2017 Model-Year Winners
When it’s time to shop for a new car, many consumers only consider the price of the car — or that and finding their favorite color. Unfortunately, there are many costs associated with owning a car beyond the purchase price, such as depreciation, maintenance and fuel costs. These additional expenditures can vary greatly depending on the vehicle purchased. 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. What follows are new vehicles that KBB says will be the least costly to own, listed by category.
Subcompact Car — 2017 Chevrolet Spark
5-Year Cost to Own: $28,216
The least-expensive new domestic car available in America, Spark is Chevrolet’s smallest offering and it’s nice to see an attractive, efficient small car coming from an American car company. Stylish and fun to drive, Spark is available in a number of bright colors with fun trim names such as Splash, Salsa and Lime (sounds tasty). Thanks to smart use of space and a high roof, this small car doesn’t feel claustrophobic — even for tall folks. And while inexpensive, the Spark doesn’t feel cheap. The Chevrolet Spark is one of the least expensive cars on the market to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. It may not have a lot of power, but Spark has an impressive EPA rating of 38 mpg on the highway.
Compact Car — 2017 Toyota Corolla
5-Year Cost to Own: $32,251
This is the fourth consecutive year that Corolla has earned this spot on Kelley Blue Book’s list. One of the best-selling cars in America, 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 once again.
Midsize Car — 2017 Honda Accord
5-Year Cost to Own: $36,442
One of the best-selling midsize sedans in America, the Honda Accord has a lot to offer. Available in a variety of trim levels as a 2-door or 4-door, Accord can even be equipped with a manual transmission — a nod to driving enthusiasts. In addition to being the midsize car with the lowest cost of ownership over five years, Accord is also one of the safest vehicles on the road, earning an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating for crash test and crash avoidance.
Full-Size Car — 2017 Chevrolet Impala
5-Year Cost to Own: $46,199
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 vintage, but the 2017 Chevrolet Impala is thoroughly modern, available with many high-tech features including active noise cancellation, 4G LTE wireless connectivity, Adaptive Cruise Control, forward collision alert, a rearview camera and Apple CarPlay. The Impala is a repeat winner in KBB’s Cost of Ownership study.
Sporty Compact Car – 2017 Ford Fiesta ST
5-Year Cost to Own: $35,433
Already a popular model in Europe, the Fiesta ST was first offered for the U.S. market in 2014. Ford’s sporty compact is powered by a high-output 1.6-liter EcoBoost turbocharged 4-cylinder engine producing 197 horsepower and 202 lb-ft of torque. Available exclusively with a 6-speed manual transmission, the Fiesta ST delivers both hot-hatch performance and excellent fuel economy with an EPA rating of 33 mpg on the highway.
Sports Car — 2017 Toyota 86
5-Year Cost to Own: $39,489
Called the Scion FR-S Coupe until Toyota eliminated the Scion brand last year, the 86 is a lightweight, rear-wheel-drive sports car. Developed with Subaru (the 86 shares a platform with Subaru’s BRZ), the Toyota 86 is powered by a 2.0-liter flat 4-cylinder engine putting out 205 horsepower that can be teamed with a 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission. The 86 received a few updates to go with the new name — the front end got new LED headlights, a revised bumper and a larger center air intake, giving the sport coupe a more aggressive stance. The rear of the car also received LED treatment as well as a new bumper design.
Entry-Level Luxury Car — 2017 Buick Verano
5-Year Cost to Own: $40,211
Buick may not be the first brand that comes to mind when thinking luxury car, but the Verano offers a nice level of amenities and refinement without breaking the bank. In fact, this is the fifth year in a row that KBB has named Verano the least expensive entry-luxury car to own. 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 — 2017 Lexus GS
5-Year Cost to Own: $62,601
Completely redesigned for the 2016 model year, the GS is the latest offering from Toyota’s luxury division to feature the brand’s new larger, bolder grille. The GS has several available powertrains, including the GS 450h high-performance hybrid that combines a 3.5-liter V6 gas engine and a water-cooled permanent-magnet electric motor for a total system output of 338 horsepower. But if more performance is required, there’s the GS F — the most powerful production Lexus ever. Thanks to its 5.0-liter V8 that puts out 467 horsepower, the GS F can sprint to 60 mph in a mere 4.5 seconds. The custom sport suspension and big Brembo brakes help drivers take proper control of all that power.
High-End Luxury Car — 2017 Lexus LS
5-Year Cost to Own: $85,785
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 — 2017 Toyota Prius
5-Year Cost to Own: $36,366
Completely new for the 2016 model year, this iconic hybrid is built on an all-new global platform featuring futuristic styling with sleek lines and sharp angles. Handling has improved and fuel efficiency is even better than the outgoing model. The new Prius has lighter engine components, a battery pack of increased capacity yet smaller dimensions, and aerodynamic enhancements good enough to make it the most efficient non-plug-in hybrid on the road.
