The top 10 least expensive cars to maintain

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A view of the MINI Cooper logo.

The 2010 MINI Cooper was rated the least expensive car to maintain, according to Automotive.com. (Photo Credit: lorenzwalthert/Flickr/CC BY-ND)

Aside from the reality of how much money you’ll be paying on your auto loan over the next five years, buying a new car is very exciting. Purchase price is always important to consider, but don’t stop there. Things such as fuel costs, maintenance and repair costs over that five-year period after purchase must be considered, as they are recurring expenses. Thanks to the work of Automotive.com, you can discover the top 10 least expensive cars to maintain – at least among new cars on the market. What follows are the numbers you’ll need to make an informed decision.

10. 2010 Chevrolet Aveo

The 2010 Chevrolet Aveo hatchback comes standard with a 1.6 L, inline four-cylinder L4 engine. Estimates for fuel economy are 27 mpg city, 34 mpg highway, which is good in the modern market of green hybrid cars. Depending upon the features package, the MSRP ranges from $11,965 to $15,365.

Five-year maintenance cost: $1,361
Five-year repair cost: $390

9. 2010 Nissan Frontier

Would you believe a truck is one of the top 10 least expensive cars to maintain? The 2010 Nissan Frontier definitely qualifies. The 4.0L V6 engine (or the smaller 2.5 L L4) gets 14 mpg city, 19 mpg highway, which is to be expected with this beast. MSRP ranges from $20,690 to $26,840, which is on the low end for trucks in its class. But for maintenance and repairs, the 2010 Nissan Frontier is high-class.

Five-year maintenance cost: $1,350
Five-year repair cost: $531

8. 2010 Chevrolet Avalanche

Another truck, this time even larger than the Frontier. The 2010 Chevrolet Avalanche sports a 5.3L V8 under the hood, which powers away for 10 mpg city, 15 mpg highway. Cost is high, ranging from $35,725 to $48,865 MSRP. But it’s a very solid vehicle that doesn’t require much to keep going.

Five-year maintenance cost: $1,343
Five-year repair cost: $611

7. 2010 Chevrolet Malibu

Back to sedan-sized cars with the 2010 Chevrolet Malibu. Good mpg (22/30) from a 2.4L four-cylinder keeps fuel costs down. MSRP ranges from $21,825 to $26,605.

Five-year maintenance cost: $1,319
Five-year repair cost: $431

6. 2010 Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is legendary for its fuel economy, which can be attributed to its smaller four-cylinder engine sizes. The 2010 Civic (sedan or coupe) maxes at 2.0 L.

MSRP range: $16,255 – $23,800
Five-year maintenance cost: $1,270
Five-year repair cost: $521

5. 2010 Honda Fit

“Fit” is a perfect word for this new Honda. A hatchback that gets 28 mpg city/35 mpg highway is perfect for a value-conscious consumer on the go.

MSRP range: $15,700 – $17,260
Five-year maintenance cost: $1,245
Five-year repair cost: $521

4. 2009 Saab 9-7x

One of two 2009 vehicles among the top 10 least expensive cars to maintain, the Saab 9-7x tops out under the hood at 6.0 L V8. That power may only net 20 mpg highway, but other costs (aside from purchase) are low.

MSRP range: $42,615 – $49,105
Five-year maintenance cost: $1,214
Five-year repair cost: $600

3. 2009 Saab 9-3

The 2009 Saab 9-3 comes in convertible, sedan and wagon models

MSRP Range: $30,360 – $51,330
Five-year maintenance cost: $1,183
Five-year repair cost: $520

2. 2010 Saab 9-3

And here’s the next year’s model.

MSRP range: $28,900 – $45,080
Five-year maintenance cost: $1,182
Five-year repair cost: $535

1. 2010 MINI Cooper

If you’re only paying $1,160 in repairs over a five-year period, you have reason to be happy. The 2010 MINI Cooper offers fuel efficiency, style and dependability.

MSRP range: $18,800 – $34,000
Five-year repair cost: $853

Now that you know the costs, check out the auto loans you’ll need

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Sources:

Automotive.com

The 2010 MINI Cooper and “Mission Control”

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