By Lauren Ferrone
Published: Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Updated: February 17, 2020 at 11:26 am
Adding a new car to your garage comes with hidden costs – fuel, servicing and registration just to name a few. To ease the sting on your hip pocket in the long run, we’ve crunched the numbers in RAA’s latest Vehicle Running Costs survey, revealing the cheapest cars to own and run in South Australia in 2019.
The Mitsubishi Mirage and Kia Picanto have swapped positions on the podium this year, with the latter taking the win as the cheapest micro car to run for 2019.
With an annual running cost of $5797.37, the Kia Picanto is nearly $200 cheaper to run a year than the Mirage and the third-placed Fiat 500.
Fuel-wise, the Picanto and Mirage are on par with just a few cents between them. The Picanto burns 6.99 cents per kilometre; the Mirage 6.57 cents.
Best of all, you’ll get bang for your buck with the pint-sized Picanto, which has a better depreciation than others in the group.
|Top 3 cheapest micro cars||Cost per week|
|Kia Picanto S||$111.49|
This year, leading the pack in affordability is the Kia Rio. With an annual running cost of about $5800, the Kia Rio is about $300 cheaper to run a year than the Suzuki Swift in second place.
Despite this, the Swift still holds its own in fuel efficiency. In fact, for each kilometre travelled the Swift burns through 6.71 cents of fuel, compared to the Kia Rio’s 8.66 cents. The Rio, however, comes out on top with significantly lower servicing costs.
|Top 3 cheapest light cars||Cost per week|
|Suzuki Swift GL||$117.72|
|Suzuki Baleno GL||$121.99|
For the third year in a row, the Kia Cerato has retained its title as the most affordable small car. So, what are the drawcards of buying the Cerato compared to others in the small car category? With an annual running cost of $6,996.74, the Cerato is more than $600 cheaper to run a year than the models it shares the podium with.
There are some downsides though. With a purchase price of $23,790, you’ll fork out more for the Cerato compared to Holden Astra at $22,490 and the Mitsubishi Lancer at $21,000. Not to mention, the Cerato depreciates quicker than the others.
|Top 3 cheapest small cars||Cost per week|
|Kia Cerato S||$134.55|
|Mitsubishi Lancer ES Sport||$146.64|
The Hyundai Kona beat last year’s winner, the Suzuki Vitara, to the finish line, to take out the title as the cheapest small SUV to run.
When it comes to overall annual running costs, there isn’t much separating the Kona from the second-placed Honda HR-V VTi and third-placed Suzuki Jimny. In fact, the Kona is just a little more than $100 cheaper to run per year than the Honda.
What’s more, you’ll burn fuel faster in the Kona (10.06 cents per kilometre). The Honda chews 9.22 cents per kilometre.
|Top 3 cheapest small SUVs||Cost per week|
|Hyundai Kona Active||$156.75|
|Honda HR-V VTi||$160.21|
Of the top 3 cars in this category, the Toyota Camry Ascent Sport Hybrid has the highest purchase price ($32,090 including on-road costs); however, overall, it has the cheapest annual running cost at $9421.26 per year.
As you might expect, the Toyota Camry’s Ascent hybrid version shines in fuel efficiency, costing just 6.43 cents per kilometre to run.
|Top 3 cheapest medium cars||Cost per week|
|Toyota Camry Ascent Sport (Hybrid)||$181.18|
|Toyota Camry Ascent Sport||$185.74|
|Hyundai Sonta Active||$186.11|
The Toyota RAV4 has revved up the competition, claiming the title of cheapest-to-run medium SUV. The RAV4 shines in fuel efficiency, drinking 9.08 cents per kilometre compared to the Ford Escape (11.48 cents per kilometre), which placed second.
Despite this, the RAV4 depreciates faster than the others on the winners’ podium and has a pricier initial outlay.
|Top 3 cheapest medium SUVs||Cost per week|
|Mazda CX-5 MAXX||$193.47|
With an annual running cost of $11,410.50, Holden dominates the large car segment for another year with its Commodore turbo variant.
The Holden Commodore is a great all-rounder with a low depreciation rate. Using 11.64 cents per kilometre, it’s also better on fuel than the other vehicles in this category.
The Commodore RS V6 follows in second place, with the Toyota Camry SL V6 placing third.
|Top 3 cheapest large cars||Cost per week|
|Holden Commodore RS (Turbo)||$219.43|
|Holden Commodore RS||$235.31|
|Toyota Camry SL V6||$244.68|
Subaru has gone head-to-head with itself in this category, taking out both first and second spots in the large SUV category.
