JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- If you're shopping for a new car, you may want to buy the model most mechanics hate. They hate them because they have the fewest repairs and that is good for you, the consumer.
"We hate them because we hardly see them in the shop for repairs," said Kevin White, "What's in your owner's manual?"
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White, who owns White Automotive Repair Shop, said these cars have a good maintenance history.
Here are my top ten least expensive vehicles to maintain according to mechanics. The information is based on the vehicles being driven an average 15,000 miles a year for five years.
Mazda Tribute. It is a compact SUV, comparable to the Ford Escape, and it has great fuel economy. The maintenance cost over a five year period is about $2600.
"Maintenance includes scheduled work like oil changes, tune-ups, filter replacements and tire rotation," said White.
Honda CR-V. US News ranked it fourth in affordable compact sport utility vehicles. Over a five year period expect to shell out about $2,708 for maintenance costs. The vehicle is reliable and problems are easy to diagnose.
Suzuki XL7, which has been described as a competent seven passenger people hauler; its maintenance cost is estimated at $2,700 during its first five years.
Hyundai Veracruz. US News ranked it eight out of 23 affordable midsize SUVs and described it as a good choice for shoppers on a budget who need seven seats, the maintenance cost is about $2,786 over five years.
Honda Pilot. Cars.com named it the family car of the year. It has been refined so owners will find it roomy, efficient and versatile. The maintenance cost is estimated at $2,678 over a five year period.
Kia Sedona. Industry experts call it a compelling value minivan, offering convenience, comfort, style and performance at a great price. When it comes to maintenance cost, your out of pocket expenses will be about $2,724 over five years.
Hyundai Accent. U.S. News and World Report ranked it eleven out of 40 affordable small cars and that apparently translates into savings on maintenance. The five year maintenance bill is about $2,724.
Nissan Versa. It's also a small vehicle. US News and World Report ranks it 16 out of 40 affordable small cars. It appeals to shoppers looking for an inexpensive car with good fuel economy and a spacious rear seat. Based on its history, the maintenance bill is $2,587 over five years.
Suzuki SX4. US News and World Report ranks it 32 out of 40 affordable small cars and said the most appealing feature is its all-wheel drive. Cars.com said it is a good car but it is not great like the Honda Fit or Ford Fiesta. The maintenance cost over a five year period is about $2,615.
Honda Element. For mechanics the Element is just too reliable. They say parts are affordable and big repairs are infrequent.
US News said the Element is all about utility. If that's what you're looking for, the maintenance costs over five years is about $2,518.
These estimates, again, are based on you driving the vehicle 15,000 miles a year and routine maintenance over a five-year period.
The experts said maintenance and repair costs combine will equal about four percent of the cost of owning the vehicle.
My advice is always include your mechanic you trust in the discussion before you buy a vehcile.
First Coast News