2017 5-Year Cost to Own Awards: Best Compact Car

2017 Toyota Corolla

Best Compact Car:
2017 Toyota Corolla

For the fourth year in a row, the Toyota Corolla tops all other compact cars as the least-expensive model to own over five years. This Toyota's reputation goes back even longer, with a track record that others could only dream about.

Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, Toyota's venerable compact sedan has spent decades honing its mission to be an affordable, economical, comfortable and easy-to-drive sedan. Those traits give it wide appeal, making it an excellent choice for drivers ranging from students to empty-nesters. As we found in our review: "It's comfortable, with a ride quality that absorbs bumps without making the car feel like it's wallowing around. The SE models even have the tiniest bit of bite to their suspension, and the manual-transmission SE could even be considered beginner-level fun."

For 2017, the Corolla only improves. Both the interior and exterior get styling updates, but that's not the biggest story. The most significant improvements are unseen, but have the potential to save lives. Called Toyota Safety Sense-P, the system bundles advanced driver-assistance and safety features like adaptive cruise control, lane-departure alert with steering assist, and a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection that can automatically stop the car to prevent or minimize a collision. You'd still have to pay extra for such features on many luxury cars, yet they are standard on even a base 2017 Corolla with a starting price of just over $19,000.

Throw in a roomy back seat, fuel economy of up to 40 mpg and available creature comforts like faux leather interior and 7-inch infotainment system, and the Corolla's value equation only rises.

Get to know this car

5-Year Cost to Own:

$32,251
as of December 31, 2016

2nd Place Finisher
2017 Hyundai Elantra

2017 Hyundai Elantra

Revamped for 2017, the Hyundai Elantra is in better form than ever, boasting loads of style, technology and safety features at a value price.

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5-Year Cost to Own:
$32,400
as of December 31, 2016

3rd Place Finisher
2017 Volkswagen Jetta

2017 Volkswagen Jetta

A value in its own right, the Volkswagen Jetta represents one of the least expensive ways to get the taut driving dynamics of a German-derived car.

Get to know this car
5-Year Cost to Own:
$32,741
as of December 31, 2016

Other Category Winners


See the previous Winners of these Awards: 2016 | 2015 | 2014
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