Kelley Blue Book awards shine light on cost-to-own winners for 2018

Awards are usually good to spark debate.

But in the case of the Kelley Blue Book 2018 Five-Year Cost to Own Awards, one winner, a subcompact, is more likely to spark admiration.

The Chevrolet Spark has won the KBB cost-to-own subcompact category for the fourth time in five years – beating out the Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent among 2018 models. It also finished second to the Nissan Versa in 2016 and the Scion iQ in 2013.

The Spark was one of 22 category and two brand winners named by KBB, a well-known consumer research and shopping website.

Chevrolet subcompact brings a spark to cost-to-own awards.

Its five-year cost to own or gap between the amount paid and what a Spark is worth in five years?

About $29,200, which includes depreciation, fuel, insurance, financing, fees, maintenance and repairs, as of December 31, 2017, around $600 less than the Rio and $1,600 less than the Accent.

“The 2018 Chevrolet Spark may have a small footprint, but it looms large when assessing its five-year cost to own,” said KBB. “This low cost of ownership is for a car that has good looks, competent road manners and a surprisingly high level of tech features not usually found in cars this affordable.”

But if a subcompact or a new car isn’t the perfect fit, there are plenty of alternatives – and that doesn’t just mean the 2018 winners – KBB awards stretch back to 2012.

Besides 2018 overall brand winners, Hyundai (mainstream) and Acura (luxury), the first-, second- and third-place finishers by category are:


Compact – Toyota Corolla iM, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Soul

Midsize – Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Toyota Camry

Full-size – Chevrolet Impala, Toyota Avalon, Dodge Charger

Sporty compact – Honda Civic Si, Ford Focus ST, MINI Hardtop S/JCW

Sports – Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, Audi S3

High-performance – Dodge Challenger SRT, Dodge Charger SRT, Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

Entry-level luxury – Acura ILX, Buick Regal Sportback, Mercedes-Benz CLA

Luxury – Lexus GS, Cadillac XTS, Audi A6

High-end luxury – Porsche Panamera, Lexus LC, Audi A8

Hybrid/alternative energy – Toyota Prius c, Kia Niro, Toyota Prius

Electric vehicle – Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Bolt EV, BMW i3


Subcompact – Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Toyota C-HR

Compact – Subaru Crosstrek, Jeep Wrangler, Kia Sportage

Midsize – Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Mitsubishi Outlander, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

Full-size – Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition, Chevrolet Suburban

Luxury compact – Buick Encore, Infiniti QX30, Lexus NX

Luxury midsize – Infiniti QX60, Acura MDX, Lexus RX

Luxury full-size – Infiniti QX80, Lincoln Navigator, Toyota Land Cruiser

Pickup trucks

Midsize – Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon

Full-size – Ford F150, Chevrolet Silverado HD, Toyota Tundra


Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Kia Sedona

Here’s where to find more on the 2018 awards, as well as 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.