Electric Vehicle — 2017 Toyota Prius Prime
5-Year Cost to Own: $36,745
Toyota’s newest plug-in hybrid, the 2017 Prius Prime debuts a new design and an improved hybrid system that increases the all-electric range to 25 miles with a maximum electric-only speed of 84 mph. According to the EPA, Prius Prime is rated at 133 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) — a significant improvement over its predecessor due to greater battery capacity and a better hybrid system. With a full tank of gas and a full electric charge the total driving range is estimated at 640 miles.
Subcompact SUV/Crossover — 2017 Honda HR-V
5-Year Cost to Own: $33,722
All new last 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 of around $20,000 helps considerably with this crossover’s value proposition.
Compact SUV/Crossover – 2017 Subaru Crosstrek
5-Year Cost to Own: $34,957
Subaru made a brilliant move a few years ago when the automaker took its compact Impreza and with few alterations converted the platform into the very popular Crosstrek. This spritely, small crossover has a 148-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder BOXER engine combined with either a 5-speed manual transmission or an available Lineartronic CVT. With 8.7 inches of ground clearance and full-time all-wheel drive, the capable Crosstrek delivers impressive fuel economy of up to 33 mpg on the highway.
Midsize SUV/Crossover — 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
5-Year Cost to Own: $39,882
Jeep’s popular SUV has earned this top spot from Kelley Blue Book for the third time, although the Wrangler name 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 the original version it 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 the Wrangler — especially for a starting price around $28,000.
Full-Size SUV/Crossover — 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe
5-Year Cost to Own: $61,245
There aren’t many vehicles on the road that can compete with the Chevrolet Tahoe. With seating for up to nine occupants, plenty of cargo capacity, the ability to tow more than 8,000 pounds and 9 inches of ground clearance for off-road adventures, the Tahoe is one of the most capable SUVs on the road. Available with 2WD or 4WD, Tahoe can also be equipped with a suite of safety features as well as 4G LTE connectivity with a Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless phone charging, power-folding second- and third-row seats, an 8-inch color touchscreen and multiple USB ports.
Luxury Compact SUV/Crossover — 2017 Buick Encore
5-Year Cost to Own: $40,132
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 segment. 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. The Encore Sport Touring trim became part of the lineup for 2016, powered by a 153-horsepower turbocharged 1.4-liter engine with direct injection and start/stop technology combined with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Good fuel economy and a low starting price help explain how this small Buick has earned KBB recognition four years in a row.
Luxury Midsize SUV/Crossover — 2017 Infiniti QX60
5-Year Cost to Own: $52,375
The QX60 is Infiniti’s family-friendly 3-row crossover that debuted for 2013 as the JX35 and was renamed QX60 for the 2014 model year. The QX60 received a refresh in 2016 with revised exterior styling that reflects Infiniti’s new design language, including a new signature grille, headlights, turn signals and new wheel designs. Inside, QX60 feels upscale with graphite weave interior accents, a stitched upper dashboard and a new shift lever. The QX60 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 295 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, mated to a continuously-variable transmission. The QX60 is also available as a hybrid with an advanced drivetrain that combines a supercharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gas engine and an electric motor powered by a compact lithium-ion battery pack, rated at 250 net system horsepower. Both the standard QX60 and the QX60 Hybrid are available with front-wheel drive or Intelligent All-Wheel Drive.
Luxury Full-Size SUV/Crossover — 2017 Infiniti QX80
5-Year Cost to Own: $72,103
As the premium flagship SUV of the Infiniti lineup, the QX80 combines a luxurious interior with impressive capability. Sporting a 400-horsepower 5.6-liter V8 engine under the hood, the QX80 can haul as much as 8,500 pounds with seating for up to seven occupants. The interior is properly equipped with leather seat trim, a high-end Bose audio system, tri-zone climate control and the unique Around View monitor. The QX80 is also available with the latest in safety technology, including Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Departure Prevention and Blind Spot Intervention.
Midsize Pickup Truck — 2017 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab
5-Year Cost to Own: $37,029
The 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 added an optional 2.8-liter Duramax diesel 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 — 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
5-Year Cost to Own: $42,406
The Silverado has been Chevrolet’s best-selling model for a long time — in fact, the only vehicle that outsells the Silverado in America is the Ford F-150. Silverado is available in many configurations with different cab and trim-level options ranging from the basic work truck to the ultra-luxurious High Country. Silverado is also available with many advanced safety technologies, including a Teen Driver feature that allows parents to view the vehicle’s maximum speed, distance driven and the number of times active safety features were engaged during a drive.
Minivan — 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan
5-Year Cost to Own: $43,778
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 innovative Stow ‘n Go seating, which folds seats into the floor to create a cargo-ready flat floor. Bluetooth, an upgraded audio system and a dual-screen Blu-ray/DVD entertainment system are available options — attainable at a 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. The Grand Caravan’s future is unknown due to the introduction of Chrysler’s Pacifica van, but for now Dodge’s pioneering minivan remains available at bargain prices.