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Kelley Blue Book Announces Its 5-Year Cost to Own Award Winners

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author photo by Doug DeMuro February 2016
  • Kelley Blue Book has announced its 5-Year Cost to Own Award winners
  • Hyundai and Acura took home top spots among brands; other automakers did well in specific segments
  • The awards examine actual ownership costs, not just purchase prices

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) has officially announced the winners of its fifth annual 5-Year Cost to Own Awards. The awards recognize new vehicles with the lowest projected ownership costs, based on data gathered by experts at KBB.

According to KBB, the top mainstream brand in this year's 5-Year Cost to Own Awards was Hyundai, while Acura earned the top spot among luxury brands. That will likely come as no surprise to shoppers who own models from either brand, as both tout notorious dependability and long warranty coverage. Hyundai and Acura models also benefit from strong resale values.

Broken down by category, however, KBB's 5-Year Cost to Own Awards recognized several models with prestigious spots among their segments. Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota tied with the most victories -- four each. Ford won for sporty compact car (Focus ST), high-performance car (Mustang GT), full-size pickup truck (F-150) and full-size SUV/crossover (Explorer), while Chevrolet won for full-size car (Impala), sports car (Camaro), plug-in vehicle (Spark EV) and midsize pickup (Colorado). Toyota topped the awards in the hybrid SUV/crossover (Highlander Hybrid), hybrid/alternative energy car (Prius c), midsize car (Camry) and compact car (Corolla) segments.

The awards are highly important for shoppers to understand how much a car will cost them to own, as this information is not always contained within the purchase price.

"It's easy to use a car's MSRP or transaction price as an indicator of how much it 'costs,' but vehicle expenses extend far beyond the purchase price," said Karl Brauer, senior director of automotive industry insights for KBB. "For example, if a car's residual value after 5 years is thousands less than a car with a similar purchase price, that money is lost when it's time to sell or trade the vehicle."

Brauer also noted that insurance and repair costs can vary between cars; KBB's 5-Year Cost to Own data factors these costs in.

What it means to you: If you want to know what cars are affordable to own and not just to buy, you'll want to check out the KBB 5-Year Cost to Own Awards.

NOTE: Kelley Blue Book is owned by the same parent company as Autotrader: Cox Automotive.

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Kelley Blue Book Announces Its 5-Year Cost to Own Award Winners - Autotrader