Buyers often compare costs based on a car's window sticker, but rarely do they dig in and evaluate long-term ownership costs. Thankfully, Kelley Blue Book takes care of that, and its annual 5-Year Cost to Own awards honored two automakers this week.
Acura and Subaru picked up the awards for Best Luxury Brand and Best Brand, respectively. This is Subaru's second award in three years, and Acura is a repeat winner, as well. Both were lauded for offering long-term reliability and low-cost ownership. Subaru was also praised for increasing used car values, and Acura earned a nod for pricing its vehicles under the competition.
KBB puts a whole bunch of work into this award. It looks at anticipated fuel costs, scheduled maintenance, projected depreciation and good ol' purchase price. Popular trim levels are weighed more heavily to better reflect the cars that exist on the road in owners' hands.
Kelley Blue Book breaks its award down by individual segment, too. That's where other automakers get to stretch their legs. For example, the 2017picked up the award for Best Subcompact Car, while the 2017 earned a gold medal for Best Midsize SUV/Crossover. It's not just Subaru and Acura all the way down.
You can take a look at the individual winners in the attached gallery. Even if you're not in the market for a car at this exact moment, this award should serve as a good reminder that purchase price and stereotypes aren't the best ways to figure out how much a car will cost in the long run.