Cheapest Car To Own Over Five Years? Scion iQ, Says KBB

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2013 Scion iQ

2013 Scion iQ

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What motivates you to buy a green car?

For some, it's the desire to do just a little to help the environment. For others, it might be the technology. Some may simply want to save money.

If the latter is a major factor, you may be interested to know that the cheapest car to run over five years is the 2013 Scion iQ, according to Kelley Blue Book.

While its gas mileage may not top the charts--though 37 mpg combined could hardly be described as terrible--the iQ has several other factors in its favor.

For a start, it's cheap to buy in the first place. Purchase costs don't affect cost of ownership, but they do mean the car has little to lose in depreciation over the five years.

It also scores well on fuel, maintenance, insurance and repair costs too, with a predicted five-year ownership cost of $27,006.

For comparison, the best hybrid in the list was Honda's Insight, with a five-year cost of $33,014. KBB praised its quality, reliability and fuel efficiency ratings--but it's still over $6,000 more expensive to run over five years than the diminutive iQ.

According to Scion vice-president Doug Mertha, “For the urban driver looking for maneuverability, impressive fuel economy and style, the iQ is an excellent choice.”

That might be the case, but the public isn't buying it--figuratively or literally.

Both the iQ and the even tinier Smart Fortwo have sold poorly, reflecting the fact that while graced with clever names, neither offers anything to U.S. customers that they can't get in larger, faster, more comfortable cars.

If you're looking for a cheap car to run, the iQ is that car. But you'll probably buy something else...


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Comments (6)
  1. There is a KBB category for electric cars. It shows...
    2013 Chevy Volt the winner at $37K for 5 years.
    Wow, I wouldn't have guessed that one. Is this an insurance issue again?

    Runners up, 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in, and 2013 Ford Focus Electric (Really?) I would love to see the breakdown of the pricing. Does anyone know if that is reported?

  2. I am surprised that Leaf didn't make it near the top. Typically, the more electric miles it has, the cheaper to operate. I think Prius is cheaper to insure than my Volt by about $310 per year. I am NOT sure if the PIP is the same.

    If I can save $700 over a comparable Prius in gas per year, I would assume the Leaf would be the same. Also, Leaf is cheaper than Volt in after rebate price.

  3. I am surprised that Honda Insight was the cheapest to own in the hybrid category while Prius is the dominate market leader in that segment.

  4. The starting price is much lower, so I guess that the savings in depreciating overcome the Prius' advantage of fuel. But just a guess. Insurance should be cheaper, too, based on the lower purchase price.

  5. Lets face it most Americans still think big is beautiful. They are hoping that drilling will escalate and the Canadian pipe line will bring pump price's pump down so they can maintain the status quo. Micro cars are a niche market in the U.S and will remain so as there is no overcrowding. Their main advantage (small size) is for crowded environments.The larger Prius beats the IQ for fuel economy so in the end what's the advantage of the micro in America? I own both but live in the UK where I can justify the IQ and thoroughly enjoy every moment utilising the car in the right environment.

  6. Big is beautiful! :)

    I love a big battery pack, a big electric motor and a bigger performance package... :)

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