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Great Cars To Own for at Least 5 Years

So, you’ve been on the hunt for a new car that perfectly fits your budget, but have you taken future costs into consideration? This information isn’t always easy to find or calculate, so GOBankingRates analyzed 50 cars using Edmunds’ True Cost to Own pricing calculator to find 20 of the best cars to own for five years.

Depreciation will take the biggest hit on the value of your car. Your car will lose more than half of its value — about 60% — over the first five years, according to Trusted Choice. The study also looked at five-year totals for each car in the following categories: taxes and fees, financing, fuel, insurance, maintenance and repairs — all the major financial factors included in the true cost of car ownership.

You might be shocked by just how much a “cheap car” will ultimately cost you, but it might also surprise you that there are a number of affordable, high-quality cars — even if you don’t earn six figures.

Last updated: Sept. 25, 2019

2019 Chevrolet Volt LT: $50,390

  • Depreciation: $22,971
  • Taxes and fees: $3,836
  • Financing: $5,610
  • Fuel: $4,818
  • Insurance: $7,427
  • Maintenance: $5,017
  • Repairs: $711

Out of all the cars in this study, the Chevy Volt LT hatchback is the only one with a true cost-to-own value over $50,000. The Volt also sees the largest dip in value with depreciation totaling nearly $23,000 over five years. The sizable depreciation hit could be for a number of reasons, though a primary reason is likely a result of the model’s discontinuation. General Motors ended production of the plug-in hybrid in February 2019.

2019 Subaru Forester Touring: $49,780

  • Depreciation: $16,441
  • Taxes and fees: $4,087
  • Financing: $5,899
  • Fuel: $9,826
  • Insurance: $7,357
  • Maintenance: $5,225
  • Repairs: $945

The 2019 Subaru Forester Touring is the most expensive car to buy on this list — you can expect to pay $37,739 to drive it off the lot. Don’t forget to budget another $12K to account for the true cost of the compact SUV: owning a Forester in this trim for five years will run you $49,780. Because this car is on the pricier side, you’ll have to pay more in taxes, fees and financing than any other car on this list.

 

Kevin Pearce / Ford

2019 Ford Fusion Hybrid Titanium: $49,479

  • Depreciation: $20,186
  • Taxes and fees: $3,819
  • Financing: $5,444
  • Fuel: $6,785
  • Insurance: $8,221
  • Maintenance: $4,140
  • Repairs: $884

The Ford Fusion Hybrid Titanium is pricier than many of the other cars on the list. Of all the cars in this study, it ranks second-worst in depreciation value, fourth-worst in taxes and fees and the worst in insurance costs. However, the car shines at the pump. It’s tied with the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid for the third-cheapest fuel costs at $6,785 for five years.

 

2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI: $48,606

  • Depreciation: $17,059
  • Taxes and fees: $3,325
  • Financing: $4,828
  • Fuel: $11,335
  • Insurance: $7,144
  • Maintenance: $4,738
  • Repairs: $177

The 2019 Volkswagon Golf GTI hatchback is the second-most expensive car to fuel for five years, but interestingly both of the Volkswagens included on this list are the cheapest cars to repair. This is surprising because German-engineered luxury cars from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi have continually been named some of the most expensive cars to maintain.

2019 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited: $48,215

  • Depreciation: $15,323
  • Taxes and fees: $3,970
  • Financing: $5,711
  • Fuel: $10,188
  • Insurance: $6,632
  • Maintenance: $5,446
  • Repairs: $945

The 2019 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited is the second-most expensive car to purchase on the list, costing prospective buyers $36,532 — only $1,207 less than the Subaru Forester Touring that tops the list. Where the Outback falls short on pricing and fuel costs, it makes up for in its five-year depreciation total. At $15,323, the Outback depreciates less than the Forester and certain sedans, such as the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Nissan Altima.

 

2019 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL: $48,002

  • Depreciation: $17,550
  • Taxes and fees: $3,449
  • Financing: $4,869
  • Fuel: $8,914
  • Insurance: $7,620
  • Maintenance: $4,827
  • Repairs: $773

The 2019 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL has the third-highest depreciation cost — it will lose $17,550 in value over its first five years. Although you may not be able to retain the value of this car over time, you will have a relatively average repair and maintenance bill during the five years of ownership, making this a great car to hold on to for many years.

