Cheapest Cars of 2012

Written by on December 21, 2012 in Money - No comments | Print this page

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saving-money-on-carsVehicle maintenance costs are on the rise. Edmunds.com did an in-depth analysis of 2012 car data in order to determine which cars are the cheapest to own. Many factors have gone into the ownership cost estimations.

To begin, we will assume that each of these 2012 cars gets driven 15,000 miles per year. The calculated variables include: insurance premiums, fuel efficiency, taxes, fees, repairs and maintenance prices. Even vehicle depreciation has been factored in.

The following cars have the lowest combined sticker price and maintenance cost of 2012. The numbers are appealing, but these little buggies are not for everyone.

Nissan Versa 1.6 S Sedan

  •     Base Price: $10,990
  •     Five-Year Maintenance Cost: $29,735
  •     Miles Per Gallon: 27 city / 36 highway
  •     109-horsepower – 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine

Also available in a hatchback platform, this small sedan handles well with a sporty feel because of its standard independent front suspension. It’s nice to know that the riding comfort has not been sacrificed for a sporty suspension. There is also a lot of rear legroom in this car. Well, at least a lot for its class.

The price tag should be an indicator of the 2012 Versa’s basic trim, and it is. Standard features include a CD player with two speakers. Once again, the sound system only has two speakers. One would think that they could have squeezed another couple of speakers in there somewhere. In addition to the standard sound system, you also get air conditioning and an auxiliary input jack.

Smart Fortwo Pure Coupe

  •     Base Price: $12,490
  •     Five-Year Maintenance Cost: $27,632
  •     Miles Per Gallon: 34 city / 38 highway
  •     70-horsepower – 1-liter, three-cylinder engine


The Smart Fortwo has been determined by Edmunds.com to be the least costly car to own over a five-year period. They have also noticed that it is more expensive than even large subcompacts. Its tiny engine is mounted in the rear or the car, and its transmission is unique. The transmission is five-speed, automatic, and driver-shiftable. It sounds great on paper, but the car does not shift smoothly. Because of its size and lacking power, this car is not recommended for the highway. The Smart Fortwo only comes with two speakers, but that is no big deal. It’s a tiny car for two people. It would be nice if they included a radio, though.

Ford Fiesta S Sedan

  •     Base Price: $13,200
  •     Five-Year Maintenance Cost: $30,994
  •     Miles Per Gallon: 29 city / 38 highway
  •     120-horsepower – 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine

The Ford Fiesta is another car that handles well. The interior is surprising comfortable, too. Ford put some features onto this car that would not have been available on an entry-class vehicle just a few years ago. For example, keyless ignition and power mirrors come standard comes standard on the 2012 Fiesta.

Kia Rio LX Five-Door

  •     Base Price: $13,600
  •     Five-Year Maintenance Cost: $31,714
  •     Miles Per Gallon: 29 city / 37 highway
  •     138-horsepower – 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine

The Kia Rio LX Five-Door has is most stylish car on this list. That is not saying much. With a new 2012 design, this one looks classy. Unfortunately, its engine noise can create quite a racket. As all things in life, this is a trade-off. The 2012 Kia Rio LX comes with niceties such as stability control, traction control and satellite radio.

Mazda2 Sport

  •     Base Price: $14,530
  •     Five-Year Maintenance Cost: $31,714
  •     Miles Per Gallon: 29 city / 35 highway
  •     100-horsepower – 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine

The price tag on the Mazda’s 2012 Mazda2 Sport is expensive when compared with other cars in its class, but it retains its value very well. The Mazda2 has the look of an economy car but is available in cheerful colors such as lime green. The cargo area is small, and that is a shame being that it is a hatchback. More importantly, the cabin feels downright cramped. You get the standard options that you would expect in this price range: air conditioning, many power accessories and a CD player with four speakers.

Featured images:
  • License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://imgur.com/QW1AR

This is a guest post.  Paul Wagner is an insurance broker from Frisco, TX who has been writing for blogs for over 5 years. His expertise include personal finance, insurance  and, you guessed it, automobiles! These are the cheapest cars, if you want more information on cheap car insurance, Kanetix would be the website to go to.

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