The research and data science division of RepairPal [www.repairpal.com—the nation's most popular auto repair estimator website—conducted an original study on the average cost of common auto repairs for the most popular cars in the U.S.
Using our proprietary database of auto repair pricing across the U.S., RepairPal calculated the average cost of four common auto repairs—water pump, alternator, brake pad replacement, and oil change service—on 40 popular 2010 car models within a representative sample of U.S. zip codes.
Key findings include:
>> Hybrids May Be The Way To Go
Hybrids are a smart investment—they provide higher MPG (saving you money at the pump), and they have the most affordable average cost of auto repairs, with the Nissan Altima Hybrid, Ford Fusion Hybrid and Toyota Prius topping the list of Most Affordable Car to repair.
>> Some Compacts Are Surprisingly Costly
Many people buy compact cars in an effort to be more economical and reduce repair costs. However, the Volkswagen Jetta and Mitsubishi Lancer made the most expensive list and also cost more to repair than most Luxury models and all of the SUVs.
>> SUVs Can Be Spacious and Affordable
With holiday travel around the corner, use of the family car also increases. SUVs were among the most affordable models for repair costs, with the Mazda CX-7 and Ford Explorer coming in at #3 and #5, with repair costs 30% below average.
>> Domestic is Not Always Cheaper
One of the top three most expensive models to repair is American-made. Despite its low sticker price, the Lincoln MKZ is the most expensive model of all to repair.
*** REPAIRPAL'S AUTO REPAIR COST STUDY ***
>> Top 20 Most Expensive Car Models to Repair
(car model category in brackets, average repair cost in parentheses)
Lincoln MKZ - [Luxury] ($2649)
Audi A4 - [Luxury] ($2259)
Lexus IS250 - [Luxury] ($2234)
Volkswagen Jetta - [Compact] ($2114)
Volkswagen Passat - [Mid-Size] ($2087)
BMW 328i - [Luxury] ($1965)
Mercedes Benz C300 - [Luxury] ($1960)
Mitsubishi Lancer - [Compact] ($1931)
Infiniti G37 - [Luxury] ($1725)
Chevrolet Malibu - [Mid-Size] ($1633)
Chevrolet Equinox - [SUV] ($1604)
GMC Acadia - [SUV] ($1603)
Volvo S80 - [Luxury] ($1600)
Chrysler 300 - [Luxury] ($1578)
Acura TL - [Luxury] ($1537)
Nissan Murano - [SUV] ($1503)
Honda Pilot - [SUV] ($1480)
Toyota Forerunner - [SUV] ($1480)
Kia Sportage - [SUV] ($1469)
Kia Optima - [Mid-Size] ($1454)
>> Top 20 Most Affordable Car Models to Repair
Nissan Altima Hybrid - [Hybrid] ($673)
Ford Fusion Hybrid - [Hybrid] ($768)
Toyota Prius - [Hybrid] ($784)
Nissan Sentra - [Compact] ($931)
Nissan Altima - [Mid-Size] ($986)
Mazda CX-7 - [SUV] ($988)
Mazda6 - [Mid-Size] ($1026)
Ford Explorer - [SUV] ($1052)
Honda Accord - [Mid-Size] ($1060)
Ford Focus - [Compact] ($1064)
Mazda3 - [Compact] ($1068)
Hyundai Elantra - [Compact] ($1088)
Ford Fusion - [Mid-Size] ($1093)
Honda Civic - [Compact] ($1120)
Hyundai Santa Fe - [SUV] ($1179)
Hyundai Sonata - [Mid-Size] ($1188)
Kia Forte - [Compact] ($1190)
Subaru Impreza - [Compact] ($1191)
Subaru Legacy - [Mid-Size] ($1213)
Toyota Camry - [Compact] ($1244)
Auto repairs are an unavoidable part of car ownership, but scheduling regular maintenance at a repair shop that offers nationwide warranty on its service can help save money over the long-term.