 

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander ES: $47,620

  • Depreciation: $13,489
  • Taxes and fees: $3,105
  • Financing: $4,127
  • Fuel: $10,967
  • Insurance: $7,921
  • Maintenance: $7,172
  • Repairs: $839

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander ES is one of the cheaper cars to purchase. The asking price of $26,403 makes the Outlander the eighth-cheapest car featured on the list. The Outlander is the most affordable SUV on the list; unfortunately, it also has the most expensive five-year maintenance cost of any car ranked, totaling $7,172.

2019 Fiat 500 Abarth: $46,439

  • Depreciation: $17,401
  • Taxes and fees: $2,967
  • Financing: $4,253
  • Fuel: $10,194
  • Insurance: $6,902
  • Maintenance: $3,601
  • Repairs: $1,121

Out of the 20 cars included in this study, the Fiat 500 Abarth hatchback is the fourth-most expensive car to fuel for five years and the second-most expensive to repair. Despite these costs, it’s middle-of-the-road when it comes to total cash price and true cost to own.

2019 Mazda 3 Premium: $44,973

  • Depreciation: $15,249
  • Taxes and fees: $3,124
  • Financing: $4,521
  • Fuel: $9,504
  • Insurance: $7,705
  • Maintenance: $4,012
  • Repairs: $858

The 2019 Mazda 3 Premium sedan touts a below-average maintenance cost of $4,012 over a five-year period. The true cost of ownership of the Mazda 3 is slightly higher than average — totaling $44,973 over five years. Spending $28,000 is a relatively low price to pay for this car’s luxurious features and bragging rights as one of Edmunds’ best all-wheel-drive sedans of 2019.

2019 Jeep Cherokee Altitude: $44,266

  • Depreciation: $12,473
  • Taxes and fees: $3,767
  • Financing: $5,029
  • Fuel: $11,880
  • Insurance: $6,747
  • Maintenance: $2,805
  • Repairs: $1,565

The 2019 Jeep Cherokee Altitude is a great SUV that will hold its value over time. Out of all the SUVs included in this study, the Jeep Cherokee Altitude has the smallest amount of depreciation over five years. An interesting find in the study reveals that the Cherokee is the most expensive car to repair and fuel on this list, but it is also the cheapest car to maintain over five years.

(c)ERIC MICOTTO / Mazda

2019 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring: $44,125

  • Depreciation: $14,037
  • Taxes and fees: $3,152
  • Financing: $4,421
  • Fuel: $9,199
  • Insurance: $7,014
  • Maintenance: $5,529
  • Repairs: $773

Not to be confused with the Mazda 3, the Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring is a sporty crossover SUV and is also the cheapest SUV on this list to own over a five-year period. The CX-3 has lower-than-average depreciation, insurance costs and repair costs for five years of ownership. Expect to pay about $28,000 to drive the CX-3 off the lot, and just slightly more than average for taxes, financing and fuel costs among all of the cars included in this study.

Bruce Benedict / Kia

2019 Kia Soul Exclaim (!): $41,993

  • Depreciation: $11,656
  • Taxes and fees: $3,050
  • Financing: $3,990
  • Fuel: $10,188
  • Insurance: $6,735
  • Maintenance: $5,529
  • Repairs: $845

The 2019 Kia Soul Exclaim (!) is the sixth-cheapest car to buy in this study as well as the ninth-cheapest car to own. The Kia Soul is the third-cheapest car to insure in this study over a span of five years. It’s no wonder the boxy vehicle earned high marks on Edmunds, placing No. 2 on the site’s extra-small SUV rankings. Those funky little hamsters from the commercials were onto something good.

 

2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid SE: $41,368

  • Depreciation: $14,438
  • Taxes and fees: $3,009
  • Financing: $4,065
  • Fuel: $6,785
  • Insurance: $8,205
  • Maintenance: $4,196
  • Repairs: $670

Insurance for the 2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid SE sedan is on the pricier side at $8,205, but drivers will save at the pump — the Sonata Hybrid has the third-cheapest fuel price of all the cars included on this list, trailing only the Chevrolet Volt and the Toyota Camry Hybrid.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta 1.4T SEL: $40,795

  • Depreciation: $14,256
  • Taxes and fees: $2,738
  • Financing: $3,911
  • Fuel: $8,382
  • Insurance: $7,283
  • Maintenance: $4,048
  • Repairs: $177

Like the Volkswagen Golf GTI, the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta 1.4T SEL is the cheapest car to repair over a five-year period, costing you only $177 during that time span. At about $25,000, the Jetta is the fifth-cheapest car to purchase in this study. In terms of the car’s true cost to own over five years, you’ll spend over $40,000.

