "Best Car Research Site" by Forbes ASAP, has been selected by consumers as the "Most Useful Web Site" according to every J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com Study(SM), was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites by The Wall Street Journal and was rated "#1" in Keynote's study of third-party automotive Web sites. Inside Line launched in 2005 and is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. CarSpace launched in 2006 and is an automotive social networking Web site. AutoObserver.com launched in 2007 and provides insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis. Edmunds is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit.

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