Sitting at the top of the podium is the Subaru Outback 2.5i, which has a cheaper outlay price and better depreciation than the diesel Outback. The Mazda CX-8 Sport comes in at third.
|Top 3 cheapest large SUVs||Cost per week|
|Subaru Outback 2.5i||$207.39|
|Subaru Outback 2.0D (Diesel, turbo)||$213.43|
|Mazda CX-8 Sport||$221.38|
This year the Honda Odyssey is again your best bet for a people mover that saves on fuel. For every kilometre travelled, the Odyssey burns 10.62 cents of petrol. Compare that to the Kia Carnival S (third place), which guzzles 16.21 cents per kilometre. You can see why the Honda sits atop the podium.
The Odyssey has the lowest on-road purchase price ($37,990), the best depreciation rate and the lowest annual running costs of the bunch, placing it above the others in almost all categories.
|Top 3 cheapest people movers||Cost per week|
|Honda Odyssey VTi||$207.84|
|Hyundai iMax Active||$232.54|
|Kia Carnival S||$237.38|
The Mitsubishi Triton is the pick of the bunch in the 2WD ute category for a second year in a row, followed by the Isuzu D-Max in second place and the Ford Ranger in third.
The Triton not only has the lowest sticker price ($36,290 including on-road costs), it also manages to hold its value well when you need to sell. That means you’ll be in a good position if you ever need to sell.
The Triton has also come out on top in the fuel efficiency stakes, chugging 10.88 cents per kilometre compared to the Rangers’ 11.31 cents per kilometre.
|Top 3 cheapest 2WD utes||Cost per week|
|Mitsubishi Triton GLX||$211.33|
|Ford Ranger XL||$222.62|
Numbers were on the Mitsubishi Triton’s side again in the 4WD ute category. This time, the Triton’s turbo diesel variant stole the show.
At $39,990 (including on-road costs), the Triton is the cheapest car to purchase in this category. In fact, you can expect to fork out almost $8000 more for the Holden Colorado, which took out second.
The affordable sticker price isn’t all that sets the Triton turbo diesel apart. It has the best depreciation rate, meaning it’ll still be worth a reasonable amount in a few years’ time.
|Top 3 cheapest 4WD utes||Cost per week|
|Mitsubishi Triton GLX (Diesel Turbo)||$230.49|
|Holden Colorado LS||$240.10|
|Isuzu D-Max SX||$245|
Although slightly more expensive to buy than the second cheapest SUV, the Toyota Fortuner GX, the winner of this category is the Isuzu MU-X turbo diesel variant, with a sticker price of $44,990.
Despite having the worst depreciation rate of the bunch, the Isuzu has lower servicing costs than the other cars in this category and achieves the cheapest weekly running cost with an average of $229.31.
Compare this to the Toyota Fortuner’s weekly running cost of $231.63 per week and that of the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLX ($232.91 per week), and you can see why the Isuzu takes the lead.
|Top 3 cheapest all-terrain SUVs||Cost per week|
|Toyota Fortuner GX||$231.63|
|Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLX||$232.91|
The Hyundai Ioniq is a clear winner this year, having knocked out the 2018 winner, the Mitsubishi Outlander, from its perch.
At $44,990, the Ioniq is $4500 cheaper to buy than the second placegetter, the Renault Zoe Intens.
The Ioniq also has a better-than-average depreciation rate of $96.90 per week, meaning you’ll end up with more in your pocket when it comes time to sell.
|Top 3 cheapest electric cars||Cost per week|
|Renault Zoe Intens||$218.26|
|Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV||$244.32|
The Mazda MX-5 Roadster may have been the cheapest-to-run sports car last year, but the Toyota 86 GT surges ahead this time around.
A few factors push the Toyota ahead of the pack. At $33,740, it has a cheaper sticker price – more than $3000 cheaper than the other cars on the podium.
The Toyota 86 GT also has a better depreciation rate than the others.
Other than the initial outlay and trade-in value, it’s a pretty tight race. The second-placed Mazda MX-5 Roadster is actually the most fuel-efficient at 9.80 cents per kilometre.
|Top 3 cheapest sports cars||Cost per week|
|Toyota 86 GT||$197.39|
|Mazda MX-5 Roadster||$201.91|
For more detailed information on vehicle running costs, and comparison figures for the past few years, visit RAA Car Advice. In the ‘Vehicle running costs survey’ section, click on ‘View our survey results’.