The Chevy Model With the Highest Annual Maintenance Costs Isn’t a Truck, Sports Car, or SUV
When shopping for a new or used car, pricing concerns should go beyond the sales figure — maintenance costs are also vital to consider, as any savings at the dealer can be quickly negated by serious repair bills. As such, how does Chevrolet stack up against its competitors? According to RepairPal, one Chevy model costs significantly more to maintain than others, and surprisingly, it’s not one of the brand’s trucks, SUVs, or its venerable sports car.
Chevrolet resides in the middle of the pack for maintenance costs
According to RepairPal, Chevrolet ranks at No. 20 out of 32 automakers, with a score of 3.5 out of 5 for overall maintenance costs. This ranking is based on annual upkeep and repair costs for nearly 350 models across all automakers.
Chevy models have an “above average ownership cost,” the website notes, with average annual repair and maintenance costs of $649 per year. Chevy models will require 0.3 trips to a repair shop per year, and there is a 15% probability such a repair will be considered “severe.”
For comparison, Ford ranks behind Chevy at No. 20 with average annual repair costs of $775 annually. Dodge edges Chevy at No. 19 on the list with an average cost of $634 per year on repairs. Meanwhile, Honda buyers spend an average of $428 per year on repairs, which is the lowest figure among all manufacturers.
The Chevy model with the highest annual costs is a throwback to yesteryear
Among all Chevy models, the Chevrolet Caprice has the highest yearly average repair costs. The Caprice nameplate has been around for generations, debuting for the 1965 model year. In its early years, the Caprice was available as either a four-door sedan, a station wagon with seating for up to nine, or a two-door “coupe.”
However, many of the models still on the road are full-sized sedans or station wagons from the Caprice’s fourth generation, which debuted in 1991 before Chevy axed the model from its lineup in 1996. Additionally, while the Chevy Caprice left the U.S. market in the mid-90s, it returned as a police cruiser in 2009.
According to RepairPal, Caprice owners spend an average of $1,349 per year on maintenance and repair costs, which is probably more than is required to actually purchase a fourth-gen Caprice. The most commonly reported problems for the Caprice among owners are a leaking water pump leading to coolant loss and overheating, failure of the Engine Control Module, leakage from the transmission extension housing, loose steering due to wear, and distributor issues.
The Chevy Caprice’s repair costs in perspective
The maintenance costs for the Chevy Caprice are exceptionally high when put into context against some of General Motors’ more modern, expensive, and far more technological models.
Trucks are notorious for having reliability issues, but even the Silverado 3500 HD has lower annual maintenance costs — $1,109 for the heavy-duty truck compared to $1,349 for the Caprice.
The full-size Suburban SUV’s annual repair costs are about $400 less than the Caprice. We doubt many buyers will be cross-shopping a Caprice with a Corvette, but even the American supercar has lower maintenance costs ($737) than the Caprice.
Porsche ranks dead least among all automakers for annual repair costs, according to RepairPal. Still, even the Panamera, its full-size offering, beats the Caprice in average repair costs by just under $100 per year.