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The cheapest car to run

Kia, Suzuki, Rav4 and more

|THE INDEPENDENT | New survey reveals the most affordable – and most expensive – new models to own and operate in 2019

The Royal Automotive Club of Victoria (RACV) has released the results of its annual running costs survey, and the results might surprise you.

It measured the cost of owning and operating a new vehicle in Victoria for private use, travelling 15,000km a year, over a five-year period.

The vehicles assessed in the 2019 RACV survey included a field of 141 models across 14 categories.

As usual, the results factor in the standing costs of owning a vehicle (purchase price, registration, insurance, depreciation, loan repayments, etc.) and running costs including fuel and maintenance.

The Kia Rio hatchback took the top spot. It has a 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine paired to an automatic transmission.

Second overall and in the light-car class was the Suzuki Swift GL, and third overall and top micro-car was the Kia Picanto.

The popular Mazda2 Neo ranked fifth overall, while another Kia – the Cerato – was ninth overall and top small car, significantly ahead of small-car rivals like the Honda Civic, Mitsubishi Lancer and Hyundai i30 petrol.

In the small SUV category gold was awarded to the Hyundai Kona Active front-wheel drive auto, while the Hyundai IONIQ Electric Elite was the cheapest EV to operate.

Mid-size SUVs were considerably pricier to own and operate, but the cheapest of them were the Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4 in both petrol and hybrid form.

The Toyota Camry Hybrid Ascent Sport took the win among mid-size vehicles, while Honda’s Odyssey VTi was cheapest in the people-mover category.

Finally, in the booming ute sector, the Mitsubishi Triton claimed wins in both the 4×2 and 4×4 categories, followed in the latter by the Holden Colorado and the Isuzu D-MAX, Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux.

The most expensive models to own? Once again this year that title goes (surprisingly) to the Tesla Model X 100D.

Also up there for pricey running costs was the BMW X5 xDrive30d, followed by the Toyota 200 Series LandCruiser diesel and Ford’s V8 Mustang coupe.

Cheapest vehicles to operate on a weekly basis:

Micro cars

Kia Picanto

Mitsubishi Mirage

Fiat 500 Pop

Light cars

Kia Rio

Suzuki Swift

Suzuki Baleno


Honda Jazz

Small cars

Kia Cerato

Honda Civic

Mitsubishi Lancer

Hyundai i30 diesel

Hyundai i30 petrol

Medium cars

Toyota Camry Hybrid

Toyota Camry petrol


Subaru Liberty

Hyundai Sonata

Large cars

Holden Commodore (four-cylinder)

Holden Commodore (V6)

Toyota Camry

Skoda Superb

Kia Stinger


Honda Odyssey

Hyundai iMax

Kia Carnival

Toyota Tarago

Volkswagen Multivan

Sports cars

Toyota 86

Mazda MX-5

Subaru BRZ

Subaru WRX

Renault Megane Sport

Small SUV

Hyundai Kona

Honda HR-V

Mazda CX-3

Suzuki Jimny

Suzuki Vitara

Medium SUV

Ford Escape

Toyota RAV4

Toyota RAV4 (hybrid)

Kia Sportage

Nissan X-TRAIL (petrol)

Large SUV

Subaru Outback (petrol)

Subaru Outback (diesel)

Kia Sorento

Hyundai Santa Fe

Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace

4×4 SUV

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport

Isuzu MU-X

Toyota Fortuner

Holden Trailblazer

Ford Everest

2WD Ute

Mitsubishi Triton

Ford Ranger

Isuzu D-MAX

Toyota HiLux

Nissan Navara

4WD Ute

Mitsubishi Triton

Holden Colorado

Isuzu D-MAX

Ford Ranger

Toyota HiLux



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