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Finance Names Top Manufacturers With Best Total Cost of Ownership

August 15, 2011

IRVINE, Calif. — Kelley Blue Book’s unveiled its top three lists for luxury and non-luxury brands with the lowest average total cost of ownership (TCO) for the initial five-year ownership period. Based on’s analysis, Audi, Lexus and Cadillac (respectively) top all luxury brands, while Kia, Hyundai and Honda (respectively) dominate among all non-luxury brands for lowest average total ownership costs. calculates TCO for new vehicles using Kelley Blue Book Residual Values and by applying also a valuation methodology along with financial data from third-party providers. Depreciation plays the largest role in TCO, followed by the cost of fuel during the ownership period, according to’s TCO includes charts and graphs that include depreciation, expected fuel costs, insurance, maintenance and repair costs, state fees and other information.  

"The average vehicle typically maintains about 30 percent of its original MSRP after five years of ownership, whereas a handful of vehicles maintain more than 45 percent after the same time period," said Eric Ibara, director of residual value consulting for Kelley Blue Book. "The new Total Cost of Ownership data on is based on Kelley Blue Book Residual Values, which are used by banks and manufacturers nationwide."

At the brand level, Audi and Lexus currently have the lowest depreciation and best fuel economy among luxury brands. Additionally, Audi, Lexus and Cadillac all offer models that carry a lower MSRP compared to other luxury brands. Audi's TCO success is primarily driven by the A3 2.0T and A4 2.0T sedan models that both feature minimal depreciation and excellent fuel economy, according to  

In the non-luxury brand segment, Kia and Hyundai’s successful redesigns, improved quality and competitive pricing set them apart from other non-luxury brands in terms of TCO. Key Kia models contributing to the brand's low Total Cost of Ownership include the Rio, Optima and Forte.

For more information, visit

Top Luxury Brands




Average Total Cost of Ownership

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Top Non-Luxury Brands




Average Total Cost of Ownership

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