Cheapest New Cars of 2012

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Are you looking for a cheap car? We've got some data showing the 10 cheapest new cars to own in 2012.

The five-year cost-to-own data is based on research by Edmunds.com, Kelly Blue Book, and Kiplinger. Each company uses slightly different criteria to reach a final number, but in every case the five-year cost-to-own value takes into account fees, fuel costs, insurance, repairs, maintenance, and depreciation. We’ve averaged the data for 12 different models from at least two of these reports to give you the best approximation of which new cars are actually the cheapest to own in the long run.

CarModelAvg 5yr Cost To OwnAvg. Purchase Price

2012 Kia Rio

4dr Hatchback$29,604$13,719

2012 Nissan Versa

1.6 S Sedan$29,792$11,228

2012 Honda Fit

4dr Hatchback$29,891$15,650

2012 Toyota Yaris

L 2dr Hatchback$29,980$14,286

2012 Kia Soul

Base Wagon$31,283$14,257

2012 Ford Fiesta

S Sedan$31,689$13,960

2012 Mazda MAZDA2

Sport 4dr Hatchback$32,604$14,322

2012 Hyundai Accent

GS 4dr Hatchback$32,822$13,766

2012 Honda Insight

PZEV 4dr Hatchback$33,559$18,462

2012 FIAT 500

Pop 2dr Hatchback$33,633$14,409

2012 Scion iQ

Base 2dr Hatchback$34,149$16,008

Edmunds.com calculates a True Market Value (TMV), which is the average price these cheap new cars to sells for in your region. Kelly Blue Book determines a similar Fair Purchase Price that’s based on new-car transactions across the country. We chose Brooklyn, NY to get a TMV for each of the models and averaged that with the KBB Fair Purchase Price to wind up with an estimate of how much consumers pay for the cheap new cars we highlighted.

As 2013 models begin rolling out, keep an eye on the cheap new cars listed below. Chances are they’ll be even cheaper after dealers begin offering incentives that aren’t reflected in the numbers presented here.