2018 5-Year Cost to Own Awards: Best Subcompact Car

2018 Chevrolet Spark

Best Subcompact Car:
2018 Chevrolet Spark

The 2018 Chevrolet Spark may have a small footprint, but it looms large when it comes to assessing its 5-Year Cost to Own. It is again tops in the subcompact class, now for the fourth time in five years. This low cost of ownership is for a car that has contemporary good looks, competent road manners and a surprisingly high level of tech features not usually found in cars this affordable.

Buyers might be surprised and delighted by the Spark's 7-inch touch screen audio system with built-in Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a rearview camera and cutting-edge driver assists such as forward-collision alert and lane-departure warning.

For a small hatchback, the 2018 Chevy Spark has the ride of a larger car thanks to its relatively long wheelbase. With its wheels out at the corners, the Spark does well in soaking up bumps and yet it remains nimble and quick, even though its engine makes just 98 horsepower. Unlike its 3-cylinder rivals, the Spark's 1.4-liter 4-cylinder powerplant is much smoother and quieter and doesn't feel as stressed when pushed hard.

The price of admission in the Spark lineup starts at less than $14,000 including delivery. And in the bargain, you get EPA fuel economy ratings of 31 mpg city/38 mpg highway when equipped with an automatic transmission. Shift for yourself and you'll see 39 mpg on the highway. The attractive sticker not only contributes to its low 5-Year Cost to Own rating, but low maintenance costs and good resale value are also factors in making the 2018 Chevrolet Spark an excellent choice for youngsters looking for their first new car.

Get to know this car

5-Year Cost to Own:

$29,171
as of December 31, 2017

2nd Place Finisher
2018 Kia Rio

2018 Kia Rio

The beneficiary of a total makeover, the Kia Rio again returns in both sedan and hatchback body styles along with a generous selection of creature comfort and safety systems.

Get to know this car
5-Year Cost to Own:
$29,819
as of December 31, 2017

3rd Place Finisher
2018 Hyundai Accent

2018 Hyundai Accent

A total redesign of the 2018 Hyundai Accent sees the elimination of the hatchback version, but in its place, there's a handsome sedan that looks and has the features of a smaller scale Elantra.

Get to know this car
5-Year Cost to Own:
$29,826
as of December 31, 2017

Other Category Winners


See the previous Winners of these Awards: 2017 | 2016 | 2015
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