Top 10 Cheapest Cars to Own
When times are tough, these cars will get you from point A to point B without breaking the bank.
No doubt the abysmal economy has dealt you some blows. But if your mind is set on purchasing a new car, there is good news: It's a buyer's market out there, and dealers need to make room for next year's models. With money tight, however, you probably want something that's affordable up front and economical over the long haul. To help, we compared cars based on their price, fuel efficiency, and cost to maintain searching for the 10 least expensive cars to own. Here's what we found.
Small by American standards, the Aveo is Chevy's top seller in the European market, where fuel economy and compact size are a greater concern. The 2009 Aveo carries a 1.6-liter Gen 3 Ecotec engine, and with a manual transmission the Aveo earns an Environmental Protection Agency fuel-economy rating of 27/34 mpg (city/hwy).
Honda's peppy Fit has been the center of much well-deserved attention. For being thrifty and compact, the Fit pulls off a surprising amount of style and performance, and it carries Honda's solid reputation for reliability and strong resale value. IntelliChoice ranks the Fit as having the lowest maintenance cost among compact cars, and it was also in Kelley Blue Book's top 10 Best Resale Value Awards for 2009.
Introduced in 1995, the Accent may not excel in the resale value category, but with a starting price of less than $10,000 it certainly is one of the cheapest cars to purchase. The Accent isn't likely to let you down in reliability, either. This year J.D. Power and Associates called the model the most dependable subcompact, based on responses from 52,000 owners of 2005 Accents. Its 1.6-liter engine and 110 horses might not get you there fast, but at least you'll have some money to spend when you arrive.
The latest model of the Rio from Korean carmaker Kia delivers improved power from its 110 horsepower 1.6-liter engine. Available with four doors or a hatchback, the Rio boasts a better warranty than most, and its tempered appetite for fuel gives the Kia an EPA rating of 27/33 mpg (city/hwy).
First appearing in 2007, the Versa packs more power than its peers with a 1.8-liter engine that offers 122 horsepower through a continually variable transmission. With starting price of less than $10,000, the Versa vaunts enough quality and features to earn the Consumers Digest Best Buy Award for the third year in a row, and ForbesAutos.com ranked the Versa in the top half of its 10 cheapest cars to own.