2016 Model-Year Winners
When it’s time to shop for a new car, many consumers only take into account the price of the car — or that and the number of cupholders. Unfortunately there are many costs associated with owning a car, and these costs can vary greatly depending on your purchase. Kelley Blue Book has done extensive analysis to determine which vehicles are the cheapest to own over a five-year period, taking into account such factors as financing, insurance and state fees, fuel costs, scheduled maintenance and repairs, and ultimately depreciation of the vehicle. These are the new vehicles that will cost the least to own, listed by category.
Subcompact Car — 2016 Nissan Versa
5-Year Cost to Own: $27,765
The fact that the Nissan Versa is the least expensive vehicle to own is not a big surprise, considering it also is the least expensive vehicle to buy. With a base price of just $11,990, the Versa starts out with a manual transmission, actual roll-up windows, air conditioning and Bluetooth connectivity. It’s also rated as high as 40 mpg on the highway, further contributing to the low monetary outlay over five years. Add to that the car’s high resale value and you have the least-expensive car to own.
Compact Car — 2016 Toyota Corolla
5-Year Cost to Own: $30,330
According to the folks at Kelley Blue Book, the Corolla is the best-selling car in history, worldwide. The small Toyota’s popularity is likely due to its low cost of ownership — or, more accurately, the factors that make it inexpensive to own. With an excellent resale value, an affordable price, great fuel economy and a reputation for being trouble-free, the Corolla comfortably earns the Compact Car top ranking.
Midsize Car — 2016 Toyota Camry
5-Year Cost to Own: $35,681
The Camry may not be exciting or sexy, but it excels at just about everything to win that family car / daily driver heart of the market. Camry is the best-selling passenger car in America, and now edges out its main competition — the Honda Accord — as the least expensive midsize car to own over five years. Completely redesigned last year, the updated Camry shows no signs of giving up its reign as top midsize car.
Full-size Car — 2016 Chevrolet Impala
5-Year Cost to Own: $45,448
Impala has been around for a long time. The current version — introduced in 2013 — is the tenth generation to be sold since the model premiered in 1958. The name may be old, but the 2016 Chevrolet Impala is thoroughly modern, available with a number of high-tech features including active noise cancellation, 4G LTE wireless connectivity, Adaptive Cruise Control, forward collision alert, a rearview camera and Apple CarPlay.
Sporty Compact Car – 2016 Ford Focus ST
5-Year Cost to Own: $34,077
For shoppers looking for a high-value fun-to-drive hatchback, it doesn’t get much better than the Focus ST. With a price starting below $25,000, the ST offers a powerful 252-horsepower EcoBoost engine for excellent performance that also returns 31 mpg on the highway. With the addition of a unique sport suspension, high-performance exhaust, 18-inch alloy wheels and plenty of other amenities, it’s no surprise to see the Focus ST on this list.
Sports Car — 2016 Chevrolet Camaro
5-Year Cost to Own: $30,317
Cost of ownership is not typically the most important factor when purchasing a sports car, but it certainly doesn’t hurt if the car you want saves the most money in the segment. Buyers should consider that additional incentive to consider the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro. With sleeker lines, a new lighter chassis and a suite of high-tech safety and convenience features, the Camaro is available for the first time with a turbocharged engine putting out 275 horsepower. But never fear — there’s still a V8 option for those traditionalists who have to have the big engine.
High-Performance Car — 2016 Ford Mustang GT
5-Year Cost to Own: $45,267
As Kelley Blue Book points out, “High-performance cars and value-for-dollar typically go together like oil and water.” Luckily there are exceptions, and the Ford Mustang GT is one of them. With a $1,200 advantage over the Camaro SS in five-year costs, the Mustang GT delivers with a 435-horsepower V8 teamed with a proper 6-speed manual transmission. Available features such as Brembo brakes, a limited-slip differential and sport-tuned suspension make Mustang a true sports car contender.
