Some high-end cars are easier on your wallet than others. Here’s Bankrate’s list of seven larger luxury cars that are the cheapest to own.When considering actual ownership costs, the question is: What’s the manufacturer’s suggested retail price got to do with it? Not as much as you might think.
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The consumer auto advice site Edmunds.com has a calculator projecting the “true cost to own,” or TCO, over five years. In addition to the purchase price, it factors in costs that consumers often don’t consider, such as depreciation, loan interest, insurance premiums, fuel and maintenance costs.
Edmunds assembled these picks based on their true-cost-to-own pricing system. Because taxes and insurance costs vary by location and driving habits influence fuel costs, the TCO numbers are comparative rather than absolute. These are national averages; the “true cost to own” for your ZIP code may be different.
Here are the best bets for the cheapest-to-own larger luxury cars.
This story was originally published by Bankrate.
2012 Price: $34,200
True Cost To Own: $56,235
Fuel Economy MPG: 19 city, 29 highway
The listed price is for the entry-level 2012 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 -- a value that puts other luxury sedans to shame.
In shopping for a luxury car, the biggest hurdle Genesis poses may be that it's a Hyundai. However, once you forget about its pedigree, concentrating instead on its overwhelming level of standard content, well-appointed cabin, passenger comfort and competent performance, you might be sold even without considering its low cost of ownership.
Its 333-horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6 and eight-speed automatic transmission deliver solid fuel economy and zesty acceleration.
Standard features include full power accessories, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight air bags, keyless start and entry, leather seating and a seven-speaker audio system with a USB/auxiliary input jack for your music-playing device.
It also has a full range of up-level options found on luxury cars, costing tens of thousands more.
2012 Price: $45,390
True Cost To Own: $60,152
Fuel Economy MPG: 16 city, 23 highway
The listed price is for the 2012 Lincoln MKS with all-wheel drive.
In addition to its relatively low cost of ownership, the MKS scores high marks for passenger space and cargo room.
You can make the argument that it's really a gussied-up Ford Taurus, but the MKS provides a much more enhanced passenger experience with such features as a power-tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seating, a power rear sunshade, six air bags, Ford's SYNC connectivity, and a THX-infused audio system with 10 speakers and a USB/auxiliary input jack for music.
Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway generated by a 273-horsepower V-6 with six-speed automatic transmission.
It's a sensible luxury car at a sensible price.
2012 Price: $41,700
True Cost To Own: $63,595
Fuel Economy MPG: 25 city, 33 highway
Spotlighted here is the 2012 A6 Premium 2.0T.
Fuel economy is a big plus for the A6 regardless of whether equipped with the 211-horsepower, 2-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine priced here or the 310-horsepower, supercharged, 3-liter V-6 found in the pricier A6 Premium 3.0T Quattro. Quattro is Audi-speak for all-wheel drive.
Audi has a reputation for high-quality interiors as reflected in the A6 with its standard tri-zone automatic climate control, eight air bags, keyless entry/start, leather seating, 10-speaker audio system with Bluetooth connectivity and a USB/auxiliary input jack for playing music.
Sporty, fun to drive and loaded with luxury amenities, the A6 is a terrific choice among larger luxury cars.
2012 Price: $59,000
True Cost To Own: $79,784
Fuel Economy MPG: 15 city, 23 highway
Separating the two versions of the 2012 Hyundai Equus is the level of rear-seat amenities. Edmunds included the less expensive Signature model on this list. It seats three in its second-row seat. The Ultimate only accommodates two in seats that recline and massage and are separated by a mini refrigerator.
A new 5-liter V-8 sends 429 horsepower to the rear wheels via an eight-speed, driver-shiftable, automatic transmission.
Equus is the second Hyundai on this list for good reason.
A remarkable value, this luxury car provides a high level of standard equipment in its spacious cabin, such as heated and ventilated front seats, leather seating, heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation system, rearview camera, nine air bags, Bluetooth connectivity and a 17-speaker Lexicon 7.1 surround-sound audio system with a USB/auxiliary input jack for your music-playing device.
Equus is the poster child for buying smart.
2012 Price: $53,000
True Cost To Own: $80,552
Fuel Economy MPG: 16 city, 23 highway
Jaguar has built a reputation on designing some of the world's most beautiful automobiles, and the 2012 Jaguar XF is part of that heritage.
If you haven't been following Jaguar the past decade or so, its inclusion among the cheapest-to-own luxury cars might be a surprise. Jaguar has enjoyed huge improvements in reliability and quality in recent years, relentlessly diminishing costs of upkeep.
A 385-horsepower, V-8 engine sends its output to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.
Even in its base guise reflected in the listed price, XF is loaded with standard features such as leather seating, eight air bags, dual-zone automatic climate control, a navigation system and a 10-speaker audio system with a USB/auxiliary input jack for music-playing devices.
Jaguar oozes tradition, and today it boasts value as well.
2012 Price: $68,300
True Cost To Own: $86,948
Fuel to Highway MPG: 15 city, 22 highway
Available with either a turbocharged, 3-liter, inline, six-cylinder engine or a 4.4-liter, twin-turbo V-8, the 2012 BMW 5-Series Grand Turismo 535i and 550i model designations are based on the engine. Both offer an all-wheel-drive option, or xDrive, in place of the standard rear-wheel drive.
It is the eight-cylinder Gran Turismo 550i xDrive that made this list. A driver-shiftable, eight-speed, automatic transmission hustles engine production to the wheels.
Inside the stylish hatchback wrapper is a cabin chock-full of high-end amenities such as leather seating, panoramic sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, six air bags, Bluetooth connectivity, iDrive electronics interface, navigation system, BMW Assist telecommunications service and a 12-speaker audio system.
The Gran Turismo is a compelling financial argument for buying BMW performance.
2012 Price: $67,630
True Cost To Own: $89,413
Fuel Economy MPG: 16 city, 24 highway
Toyota rewrote the luxury-car playbook when it launched the Lexus brand more than 20 years ago, and the 2012 Lexus LS 460 is still at the top of its game.
Its 380-horsepower, 4.6-liter, V-8 engine isn't the most aggressive among large luxury cars; but when mated to the eight-speed, driver-shiftable, automatic transmission, it is enough to get this sedan to 60 miles per hour from a standing stop in just 5.4 seconds.
Its luxurious cabin is stuffed with features designed to make its passengers' lives easier. Standard equipment includes leather seating, full power accessories, keyless entry and start, dual-zone climate control, power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, rearview camera, eight air bags, Bluetooth connectivity and a 10-speaker audio system with a USB/auxiliary input jack for music-playing devices.
It's like driving your living room around town.