SUVs vs Sedans: What’s the Average Cost of Ownership?

SUV or sedan, which vehicle type will costs you more to own over the long term life of the car?

Honda CR V vs Honda Accord
2023 CR-V and 2023 Accord | Honda

So you’ve got your eyes on a shiny new SUV that been in commercials running perpetually – but you are on a tight family budget. A big family sedan might just be right for the household too; you’ve two burning questions now.

Sedan or SUV – which is more affordable in the long run? And by what margin is one more expensive than the other?

Hybrid SUVs Electric Only ranges chart
Hybrid SUVs Electric Only ranges – chart

The factors to consider before buying a SUV or sedan

When purchasing a new car type (SUV or sedan), one of the first questions that comes to mind is; “Which one is the most cost-effective in terms of short or long term ownership”?

Factors to consider before buying an SUV or sedan

  • Initial costs (msrp)
  • Maintenance costs
  • Insurance costs

The cost of ownership can vary greatly between different types of vehicles, so it’s important to consider all factors when making a decision. This post will compare the average cost of ownership of an SUV versus a sedan, to help you decide which vehicle is right for you.

The initial cost of an SUV vs a sedan

The fact is initial cost of an SUV is typically higher than that of a sedan. This is because SUVs are generally larger and come with more features than their sedan counterparts.

However, the total cost of ownership for some modern SUVs is often lower than that of a sedan. This is because some SUVs usually have better fuel economy (hybrids and fully-electric models) than sedans, which can help to offset the higher initial cost.

Additionally, SUVs are typically more reliable and have higher resale values, making them a more cost-effective option in the long run.

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The maintenance costs for an SUV vs a sedan

The maintenance costs for an SUV are often higher than those of a sedan. This is due to their larger engines and the fact that they tend to be driven off-road more often than sedans.

Furthermore, the cost of replacement parts and repairs is typically higher for an SUV than for a sedan, due to their size and complexity.

The Insurance costs for an SUV vs a sedan

Insurance costs are another factor to consider when comparing the cost of ownership of an SUV versus a sedan. SUVs tend to cost less (on average, based on model and size) to insure due to their size and performance capabilities.

SUVs are very popular, some manufactures (example Ford) are even discontinuing their sedan models in favour of these big bodied cars. Higher end SUVs will cost you a lot insure. Most insurance companies consider the likelihood of theft and the cost to repair or replace damaged parts when setting the premium for SUVs.

Conclusion

Overall, the cost of ownership of an SUV can be higher than that of a sedan. However, modern SUVs tend to have better fuel economy than models from the past, better reliability, and resale value, as well as being better suited for off-road driving.

Therefore, they may be a more cost-effective option in the long run. In the end, it’s important to consider all factors when deciding which type of vehicle is right for you.

Main image courtesy: Honda