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The 2007 RACV Cost Of Ownership Survey has been published and the results are a little surprising. The cars are judged on many factors such as cost of financing the vehicle, operating costs including scheduled services, registration, insurance, fuel, tyres, etc.

Cars were broken down into 10 categories.

  1. Light cars
  2. Small cars
  3. Medium cars
  4. Large cars
  5. People movers
  6. Diesel & hybrid cars
  7. LPG
  8. Compact SUV
  9. Medium SUV
  10. Large SUV

Click on each category to see the winners and losers.

Light Cars

2007 Hyundai GetzRACV tested the Holden Barina, Hyundai Getz, Kia Rio, Suzuki Swift and the Toyota Yaris. Forgetting the two-star Barina and Rio for a second, the remaining three are all strong contestants for best light car of the year, but just which one is cheaper to run? The Hyundai Getz.

The baby Hyundai will cost you (average) $116.54 a week to maintain, the Barina came in second with $120.85, the Yaris was third ($125.88), the Rio was fourth ($128.07) and our favourite of the lot, the Suzuki swift came in fifth at $130.

Small Cars

RACV tested the Ford Focus, Holden Astra, Mazda 3 and the Toyota Corolla. Although the results are not for the new corolla, the winner of this category was – not surprisingly – the Toyota Corolla.

It is hard to speculate whether or not the new Corolla will have the same success, but given the price has stayed relatively the same between the two generations, while fuel economy has improved, it would seem probable.

The Corolla will cost you $154.49 a week (average) to maintain, the Ford Focus came in second at a reasonable $156.49, third place went to the Astra ($158.12) and the surprise result? The Mazda 3 was the most expensive small car to maintain costing $164.08 a week on average. Nearly $10 more per week than the Corolla.

Of course the Corolla is a 1.8-litre and the rest are a 2.0-litre, and obviously while the Corolla is a great A->B car, the Focus and the Mazda3 have some driving spirit behind them. We would happily pay the extra $500 a year to be in the 3!

  1. Medium cars
  2. Large cars
  3. People movers
  4. Diesel & hybrid cars
  5. LPG
  6. Compact SUV
  7. Medium SUV
  8. Large SUV

Medium Cars

RACV tested the Honda Accord Euro, Mazda 6 and the Toyota Camry. Despite being the most interesting (and good looking) car in the lot, the Accord Euro costs $5,000 more than the other two and suffers as a result.

The Toyota Camry wins this category ($193.05) to make it 2 for Toyota. The Mazda 6 comes in second at $197.85, while those opting for the handsome Honda Accord Euro will be paying $218.07 a week.

Large Cars

Here is the surprise! Holden’s billion dollar baby, the VE Commodore is the most expensive large car to own! The RACV tested the Ford Falcon, Holden Commodore, Mitsubishi 380 and the recently arrived Toyota Aurion.

Australia’s two favourite cars (Falcon/Commodore) came out last, while Mitsubishi’s struggling 380 again shined as the cheapest large car to own. Results are as follows:

  1. Mitsubishi 380 – $200.44
  2. Toyota Aurion – $217.60
  3. Ford Falcon – $229.13
  4. Holden Commodore – $233.40

But its not exactly fare to compare the 380 to the other 3 as the Mitsu costs nearly $5,000 less, however the Toyota Aurion is only $500-1,000 cheaper than the Commodore & Falcon respectively. Either way, another victory for the struggling Adelaide manufacturer.

  1. Light cars
  2. Small cars
  3. People movers
  4. Diesel & hybrid cars
  5. LPG
  6. Compact SUV
  7. Medium SUV
  8. Large SUV

People Movers

The three contenders in this category were the Honda Odyssey, Kia Carnival and the Toyota Tarago. The Kia is the cheapest to buy at $34,990, the Honda costs $39,290 while the Tarago comes in at just below 50 ($49,490).

2007 Kia Carnival

And the results follow a similar pattern with the Carnival coming in first with an average weekly ownership cost of $216.68, the Odyssey comes in second at $228.00 while the expensive Tarago costs $267.61 a week.

Diesel & Hybrid Cars

It seems a little unfair to compare Diesel cars to Hybrid cars. Although the aim is similar (to reduce fuel costs and cut down on emissions), the technology behind the two categories is completely different.

The RACV tested the Honda Civic, Honda Civic Hybrid, Toyota Prius and the Volkswagen Golf Diesel and a standard Volkswagen Golf. The winner? You would probably expect one of the Hybrids to have the lowest running cost, but the standard model Civic is actually cheaper to own at $154.06 (fuel costs and all) than its Hybrid brother ($175.29)!

