The 2013 model-year vehicles and brands (in both luxury and non-luxury categories) with the lowest projected ownership costs were announced Feb. 5 by Kelley Blue Book (KBB), a provider of new and used car information. These awards are based on KBB's "5-Year Cost to Own" data for new cars for the initial five-year ownership period.

While depreciation (or loss of value) and fuel costs may be the greatest expense incurred in owning a vehicle, there are other factors that can have a significant impact on a consumer's pocketbook. KBB's 5-Year Cost to Own information takes into consideration depreciation, expected fuel costs, finance and insurance fees, maintenance and repair costs, and state fees for new models.

Award Winners

2013 5-Year Cost to Own Award: Brand


2013 5-Year Cost to Own Award: Luxury Brand


2013 5-Year Cost To Own Awards: By Vehicle Category

  • Subcompact Car:  Scion iQ
  • Compact SUV/Crossover:  Jeep Patriot
  • Compact Car:  Hyundai Veloster
  • Midsize SUV/Crossover:  Mitsubishi Outlander
  • Sporty Compact Car: Hyundai Veloster Turbo
  • Full-size SUV/Crossover: Ford Explorer
  • Midsize Car:  Hyundai Sonata
  • Luxury Compact SUV/Crossover:  Acura RDX
  • Full-size Car: Chevrolet Impala
  • Luxury Midsize SUV/Crossover:  Lincoln  MKX
  • Entry-Level Luxury Car:  Buick Verano
  • Luxury Full-Size SUV/Crossover:  Lincoln MKT
  • Luxury Car: Lexus GS
  • Midsize Pickup Truck:  Toyota Tacoma Double Cab
  • High-end Luxury Car: Porsche Panamera
  • Full-size Pickup Truck:  Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Regular Cab
  • Sports Car:  Ford Mustang
  • Minivan/Van:  Mazda Mazda5
  • High-Performance Car: Ford Mustang GT
  • Hybrid SUV/Crossover: Toyota Highlander Hybrid
  • Hybrid/Alternative-Energy Car: Honda Insight
  • Electric Vehicle: Chevrolet Volt

Mazda is the top brand among all manufacturers, surging past last year's winner Kia with regard to its lowest projected ownership costs. Despite an average "Fair Purchase Price" higher than several of its competitors, Mazda offers the lowest 5-Year Cost to Own because of its low depreciation, fuel costs, and maintenance and repair costs across its full model lineup, KBB said.

KBB's Fair Purchase Price is the price people typically pay a dealer for a new car, based on actual new-car transactions and adjusted regularly as market conditions change.

Lexus is this year's luxury brand winner, exemplifying some of the lowest costs for depreciation, fuel, and maintenance and repairs of any luxury brand, according to KBB. Some of the key models contributing to Lexus' stand-out performance include the CT 200h, ES and IS models. 

Another notable 5-Year Cost to Own Award win is the 2013 Hyundai Sonata, a repeat winner in the midsize car category. The three primary competitors in this segment each are separated by a mere $200 in projected total ownership costs, KBB said. The 2013 Hyundai Sonata outperformed the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima by offering superior savings in insurance costs and a lower KBB Fair Purchase Price. 

In addition, the redesigned 2013 Lexus GS is a top contender among the luxury car segment, beating Audi's A5 and A6 models. The vehicle's low depreciation, and maintenance and repair costs make it this year's 5-Year Cost to Own Award: Luxury Car winner. The depreciation costs for the Lexus GS came in 6.4% below the Audi A5 and 21.7% below the Audi A6. 

Kelley Blue Book 5-Year Cost to Own information is developed using KBB residual values to calculate depreciation costs. KBB calculates total ownership costs for new vehicles by applying valuation methodology along with critical financial data from third-party providers.

Related news: Kelley Blue Book Announces 2013 Best Resale Value Awards