With the cost of living going through the roof in the last few years before the next decade, saving money is at the forefront of everyone’s mind (unless you’re 50-cent). Whether you live a modest, paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle, struggling to make ends meet, or you’ve already paid your dues, and are looking for a way to reward yourself, a prudent investor always researches the hole he’s about to stick his financial investment into.
For this very reason, Insurance.com has published a list of the top 40 cars, in two separate categories, to help you assess what “insuring some of the most popular cars on the road today” will do to your monthly finances. There’s no shame in admitting that you carefully watch your spending. In fact, you should take pride in this. We do, hence this handy guide we’ve put together.
Although MSRP is a good indicator of what insurance will do to your budget, it’s not always a reliable indicator. Many other factors go into the risk assessments of a particular vehicle. Common classification variables will usually emphasize other things like safety ratings, market saturation, and availability of replacement parts.
We could give you a migraine trying to process all the complex information. Instead, we distilled it into two separate lists for your convenience. The first half (numbers one through 10) are ranked as the 10 most economical cars to cover for 2018-2019.
The final half of the list (11 through 20) comprises the absolute most-expensive vehicles you could possibly hope to insure. Whether you’re thinking about putting a new driver on the road or looking to splurge a little bit for yourself, be sure to check these out first!
20 Jeep Wrangler Freedom ($1,169)
What’s a synonym for freedom? If you said something patriotic, we applaud you; but the answer would, in fact, be Wrangler. The Freedom Edition may surprise you by populating the very top slot of the cheapest vehicles to cover, but the lack of luxury garnishing keep replacement parts cheap.
There has to be a compromise somewhere, and the Jeep makes being cheap look good. Nothing about it looks that bad, although there are a few shortcomings we’d like to see Jeep shore up. The overall result is a capable truck-like vehicle, with Jeep-like utility – for sub-compact sized pricing.
19 Honda Odyssey LX ($1,181)
Depending on who you are, the Odyssey could be the answer to your prayers, or the aggravation of your existence. If you’re stuck in traffic on your way to work, the slowest minivan on earth will invariably find itself directly in front of you (at least five times).
But, if you’re looking for one of the best values on the market, the Odyssey packs safety and performance into a low-budget package ready to suit you. U.S. News scores the Odyssey at an overall 9.1, with safety (usually a top concern) rated at a stellar 9.8. If you’re a soccer mom, it’s hard to go wrong with such an easily-insurable vehicle.
18 Subaru Crosstrek ($1,236)
Subaru has been picking up speed over the last few years, and no longer are they a “child’s” car. They’ve always had their cult-following, but a major push to go mainstream has initiated a new line of vehicles aimed at capturing the minivan market. But we’re not talking about the Ascent, particularly because it didn’t make the list, yet.
The Crosstrek, however, is at the top of the insurability list, ranking as the third-most insurable car for 2018-2019. The car’s lowest-scoring category is in the performance column, but you can’t expect miracles from a flat-four with only two liters of displacement.
17 Subaru Outback 2.5L ($1,238)
Not only does the Subaru Outback populate the number-four slot for cheapest to cover, but it’s also U.S. News’ number-three “Best Wagon” for 2019. It’s classified as a “Wagon” for their intent and purpose, but if you think about it, that’s really all that it is. In most cases, however, that’s all you’re going to need.
A lower-level cabin trim and base materials help keep costs down for the Outback from a repair perspective, allowing this car to fall into a favorably low-risk category. For you, the consumer, that means you reap the benefit of such every month when you pay your insurance premiums.
16 Fiat 500 ($1,244)
The Fiat 500 came to take names in the super-sub-compact category, and although it may be lackluster in just about every other shape of the form, its insurability reflects the sacrifice you’re going to make in other areas. The Fiat may look like an entry-level base model for the starving student, but they actually intend on this being a “family” car.
Obviously, your definition of “family” will determine how applicable the Fiat 500 is for your particular situation. Turbocharging for the 2018 model is now standard, along with a rearview camera, making situational awareness and passing power standard features of the new 500.
15 Mazda CX-3 Sport ($1,248)
The Mazda CX-3 hits the crossover category hard with a basic offering that’s almost in a league of its own. The vehicle is just one – in a line of many – positioned to serve the home front, as Mazda is on the leading edge of family-oriented car design. There are many different model options to suit a wide variety of different needs.