The Volkswagen Golf Diesel came in third at $187.93, the standard golf was $190.88 and the car which has recieved the most attention for saving our planet, the Toyota Prius, was the most expensive car to own and maintain in this category, costing $200.63 a week, more than the Mitsubishi 380!

LPG Cars

Only two cars entered this category, the Ford Falcon and the Holden Commodore. Much like the Large Car category, the Falcon came on top at $211.43 compared to the Commodores $225.10. The Falcon retails for $37,390 while the LPG Commodore starts from $40,390.

  1. Light cars
  2. Small cars
  3. Medium cars
  4. Large cars
  5. Compact SUV
  6. Medium SUV
  7. Large SUV

Compact SUV

The RACV tested the Honda CRV, Nissan X-Trail, Subaru Forester and the Toyota RAV4. All four cars cost the same at $33,990, making the cost of ownership a fairer contest. The Subaru is the safest (5 star ANCAP safety rating) in this class, the Rav 4 and the CRV both have a 4 star safety rating while no results for the X-trail are yet available.

The Honda CRV came out on top costing owners only $203.86 a week to run, the X-trail was second at $207.36, the Forester came in third ($208.52) and the Toyota was surprisingly the most expensive at $212.69.

Medium SUV

Medium SUVs included the Ford Territory, Holden Captiva and the Toyota Landcruiser Prado. The Prado ($49,290) retails for $15,000 more than the Captiva and $10,000 more than the Territory.

A victory for Holden in this category with the Korean sourced Captiva coming in first at $225.16 – while its Australian made nemesis, the Ford Territory costs $234.47 a week to maintain. The Prado (unsurprisingly) came in last at $286.16

Large SUV

This is the category for the soccer mums who dream off road adventures as they block traffic to pick up their only child. The large SUVs included – the Nissan Patrol Diesel, Nissan Patrol, Toyota Landcruiser Diesel and the standard Toyota Landcruiser.

2007 Nissan Patrol

The Nissan Patrol Diesel wins this category with an average weekly cost of $269.53, its brother, the petrol powered Patrol comes in second at $332.94. Toyota did not fare so well, with the diesel variant of the Prado costing owners more (357.51) than the standard petrol variant ($335.90)!

  1. Light cars
  2. Small cars
  3. Medium cars
  4. Large cars
  5. People movers
  6. Diesel & hybrid cars
  7. LPG

  • http://AustralianCarAdvice Dingo

    ACTUALLY DRIVE – i do have a message to submit and i would appreciate a return offer.

    Regarding the medium SUV comparison… why wasn’t the Kluger used instead of the Prado. I recognise the Prado is not not exactly a ‘medium’ hauler nor ‘large’ but agianst the Nissan Pathfinder and the Captiva or even the Ford Territory, it is not exactly within thier league either with it’s ‘FULL’ of road abilities. A far more appropriate choice would have been the Kluger in this instance so i beg the question…. why the Prado (with greater off-road abilities then the comparo)then the Kluger (of which is more comparable) ??

  • Nick

    The 380 is great, would never go back to Holdens. I think they should have included more cars in categories like Light. Where was the colt for example? It has the most economical 1.5litre petrol engine in Aus.

  • Diana

    The RACV uses the highest volume selling vehicles in their survey and as a result the Kluger missed ot this year.

  • peter alex

    In your comparison of diesal and hybrid running costs i was quite suprised to see the standard honda civic cheaper to run. I s this a general trend?

    I was thinking of buying a mazda 6 sports in the diesel version assuming i would save some money instead of the standard model.

    If it is going to cost so much i may be better off sticking to a large family sedan which is what i have had all my life.
    I am confused!!

  • new buyer

    i agree with dingo …
    why was the Toyota Prado used in the med SUV catagory ????? the Klugar would have been the natural choice to put up against the other rivales…

    Drive .. can you give us a answer why the Prado was used insted of the Toyota Klugar ????

  • http://www.google.com/ tredinertok


    Very interesting information! Thanks!


  • RoFlmaTiC

    I would also like to add that the major reason for the korean brands seemingly being less affected by the world recession is because their currency is rapidly depreciating. Thus if they sell the same number of cars in America for example, this will instantly convert into higher profits for them because of the exchange rate.

    On the other hand the Japanese yen has skyrocketed (see: www . x-rates.com/d/USD/JPY/graph120.html for example) and thus the drop of sales in USA is amplified.