Buying a new car comes with its own advantages. To start with, you get an extended warranty which can be a lifesaver should you have problems with the vehicle. There are cars that will be expensive to maintain in the long run and even an extended warranty will not be enough to save you from the heartache.
Most foreign cars are engineered with performance and luxury in mind. They are willing to go the extra mile just to make sure that the performance is industry leading. In such circumstances, car manufacturers might be forced to compromise on reliability.
Most German luxury cars can be costly to maintain. It wouldn't be advisable to go for a car that would cost you more than $800 in yearly maintenance. It might not be economical for a lot of people.
There are foreign cars from Japan that are known for reliability. A company like Toyota has been consistent in terms of reliability for the last 30 years. They are willing to do away with features that will interfere with the reliability of the vehicles. To most Americans, a vehicle is an essential means of transportation and aesthetics are always secondary when they are shopping for new cars. The modern buyer wants to have all the information before making a purchasing decision.
Here are 10 of the cheapest and 12 of the most expensive vehicles to maintain, along with their annual repair costs.
24 Cheap: Toyota Corolla 2013 ($341)
According to Wikipedia, the Toyota Corolla has been one of the best selling cars in the world ever since it was launched for the mass market in 1966. There were 308,695 units sold in the US in 2017. The Toyota Corolla was the highest selling vehicle in 2007 in the United States. The car has simply refused to die.
Owners abandon them not because they don't perform, but because they have been driving them for a long time. According to CarThrottle, you can keep the maintenance cost to below $200 for a Toyota Corolla if you don't experience any major problems. You can get a 2013 Toyota Corolla for less than $7,000. According to RepairPal, the most common problems reported with the Toyota Corolla are the engine light and the evaporation system.
23 Cheap: Honda Accord 2016 ($351)
The Honda Accord has been on the assembly line since 1976 and is one of the most successful foreign cars in the United States. The nameplate is used in the crossover, hatchbacks and coupe variants.
The 2016 model is currently selling for $14,000 which is a bargain if you are looking for a reliable car.
It comes with a 2.4-liter l-4 engine which produces 185-HP. It is always good with gas as you can get between 22-31 MPG on average.
It might have less luxurious features compared to competitors but delivers when it comes to safety ratings. According to RepairPal, the most reported challenge with the Honda Accord 2016 is the no-start problem. There was a recall by Honda which managed to fix the problem.
22 Cheap: Toyota Camry 2015 ($381)
The Toyota Camry 2015 is averagely priced at $15,000 for a used model. Usnews.com has given it a 4.5-star rating in terms of reliability. The 2015 Camry also excels well when you look at the safety and total cost of ownership.
The car does not only look good but impresses when it comes to performance. It has a 2.5-liter l-4 engine which produces 178-HP. This is more than enough juice if you don't intend to take the Camry to the track. According to RepairPal, the yearly cost of maintenance for the Toyota Camry is $381. The most common reported problem has to do with the transmission. The wheel bearing replacement costs around $350 on average.
21 Cheap: Honda CR-V 2016 ($385)
The Honda CR-V has been voted by Motor1 as one of the most reliable cars ever produced. It was first launched in 1995 and was meant to take over the North American market. Honda sold more than 300,000 units of the CR-V in the US in 2016.
The 2016 model has been given a 4.5-star rating by cars.com.
You can a get a used one for as low as $17,000. In terms of performance, there is a 2.4-liter L-4 engine which produces 185-HP. You can get an average 27-29 combined MPG. According to RepairPal, the average cost of maintenance for the Honda CR-V 2016 is $385. Brake pad replacement is cited as a common occurrence and costs between $138 to $246.
20 Cheap: Toyota Avalon 2015 ($388)
The Toyota Avalon may not be as popular as the Camry or the Corolla, but it is one of the cheapest cars to maintain. The car was first launched in 1994 and is Toyota's biggest front-wheel sedan. The car is mainly sold in the United States, followed by Canada and South Korea.
The 2015 model has a 4.5 star rating from cars.com. You can currently get it for as low as $16,000. The Toyota Avalon 2015 is also one of the most powerful sedans to come out of the Toyota stable. Under the hood, you get a 3.5-liter V6 engine which can produce up to 268-HP. In terms of performance, the most popular offering is the 6-speed automatic. According to RepairPal, the spark plug replacement costs around $200-300.
