July 21, 2024
Car Maintenance

Top 10 Most Affordable Cars to Own and Operate for 5 Years

It’s common knowledge that owning and operating a car comes with costs, but the variations in expenses between different models can be surprising. MarketWatch Guides’ latest study analyzed the five-year costs for gas vehicles, revealing that the Hyundai Venue is significantly more affordable to own compared to some luxury cars.

According to the study, the Venue’s five-year expenses totaled $22,761, closely followed by the Hyundai Elantra at $22,788.

The 10 most cost-effective vehicles to maintain over 5 years:

  1. Hyundai Venue: $22,761
  2. Hyundai Elantra: $22,788
  3. Nissan Sentra: $23,407
  4. Honda Accord: $23,509
  5. Toyota Corolla: $23,854
  6. Hyundai Tucson: $24,543
  7. Kia Soul: $24,543
  8. Hyundai Sonata: $25,788
  9. Ford Escape ST-Line Select: $25,869
  10. Volkswagen Tiguan: $26,149

MarketWatch factored in gas, insurance, repairs, and financing expenses to determine the total running costs. The competitive purchase prices of the listed vehicles indicate a focus on affordability, which translates to lower operating costs. The Venue’s impressive 31 mpg combined fuel efficiency rating certainly contributed to its economical maintenance expenses.

On the other end of the spectrum, some models incurred higher costs. The study identified the Porsche Cayenne as the most expensive vehicle to maintain, with a five-year total of $56,010. Following closely were the Porsche Macan at $48,653 and the BMW X5 xDrive40i at $48,456.

While depreciation was not factored into the running costs analysis, MarketWatch separately compared the residual values of comparable gas and electric models. The Mini Cooper Countryman and Mini Cooper Electric showed minimal depreciation difference over five years, with just $283 separating their values. Similarly, the Chevy Malibu and Chevy Bolt had a $635 gap. The Audi A3 and Audi E-Tron GT exhibited the largest disparity in depreciation, with the electric E-Tron experiencing a $29,164 greater price drop after five years.


Q: How were the running costs calculated?

A: The running costs were determined based on gas, insurance, repairs, and financing expenses over a five-year period.

Q: Why are some luxury vehicles more expensive to maintain?

A: Luxury vehicles often have higher maintenance costs due to specialized parts and services.


In conclusion, the study highlights the significant variations in running costs among different car models. Choosing a more affordable vehicle can result in substantial savings over time, making it essential to consider not just the upfront price but also the long-term expenses associated with owning and operating a car.

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