Not all cars are created equal and as a result, some cost significantly more to maintain than others.
YourMechanic has used its massive dataset of cars serviced to understand which cars break down the most and have the highest maintenance costs. We’re sure you’ve experienced a family member or friend warning you not to purchase a car from a particular brand because “those cars are notorious for being too expensive to maintain.” But which cars really are expensive to maintain?
According to YourMechanic, the top 20 most expensive car models all cost more than $10,000 to maintain over 10 years. Those estimates include expensive one-off costs, such as a transmission rebuild that skew the average higher. Still, it’s worth taking a look at the top 10 most expensive car models to maintain over 10 years in case you want to avoid some of them. Keep in mind, however, that this uses data on vehicles that are at least 10 years old, so improvements could have been made to those models since.
10. Subaru Forester
The Subaru Forester costs an average of $12,200 to maintain over 10 years. YourMechanic also grouped all years of all mdoels by brand to compute an automaker’s average cost to maintain over 10 years and Subaru came in 19th place overall (out of 30 automakers ranked) with an estimated $8,200 maintenance cost over 10 years.
With a cost of $12,700 to maintain over 10 years, the Mazda6 lands in 9th place. The Japanese automaker finished 24th overall however, as one of the cheapest automakers to maintain with a cost of $7,500.
8. Audi A4 Quattro
The Audi A4 Quattro comes in eighth place with a maintenance costs of $12,800 over 10 years. Not surprisingly, the German automaker ranked fifth overall among brands, costing $12,400 for maintain over 10 years.
7. Ram 1500
The Ram 1500 is the only pickup truck in the top 20, costing $13,300 to maintain over 10 years. YourMechanic didn’t have a breakdown for the Ram brand itself, but it’s a possibility that it was grouped in with Dodge, which came in 10th place overall with a maintenance cost of $10,600.
6. Dodge Grand Caravan
The Dodge Grand Caravan may be on its way out now that the Chrysler Pacifica has arrived and it will be interesting to see if the Pacifica is cheaper to maintain over its lifetime. Hopefully maintenance costs don’t carry over to the new minivan, since the Grand Caravan costs $14,500 to maintain over 10 years.
5. Chevrolet Cobalt
The Chevrolet Cobalt is no longer around, but that doesn’t mean current owners aren’t paying $14,500 to maintain it over 10 years. Chevrolet as a brand landed right in the middle tied for 15th place with a cost of $8,800.
4. Mercedes-Benz E350
Like the Audi A4 Quattro, German luxury cars have a reputation of being costly to maintain. In this case, it’s the Mercedes-Benz E350 with a cost of $14,700 to maintain over 10 years. Mercedes finished second overall with a cost of $12,900.
The Nissan Murano might be a bit of a surprise to some and its high maintenance costs might be attributed to earlier models. But still, owners are shelling out $14,700 to maintain the SUV over 10 years. The brand ranked 23rd overall with a cost of $7,600.
2. BMW 328i
You know all those advertisements that claim BMW vehicles are cheaper to maintain than its German competitors? We’re not saying that’s a lie, but YourMechanic has the BMW 328i in second place with a cost of $15,600 to maintain over 10 years. But perhaps what’s even more telling is that BMW is the most expensive automaker to maintain with a cost of $17,800 – that’s $4,900 more than second-place Mercedes.
And the most expensive car to maintain over 10 years according to YourMechanic is the Chrysler Sebring. Maybe that’s why it’s no longer available. The cost to maintain the Sebring comes out to $17,100 over 10 years. To put that into perspective, the model was priced around $22,000 when it was offered brand new.
The Chrysler brand finished ninth place overall with a cost of $10,600.