Editors' pick: Originally published Feb. 14.
Your vehicle starts depreciating and wearing down as soon as it drives off of the lot: don't pay more to own it than you have to.
Considering depreciation, fuel costs, financing and insurance fees, maintenance costs and state fees, the folks at Kelley Blue Book figured out what it actually costs to own a car during a five-year span. This year, it determined that Subaru and Honda's (HMC) - Get Honda Motor Co., Ltd. Sponsored ADR Report Acura luxury brand kept that cost the lowest among all automakers.
"New-car shoppers typically give more consideration to the cost of a car upfront, but sometimes other factors, such as depreciation, maintenance and fuel costs, can significantly increase total ownership costs," says Mike Sadowski, vice president of operations and general manager for Kelley Blue Book. "[This report] evaluates the other out-of-pocket expenses drivers will incur beyond the initial purchase price, which can help consumers shop new-car smart and save money down the road by choosing the vehicle that best fits their needs and their long-term budget."
This year's list vehicles with the lowest ownership cost was peppered with offerings from Toyota (TM) - Get Toyota Motor Corp. Sponsored ADR Report , Ford (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report , Chevrolet (General Motors (GM) - Get General Motors Company (GM) Report ), Buick, Honda, Lexus and Infiniti. While it didn't always include the most affordable cars on the road, it did manage to make some of the costlier options look frugal by comparison. We took a look at KBB's full list and narrowed it to the winners of 20 of the most popular categories. You still lose quite a bit between the selling price and final cost of ownership, but not every car on this list burns through money as quickly as fuel: