If you’ve been shopping around for new cars, you’ve probably noticed that there are plenty of fantastic looking, low cost of ownership cars on the market right now. While that sounds great, and it really is, that also means that you’ll probably compare a lot of different cars before you choose one.
10 Cars that Are Inexpensive to Own
We’ll save you a little time – here’s our list of the 10 best cars of 2017 with a low cost of ownership.
Small cars maximize your economy. They’re light, so they consume less fuel and experience less harsh everyday wear and tear. They’re smoother-driving, and finding parking in the city isn’t going to be a struggle. And because they use less material to manufacture, they tend to be more affordable.
The 2017 Chevy Spark is a perfect example of the class: Its fuel efficiency is 30 miles per gallon in the city and 39 on the highway, and despite its small frame it boasts a decent amount of storage space and can still put out 98 horsepower. On top of that, its MSRP is only $13,000 and Edmunds projects the cost to own one over the span of five years to be less than $26,000, making it one of the best deals on the market.
All things considered, the Honda Civic is a solid and reliable car. Priced from $18,740 with 32 mpg in the city and 42 on the highway with an impeccable safety rating from the IIHS, the 2017 Honda Civic won’t break the bank – although its five-year cost to own clocks in at more than $27,500.
The Honda Civic falls down when it comes to extra features and storage space. It’s a fairly bare-bones car with very little when it comes to other useful features like a modern infotainment system – don’t expect much more than a radio, CD player and USB port. The Civic coupe only offers 12.1 cubic feet of trunk space, and the sedan isn’t much better at 15.1 cubic feet.
The 2017 Chevy Cruze is a fantastic family car, with both sedan and hatchback configurations available, that strikes the perfect balance between interior space, fun infotainment options, aesthetically-pleasing design choices, safety and affordability. A new Chevy Cruze
starts from $16,975 and the Kelley Blue Book gives an estimated five year cost
to own of just $31,173.
Its engine is surprisingly efficient and powerful for its class – it boasts 153 horsepower and excellent fuel economy: 30 mpg in the city and 40 on the highway. With a U.S. News & World Report safety score of 9.1 out of 10, plus a perfect NHTSA frontal crash safety rating, the 2017 Cruze keeps riders safe in comfort. It doesn’t sacrifice storage and seating space either; the hatchback boasts 24.7 cubic feet of trunk space and 47.2 with the back seats folded down.
Toyota’s signature line of compact cars makes a good showing this year with respectable ratings for fuel efficiency – 28 mpg in the city and 36 on the highway – and a low MSRP for the value of car you’d get, from $18,500, which is even lower than this year’s Honda Civic.
Strangely enough, its powerful engine doesn’t help the fact that it accelerates slower than its top competitors like the Chevy Spark or the Honda Civic, taking 9.5 seconds to go from zero to 60 miles per hour.
Honda’s perennial full-size car makes its traditionally solid showing in 2017. The new Accord, available as a sedan or a coupe, is a good option for families that need a reliable, safe transportation option. At an MSRP from $22,455 for the sedan, it’s more expensive than others in its class.
However, for a full-size car, this year’s Honda Accord falls short on some key factors. Much like this year’s Civic, the Accord has a very bare-bones infotainment system whose user interface isn’t very intuitive. Its storage space is also disappointing: the sedan sports 15.8 cubic feet of trunk space and the coupe only 13.7.
Making a full-size SUV is a little tougher than it looks – people want fuel efficiency, a powerful engine, a stylish body, plenty of storage space and, of course, all of these things need to take a back seat to safety for the driver and passengers.
And you know what? The Chevrolet Traverse
accomplishes all of it. With up to 116.3 cubic feet of storage space with the seats down, a 288 hp engine, and a nearly perfect overall safety rating with a stellar 9.7 out of 10 by U.S. News and five stars from NTHSA. You couldn’t do much better if you need a vehicle that can transport you and your friends and family safely and comfortably. Its MyLink infotainment system can help keep everyone in good spirits, too. Edmund's estimates
that this vehicle costs $44,600 to operate over five years.
The Rav4 is a popular choice for a small- to mid-sized SUV. They’re affordable and get decent fuel economy. Its stylized exterior and interior lend the Rav4 a a nice presence, and its infotainment system is serviceable, although the user interface hasn’t been updated in quite a while, and the age of the design really shows.
Overall, Toyota’s flagship SUV is a choice that suffers from outdated design decisions and somewhat disappointing storage space for a car in its class – with 38.4 cubic feet of trunk space it gets soundly beaten by other small SUVs. According to Edmund,s
, the true cost to own this car for five years is $32,692.
Hyundai’s compact car ticks many boxes when it comes to the pros of a compact car. It’s not very expensive to buy or own; its MSRP starts from $17,150 and a projected five-year ownership cost is $25,836, not bad for a compact. It’s fuel efficient, running 32 mpg in the city and 40 on the highway, as well
Unfortunately, it only earned four out of five stars for overall safety from NHTSA, including four stars for frontal crash safety, which is a place where compact cars generally excel. Compared to its main competitors like the Chevy Spark or Honda Civic, it could certainly do a lot better.
VW needed some good news after the recent diesel emissions cheating scandal broke, and the 2017 Golf is a start in the right direction. VW’s tradition for producing affordable vehicles with responsive handling and effective safety features lives on in the 2017 Golf.
The Sportwagen configuration also makes it the only station wagon on this list, and really, one of the only station wagon models still popular on the market. It’s not without its flaws, though. Its automatic transmission doesn’t shift very quickly during low-speed driving, and its back seat isn’t very spacious. While you certainly can fit five passengers in a VW Golf, don’t expect them to be comfortable. Edmund's estimates that this car costs $30,105 to own over a five-year period.
Chevrolet’s second SUV on this list really shows how well Chevy has perfected their take on this style of vehicle. Capable of seating five comfortably inside, able to tow 1,500 pounds, fuel efficient up to 31 mpg on the highway and with a state-of-the-art infotainment system available, the 2017 Equinox is a fantastic SUV that doesn’t sacrifice comfort and power in order to provide safety, comfort, and style for its driver and passengers. At an MSRP of $23,100, it will cost approximately $35,040 to own over five years
The 2017 Chevy Equinox
also blows competing SUVs out of the water when it comes to safety, with five stars for side barrier, side crash and frontal driver’s side crash safety ratings awarded by NHTSA.
Ready to Test Drive a Chevy?
Choosing a new car shouldn’t be a stressful ordeal – it should be exciting and fun! 2017 has been a great year for car buyers with a bevy of solid models to choose from. There are a lot of options between all the major car manufacturers, but no brand has produced as many low cost of ownership cars that really deserve attention as Chevrolet has this year.
Of course, online research can only get you so far – before you make a final decision, you’re going to want to come down to a Valley Chevy dealership
to test drive a couple vehicle to see what you really like in a new car. We’re confident that you’ll choose a Chevy!