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Kias are the least expensive to insure; Audi and Acura, not so much

Fri, 12 Nov 2010

The Kia Sedona tops the list, with the Mazda 5, the Ford Escape and the Hyundai Santa Fe right behind.

No, it's not the “top cars least likely to be bought by enthusiasts” list, although it would fit. It's the list of the least expensive cars to insure.

The most expensive vehicles to insure are the Acura ZDX, the Audi TTS, the Audi A5 and the Cadillac Escalade, according to InsWeb, an online insurance company.

Lest you be confused, the list takes into account only cars that cost less than $80,000, not the Porsche Carrera GTs and the Lamborghini Murcielagos of the world.

One might think the least expensive cars should be lowest on the list. Not true. The thing about being inexpensive is that it goes hand-in-hand with being young. Inexperienced drivers get in to more accidents; the rates for the cars they are likely to drive--such as the Honda Civic and the Ford Focus--are higher.

That's not the only factor that goes into insurance adjusting. Repair costs are also a big factor. The Acuras and Audis that top the list have foreign-made parts. More expensive parts equals more expensive to insure.

Safety and security features also play a big roll. Antilock brakes, traction control and cars with tire-pressure-monitoring systems get a break on rates. If you have OnStar or similar GPS locating software, your car is far more likely to be found when stolen, another reduction.

Insurance cost isn't high on the list of factors when buying a new car. It isn't even in the top five. But an extra $30 a month over a five-year loan is $1,800. We don't expect you to pick a car on this list just because the insurance cost is low. In fact, we don't expect any AutoWeek readers to pick something off this list of appliances on wheels. But the next time you walk into a dealership, just remember that all the cost isn't paid for on the showroom floor.

Go to to check out the full list.

By Jake Lingeman