As a long-time admirer of old European cars, I can tell you unequivocally that there is a huge difference between the cost to buy and cost to own. These lines are clearly drawn on the used market, but with new cars the information is less available and the choices less clear. To help all us poor sods muddle through, Kelley Blue Book puts together a list of new cars it believes will be the cheapest to own over the next five years, and predicts which two brands best exemplify the "cheap to own" lifestyle.
The most significant factor for any car on this list is depreciation, the world's sharpest double-edged sword. Secondarily, there are factors like cost to insure, fuel economy, repair, maintenance costs and financing costs. Which cars and brands came out on top this year, you ask?
Hyundai is taking home it's second Best Brand award in three years, and it should be no surprise to anyone who has driven a modern Hyundai. Long gone are the days of cheap and cheerful throwaway cars. Hyundai has build quality that rivals, or in many cases exceeds, that of its Japanese competitors. It also still offers the best new car warranty in the business, and on top of all that its cars just aren't expensive. Add in its new nationwide Shopper Assurance program, and we expect to be seeing a lot more Hyundais on the road.
The award for Best Luxury Brand went to Acura! To be honest, this seems like the only metric by which Acura could be named best luxury brand, but hey, them's the breaks. Still, it is true that Acura's parent company is known for making well-engineered and reliable cars that hold their value, so I guess none of us should be that surprised.
The rest of the list is broken down into individual market categories, and an interesting thing that becomes apparent is the number of vehicles from GM on the list, mostly Chevrolets, and the comparative lack of cars from Ford or Chrysler. Both make an appearance, but not in the same kind of numbers.
It will be interesting to see how KBB's predictions hold up over the next few years and whether next year we see a similar list, or if there are a lot of upsets in the various categories.