David Dewhurst Photography / Toyota

2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid LE: $40,476

  • Depreciation: $15,433
  • Taxes and fees: $3,388
  • Financing: $4,709
  • Fuel: $5,474
  • Insurance: $7,631
  • Maintenance: $3,068
  • Repairs: $773

While the car will lose half of its value in depreciation over five years, the 2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid LE ranked high in a few categories. It came in second place for both fuel and maintenance costs. Among the hybrids included in this study, the Camry is the least expensive to own over five years, with a true cost to own value of $40,476.

2019 Honda Accord Sport 1.5T: $39,770

  • Depreciation: $11,730
  • Taxes and fees: $3,041
  • Financing: $4,231
  • Fuel: $9,199
  • Insurance: $6,489
  • Maintenance: $4,163
  • Repairs: $917

The 2019 Honda Accord Sport 1.5T ranks No. 5 among the cheapest cars to own in the study. Owning the Honda Accord in this trim, you can expect expensive repairs over five years of ownership, and prepare to spend over $9,000 on fuel. The Accord’s attractive depreciation and affordable purchase price, however, make this a great car to resell or trade in after five years of ownership.

2019 Kia Forte LXS: $37,191

  • Depreciation: $11,337
  • Taxes and fees: $2,364
  • Financing: $3,161
  • Fuel: $8,382
  • Insurance: $7,513
  • Maintenance: $3,764
  • Repairs: $670

The 2019 Kia Forte LXS ranks fourth on GOBankingRates’ list of cheapest cars to own and second on Edmunds’ list of best small sedans. The Forte LXS comes just ahead of the Kia Soul Exclaim when weighted against depreciation; the Forte retains more than $300 in value compared with the Soul. One of the cheapest sedans in the study, owners of the Forte pay less than the study’s average of $3,148 in taxes and fees over a five-year period. The Forte is also tied for second in five-year repair costs at $670, and it’s close to $900 cheaper than the most expensive car to repair — the Jeep Cherokee Altitude.

2019 Honda Civic LX: $34,762

  • Depreciation: $8,956
  • Taxes and fees: $2,404
  • Financing: $3,236
  • Fuel: $8,648
  • Insurance: $7,019
  • Maintenance: $3,726
  • Repairs: $773

One of the top three cheapest cars to own over a five-year period, the 2019 Honda Civic LX sedan also ranks third in the depreciation category. The Civic only loses $8,956 in value over five years. If you are someone who keeps a car until the wheels fall off, the cheap repair and maintenance costs are sure to please you.

2019 Hyundai Accent SE: $33,985

  • Depreciation: $8,670
  • Taxes and fees: $1,995
  • Financing: $2,489
  • Fuel: $9,199
  • Insurance: $7,497
  • Maintenance: $3,465
  • Repairs: $670

The 2019 Hyundai Accent SE sedan is the cheapest car to purchase in this study, totaling only $15,925. Its small price tag also makes the Accent the cheapest car to finance. Fuel costs for five years are $260 more than the study’s average, but what is spent on fuel might be offset by the car’s low maintenance and repair costs.

2019 Toyota Corolla L: $32,256

  • Depreciation: $6,438
  • Taxes and fees: $2,377
  • Financing: $2,851
  • Fuel: $8,914
  • Insurance: $7,314
  • Maintenance: $3,589
  • Repairs: $773

Coming out on top is the 2019 Toyota Corolla L sedan. The deciding factor in the Corolla’s No. 1 ranking was its almost non-existent depreciation value. It loses a mere $6,438 in value over the first five years of ownership. Compare that with the Hyundai Accent, which has the second-lowest depreciation value in the study at $8,670. Corolla owners will also appreciate less-than-average spending in every single category included in the study. The 2019 Corolla is also the second-cheapest car to purchase of all the cars here, making it an unbelievable investment.

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Photo Disclaimer: Please note photos are for illustrative purposes only and might not feature exact models, base models or the cars’ specific trim levels. As a result, some of the cars in the photos might have different MSRPs than the ones listed in this article. Last updated: May 21st, 2019.