When you think about something that is cheap, what comes to mind? Is it fast food where the portions are healthy and the food is filling, but no on the healthy side of the meter? Or do you think of Walmart and their “everyday low prices”? What about with cars, do you think of the small cars as the cheapest or is it a particular brand? This time we are confirming some stereotypes and denying the truth of others with the realization that a 2010 Hyundai Accent is cheaper to own than a 2010 Smart ForTwo.

Smart ForTwo Edition Highstyle

Smart ForTwo Edition Highstyle

According to a report by Car and Driver, the cost to own a 2010 Hyundai Accent over three years is cheaper than a new Smart ForTwo by $458. Surprised? I know I had to do a double take when I first read the figures. We all know that Hyundai isn’t the car company that it was back in the ‘80s and ‘90s and with the introduction of cars like the Genesis and Genesis Coupe, the company is on track to be the Lexus of this decade. That all aside, the company hasn’t lost site of it roots of providing good, cheap and reliable transportation as is the case with the 2010 Hyundai Accent.

The figures from C&D are figured using the base MSRP, EPA combined fuel mileage, three-year fuel cost and three-year insurance cost. For the 2010 Hyundai Accent the figures breakdown like this:

  • Base MSRP: $10,690
  • EPA Combined Mileage: 31 mpg
  • Three-Year Fuel Cost: $2988
  • Three-Year Insurance Cost: $4351
  • Total Three-Year Cost: $18,029

The 2010 Smart ForTwo figures ring in a little more expensive and are broken out like this:

  • Base MSRP: $12,635
  • EPA Combined Mileage: 36 mpg
  • Three-Year Fuel Cost: $2573
  • Three-Year Insurance Cost: $3279
  • Total Three-Year Cost: $18,487

 So the difference isn’t HUGE, but when you consider what you are getting maybe the delta between the two cars gets larger. The Hyundai Accent is a larger car that can, in a pinch, seat four people (five if you are really adventurous). It also has more power and can cruise at highway speeds in more comfort. However, the Smart ForTwo does have the advantage in both the mpg column and the maneuverability column, especially in urban settings.

Bottom line—Small isn’t always cheaper, but it does seem that the Korean car companies will continue to be the most affordable solution on the market. That is unless you really want the cheapest car on the C&D list—the 2010 Nissan Versa 1.6 (more here). Of course, that would require you to BYOR—Bring Your Own Radio.


[Source: Car and Driver]