No. 1 car for cheapskates: Scion iQ
Five-year cost of ownership: $27,006
Fair purchase price: $16,140
Scion iQ offers quirky looks, parking-friendly dimensions -- and the lowest five-year ownership costs of any mainstream 2013 sold in America.
Designed by Scion parent Toyota (TM) to compete with the ultra-tiny Smart Fortwo, the super-small iQ looks something like a subcompact that got its rear section torn off. "It makes the Mini look like a Honda Accord," Gutierrez quips.Although technically designed to seat four, the iQ probably works best for two people. It weights just 2,127 pounds and measures a hair over 10 feet long. Such small dimensions not only make the iQ a snap to maneuver or park, but help the car achieve an estimated 36 mpg/city and 37 mpg/highway fuel efficiency. KBB predicts you'll spend a rock-bottom $8,297 fueling your iQ over five years, while the model also offers the lowest five-year cost among top cheapskate cars for insurance ($2,900) and maintenance ($1,826). Add in low costs for depreciation ($9,523), financing ($1,141), taxes/title ($1,453) and repairs ($1,866) and the iQ is easily America's least expensive 2013 to own over five years. "It's a great vehicle for someone who commutes long distances to work or lives in a major metropolitan area, because you can park the iQ just about anywhere," Gutierrez says. He admits the tiny model "does have a quirky design, but it works for someone who wants to stand out in the crowd -- and who wants a car that's far and away the most affordable  you can own."
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