Performance ratings are scarcely ever unrespectable, and the CX-3’s 8.8 rating in that category reinforces this theory. Safety is a near-perfect 9.8, and the “upmarket” interior and good gas mileage will keep you happy wherever you decide to take it.
14 Mazda CX-5 ($1,248)
The CX-5 ties the CX-3 model for premium savings, and in addition to their brand recognition awards, the CX-5, in particular, doesn’t need to toot its own horn with reviewers. The two CX models are very closely related, and share many of the same specs with each other.
The slightly more-expensive CX-5 is going to give you a little bit more power (187hp vs. 148hp), and a little less fuel economy (24/30mpg vs. 27/32mpg), allowing you to fine-tune your CX to the particular lifestyle with which you need it to fit into. Although the maximum payload ratings are within seven pounds of each other, it’s worth noting here that the CX-5’s cargo volume rating outshines that of the CX-3’s by a factor of three (30.9ft2 vs. 9.6ft2).
13 Jeep Compass Sport ($1,257)
Don’t let naysayers drag your opinion of the Compass into the dirt along with their firsthand experience of the pre-2017 models; a fresh design update saw a refinement in many areas shortfall with the old Compass. In all honesty, you aren’t getting anything too spectacular overall, but you aren’t paying for anything spectacular, either.
Affordability is the name of this Jeep’s game, and it’s attempting to position itself as a good entry-level “off-road” SUV. On that note, if your definition of “off-road” is popping over a parking block at the grocery store so you don’t have to throw it in reverse, the Compass will probably be fine.
12 Honda HR-V LX ($1,257)
Although the HR-V falls in ninth place for insurability, that’s not necessarily a dig on the little Honda itself. The complex matrix of variables that factor into “cheap” insurability is a tough set to nail while maintaining integrity in the other areas of consumer interest. The fact that it’s on the list at all, is a testament to the affordability mantra it’s been chanting since it hit the market.
The performance is unsurprisingly rated in the low sevens, but a 9.0 safety rating keeps it in-line with the “family” orientation Honda intended for it. One surprising feature nobody talks about is the adult-friendly rear seating arrangement, which goes a long way for the longevity of a true family car when legroom is an issue.
11 Ford Escape S ($1,258)
Making the tenth (and final) slot for affordable cars to cover, the Ford Escape hits the very tail end of the chart, but not with the smallest splash. At an average premium of $1,258, it’s only $89 more expensive per year than the most affordable option, which is roughly seven dollars a month difference.
Uncanny storage configurations will fit more volume inside the cargo area than you ever thought possible, while the forced-induction puts out a healthy amount of power to the front wheels (available all-wheel drive). Fuel economy is an issue with some, but nobody complains about the Escape’s passing power. Pick your poison.
10 Mercedes AMG GT-S ($3,430)
Now we get to have some fun! We’ve spent a few minutes reviewing insurance on the cheap. Now, we’ll hit the top-end of the spectrum, because who really cares about the stagnation that comprises the “average” cars? You either want extreme thrift or have money to burn!
So, let’s burn that money we don’t have and take a look at the cars we really wish we were quoting out in 2019! Starting it off is the AMG GT, and it’s about what you’d expect from a top-level Mercedes; powerful engines, top-ratings, and premium premiums to go along with it. ‘Nuff said.
9 Mercedes SL65 AMG ($3,449)
The SL-Class is a Mercedes with a vengeance on anyone in high school who doubted you’d ever amount to anything, and it has a fitting price tag to go along with it. Needless to say, that price tag translates into just about every other aspect of the vehicle’s ownership; maintenance, insurance, and repairs are going to sap you dry if you’re not a deep financial reservoir of capital; but isn’t that what owning a Mercedes is all about?
Ranked number-seven in luxury sports cars (as well as that same position for the convertible category), the SL65 is setting the bar high for a big-bodied roadster/coupe-classed cars with needlessly-large engines.
8 Nissan GT-R Nismo ($3,458)
Didn’t I tell you we were going to have some fun? Although this can be technically classed as a “luxury” sports car, the Nismo is balls-to-the-wall action, with more aggressive track manners than 95% of the road-going consumers would know what to do with.
The all-wheel drivetrain makes efficient use of the 600hp, and coils up all of this performance into a spring-loaded explosion of power, just waiting for your foot to give the command. This is basically a track car that you can put a license plate on, register for ridiculous fees, and blow doors off Corvettes at stop lights.
