Maintenance is important to keep your car on the road as long as possible. And service isn’t an area where you want to take shortcuts, even if it saves you money. But some models cost more to maintain and repair than others. In fact, the Honda Odyssey is the most expensive minivan to maintain, Consumer Reports shows.
Which cars are the most expensive and least expensive to keep on the road?
Consumer Reports recently released findings based on owner experience with cars that are most expensive and least expensive to keep on the road. The report centers on 2011 models — i.e., models that are 10 years old.
Some of the least expensive cars to repair and maintain per year include the Nissan Leaf, which costs basically nothing, owners reported. Other models include the Mini Cooper, Ford F-250, and Ford Fiesta.
Some of the priciest cars to maintain and repair include the BMW 5 Series and 3 Series. Other models are the Honda Pilot, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and Chevrolet Suburban.
The most expensive minivan to maintain is the Honda Odyssey
Interestingly, Consumer Reports lists no minivans as the least expensive to keep on the road. But two models appear on the most expensive list, one being the Dodge Caravan. However, it isn’t as expensive as the Honda Odyssey, with an average annual cost of $750.
For comparison, none of the cars on the least expensive list cost more than $300, and there were only four cars more expensive than the Odyssey, with the BMW 5 Series topping the list at $1200.
Why is maintenance for the Honda Odyssey so expensive? A major factor involves issues with the cylinder system, the suspension, and power steering leaks. The Odyssey also received a surprising number of complaints about the heated seats, with most respondents saying they never worked or produced a burning smell. The 2011 model has also seen five recalls over the past 10 years.
The 2011 Honda Odyssey at a glance
The 2011 Honda Odyssey has seating for eight and one engine choice, a 3.5-liter V6 producing 248 hp and a 0-to-60-mph speed of 8.7 seconds. You can choose between a five- or six-speed automatic transmission with front-wheel drive.
By comparison, if you’re interested in racing your 2011 minivan against other expensive-to-maintain cars from that model year, the Dodge Caravan has a 0-to-60 speed of 8.1 seconds, and the BMW 5 Series can do 0-60 in 6.1 seconds. The 2011 Odyssey’s combined gas mileage is 19 mpg, with a wide variation between city and highway estimates of 12 mpg and 31 mpg.
As for safety features, antilock brakes, side airbags, head protection airbags, and electronic stability control come standard. And the 2011 Odyssey earned a “Good” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and 5 stars in all crash tests from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Also, high-tech infotainment systems didn’t really exist in 2011 beyond CD players; satellite radio wasn’t even available in models until after 2013.
Interestingly, the Honda Odyssey is one of the best minivans to buy used. So if you find one whose owner already fixed all of its problems, it might not be as expensive to maintain.