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Bankrate's 2007 New Car Guide
Dollar$ & $en$e
Status and styling aside, many car-buying decisions boil down to bucks and budgets.
Dollar$ & $en$e
How much will your car really cost?
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The Honda Fit averages 29, 30, or 31 miles to the gallon (combined city/highway EPA estimates), depending on which of the three engines buyers choose.

And the Toyota Corolla gets 31 mpg with a manual transmission; 29 mpg with an automatic, according to EPA combined city/highway estimates.

Upkeep considerations
Maintenance and repairs can also be a big factor when it comes to cost, but it's a smaller part of the cost than it used to be, says Reed. "Overall, maintenance costs are coming down," he says.

10 most expensive 2007 cars to own
Vehicle Cost to own
  (for 5 years)
1. Mercedes-Benz SL-Class $220,671
2. Mercedes-Benz S-Class $215,593
3. Mercedes-Benz CL-Class $177,805
4. Audi A8 $158,652
5. BMW 7 Series $147,543
6. Porsche 911 $137,174
7. BMW M6 $125,350
8. Jaguar XJ-Series $120,250
9. Land Rover Range Rover $120,114
10. Jaguar XK-Series $119,220
Source: Courtesy of Edmunds.com, 2007

Some makers, like Honda, have a reputation for cars that need minimal time in the shop. With a Honda, maintenance costs are "particularly low," says Reed.

And some luxury automakers, like BMW, Jaguar, and Land Rover, throw in a year or more of free scheduled maintenance.

Want to select a car that will cost you less to keep over the years? Consider a simple family sedan instead of an SUV or luxury model. "SUVs are more expensive to maintain and to insure," says Rosten. Both SUVs and luxury cars also tend to use more gas.

But just because a car is inexpensive doesn't mean it will give you what you want, says Rosten. He recommends test driving as a big part of the buying decision. "You have to kick the tires."

-- Posted: August 1, 2007
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