19 Cheap: Toyota Tacoma 2015 ($398)
According to Wikipedia, the Toyota Tacoma is one of the most reliable trucks ever to be built. The car has been on the assembly line since 1995. This truck is specifically produced for the North American market, although it is also sold in South America.
The 2015 model was given a 4.5 star rating by cars.com and it has everything to with the reliability and the entry level price point.
The car cost $19,884 for a base model when it launched in 2015. Under the hood, you get a 2.7-liter l-4 engine which is capable of producing 159-HP. According to RepairPal, the average maintenance cost for a Toyota Tacoma is $398. One of the common problems is the ball joint replacement which is said to cost around $270.
18 Cheap: Honda Odyssey 2015 ($403)
The Honda Odyssey needs no introduction. It has been in production since 1994 and it is currently in its fifth generation in North America. The car has received several accolades since it was launched. It has been featured in Car and Driver's top 5 best trucks and Consumer Reports' top minivan lists several times.
The Honda is popular because it is spacious which makes it ideal for big families, and it is also reliable. The 2015 model has been given a 5 star rating by cars.com which is very rare for a minivan. You can get it for as low as $19,867. It comes with a V6 engine which produces 248-HP. According to Repair.com, the half belt replacement is one of the major maintenance problems and costs up to $600.
17 Cheap: Toyota Prius 2013 ($423)
The Toyota Prius is the best-selling hybrid vehicle in the world. It was launched in 1997. There was a time in the early 2000s when the Prius was very popular with Hollywood celebrities.
The 2013 model has received a 4.7-star rating from over 100 user reviews. There is an owner who posted that he gets 48/50 MPG on average for his Prius. You can get the car for as low as $10,000 if you are patient enough.
The Toyota Prius 2013 might not be the most powerful vehicle, but you can always rely on it. According to RepairPal, one of the most common problems is with the Display unit. This has to do with the poor soldering of the underlying electrical components.
16 Cheap: Subaru Impreza 2013 ($427)
The Subaru Impreza is currently in its fifth generation and has been on the assembly line since 1995. It is available as a coupe, hatchback, and a wagon. According to Wikipedia, the Impreza has been available as a front-wheel or an all-wheel vehicle. There is also the high-performance variant known as the WRX-STI which has featured in a couple of popular films.
The Impreza has also featured in motorsport racing and has won a couple of rally titles. You can get a 2013 model for as low as $6,000. It has a 2.0-liter engine which can produce 148-HP. According to Yourmechanic.com, the average maintenance cost for a 2013 Subaru Impreza is around $427. You don't want to be having problems with the gasket, as that can cost up to $1,000 to replace.
15 Cheap: Kia Soul 2016 ($443)
The Kia Soul has been on the assembly line since 2009. It was designed at Kia's center in California. There is also an electric variant known as the Soul EV that is sold in North America and Europe.
According to Wikipedia, the car has an overall 5-star rating from NCAP which makes it one of the safest in the world. The car has received a 5 star rating from over 200 reviews on cars.com.
You can get the 2016 model for as little as $11,000. Under the hood, you get a 1.6-liter, L-4 engine which can produce up to 130-HP. According to RepairPal, the biggest cost with the 2016 Kia Soul when it comes to maintenance is the shock absorber replacement which is about $500.
14 Cheap: Nissan Titan XD 2016 ($463)
The Nissan Titan first hit the assembly line in the year 2003 and was specifically manufactured for the North American market. The 2016 version has a 5.0-liter V8 engine which can produce up to 390-HP. According to CarandDriver, the gasoline-powered version offered better acceleration, going from 0 to 60 in 7.4 seconds.
According to RepairPal, it costs around $463 to maintain the Nissan Titan XD 2016. The biggest problem is with the wheel alignment which is estimated to cost between $100-200. Another problem that has been highlighted has to do with the starter replacement which can cost up to $661. The third most common problem is the cabin air filter which is estimated to cost around $100 for the replacement.
13 Cheap: Nissan Pathfinder 2014 ($483)
The Nissan Pathfinder was introduced to the market in 1990 and has been in production for the last 28 years. The Pathfinder has been sold exclusively for the North American market since 2002. There have been a couple of facelifts over the years.
