After bringing you the list of the Top 10 Most Expensive Luxury Vehicles to Own, we now bring you the list for the Top 10 Leasy Expensive Luxury Vehicles to Own.
Cars at the lower end of the luxury class, like the Acura TSX, are the least costly to own because their lower starting prices minimize the effects of depreciation. ForbesAutos has put together list by estimating six expenses over five years: depreciation, interest and opportunity costs, fuel, maintenance and repairs, insurance, and taxes and fees.
Click through for ForbesAutos List of the Top 10 Leaset Expensive Vehciles to Own.
Top 10 Least Expensive Luxury Vehicles to Own (With 5-year cost of ownership):
10. Lincoln MKZ: $55,011
9. Lexus ES 350: $54,585
8. Acura RDX: $54,502
7. Lexus IS 250: $53,220
6. Volvo V50: $52,906
5. Audi A3: $51,513
4. Saab 9-3 SportCombi: $51,499
3. Volvo S40: $51,484
2. Saab 9-3 Sedan: $50,282
1. Acura TSX: $47,084
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Top 10 Least Expensive Luxury Vehicles to Own Gallery:
Top 10 Least Expensive Luxury Vehicles to Own
Cars at the lower end of the luxury class are the least costly to own because their lower starting prices minimize the effects of depreciation.
by Jeff Zygmont
Luxury car buyers looking for the best long-term value should cross-shop vehicles at the lower end of the price spectrum. The lower the starting price of a vehicle, the more likely it is to mitigate the single largest financial hit associated with car ownership “” depreciation.
This is the second feature in ForbesAutos.com”s series on vehicle ownership costs, and here we rank the top 10 luxury vehicles with the lowest cost of ownership over five years. See also our list of the Top 10 Most Expensive Vehicles to Own.
Depreciation is the largest ownership cost for any vehicle. Therefore, models with lower sticker prices end up dunning owners less than models with higher manufacturer suggested retail prices (MSRPs).
That’s true even if a higher-priced model holds its value better: The Audi A3, the fifth least expensive car to own according to our research, depreciates a whopping 71 percent from its base MSRP over five years. By contrast, Porsche”s 911 Turbo “” the sixth most expensive car to own “” loses just 54 percent of its base price in five years. But the A3 starts at around $25,000, compared to $122,900 for the 911 Turbo. And 71 percent of $25,000 comes out to $17,750, which is a lot less than the 54 percent of the Porsche”s $122,900, or $66,366.
Looking at those numbers, it starts to become clear why the top 10 luxury vehicles with the lowest ownership costs all have base prices below $35,000.
Lower-priced cars also cost less in other categories, says David Wurster, president of Vincentric, the research firm that provided data for our rankings. “You see that in taxes and insurance,” he says.
But bear in mind that Vincentric”s projected ownership costs are only estimates. Actual expenses will vary by region. “There are large variations in maintenance and repairs when you look at a state where costs of living are higher, because labor rates are higher,” Wurster says. Similarly, people living in high-tax states will likely pay more in vehicle taxes and other fees. Insurance rates also change by region, as do fuel prices, he says. All of these are factored into the five-year ownership costs used to rank the vehicles on our list. Click here to see the full list of vehicles in the slideshow.
Drivers do have some control over ownership costs, regardless of where they may live. For instance, driving style and distances traveled determine fuel, maintenance and repair expenses. Plus, insurance premiums remain lower with good driving records.
“There are substantial variations in insurance rates between carriers even in the same region,” says Michael Calkins, who tracks ownership costs for AAA’s national office as manager of its approved auto repair program. “You have to be a smart shopper for everything, not just for the car, but also for the insurance.”
Owners who care well for their cars can even beat the deprecation average. “You need to maintain your vehicle properly,” Calkins says. “Keep it in good condition cosmetically and mechanically to maximize its trade value.”
Japanese and Swedish brands dominate our list of the 10 least expensive luxury vehicles to own, likely due to the fact that they tend to have lower starting prices. One German and one American nameplate help balance out the rankings.
The 10 least expensive to own luxury vehicles are determined by estimating six expenses over five years: depreciation, interest and opportunity costs, fuel, maintenance and repairs, insurance, and taxes and fees (see explanations below). Go to the ForbesAutos.com slideshow to see the full list of the least expensive vehicles to own, including each model’s total cost of ownership after five years, plus the costs for each of the six components that make up the total. The rankings include 2007 models only.
Vincentric breaks down ownership costs for every variation within a model line, so the ownership costs used to rank vehicles on this list are averages of all variants in a given model line. For example, Acura sells four versions of its TSX sedan, the least expensive luxury car to own. Vincentric computes separate lifespan costs for each of the four variants.
The data used in this ranking is from late May 2007 (Vincentric updates cost-of-ownership estimates monthly). Interest expenses assume a five-year loan at 6.86 percent with a 15 percent down payment. Opportunity costs consider what owners would have earned if car expenses went into certificates of deposit instead. Insurance costs are for a typical driver under age 65, with a clean record. Vincentric used the EPA’s 2007 Fuel Economy Guide to calculate fuel costs.
[tags]Cars, Car, Auto, Automobile, Vehicles, Technology, Auto News, News, Automotive, Acura, Lexus, Volvo, Audi, Saab, Lincoln[/tags]