Entry-Level Luxury Car — 2016 Buick Verano
5-Year Cost to Own: $40,092
Buick may not be the first brand that comes to mind when thinking luxury, but the Verano offers a nice level of amenities and refinement without breaking the bank. In fact, this is the fourth year in a row that Verano has held onto this title. The Verano has a starting price of under $22,000 and can be equipped with such items as dual-zone climate control, OnStar with 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, as well as keyless remote. Verano also showcases Buick’s Quiet Tuning technology, which is designed to block and absorb sound and eliminate vibrations to give the car one of the quietest interiors in its class.
Luxury Car — 2016 Volvo S80
5-Year Cost to Own: $56,343
The S80 is getting close to retirement — due to be replaced by the S90 next year — but it still offers excellent value in the luxury car market. The attractive sedan has some of the most comfortable seats in the business, and as expected provides a number of high-tech safety features. Standard on the S80 is IntelliSafe — a suite of advanced features that includes Blind Spot Information, Lane Keeping Aid, Active High Beams and Adaptive Cruise Control. Also standard on the S80 is City Safety, which provides Forward Collision Warning as well as Cyclist and Pedestrian Detection.
High-End Luxury Car — 2016 Lexus LS
5-Year Cost to Own: $85,749
When shoppers move into this vehicle class, lavish interiors and attractive styling are often more important than value, but Lexus brings both to the table. Priced considerably less than its European counterparts, the LS is available in a number of variants including extended-length versions, all-wheel drive and the top-level LS 600h hybrid. The LS also has an F Sport package that offers a stiffer suspension, performance tires and enhanced brakes.
Hybrid/Alternative Energy Car — 2016 Toyota Prius c
5-Year Cost to Own: $34,489
The Prius c remains Toyota’s lowest cost hybrid and returns impressive fuel-economy numbers. The Hybrid Synergy Drive system combines a 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine with an electric motor for a total system output of 99 horsepower and —more importantly — a combined fuel economy rating of 50 mpg. Prius c can be well equipped with features such as LED front/rear lighting, automatic climate control, digital instrumentation, an Entune Multimedia system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth and USB/iPod connectivity.
Plug-in Vehicle — 2016 Chevrolet Spark EV
5-Year Cost to Own: $30,104
Spark EV is one of the more fun-to-drive electric cars on the road. With 140 horsepower and 327 lb-ft of torque, the Spark EV zips to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. Range is rated at 82 miles, and with an optional DC fast-charge system the lithium-ion battery pack can be charged from nothing to 80 percent in just 20 minutes. Although the starting price is around $25,000, government incentives can drop the price to around $15,000.
Compact SUV/Crossover — 2016 Honda HR-V
5-Year Cost to Own: $31,985
All-new for the 2016 model year, the HR-V pulls off a typical Honda trick: offering a spacious, versatile interior in a compact package. Power comes from a fuel-efficient 141-horse engine teamed with a continuously variable transmission, offering reasonable performance in this very competitive market segment. The HR-V’s starting price under $20,000 helps considerably with the value proposition for this new crossover.
Midsize SUV/Crossover — 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
5-Year Cost to Own: $37,207
Wrangler has been a part of the American lexicon since 1941, and the iconic off-roader has remained true to the original concept of Go Anywhere, Do Anything. Known throughout the world for its legendary capability, Wrangler is available with all the expected modern amenities, and unlike that original now comes as the 4-door Unlimited. For a vehicle that can handle just about any terrain, there really isn’t anything on the market that can beat it — especially for a starting price around $28,000.
Full-size SUV/Crossover — 2016 Ford Explorer
5-Year Cost to Own: $47,108
It’s been six years since the Explorer was redesigned as a comfortable-riding crossover, ditching the body-on-frame construction that had been the hallmark of the Explorer since its introduction. But this change seems to have been a good move for Ford — Explorer is one of the most popular SUVs on the market, and it has been the least expensive full-size SUV to own for three years running. With a range of efficient and powerful engines, three rows of seating and available full-time all-wheel drive, the Explorer makes a great entry into the large crossover market.