7 BMW i8 ($3,460)
Although everything from this point on will represent some level of excessive lavishness you really don’t need, hardly anything out there can rival the superfluous design of the i8. The $148,495 car didn’t make this list due to its adherence to practicality, and despite the ridiculous price tag, you’re not going to be able to show your car off to too many people at a time.
Notwithstanding the intergalactic styling, there’s hardly anything sporty about the i8; an anemic 369hp powertrain saps the all-electric range to about 18 miles before a plug-in is required. If your statement to the world is to be something along the lines of, “I waste money, and for no reason,” the i8 requires very little words to do so.
6 BMW Alpina B7 xDrive ($3,465)
It’s no surprise the Alpina makes it close to the top of the most expensive cars to cover going into 2019; the 2020 model, according to Jalopnik, is reporting 200mph-plus speeds from the two and a half ton driving machine. It’s based on the 750i platform, and it uses a modified version of the smaller 4.4L, twin-turbo V-8 found in the 7-Series.
600hp (and almost as much torque) gives this Beemer bragging rights of the likes no i8 has ever known; BMW decided to let this one open all the way up to 193mph. With its 3.6-second 0-60mph time, it won’t take long to get there. (Hello speeding tickets!)
5 BMW M6 Gran Coupe ($3,493)
The Gran Coupe trim for the 6-Series isn’t just a pretty face with a prohibitive price tag; it’s a “proven” pretty face (still with the prohibitive price tag). The 2017 M6 Gran Coupe was rated eight (of a total 10) in the “Large Luxury Cars,” while the 2018 Gran Coupe (without the M-spec) scored sixth in the same category.
All of that goes to show that, in one form or another, quality is abound on the 6-Series platform, nearly any way you cut it. This car, unsurprisingly, is equipped with more creature comforts than a Gulfstream (because nothing says luxury like aviation-grade).
4 Porsche Panamera S ($3,545)
You want power? You want power and fuel economy? (You want not to be laughed at as you ask for both of those things simultaneously?) We may have an answer for you, but you’d better be good at adding commas to the little “dollar amount” box when filling out your insurance premium checks (because we all still use checks, right?).
It’s everything you’ve come to expect from something bearing the Porsche nameplate, whether you’ve been personally accustomed to the brand, or not. Stylish interior mixes with agile handling, a smooth ride, and spacious seating arrangements for all occupants while an all-wheel drivetrain keeps all the potential 600 ponies in line as you drive it like no four-door sedan was ever meant to be driven.
3 Mercedes Maybach S650 ($3,558)
If the Porsche Panamera S says yes to fuel economy (an area that the Maybach S650 has decidedly ruled out as a viable design standard), the Maybach is going to need to offer something special to consumers to offset the discrepancy.
But it’s Mercedes, so we’re not too worried about them being able to make a name for themselves on the S650. Where some luxury makers are opting for smaller-displacement mills (with forced-induction), the S650 offers big motors and still doesn’t forget to sprinkle a little twin-turbo on the top. The big 6.0L V-12 makes a comfortable 621hp, but even more impressive is the torque rating – 738ft/lbs (at only 2,300rpm).
2 Mercedes S63 AMG ($3,670)
With the S63 AMG, you effectively transition away from your average, run-of-the-mill luxury car, and move into “super luxury” territory. “What does super-luxury mean,” you ask? You can essentially distill this down to the features that surround your S63 driving experience. The AMG offers more “features” than nearly every other luxury car on the market; it’s that simple.
It’s part of the reason why it’s not only one of the nicest luxury cars on the market, but also one of the most expensive. The 2018 version gets a more powerful V-8 than the previous years, and the ride quality is second to none.
1 Mercedes S65 AMG ($3,890)
Here it is, folks; the cream of the crop! Now, this is not to say that, because the car makes it to the absolute top of the most expensive to insure, it is the best car out there; but there is no shortage of convincing evidence that it’s a strong contender. “Lavish all over” is a common review keyword, along with other words like “outstanding,” “posh,” and “superlative.”
Just in case you want to save a couple of bucks on the trim options, they offer an economy-based V-6 model (as if the environment is something you’re concerned about when buying a 600hp sedan).
Sources: Jeep, U.S. News, Insurance, Jalopnik, Ford.