You can get a 2014 model currently for as low as $13,000. Under the hood, there is a 3.5-liter V6 engine which is able to produce 260-HP.
The car can seat 7 people and is also good on gas. It is definitely worth looking at it if you are on a budget and you are looking for an import. According to Repairpal, the biggest and the most common cost has to do with the brake pad replacement which ranges from $298 to $410.
12 Expensive: Volkswagen Golf GTI 2012 ($706)
The Volkswagen Golf GTI has to be the most popular sports vehicle from the German producer. According to Wikipedia, the golf nameplate has been on the assembly line since 1974 and there have been over 30 million units sold across 7 different generations. The GTI is an affordable sports car that can rival even supercars.
It is a marvel to drive but the same cannot be said of the maintenance costs. According to Car Complaints, the 2012 model has a large number complaints ranging from average mileage problems and repair costs.
The biggest problem with the 2012 model according to RepairPal has everything to do with the clutch. There have been numerous reported instances of the clutch slipping or going out.
11 Expensive: 2015 Audi A4 ($900)
The Audi A4 has been in production since 1994 and is available as a Sedan or a Station Wagon. According to cars.com, the 2015 Audi A4 was mainly offered as a sedan. Under the hood, there is a 2.0-liter l-4 engine which can output up to 220-HP. It comes with an 8-speed auto-manual transmission.
You can currently get a used one for as low as $16,000. Audi has always been known for high quality finishing for the interiors, and the Audi A4 continues with that tradition. According to Repairpal, the most common problem reported with the 2015 Audi A4 is decreased power and increased fuel economy from carbon build up. Wheel alignment is also likely to set cost you around $200.
10 Expensive: 2013 BMW X6 2013 ($1,056)
The BMW X6 is one of the most popular midsize crossovers from the German auto manufacturer. The 2013 model represents the second generation of the car which featured an improved powertrain and design.
Under the hood, there is a 4.4-liter V8 engine that can produce up to 547-HP.
The car has a top speed of 155 mph and can go from 0 to 60 in 4.5 seconds. The design is unique for a midsize crossover. According to RepairPal, the average maintenance cost of the X6 is $1,056. There have been two recalls for the vehicle. The first one involves the front airbags which seem to be a problem with most luxury cars from Germany. The other problem has to do with the front drive shaft.
9 Expensive: 2013 Mercedes Benz CLS Class ($1,057)
The S-Class epitomizes luxury and has been on the assembly line since 1972. According to Wikipedia, the S-class has been in the forefront of numerous Mercedes innovations. The 2013 model is affordable if you want premium luxury, as you can get it for around $31,000.
Motor Trend has given it a 4-star rating. Under the hood, you get a 4.6-liter twin-turboV8 engine which can produce up to 402-HP at 5000 RPM. In terms of transmission, you only get a 7-speed automatic transmission. The interior comfort is class leading just as you'd expect in a Mercedes S-Class. According to RepairPal, the most common problem reported with the 2013 Mercedes Benz CLS Class is the frequent replacement of brake motors. This usually happens when the pads are worn out.
8 Expensive: 2012 BMW Z4 ($1,058)
The BMW Z4 is a beautiful car and was available as a coupe or a roadster when it first launched in 2002. According to Wikipedia, the first generation was produced from 2003 to 2006 while the second generation from 2009 to 2016. There is also a third generation in the pipeline to be launched in 2019.
One would expect a two-seater to be inexpensive when it comes to maintenance, but that is not the case with the BMW Z4.
You can currently get it for around $ 16,000. It has a 3.0-liter L4 engine which produces 240 horses. According to RepairPal, there have been problems reported regarding waste gas issues. There is also the problem of reduced brake efficiency which resulted in a recall.
7 Expensive: Mercedes-Benz C300 2015 ($1,094)
The C-Class line has been in production since 1993 and represents compact vehicles from the German manufacturer. According to Wikipedia, the C-Class was originally available as only a coupe and a station wagon. The C-Class is generally seen as affordable compared to the S-Class.
The 2015 C300 had a base price of $41,245 when it first launched in 2015. The car has a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine which is able to put out 241-HP pulling 273 lb-ft of torque.
