9 American sedans that will ruin you with maintenance and repairs

Buying a car is a big financial commitment, so you always want to enjoy every second of your investment. But consumers don’t always get what they want since some cars come with piss bad reliability and owners spend huge amounts of time and money fixing many things that can break with these cars. This is not always a negative experience as there are cars on the market that will serve you religiously and with little or no repair costs required beyond scheduled maintenance.


It is a similar case with American car manufacturers. Over the years they have built many amazing sedans that are both performance and everyday cars. But some need money to keep going because of their frequency of breakdowns and the high cost of parts and repairs. Based on data from independent consumer organizations, including Repair Pal Car Edge and Consumer Report, these are the most expensive American sedans to maintain.

9/9 Chevy Impala

2016-Chevrolet-Impala-002
Chevrolet Press Room

Many auto consumers have abandoned the sedan market, forcing automakers to remove many iconic nameplates. Chevrolet stopped producing the Impala in 2020. Although it’s now a cheap find in the used-car market, it can be expensive to keep running.

Front view of the 2016 Chevrolet Impala Silver
By: Chevy

The Chevrolet Impala has a ten-year maintenance and repair cost of $12,600, including expensive one-time costs like rebuilding the transmission.

RELATED: These affordable cars are expensive to maintain

8/9 Cadillac CT5

2023-cadillac-ct5-v-blackwing-001
by Cadillac

Cadillac gets your money’s worth with the CT5, with a long list of standard features, precise steering and a smooth-shifting powertrain. You’re paying a lot less than you’d pay for a German rival, although that’s a step down in terms of build quality, comfort and performance.

Cadillac-CT5-V-Blackwing-1
by: Cadillac

Consumer Reports predicts the CT5 will be less reliable than other new cars, and Car Edge estimates ten-year maintenance costs at around $9,221.

7/9 Ford Focus

ford focus se2 2018
Via: KBB

The Ford Focus is another casualty of the SUV’s rise. Ford phased out all of its well-known touring sedans, including the Fiesta, Fusion and Ford Taurus, in 2019. While the Focus isn’t the most expensive car to keep on the road, it comes with costs annual above average. for compact cars.

2018-ford-focus-se-1
Via: KBB

According to Repair Pal, you’ll spend about $569 per year on repairs and maintenance. This will depend on age, mileage and location. Still, there are more commonly reported issues with the Focus, like broken motor mounts, bent front brake rotors and rear bearing corrosion.

6/9 Chrysler 300

2023-Chrysler-300C rear 3/4
Via: Chrysler

With an estimated maintenance and repair cost of $7,739 over the first ten years, the Chrysler 300 is one of the most expensive popular sedans to keep on the road. It beats the industry average of $643, with a 22.92% chance of needing a major repair over the period.

2023-Chrysler-300C before 3/4
Via: Chrysler

It takes the Chrysler 300 true cost of ownership for five years at approximately $43,217, including scheduled maintenance, scheduled repairs, normal wear and tear, insurance and depreciation.

RELATED: 15 cheap cars to buy… but expensive to maintain

5/9 Chevy Cobalt

2006 Chevrolet Cobalt SS
via: Wikipedia

In 2005 Chevy replaced the Cavalier with the upgraded and more luxurious Cobalt. The former featured a spirited but loud 2.2-liter engine and not-so-nimble handling. It featured a great affordable, everyday choice for teens and college kids. Production ended in 2010, but there are plenty of inexpensive examples on the used car market.

2008 Chevrolet Cobalt SS
via Carthrottle

Now the problems start when you consider the car’s high maintenance costs of around $14,000 in the first ten years, a few thousand dollars more than the Chevy brand average.

4/9 Chrysler Sebring

2004 Chrysler Sebring Luxury Picture
Via: KBB

Chrysler, as a brand, costs more to maintain than the average American economy car, and the Sebring is no exception. Chrysler ended the midsize sedan in 2010 after a fifteen-year run. The examples used are some of the most affordable cars money can buy,

Chrysler Sebring 2008
Via: Chrysler Corporation

But you might want to reconsider buying one, considering the Chrysler Sebring’s high maintenance costs of around $17,100 in the first ten years. You better check out low-maintenance rivals like the Honda Accord and Acura Integra.

RELATED: 10 Proper Sports Cars That Are Surprisingly Cheap To Own And Maintain

3/9 dodge charger

Front of purple charger
To dodge

The Dodge Charger is one of America’s foremost muscle car icons, and it’s a shame to see the nameplate bow out as the brand prepares for an all-electric future. 2023 is the last model year, and enthusiasts can have the last new example of the car. It is now more refined and looks like a full-size four-door sedan as opposed to the original muscle car. But America’s love for this car is as evident as its high maintenance costs.

Dodge Charger Hellcat Dyno Test
Via: YouTube-DRIVETRIBE

With a ten-year maintenance cost of around $7,809, the Charger costs $713 more to maintain than the industry average for popular sedans, while also being more likely to require major repair.

2/9 Lincoln MKS

2010 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost luxury sedan
Via: YouTube

Ford’s luxury division built the Lincoln MKS full-size luxury sedan between 2009 and 2016 before replacing it with the Lincoln Continental. The car offered a nicely anonymous appearance, spacious rear seats and a roomy trunk for the class. In its model from last year, it felt outdated in addition to its limited outward visibility of its unrefined package.

2010 Lincoln MKS full-size luxury sedan
Via: YouTube

And it becomes less attractive when you consider its repair and maintenance costs. It has low reliability, which results in repair costs approximately $886, according to Repair Pal. This amount is higher than the average annual cost of a vehicle of $651.

RELATED: 10 Cheap Sleeping Cars Every Gearhead Should Own

1/9 Tesla Model S

Red Tesla Model S speeding on a track
through Tesla

One of the selling points of electric vehicles is that they come with fewer moving parts, so there’s little to break compared to gasoline-powered cars. Thus, all electric vehicles should have the lowest cost of ownership. But that’s not always the case, as evidenced by the Model S.

The back of the Tesla Model S.
By: Tesla

Tesla is a very innovative brand, but as Repair Pal notes, their cars have a maintenance cost of around $832 per year, which is higher than the $651 average for all car models in America. This is the reality due to the difficulty in finding parts, and since Tesla is a premium brand, it charges high prices for its parts and repair services.

Sources: caredge.com, consumerreports.org, repairpla.com, Jalopnik.com, hotcars.com

About Dwight E. McCray

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