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Fuel misers cost more in the long run: RACV
Hyundai Getz still cheapest to run as ownership survey highlights eco car costs
25 Jun 2010
By TERRY MARTIN
PURCHASING hybrid cars and other eco-oriented vehicles might save their owners money at the fuel bowser, but the latest RACV cost of ownership study has found the higher purchase price of these cars and other factors make them much more expensive to own.
The 2010 Driving Your Dollars survey, which assessed 78 new vehicles on the Australian market and collected data just prior to June this year, also found that ownership costs had climbed 4.5 per cent across all categories.
This compares to a fall of seven per cent last year and a rise of seven per cent in 2008.
The RACV’s calculations are based on owning and operating a vehicle over a five-year/75,000km period and include factors such as the purchase price, scheduled servicing, fuel, tyres, registration, insurance, stamp duty, resale value, various spare parts such as windscreens and batteries, and even the cost of a driver’s licence.
Although the 1.6-litre diesel-powered Ford Fiesta Econetic is billed as Australia’s most fuel efficient car, with an average fuel consumption rating of 3.7 litres per 100km and, according to the RACV, the best economy in the entire survey at 10.23 cents per kilometre, the association bestowed on it a weekly running cost of $148.29 which placed it last (10th) against other popular models in the light car category.
In comparison, the standout in the segment (and the survey overall) was the Hyundai Getz S, which for the fourth year in a row was deemed the cheapest to own and run at $118.44 a week – up from $114.65 last year.
This is likely to be the last hurrah for the compact South Korean hatch, which as GoAuto has reported will cease production in October. Its replacement, the i10, is due to arrive in January next year.
After the Getz, the cheapest light car to run was the Suzuki Swift ($119.36), followed by the Kia Rio ($126.25) and, significantly, Ford’s less expensive 1.4-litre petrol Fiesta CL hatch ($128.55).
Hybrid cars also proved to be more expensive to own than other models in the small car category, with the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic at the tail end of the field with weekly running costs of $222.22 and $191.44 respectively.
The standout among the small cars was the Nissan Tiida ($153.79), ahead of Hyundai’s i30 SX 2.0-litre petrol automatic ($154.01) and the 1.6-litre turbo-diesel version ($159.22). Ford came in fourth with the Focus 2.0 auto on $161.73.
From top: Ford Fiesta ECOnetic, Hyundai ix35, Toyota Landcruiser.
The hybrid cost equation was also reinforced in the medium car segment, with Toyota’s Victorian-built Camry Hybrid coming in fourth on $220.16 – a weekly cost that was well in excess of that handed down to the Mazda6 ($204.29), Ford’s 2.3-litre petrol Mondeo ($204.35) and the regular 2.4-litre Camry Altise ($205.16).
As shown in previous surveys, large 4WDs remain the most expensive vehicles to own and operate, with the Toyota LandCruiser GXL 4.5-litre diesel at the far end of the field on $385.79 – up from $366.05 last year – and the GXL petrol V8 not far behind on $369.88.
Nissan’s Patrol was deemed a cheaper vehicle to run, with the DX 3.0 diesel on $291.91 and the ST 5.0 petrol on $325.89.
The Patrol’s ownership costs came in close to Toyota’s smaller – but bigger-selling – LandCruiser Prado, which proved the most expensive model in the medium SUV class, on $325.19 for the 4.0 V6 petrol and $293.14 for the 3.0 diesel.
Holden’s less-hardcore Captiva took out top honours in the category, on $207.70 for the 2.4 petrol and $226.12 for the 2.0 diesel. Ford’s Australian-built Territory – in two-wheel drive form – was next best on $228.27, while Toyota’s Kluger took the next two places in both 2WD ($235.91) and 4WD ($249.16) guise.
Elsewhere among locally built models, Holden’s dual-fuel (petrol/LPG) Commodore $227.57 took out the large-car section, ahead of the regular 3.0-litre SIDI V6 version ($230.79) and, surprisingly, more than $10 a week better off than Ford’s dedicated-LPG Falcon, which was placed back in third on $238.99.
Kia’s big-selling Carnival was best among the people-movers on $224.53 a week, ahead of a model which is fast approaching in the sales race, Hyundai’s iMax wagon ($231.32), while in the compact SUV segment Hyundai took top place with its new ix35 2.0-litre petrol model ($182.19).
The manual ix35’s figure was the only sub-$200 a week result across all SUVs. Among the compact off-roaders, Subaru’s Forester was next best on $213.03 (with an automatic transmission), and Mitsubishi’s Outlander was third on $215.12 (also with auto).
Prestige marques Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz came to light in the medium car segment, with the A4 1.8 turbo ($287.34) proving the cheaper to own and run than the BMW 320i – on $310.98, which takes into account almost $8000 in servicing costs over the five-year period – and the Mercedes-Benz C200 ($313.36).
Utilities were also assessed, with Mitsubishi’s Triton GLX 2.5 diesel cab-chassis taking first place in the 4x2 section with weekly costs of $192.46, and Ford’s 3.0-litre diesel Ranger winning the 4x4 section on $250.84.
Interestingly, in a reversal of the Australian-built sedan result, Ford’s LPG Falcon Ute ($203.50) was rated ahead of the dual-fuel Holden Omega Ute ($210.96).
The RACV’s general manager of public policy Brian Negus said depreciation was the “ticking time bomb” in relation to vehicle ownership, with many car buyers failing to recognise it as a major vehicle cost.
“In this survey, depreciation accounts for an average 37 per cent on any given vehicle and while car buyers are not having to pay 37 cents in every dollar of their weekly car bills now, in five years’ time when they are looking to trade their car that’s when the depreciation costs kick in significantly,” he said.
He also highlighted other cost factors such as scheduled servicing, noting that key Toyota models were still the most expensive to maintain in their respective segments, despite the brand’s widely publicised fixed scheduled servicing program.
“What was surprising was that the Toyota’s Yaris, Prado and RAV4 were all the most expensive to maintain in their categories, even with Toyota Service Advantage limiting scheduled costs,” Mr Negus said.
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