Which Cars Cost the Most and Least to Maintain?

Nissan DeltaWing repaired 1 photo
Photo: Nissan
The same question was posed by Your Mechanic, an outfit specialized in car repair, maintenance, and diagnostics at the convenience of the customer’s home or office. To give us a relevant answer, the peeps at Your Mechanic analyzed every automaker and model ever serviced by its mechanics.
The results are in and, as fate would have it, BMW owners will (not) be surprised to find out that their weapons of choice cost the most to maintain.

Without further beating around the bush, here are the car brands that cost the most to maintain over a period of 10 years, based on estimates of total maintenance: BMW ($17,800), Mercedes-Benz ($12,900), Cadillac ($12,500), Volvo ($12,500), Audi ($12,400), Saturn ($12,400), Mercury ($12,000), Pontiac ($11,800), Chrysler ($10,600), and Dodge ($10,600). According to Your Mechanic, “a Toyota is about $10,000 less expensive over 10 years.”

In terms of models, the most expensive vehicles to maintain over a 10-year period are the following: Chrysler Sebring ($17,100), BMW 328i ($15,600), Nissan Murano ($14,700), Mercedes-Benz E350 ($14,700), Chevrolet Cobalt ($14,500), Dodge Grand Caravan ($14,500), Ram 1500 ($13,300), Audi A4 quattro ($12,800), Mazda6 ($12,700), and Subaru Forester ($12,200). The MINI Cooper, the 20th model that made the list, will set you back $11,200. By comparison, a brand new one starts at $20,700 sans destination tax.

As for the thriftiest cars out there, the models that made the list are well-known for their reliability credentials: Toyota Prius ($4,300), Kia Soul ($4,700), Toyota Camry ($5,200), Honda Fit ($5,500), Toyota Tacoma ($5,800), Toyota Corolla ($5,800), Nissan Versa ($5,900), Toyota Yaris ($6,100), Scion xB ($6,300), and Kia Optima ($6,400). Indeed, ladies and gents, Asian imports developed and/or manufactured in Japan and South Korea are the best propositions out there if low maintenance costs are on your priorities list.

These being said, I strongly suggest to check out the entire study on Your Mechanic to find out other things that may or may not come as a surprise to you. Those things include unusually common issues, car brands most likely not to start (as in turn over), models most likely not to start, and how car costs change over time.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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