According to Car And Driver, the availability of the 7-speed automatic makes it a fun car to drive. According to RepairPal, the biggest problem with the Mercedes-Benz C300 2015 is the brake pad replacement which can cost up to $400. There have also been three recalls for the Mercedes-Benz C300 2015.
6 Expensive: Porsche Cayenne 2015 ($1,200)
The Porsche Cayenne has been on the assembly since 2002. According to Wikipedia, the Porsche Cayenne was sold as a midsize crossover SUV and was the first car from the company to feature a V8 engine since 1995. It was also the first off-road variant sports car from Porsche.
The 2015 version saw a change in powertrain, as Porsche abandoned the V8 in favor of a 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 engine which can produce up to 412-HP. You can get the 2015 model for less than $50,000.
According to RepairPal, the average yearly cost of maintenance for the Porsche Cayenne 2015 is $1,202. According to Consumer Reports, the frequency of repair is likely to cost more than the price of the car. There have been two recalls for the car since 2015.
5 Expensive: 2013 Kia Rio ($1,200)
The Kia Rio has been in production since the year 2000 and is known to be one of the most efficient cars on the market. According to Wikipedia, the Kia Rio was introduced to the North American market when it was in its second generation in 2006.
According to Edmund's Cost Of Ownership calculator, the Kia Rio will set you back $6,235 in terms of maintenance cost for the first five years. This makes it $1,200 a year for a vehicle that you can get for less $10,000 currently.
According to US Car news, the 2013 Kia Rio is ranked at number 53 for cars that cost less than $10,000. It has been a given a 3-star rating on reliability and an 8.5 on safety.
4 Expensive: 2013 BMW M5 ($1,208)
The M5 nameplate is associated with sports cars from BMW and has been on the assembly line since 1985. According to Wikipedia, the BMW M5 was the fastest production sedan when it introduced for the mass market. There have been various versions of the M5 over the years.
The 2013 model comes with a 4.4-liter twin turbo V8 engine which is capable of producing 560-HP. You can currently get it for less than $40,000, although it was selling for more than $100,000 when it first launched in 2013.
According to Motor Trend, the exterior is what you would expect in a regular BMW M5. According to RepairPal, there have been problems reported with the tire and alignment. There is also a rubbing noise that you are likely to experience while driving aggressively.
3 Expensive: 2014 BMW M6 ($1,227)
It must be obvious by now that German cars are not cheap to maintain, and the M6 is no exception. The M6 was specifically designed by BMW's motorsport division and has been in production since 1983. The first generation of cars has aged really well. According to Wikipedia, the first generation was well received because of the unique design and unparalleled performance.
It was the second fastest BMW ever made at that time, after the M1. The 2014 M6 is based on the F13 model. According to Wikipedia, the vehicle is limited to a top speed of 155 mph and can go from 0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds. Under the hood, there is a 4.4-liter V8 engine which produces 560-HP. According to RepairPal, brake rotor replacement can cost up to $1028.
2 Expensive: Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 2015 ($1,843)
The Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG is one of the most expensive cars from the manufacturer. A used one is currently retailing at $100,000 and could've gone for as much as $200,000 when it launched. The car has twin-turbo V8 engine which is capable of putting out up to 577-HP.
In terms of transmission, there is a 7-speed automatic which has a manual shift mode. The luxury is class-leading, as you'd expect from a Mercedes, especially with such a hefty price tag. The most common problem reported with the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 2015 is the car stalling. This is can be bummer given the sticker price of the car. According to RepairPal, it costs $1,843 on average for the yearly maintenance of the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 2015.
1 Expensive: 2013 Nissan GT-R ($2,416)
The Nissan GT-R is just a beauty on the road. It is one of the most iconic sports cars of the last 10 years. The first one was introduced to the mass market in 2007. The Nissan GT-R comes with a 3.8-liter V6 engine which can produce up to 545-HP. The car also doesn't come cheap especially if you are looking for a high-performance variant. The 6-speed dual clutch 6-speed transmission is a feature that would interest most car enthusiasts. According to Cars.com, the interior doesn't have class-leading luxury since the car is finely tuned for performance and every little detail matters. According to Jalopnik, the car is not a good daily driver, and you are likely to pay more for Insurance costs.
Sources: repairpal.com, wikipedia.org, yourmechanic.com, cars.usnews.com