With gasoline prices on the rise and summer travel months right around the corner, families looking to save money on new vehicle purchases over the long run have some excellent choices.
Kelley Blue Book (KBB) highlights some of the most fuel-efficient small cars with a total cost of ownership (TCO) of $30,000 and under.
KBB’s total cost of ownership takes into account the following factors for new models over the initial five-year ownership period: depreciation, finance and insurance fees, maintenance and repair costs, state fees and expected fuel costs.
While the full KBB list contains 16 vehicles, editors call out several new or redesigned fuel-efficient small cars that represent good to excellent long-term value in terms of cost of ownership. We’ve included a link to reviews for each vehicle from our sister publication TheCarConnection.
2012 Hyundai Accent GLS Sedan – The subcompact Accent has an MSRP of $13,320 and 3.9 percent financing, fuel economy rating of 30 mpg city/40 mpg highway/33 mpg combined and a total five-year ownership cost of $27,743. In a review on TheCarConnection, editors comment: “Do Americans want small cars with more room and great gas mileage? The 2012 Hyundai Accent is betting they do—and so do we.”
2012 Ford Fiesta customization packEnlarge Photo
2012 Ford Fiesta Sedan – MSRP of $12,995, $500 incentive, 3.9 percent financing, and fuel economy rated at 29/40/33 mpg and five-year TCO of $28,639. See the why TheCarConnection gives the 2012 Ford Fiesta an overall 7.8 (out of 10) rating here.
2012 Chevrolet Sonic, New York City launch event, October 2011
2012 Chevrolet Sonic, New York City launch event, October 2011Enlarge Photo
2012 Chevrolet Sonic LS Sedan – An all-new model, the subcompact Sonic LS sedan carries an MSRP of $14,660 and 2.9 percent financing, 29/40/33 mpg fuel economy rating, TCO not available at time of publication. Here’s another small sedan that editors at TheCarConnection give an overall 7.8 (out of 10) rating.
2012 Hyundai Elantra
2012 Hyundai ElantraEnlarge Photo
2012 Hyundai Elantra GLS Sedan – Hyundai’s compact Elantra GLS sedan, with MSRP from $16,120 and 3.9 percent financing, 29/40/33 mpg fuel economy rating, has a five-year TCO of $27,498. Reviewing this compact sedan, TheCarConnection editors are quite effusive: “The 2012 Hyundai Elantra has officially left the Civic and Corolla in the dust, thanks to a 40-mpg gas mileage rating, a sleek look and tremendous value for the money.”
2012 Honda Civic
2012 Honda CivicEnlarge Photo
2012 Honda Civic DX Coupe – Redesigned for 2012, the Honda Civic DX compact coupe, priced from $16,375 and with 1.9 percent financing, has EPA-estimated fuel economy of 28/39/32 mpg, and a five-year TCO of $29,928. Editors at TheCarConnection comment that the Civic “remains a comfortable, spacious and economical small car choice” but faces increasing competition from new small car entries like the Hyundai Elantra, Chevrolet Cruze, and Ford Focus.
2012 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
2012 Volkswagen Jetta GLIEnlarge Photo
2012 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan – MSRP of $16,135 and 0.9 percent financing, 24/32/27 mpg fuel economy, and ownership costs of $30,868 over a five-year period. Editors at TheCarConnection give the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta an overall 7.8 (out of 10) rating in this review, commenting that “with its new take on value, the Jetta pitches itself squarely into a class of cars where its soft-pedaled style and its emphasis on core engineering actually make it stand out more.”
Consumers should be aware that the vehicles selected on the KBB list include only the most affordable trims. That doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily bare-bones models, but that some creature comforts and desirable items will be extra cost or require moving into a more expensive trim.
Check out the KBB Total Ownership Costs for the vehicle you’re considering here.
Considering a new fuel-efficient vehicle and uncertain about the long-term cost over five years when comparing gas, hybrid, diesel or electric? Head over to GreenCarReports to see the handy guide just published. GreenCarReports is another of our sister publications.