Kelley Blue Book Lists Gas-Savers With Sub-$30k 5-Year Cost

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Yesterday, as we were publishing our own basic guide to some of the costs you can expect from gasoline, diesel, electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, vehicle information resource Kelly Blue Book (KBB) released a similar list.

Rather than comparing energy types, the KBB list shows you all the vehicles on the market with a five-year cost of ownership less than--or around--$30,000.

As our own piece highlighted, it's wise when buying a new vehicle to consider the longer term costs too, rather than be seduced by initial benefits.

As you might expect, the KBB list is largely made up of relatively inexpensive vehicles, as a large proportion of a car's five-year cost is still the purchase price. Nissan's Versa tops the list, with an MSRP of $11,770 and a total cost of ownership (TCO) of $25,818 over five years - that includes fuel, insurance and other common costs.

Other gas-saving cars that made the list included the Hyundai Accent GLS, Toyota Yaris, Mazda2, Ford Fiesta sedan and Honda Fit. All had a TCO of between $27,000 and $30,000 over five years.

KBB selected only the most affordable trim levels from each range, so several may miss out on desirable features like automatic transmissions or electronic gadgets.

Only one alternative-fuel vehicle sneaks onto the KBB list, Honda's Insight hybrid. With a relatively low purchase price--for a hybrid--of $19,120 and economy that beats any of the other vehicles in the list, it has a TCO of $30,647 over five years.

While our own list featured several vehicles under the $30,000 mark over five years, we deliberately omitted more variable factors like insurance, or state incentives to provide a simpler comparison.

It's also important to remember that gas prices are likely to rise over the next five years, which will affect the TCO of less fuel-sipping vehicles.

Then there are environmental concerns, which may prompt you to pay a little extra for a vehicle, such as the 2012 Toyota Prius C, similar in size to many vehicles on the KBB list, that will use even less gas and emit fewer pollutants during your ownership.


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Comments (4)
  1. Wonder if they included Prius C in their analysis. BTW, I got to see one at the dealership last night along with the Prius V. It was already sold and seemed to have every available option on it. It was shorter than I expected.

  2. Got a twitter reply from "Alex" at KBB, Very nice of them.

    "@JohnCBriggs hi John! Total Cost of Ownership data was unfortunately not available on the Prius C at the time of this analysis. -Alex"

    "@JohnCBriggs it very well may have qualified given its low price and fantastic fuel economy, though. - Alex"

  3. Interesting info John. The reason I mentioned the Prius C in the text was because it seemed like a car that would make it on the list - given that the Insight made it.

  4. Interesting considering the numbers I ran also put the Insight as least expensive hybrid to operate over 5 years also. I can't believe Toyota allowed GCR to publish this article,no Prius OMG?! Just kidding guys don't get worked up, but maybe it's time to stop letting past performance influence opinions on the models available now.

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