Luxury Compact SUV/Crossover — 2016 Buick Encore
5-Year Cost to Own: $43,380
The Encore is the smallest vehicle in the Buick lineup, and with a starting price of around $25,000, it’s a great entry into the luxury crossover market. The Encore comes well equipped with such features as a power driver’s seat, 7-inch color display with backup camera and built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi connection. New for 2016 is the Encore Sport Touring, powered by a 153-horsepower turbocharged 1.4-liter engine with direct injection and start/stop technology combined with a 6-speed automatic. It’s good fuel economy and low starting price make the Encore a shoo-in for this top ranking.
Luxury Midsize SUV/Crossover — 2016 Lexus RX
5-Year Cost to Own: $51,116
One of the first luxury crossovers on the market, the RX is the best-selling Lexus model — ever. The RX is all new for 2016 with updated styling that incorporates the brand’s large, bold spindle grille which dominates the front end. All-new LED fog lights and running lights give the RX a unique look at night. With blacked out C-pillars, the RX has the appearance of a floating roof — a feature becoming quite common in the segment. Available with a powerful V6 engine or an efficient hybrid powertrain, the Lexus RX is loaded with high-tech safety and convenience features, helping to make it the best value in its class.
Luxury Full-Size SUV/Crossover — 2016 Buick Enclave
5-Year Cost to Own: $57,845
The Buick Enclave is one of the larger luxury crossovers on the market, providing the carlike ride expected from this type of vehicle but with space for up to seven passengers and a considerable amount of cargo. This is the third year in a row that Enclave has been called out with the lowest cost of ownership. With styling that matches the rest of the Buick lineup, Enclave can be equipped with available power-adjustable heated front seats, dual moonroof, a rearview camera, leather trim and a remote-vehicle starter system.
Hybrid SUV/Crossover — 2016 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
5-Year Cost to Own: $50,487
The Highlander Hybrid is one of eight hybrid models offered by Toyota, and it was all new for the 2015 model year. The most fuel-efficient SUV to offer space for eight, the Highlander Hybrid can handle the extra load with a total horsepower rating of 280. The Highlander isn’t inexpensive, but you do get a lot for your money with standard features including 3-zone climate control, Entune audio and Bluetooth, a power moonroof, heated/ventilated front seats, an 8-way power driver’s seat, a backup camera and rear park assist. Add to this the impressive fuel economy and the Highlander easily wins this top spot.
Midsize Pickup Truck — 2016 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab
5-Year Cost to Own: $34,012
The new midsize Chevrolet Colorado debuted as a 2015 model offering an alternative to a full-size truck, possessing more heft and capability than a smaller compact. For 2016 Colorado adds an optional 2.8-liter Duramax that produces 181 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque at 2000 rpm, for a maximum trailering rating of 7,700 pounds with 2-wheel drive. But Colorado is more than a work truck; it can be equipped with a large color touchscreen display, a rearview camera, heated front seats and 4G LTE connectivity with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. With a low entry price and plentiful standard equipment, the Colorado just barely beats its GMC Canyon sibling and the Toyota Tacoma.
Full-Size Pickup Truck — 2016 Ford F-150
5-Year Cost to Own: $43,029
The best-selling vehicle in America for more than 30 years, the Ford F-150 received a complete redesign last year. Now lighter with a variety of engine options, the big truck offers capability and versatility for a variety of uses. Two new EcoBoost engines are available, providing impressive fuel economy as well as V8-like power for great towing capacity. With a starting price around $26,500, the F-150 is an incredible value no matter what your trucking needs.
Minivan — 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan
5-Year Cost to Own: $42,605
The Dodge Grand Caravan is the lowest-priced minivan on the market, giving it a clear edge as the model with the lowest cost to own in its category. One of the most versatile vehicles on the road, the Grand Caravan boasts the innovative Stow ‘n Go seating, which folds seats into the floor leaving a cargo-ready flat floor. Bluetooth, an upgraded audio system and a dual-screen Blu-ray/DVD entertainment system are available options, attainable while still keeping the price around $32,000. The Grand Caravan also holds its value well and fuel economy is quite good, making it a clear winner in its category.