Study: Toyota Prius is the cheapest car to maintain (Ford Mustang, on the other hand…)

Car buyers are often so focused on sticker prices that they forget about longer-term maintenance costs. And when it comes to maintenance, data collected from YourMechanic’s network of garages proves that not all cars are created equal:

Cars that initially seem inexpensive don’t always remain a bargain. Low-end makes Hyundai and Kia require the least expensive maintenance for the first 75,000 miles, but drop to 6th and 9th place over 150,000 miles.

High-end makes such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW start out expensive (about $11,000 or more for the first 75,000 miles) and stay just about as expensive as mileage increases. Mid-range car brands are a mixed bag. Dodge drops from 16th to 22nd place due to maintenance costs rising with increased mileage, but Subaru moves from 5th place to 4th place. Subaru keep costs down even as miles accumulate.

Toyota (and its brand Scion) is the clear winner.