2016 5-Year Cost to Own Awards: Best Mid-Size SUV/Crossover

2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Best Mid-Size SUV/Crossover:
2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

The 4-door version of Jeep's venerable Wrangler, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited has a penchant for being king of the hill both literally and figuratively, as an off-road icon that also reigns in terms of low long-term ownership cost. Among the keys to its ability to stay atop the midsize SUV pack are the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited's approachable starting price of roughly $28,000 and its remarkable resale value.

Even as more SUV buyers shift toward comfort-oriented sedan-based crossovers, the Jeep Wrangler keeps the formula that has defined it for decades: a tough, truck-like platform and standard off-road hardware including low-range gearing that allow this 4-wheel-drive SUV to venture as far as you dare.

As we state in our 2016 Jeep Wrangler review, "With front and rear solid axles and a body-on-frame layout, the 2016 Jeep Wrangler is built with conceptual technology that peaked about 75 years ago; which is precisely why it works so well off-road. The requirements don't change: generous ground clearance, minimal overhangs, capable 4-wheel drive, compliant suspension, rugged construction. All that makes the Wrangler nearly unstoppable off-road."

Though comfort and efficiency remain secondary, today's Wrangler is far more civilized than its ancestors, and the two extra doors and increased length of the Unlimited grant much-improved room for passengers and cargo over the standard version.

While many aspects of owning a Jeep are intangible -- like the community of enthusiasts you become part of and the sheer confidence endowed from commanding a vehicle that can literally climb mountains -- the Wrangler Unlimited's class-leading 5-Year Cost to Own figures are easy to point out and just one more aspect to appreciate.

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5-Year Cost to Own:

$37,207
as of December 31, 2015

2nd Place Finisher
2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

In addition to its low ownership cost, the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport shines with its roomy 5-passenger interior and generous 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

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5-Year Cost to Own:
$38,540
as of December 31, 2015

3rd Place Finisher
2016 Subaru Outback

2016 Subaru Outback

Whether doing duty as an efficient family car, unflappable commuter or basecamp HQ, every Subaru Outback shares two traits: all-wheel drive and low ownership cost.

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5-Year Cost to Own:
$38,655
as of December 31, 2015

Other Category Winners


See the previous Winners of these Awards: 2015 | 2014 | 2013
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