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Misers' Models: The Ten Cheapest Cars To Own Page 2

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2013 Nissan Versa Sedan

2013 Nissan Versa Sedan

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Nissan Versa (S sedan)
MSRP: $11,990
Depreciation over five years: $7,199
Average annual insurance: $1,027
EPA fuel economy: 27 mpg city, 36 highway (manual)
Five-year total cost of ownership: $27,405

If you're looking for excitement, you sure won't find it here. What you will find in the 2013 Nissan Versa is a vehicle that's adequate as a commuter and comfortable enough for a modest weekend trip, but certainly no more. Even at the base Versa S level, you get standard air conditioning, although power windows and mirrors are out of the question—but as these numbers attest, the Versa is the best it gets in the U.S. market if low ownership costs are the priority. To echo the Bottom Line from our full review of the Versa, this model is at its best up against used cars.

 

2013 Chevrolet Spark minicar

2013 Chevrolet Spark minicar

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Chevrolet Spark (LS)
MSRP: $12,185
Depreciation over five years: $8,614
Average annual insurance: $996
EPA fuel economy: 32 mpg city, 38 highway (manual)
Five-year total cost of ownership: $27,871

As Chevy's first minicar—a step down in size from the Sonic subcompact that replaced the Aveo—the little 84-horsepower Spark hones in on young Millennial buyers, and those who both live in an urban area and want a very small car at an affordable price. While that, and its color palette that includes hues like Techno Pink and lime-green Salsa, may shout out the wrong message for recent college grads who want to be taken seriously, the Spark's unified, almost sporty design inside and out, combined with a nimble, stable driving feel and a price that's lower than either the Scion iQ and the Smart Fortwo, add up to an interesting way to keep your driving costs low.


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Comments (4)
  1. Odd the Honda Fit didn't manage to make it into the top ten.
     
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  2. @John, As I look at the data, the Fit didn't quite make it into the top ten for a couple of subtle reasons: One of them is that its gas mileage (by the official EPA ratings) is a step below some of these other models.
     
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  3. Bengt, thanks for your observation. However, I guess the interpretation of data is sometimes in the eye of the beholder (in this case, Vincentric).

    In the eye of ConsumerReports.org and the data on their website the Honda Fit Base came in with a 5-year ownership total cost of $25,500 ($26,750 for the Sport). Either beats the #1 Vincentric pick Nissan Versa at $27,405 ($28K per CR).

    The Honda Fit Base EPA mileage rating of 28 city, 35 hwy doesn’t seem to be a step below the Vincentric #10 rated Toyota Corolla S at 27 city, 34 hwy nor a step higher than the Vincentric’s calculated 5-year total cost of ownership for the Corolla S at $30,345.

    So it still seems a bit odd to me that the Honda Fit didn’t somehow make Vincentric’s top 10 list.
     
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  4. No one can beat Honda, Toyota, Lexus and Acura. Best cars made. Engines run for 300,000 miles. Even a 10 year old Lexus and Acura model is stylish. Buy them used... I drive a 10 year old Lexus ES330.. runs perfect. Insurance is just $40/month thru Insurance Panda. Gas is cheap too. Not much to repair either. Can't beat it!
     
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