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New car prices continue to rise, and continue to dominate headlines. But there are other costs that come with ownership that are rising just as fast. We’re talking about SUV maintenance costs. You’ve probably heard the stories of crazy prices paid for service at expensive import stores. The other side to that is the cheapest vehicles, in this case, SUVs, to own. 

Recently, Kelley Blue Book analyzed repair costs, fuel costs, and even depreciation over five years to determine the most efficient, least costly, SUVs to own. With that data, KBB determined the projected 10 cheapest SUVs to own over a five-year period. 

2022 Hyundai Venue

Front angle view of gray 2023 Hyundai Venue, new SUV that costs less than $20,000
2023 Hyundai Venue | Hyundai

The front-wheel drive 2022 Venue is Hyundai’s entry-level stab into the SUV segment. It has a low entry of between $19,000 and $22,250, the least of the SUVs presented here. Compared to all of the other entries in this category, it was found to cost almost $7,000 less to operate over five years.

2022 Subaru Outback

Blue 2023 Subaru Outback crossover SUV driving down a hill
2023 Subaru Outback | Subaru

With an MSRP of $28,395, the Outback notches up the price from the Venue. But it comes with standard all-wheel drive and continues to hold its value when it comes time to sell it. This is also the first year of the Outback’s refresh. KBB estimates buying an Outback saves you $6,730 over others in this category.

2022 Subaru Ascent

2023 Subaru ascent in purple driving in a neighborhood
2023 Subaru Ascent | Subaru

Factoring in its higher MSRP, the Ascent saves buyers $4,121. It has the advantage of offering a large cargo capacity along with seating for eight. But surprisingly, it doesn’t offer hybrid power or a V6 engine. Still, it offers a lot of safety and driver convenience features for a starting price of $33,895.

2022 Nissan Armada

A red 2022 nissan armada parked near water on a beach. What are the best alternatives that aren't an Infiniti QX80?
2022 Nissan Armada | Nissan USA

Considering its higher $49,000 starting price, the Armada still saves $6,822 over five years. This is Nissan’s top-of-the-line SUV, with body-on-frame construction like the Lincoln Navigator and Chevy Suburban. That means 8,500 towing capacity, not to mention four-wheel drive. 

2022 Ford Bronco

A yellow Ford Bronco Sport Heritage Edition.
The 2023 Ford Bronco Sport Heritage Edition | Ford

Because of its popularity, many of you will be happy to know that Ford’s Bronco does well in this category. The cost of ownership over five years is estimated to be $47,961, which puts it at $3,059 average five-year cost savings compared to rivals. 

2022 Lexus UX

2023 Lexus UX250
2023 Lexus UX250 | Lexus

Yes, a Lexus snuck into this data, which happens to be the least expensive Lexus you can buy. With a Lexus comes that Lexus quality, which does factor into costs over five years. In this case, the UX will save $3,224.

2022 Lexus NX

Silver 2022 Lexus NX 350h parked in front of a house
Silver 2022 Lexus NX 350h | Lexus

This plug-in hybrid starts at just under $40,000 but has a wide range of engine choices. Compared to others in the segment, the NX saves over five years $6,219.

2022 Lexus RX

2023 Lexus RX 350h side view
2023 Lexus RX 350h | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

Yes, it does seem like Lexus dominates this segment. This two-row premium SUV has led for many years as the best-selling luxury vehicle. Starting at $46,645, over five years it saves $12,156 over comparable models. 

2022 Acura MDX

A red 2023 Acura MDX midsize SUV is driving off-road.
The 2023 Acura MDX | Acura

Moving up to a three-row the MDX will save on average $7,193. With an all-new platform, it can also be purchased with the high-performance Type S upgrade with 355 hp. 

2022 Lexus LX

LX 600 street concept from Lexus in white
The LX 600 Street Concept | Lexus

Closing out this treatise is, yet, one more Lexus. The LX saw a new design for 2022, featuring a twin-turbo V6 and a 10-speed transmission combo. With an MSRP starting at $88,245, on average over five years it saves owners $12,698.


9 Cheapest Luxury SUVs in 2022 According to U.S. News