One of the things that you must consider when purchasing a car is the cost that you have to cover beyond the purchase price. Throughout the course of ownership, all cars require various costs regardless of brand, model, and quality. Frequent usage and the general deterioration of components over time both account for your car’s maintenance repairs, as well as depreciation in resale value. Fuel costs are a given inclusion to the costliness of car ownership, and its volatility can either make or break your budget for driving. Loan interests, insurance premiums, and sales tax all add up to costs you need to cover for your car. All told, you must consider all the costs you need to pay for when considering what car you should buy. This article, citing a 2014 study by Consumer Reports, contains the most expensive cars to own per category.
Subcompact cars: Hyundai Veloster (base, manual)
The Hyundai Veloster is the Korean automaker’s current subcompact offering. Designated as a compact sports car, the Veloster is in every way stylish, its sporty looks defying what many would expect a subcompact should look like. With a base market suggested retail price (MSRP) range of $18,000-$23,950, the Veloster is also quite affordable. However, going for the Veloster’s base manual version may lead you to balk at its $32,400 estimated ownership costs for a five-year period. Indeed, the Veloster may prove to be a sleek choice with a low MSRP, but you may want to see first if you’re willing to pay for its steep ownership cost, especially for its base manual version.
Compact cars: Dodge Dart Aero (1.4T)
Dodge’s Fiat-based Dart compact sedan may not be the type that would turn heads, but its affordability may surely want you to consider it as a workhorse for your daily commute. With a base MSRP range of $16,995-$24,395, the Dart may prove to be a practical buy if you have a small family in tow or carpooling your workmates every now and then. Affordable as the Dart may seem, its Aero 1.4T version may set you back with an estimated $37,200 in ownership costs throughout a five-year period, which may lead you to reconsider other comparable compacts in the market.
Midsized sedans: Volkswagen Passat SEL Premium (V6)
Volkswagen’s Passat continues to thrive as an everyday car for the working class, albeit without being too bland given the German marque’s reputation for ingenious engineering on expensive cars. A $22,440-$36,835 base MSRP range may prove appealing enough for a car of Passat’s caliber. However, opting for the SEL Premium V6 version may lead you to incur an estimated $45,600 in ownership costs throughout a five-year period, which is costly indeed if you’d consider the wealth of other options the mid-sized sedan market has.
Large cars: Chrysler 300C
With brash looks that hint at a strong sense of luxury, the Chrysler 300 is every bit an all-American luxury car in our expensive cars list. Although the 300’s $32,260-$45,190 base MSRP range is relatively lower than most luxury expensive cars, its own costs for the top-of-the-line 300C version is something that you may want to consider – at an estimated $55,800 over a five-year period, you’re set for a rather heavy investment. Sure, you be either a loyal Chrysler customer or someone who’s drawn to the 300’s distinct features if you go for the 300C, but perhaps you may want to spend more time looking around first and see whether other choices can offset the benefits of paying for expensive ownership costs.
Upscale sedans: Lexus IS 250 (AWD)
Lexus, Toyota’s luxury brand, never fails to set expectations alight with its offerings – the same can be truly said of the IS 250, which represents the brand’s virtues in every way. Key to the IS 250’s appeal is its sharp design cues that perfectly complement Lexus’ trademark spindle grille – a feature that makes it a complete standout compared to its more elegant but rather reserved counterparts from Europe. The IS 250’s $37,325-$43,035 base MSRP range may be reason enough for an upscale sedan, but $54,000 in estimated ownership costs for the AWD version may lead you to think twice and look for other options first when considering expensive cars.
Luxury sedans: BMW 750Li
Being BMW’s top-of-the-line offering, the 7-Series has every right to impose itself as an expensive choice, as evident in its $81,300-$97,400 base MSRP range. BMW has many expensive cars in its line. BMW’s engineering excellence is prevalent throughout the 7-Series, what with its sleek exterior, luxurious interiors, and highly-sophisticated components. Of course, with such a high MSRP range, expect the 7-Series to have pricey ownership costs as well. Having to pay $106,200 in ownership costs throughout five years for the 750Li version is something that you may perceive as either an investment or a disadvantage in going for the 7-Series.
Sporty car: Porsche Boxster 2.7 (manual)
Porsche has made its name throughout the years for producing highly-reputed expensive cars with mind-blowing performance and consistency in featuring sophisticated German engineering qualities. The Boxster, despite being an entry-level model, serves as a fine introduction to the world of Porsche. A base MSRP range of $52,100-$82,100 may not seem so bad for buying your way to a Porsche experience, but the Boxster’s ownership costs estimated at $64,200 within five years for the 2.7 manual version can serve as a crucial point for your final decision in going for one.
Small SUVs: Volkswagen Tiguan SEL
The Tiguan is every bit a Volkswagen – strong, reliable, and affordable. With a base MSRP range of $24,890-$36,420, the Tiguan is an easy one you can get your hands on. What’s more, the Tiguan’s sharp exterior coupled with Volkswagen’s impressive engineering makes it a standout in the small sport-utility vehicle (SUV) market. However, you may or may not want to give in to the Tiguan’s $48,000 five-year ownership costs for its SEL version, which is expensive as it conveniently exceeds its purchase price.
Midsized SUVs: Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited (V6)
The Grand Cherokee is a testament to Jeep’s continued prominence as a maker of SUVs. Strong, brash and imposing, the Grand Cherokee has all that is needed to succeed in the midsized SUV market. What’s more, the Grand Cherokee comes with a strong price point – $29,995-$65,695 for its base MSRP range isn’t that expensive if you consider other midsized SUV contenders. Nonetheless, the Grand Cherokee’s V6 version can lead you to spend at least $57,000 in ownership costs five years after your purchase, so try not to keep other available choices at bay first while you’re still searching.
Large SUVs: Nissan Armada Platinum
Nissan’s large SUV offering, the Armada, promises so much more than its rather kitschy looks. The Armada’s base MSRP range falls in between $37,590-$54,950, which isn’t so bad when you think of the tight competition there is for large SUVs. However, watch out for the Platinum version’s high ownership costs – at $72,000 in the course of five years, it easily exceeds the purchase price you’ve paid for. Whether you’re really into Nissan SUVs or simply in love with its unique design, the Armada definitely comes with a hefty price for ownership.
Compact luxury SUVs: Cadillac SRX Luxury and Mercedes-Benz GLK 350
Two offerings from luxury brands – Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz, managed to tie in high ownership costs in the compact luxury SUV category. The Cadillac SRX, coming with a base MSRP range of $37,605-$51,730, comes with distinct American luxury engineering features that may provide a different flavor to the all-German Mercedes-Benz GLK, which has a base MSRP range of $37,900-$39,900. However, both models, specifically their respective Luxury and 350 variants, can lead you to spend $57,000 in ownership costs for five years – an amount that exceeds both of their purchase prices. That may be expected from vehicles classified as part of the luxury car segment, but that’s definitely something you should watch out for.
Midsized & large luxury SUVs: Mercedes-Benz GL 350 BlueTec
Easily classifiable as expensive, the Mercedes-Benz GL doesn’t restrain when it comes to meeting expectations of elegance. An MSRP price range of $64,550-$121,100 means that the GL’s purchase price doesn’t come cheap, what with its capability of transporting more people and greater weight under luxurious conditions. With an estimated ownership cost of $78,000 for five years for the 350 BlueTec version, the GL isn’t something that you should go for if you refuse to pay big for both the purchase and ownership of any midsized or large luxury SUV.