Buying a new car is a ton of fun, but the shine quickly fades when maintenance costs start adding up. There’s nothing worse than a hefty repair bill, and while many issues are covered by today’s vehicle warranties, there are still costs involved for many vehicle problems. Consumer Reports recently released its list of cars that cost the least to maintain over the long haul, and there aren’t many surprises among the names in the top-performing group.
The publication studied repair costs over 10 years and only listed vehicles that it recommends. Several models without 10 years of data were excluded for being too new, while others may have had cheap repair costs but lower scores in other areas. Beyond repairs, the publication cites factors like fuel economy and tire replacement costs as drivers for some of the totals we see. Consumer Reports’ list includes:
Vehicles were rated based on how well their 10-year repair costs compared to the averages for their segment. The three-row SUV class had an average repair total of $5,155, while the average 10-year cost for electric cars was $2,320. Electric vehicles have fewer moving parts and don’t require oil or transmission fluid changes, making them less expensive to maintain than gas-powered vehicles.
Thanks to stronger consumer protection laws, automaker warranties are longer and more comprehensive than in years past. Most offer “bumper-to-bumper” coverage for at least three years and powertrain coverage for at least five. Some, including Kia, Hyundai, and Mitsubishi, offer much longer powertrain warranties of up to 10 years or 100,000 miles. Electric vehicle battery warranties are required to be at least eight years/100,000 miles, but California extends that requirement to 10 years.