The maintenance and repair costs shown are national unweighted 2014 model averages reflecting manufacturer-recommended scheduled maintenance services for vehicles driven in "normal" conditions over 75,000 and 100,000 miles. To arrive at the costs, parts pricing is for original equipment manufacturer maintenance parts, at manufacturer-suggested retail price. Labor times and labor rates are based on published information from third-party sources as of May 20, 2014.
What the Data Shows
The Ford F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in the U.S., but among the vehicles on our top 10 list, it is also the most expensive to maintain to 100,000 miles. It comes in at $593 more than the Chevrolet Silverado, its closest competitor. Ford calls for more inspections in its maintenance schedule and some engines have 7,500-mile service intervals, which raises the total costs.
Four brands have sedans in the top 10, so we compared their costs and found some interesting contrasts. Foreign brands are commonly thought to be more reliable, but are also thought to be more expensive to repair than domestic ones. Through 75,000 miles of use, however, the difference in repair costs among the sedans is minimal. The Ford Fusion costs $166 more in estimated repairs than the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry or Toyota Corolla. It's not a huge difference, but it could be a tipping point for super-thrifty buyers.
If you drive a car for 100,000 miles, the Toyota Corolla emerges as the overall maintenance-savings winner, followed closely by its closest competitor, the Honda Civic. The Corolla's costs are lowered by its two years of free maintenance.
When it comes to warranties, Chevrolet turns out to be the automaker that goes the extra miles. The drivetrain warranties by Ford, Honda, Nissan and Toyota stop at the 60,000-mile mark, while Chevy goes to 100,000.