Top 10 Cheapest Cars to Own Over 5 Years: 2017

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

The 2017 Kelley Blue Book 5-Year Cost to Own award winners have been announced.

When it comes to owning a vehicle, its purchase price is just the beginning. There’s also the continuing costs of fuel, financing, insurance and depreciation that affects the true cost of ownership. So even though two cars may have similar sticker prices, their 5-Year Cost to Own value could differ dramatically.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Cheapest Cars to Maintain Over 10 Years

To create the 5-Year Cost to Own projections, Kelley Blue Book calculates expected ownership costs down to the model level, using actual new-car sales figures. It weighs more popular trim levels more heavily, to more accurately convey what owners can expect to experience in terms of cost of ownership over time. Here are the top 10 cheapest vehicles to own over five years according to Kelley Blue Book.

10. Jeep Patriot

Finishing second in the Compact SUV/Crossover category, the Jeep Patriot is the 10th cheapest vehicle to own over five years with a cost of $35,727. It has a starting price under $19,000 and offers all the versatility you would expect from a Jeep model.

9. Ford Fiesta ST

The Ford Fiesta ST is one hot hatch, offering a fun-to-drive experience in a compact package. It’s also the cheapest Sporty Compact Car to own according to Kelley Blue Book, with a 5-Year Cost to Own of $35,433. You can drive off the lot with a Ford Fiesta ST for around $22,000 and even a fully loaded model will cost you just over $25,000.

8. Subaru Crosstrek

With an estimated cost of $34,957 to own over five years, the Subaru Crosstrek is the cheapest Compact SUV/Crossover. It’s a suitable wagon alternative, says Kelley Blue Book, offering up to 52 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front seats. Its base price starts below $23,000 and its fuel economy returns a respectable 33 mpg on the highway.

7. Honda HR-V

The Honda HR-V is just one of many fishes in the crossover sea, but it’s also the cheapest to own over five years. Earning top honors in the Subcompact SUV/Crossover category, the Honda HR-V has a 5-Year Cost to Own of $33,722 thanks to its starting price of about $20,500 for a base model.

6. Volkswagen Jetta

The Volkswagen Jetta is one of the least expensive ways to get behind the wheel of a German vehicle, with a 5-Year Cost to Own of $32,741. It also finished third place in the Compact Car category.

5. Hyundai Elantra

The Hyundai Elantra finished second in the Compact Car category with a 5-Year Cost to Own of $32,400. The compact sedan was revamped for the 2017 model year, bringing plenty of changes with new, more attractive styling.

4. Toyota Corolla

There’s a good reason the Toyota Corolla is consistently one of the best-selling cars in America. Kelley Blue Book estimates its 5-Year Cost to Own at $32,251 and for the fourth year in a row, the Corolla takes top honors in the Compact Car category. The 2017 Toyota Corolla starts at just over $19,000 offering buyers fuel economy of up to 40 mpg and plenty of options like a seven-inch infotainment system and Toyota’s suite of safety features.

3. Toyota Yaris iA

Initially introduced as the Scion iA, Toyota has since killed off its youth-oriented brand and brought in its lineup under the Toyota nameplate. The Yaris iA is one of the cheapest cars to own over five years, with an estimated cost of $30,033.

2. Nissan Versa

With a 5-Year Cost to Own of $29,466, the Nissan Versa is an attractive option for those looking for decent interior space in a reliable package. Starting at less than $13,000, the Nissan Versa has one of the cheapest sticker prices, making it an attractive option for all.

1. Chevrolet Spark

For the third time in four years, the Chevrolet Spark is the 5-Year Cost to Own champion in the Subcompact Car category. What an estimated 5-Year Cost to Own of $28,216, the Spark is also the cheapest car to own overall. It’s not a huge surprise considering the Spark is one of the cheapest available vehicles in today’s market, with a starting price under $14,000. But its fuel economy ratings that top 40 mpg on the highway makes it the most affordable new car of 2017.

Discuss this story on our Chevrolet Spark Forum

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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  • Robb49 Robb49 on Feb 09, 2017

    If you expect your Hyundai, especially the Elantra, to last five years, park it in the garage and drive something else. Because as sure as you drive it on normal roadways with the normal pot holes and railroad crossings for a few years, you will find out just how cheaply built the things are. It's a significant statement about Hyundai quality when mechanics tell you the suspension can't be aligned because the factory was to cheap to include a way to adjust it. It's a good two year car. Get rid of it after that.

    • See 3 previous
    • That's just not true, I have an 04 with 270,000 miles on it that spent 10 in the rust belt and the rest in a rural setting with plenty of dirt roads. Its needed no major repairs and the only fault has been a pesky passenger air bag sensor.

  • Smartacus Smartacus on Feb 09, 2017

    Good list: i did expect the Elantra, Spark, iA, Corolla, and Fiesta to be on it and i noticed the Honda Fit did not make the cut.