When you’re spending your hard-earned money on a new car, you want to get it right. Unfortunately, you might regret buying a new car if you don’t first know the golden rules you need to follow when you’re shopping. But it’s not all bad news. A few key repairs can help get your vehicle to 300,000 miles, and it helps if you buy a dependable car from the outset. These are the cheapest SUVs to own in 2018 after you drive them off the lot, according to Kelley Blue Book.
Cost to own is the combination of your typical car expenses, such as financing, fuel, insurance, standard maintenance (oil changes, fluid flushes, etc.), and repairs, plus depreciation over five years. We’ll see top three subcompact, compact, mid-size, and full-size SUVs, including a mid-size SUV (page 9) with a cost to own that’s virtually the same as a subcompact.
3. Toyota C-HR (Subcompact SUV)
2018 Toyota C-HR | Toyota
Cost to own: $36,147
Toyota’s tiny, low-riding SUV debuted in America in 2017, and it’s quickly become one of the cheapest SUVs to own. What it lacks in performance and interior space, the C-HR makes up for with its safety features and low cost to own figure.
Next: One of the best SUVs for your money is also one of the cheapest to own.
2. Mazda CX-3 (Subcompact SUV)
2018 Mazda CX-3 | Mazda
Cost to own: $34,057
Mazda’s CX-3 is one of the best SUVs for your money up front, and it’s a great long-term investment. Considering most new cars lose close to 20% of their value in the first year, the CX-3’s $13,000 difference in purchase price and 5-year ownership makes it one of the cheapest SUVs to own.
Next: A bargain up front and for the long haul.
1. Honda HR-V (Subcompact SUV)
2018 Honda HR-V | Honda
Cost to own: $32,874
Small SUVs are some of the least expensive vehicles to drive at a little more than $7,600 each year. Based on the price and cost to own number, the Honda HR-V blows that figure out of the water. Owning an HR-V costs a little more than $12,200 over five years, so it’s a bargain up front and one of the cheapest SUVs to own for the long haul.
Next: A compact SUV for the savvy shopper.
3. Kia Sportage (Compact SUV)
2018 Kia Sportage | Kia
Cost to own: $36,526
Savvy buyers know Kia offers some of the best cars for the money. The same goes for its SUVs, especially the Sportage. It’s one of the cheapest SUVs to own, and the outstanding warranty makes it a smart purchase for the budget-conscious car-buyer.
Next: Let’s say hello to an American icon.
2. Jeep Wrangler (Compact SUV)
2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon | Jeep
Cost to own: $34,874
The 2018 Jeep Wrangler introduces several updates that make the American icon even better. Diehards love it for its muscular build and off-road abilities, and now they have more reasons to celebrate. It’s one of the cars with the best resale value, according to KBB, and it’s 5-year cost to own figure is one of the lowest among all compact SUVs.
Next: A dependable and budget-friendly ride.
1. Subaru Crosstek (Compact SUV)
2017 Subaru Crosstrek | Subaru
Cost to own: $34,724
Subaru is one of the most reliable car brands out there, and now there’s another reason to celebrate the Japanese car maker. The Crosstek is one of the cheapest SUVs to own for the long term, so you’re rewarded with dependability and a budget-friendly ride if you buy one.
Next: The one way this mid-size model is just like its predecessor, and why that’s a good thing.
3. Hyundai Santa Fe Sport (Mid-size SUV/crossover)
Hyundai Santa Fe Sport | Micah Wright/Autos Cheat Sheet
Cost to own: $38,991
The 2017 Santa Fe Sport was bigger and better than its predecessors. The 2018 version follows suit there and ups the ante by being one of the cheapest SUVs to own for the long term.
Next: We hope this version is better than its sibling.
2. Mitsubishi Outlander (Mid-size SUV/crossover)
2017 Mitsubishi Outlander | Mitsubishi
Cost to own: $38,424
According to the Kelley Blue Book ratings, the Mitsubishi Outlander costs about $13,500 to own over a 5-year period, which is the second-lowest figure in its class. We just hope it stands out from its sibling, the Outlander Sport, which flopped in J.D. Power dependability tests for the 2015 model year.
Next: One of the cheapest cars to own, period
1. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (Mid-size SUV/Crossover)
All-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon | Jeep
Cost to own: $36,244
We saw the Wrangler Unlimited’s smaller sibling a few minutes ago in the compact SUV category. Just like the smaller model, the Unlimited’s cost to own figure isn’t too much more than the sticker price, but this one has bragging rights its brother can’t match. This cost to own figure is almost identical to the subcompact Toyota C-HR, making it one of the cheapest SUVs to own regardless of class.
Next: Take the good with the bad with this full-size SUV.
3. Chevrolet Suburban (Full-size SUV/crossover)
2018 Chevy Suburban | Chevrolet
Cost to own: $65,404
Buying a Suburban is a more difficult decision than it appears. It’s one of the cheapest SUVs to own over the first five years, which is a big plus. Yet, it also has some of the worst reliability ratings of any SUV on the road. So you have to take the good with the bad if you’re considering a Suburban. However, we’ll see another Chevy that makes up for the Suburban’s shortcomings in just a minute.
Next: Performance, trim, and value define this SUV.
2. Ford Expedition (Full-size SUV/crossover)
2018 Ford Expedition | Ford
Cost to own: $64,733
Based on performance and trim alone, the new Ford Expedition might be the best vehicle in the full-size SUV class. A 5-year cost to own figure less than $12,000 above the sticker price is just another one of the reasons you want to think about buying this car.
Next: Three reasons this is one of the best SUVs you can buy.
1. Chevrolet Tahoe (Full-size SUV/crossover)
2018 Chevy Tahoe | Chevrolet
Cost to own: $62,167
If you’re on the hunt for a full-size that’s worth the money, three factors put the Chevrolet Tahoe at (or near) the top of the list:
- It’s $48,800 sticker price makes it one of the most affordable big SUVs on the market.
- If you’re looking for longevity, the Tahoe delivers. It’s one of the longest-lasting cars on the road with more than 3% going 200,000 miles or more.
- The 5-year ownership figure is the lowest in its class, so dollar for dollar it’s one of the cheapest SUVs to own.
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