Feature

Three-Year Costs compared

  • Buying a cheaper car could cost you
  • Depreciation costs exposed
  • Are you a winner or loser?

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What Car? Staff

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As we have already found out,working out the total ownership cost of individual cars requires lots of calculations.

The What Car? Three-Year Cost tallies up all the costs associated with car ownership, to give you one neat figure. The Three-Year Cost for every new car can be found in the buyer’s guide at the back of this magazine.

Real-world examples
To show just how much your choice of car can affect the final amount you end up paying, we've put together a selection of real-world examples that reveal the final cost of a vehicle. We have included an example for each of the following categories:

Supermini: VW Polo vs Vauxhall Corsa
Estates: Mercedes C2220 CDI vs Renault Laguna
Crossovers/4x4s: Audi Q5 vs Nissan X-Trail
Executive cars: Jaguar XF vs Saab 9-5
Roadsters: BMW Z4 vs Nissan 370Z

Superminis

List price
Target Price
Running costs over 3 yrs
Retained value
THREE-YEAR COST**Volkswagen Polo 1.4 85 SE 3dr
Β£12,420
Β£11,774
Β£5,792
Β£5,975
Β£11,591**Vauxhall Corsa
1.2 Exc’ (AC) 3dr
Β£12,420
Β£11,162
Β£5,368
Β£4,150
Β£12,380**Estates**

List price
Target Price
Running costs over 3 yrs
Retained value
THREE-YEAR COST**Merc C220 CDI Blue Efficiency SE
Β£31,895
Β£25,274
Β£7,261
Β£12,050
Β£20,485**Renault Laguna
2.0 dCi 180 Init’
Β£26,650
Β£21,950
Β£8,107
Β£8,750
Β£21,307**C/over & 4X4**

List price
Target Price
Running costs over 3 yrs
Retained value
THREE-YEAR COST**Audi Q5 2.0 TDI 170SE
Β£30,840
Β£29,713
Β£7,452
Β£16,050
Β£21,115**Nissan X-Trail
2.0 dCi 170 TEK
Β£26,855
Β£25,207
Β£9,581
Β£9,700
Β£25,088**Executive cars**

List price
Target Price
Running costs over 3 yrs
Retained value
THREE-YEAR COST**Jaguar XF 3.0D Luxury
Β£34,900
Β£31,667
Β£9,243
Β£16,825
Β£24,085**Saab 9-5
2.0 TiD Vec SE
Β£28,035
Β£28,035
Β£10,493
Β£11,350
Β£27,178**Roadsters**

List price
Target Price
Running costs over 3 yrs
Retained value
THREE-YEAR COST**BMW Z4 sDrive30i
Β£33,830
Β£31,382
Β£10,233
Β£15,650
Β£25,965**Nissan 370Z
V6 Roadster
Β£30,445
Β£28,973
Β£13,180
Β£12,400
Β£29,753