Thursday

Cheap Cars and Costly Cars

If you just look at the MSRP, it's pretty easy to figure out what car models are the cheapest ones to buy, according to Bankrate.com, and we think they are right to also consider things like insurance and fuel cost, which together can easily be double the cost of the purchase itself. Still, the list points to one common factor: they're small cars. And the costliest cars? They tend to be the big "luxury" brands from Europe.

Hybrid cars can drive down the overall fuel cost, but price remains the biggest single chunk of the cost of ownership, with fuel cost coming in second if you ignore depreciation (which might not matter if you keep the cars a lot longer than normal anyway).

Later, we'll list the costly cars in this article, but here's the cheap car list, from the cheapest to the not so cheap to own:

1. Honda Fit, whose MSRP is just $13950
MSRP: From $13,950
Taxes and fees: $1,336
Depreciation: $9,172
Finance interest: $2,870
Insurance: $7,021
Fuel cost: $10,297
Maintenance: $2,885
Repairs: $654
Total: $34,235
2. Chevy Aveo, $11460
MSRP: From $11,460
Taxes and fees: $1,183
Depreciation: $8,979
Finance interest: $2,386
Insurance: $7,021
Fuel cost: $10,809
Maintenance: $3,567
Repairs: $713
Total: $34,656
3. Hyundai Accent, $10,775
MSRP: From $10,775
Taxes and fees: $1,215
Depreciation: $9,326
Finance interest: $2,314
Insurance: $7,724
Fuel cost: $10,863
Maintenance: $2,724
Repairs: $569
Total: $34,375

Details for the cars that follow can be seen on the Bankrate.com site by clicking here.

4. Toyota Yaris, $11,550
5. Nissan Versa, $12,990
6. Scion xB, $15,750
7. Pontiac Vibe, $15,310
8. Toyota Corolla, $15,250
9. Kia Rio, $10,890
10. Suzuki SX4, $14,770

On the other hand, if you've got money to burn then it's pretty easy to identify the more common cars that you can spend it on. so here's that list, too:

1. Mercedes CL class
MSRP: From $103,600
Taxes & fees: $11,609
Depreciation: $93,785
Finance interest: $27,323
Insurance: $18,997
Fuel cost: $23,264
Maintenance: $5,988
Repairs: $2,742
TOTAL: $183,707

2. Mercedes S class
MSRP: From $86,700
Taxes & fees: $9,070
Depreciation: $80,842
Finance interest: $23,114
Insurance: $22,930
Fuel cost: $22,827
Maintenance: $5,857
Repairs: $2,541
TOTAL: $167,181

3. Mercedes SL class

MSRP: From $95,900
Taxes & fees: $9,108
Depreciation: $78,633
Finance interest: $23,211
Insurance: $24,182
Fuel cost: $22,844
Maintenance: $5,963
Repairs: $2,793
TOTAL: $166,734

Details for the other money-burners can be seen on Bankrate.com by clicking here.

4. Audi R8, $112,500 (yeah, but a car so cool you can't even find one)
5. BMW Alpina S7, $115,000
6. BMW M6, $100,300
7. BMW M5, $83,900
8. Audi S8, $93,300
9. Mercedes G class, $88,200 (go figure, a dressed up LandRover is what it looks like)
10. Audi A8, $70,690

So, you think that Malibu is a lemon, huh? How would you like to have a Mercedes or BMV or Audi that cost you an arm and a leg and it won't run? And, we've had cases against all three of them.

No matter what you pay for it, your new car or truck should be built right. When it isn't, we can help squash your lemon. After all, that's what we do. Everyday.