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Which Car Models Are Most Expensive to Fix?

5/17/2016, 7:50 p.m.
The research and data science division of the nation's most popular auto repair website -- conducted original research on the ...

The research and data science division of the nation's most popular auto repair website -- conducted original research on the average cost of common auto repairs for 40 of the most popular car models, across a representative sample of U.S. zip codes.

Drawing upon RepairPal's proprietary database of auto repair pricing across the

U.S., the 'RepairPal Institute Auto Service Cost Index' measures the average cost of

four common auto repairs (water pump, alternator, brake pad replacement, and oil

change service) on 40 popular 2010 car models (categorized as Compact, Mid-Size,

Luxury, or SUV) within a representative sample of zip codes across the U.S.:

Top 20 Most Expensive Car Models to Repair

(car model category in brackets, average repair cost in parentheses)

  1. Lincoln MKZ - Luxury

  2. Audi A4 - Luxury

  3. Lexus IS250 - Luxury

  4. Volkswagen Jetta - Compact

  5. Volkswagen Passat - Mid-Size

  6. BMW 328i - Luxury

  7. Mercedes Benz C300 - Luxury

  8. Mitsubishi Lancer - Compact

  9. Infiniti G37 - Luxury

  10. Chevrolet Malibu - Mid-Size

  11. Chevrolet Equinox - SUV

  12. GMC Acadia - SUV

  13. Volvo S80 - Luxury

  14. Chrysler 300 - Luxury

  15. Acura TL - Luxury

  16. Nissan Murano - SUV

  17. Honda Pilot - SUV

  18. Toyota Forerunner - SUV

  19. Kia Sportage - SUV

  20. Kia Optima - Mid-Size

Top 20 Most Affordable Car Models to Repair

  1. Nissan Sentra - Compact

  2. Nissan Altima - Mid-Size

  3. Mazda CX-7 - SUV

  4. Mazda6 - Mid-Size

  5. Ford Explorer - SUV

  6. Honda Accord - Mid-Size

  7. Ford Focus - Compact

  8. Mazda3 - Compact

  9. Hyundai Elantra - Compact

  10. Ford Fusion - Mid-Size

  11. Honda Civic - Compact

  12. Hyundai Santa Fe - SUV

  13. Hyundai Sonata - Mid-Size

  14. Kia Forte - Compact

  15. Subaru Impreza - Compact

  16. Subaru Legacy - Mid-Size

  17. Toyota Camry - Compact

  18. Toyota Corolla - Mid-Size

  19. Jeep Cherokee - SUV

  20. Cadillac CTS - Luxury

Interesting findings include:

Surprisingly Costly Compacts: Volkswagen Jetta & Mitsubishi Lancer

Among many Luxury models, 2 Compacts also topped the list for Most Expensive ---the Volkswagen Jetta and the Mitsubishi Lancer were more expensive to repair than most of the Luxury models and all of the SUVs.

Spacious and Affordable SUVs: Mazda CX-7 & Ford Explorer

SUVs were surprisingly among the most affordable models for repair costs, coming in at #3 and #5 most affordable, with repair costs roughly 30% below average.

The Price of Patriotism: American-Made Lincoln MKZ is Most Expensive Model to Repair. The top 3 most expensive models to repair were American, German and Japanese manufactured, respectively. Despite having the lowest sticker price (and least amount of fanfare) of the 3, the American-made Lincoln MKZ was the most expensive model of all to repair.