The cheapest medium SUVs to service

The new Mitsubishi Outlander is launching on November 1 with capped-price dealer servicing that undercuts competitors including the top-selling Toyota RAV4.

Mitsubishi’s capped-price service plan covers 10 years or 15,000km at intervals that are either annual or at every 15,000km. The cost for this decade of services at current advertised rates is $3190 all up.

Mitsubishi wants to incentivise buyers to service their cars within the dealer network. Mitsubishi’s standard five-year warranty is expanded to an industry-best 10 years of cover – so long as you do precisely that.

That undercuts the previous service-price champion, Toyota’s top-selling RAV4. Using Toyota’s service calculator, we calculated 10 years or 150,000 of services should cost (at current rates) between $3805 for the Cruiser Hybrid and $4256 for the Edge 2.5-litre.

To widen the net, we’ll hone in on five years worth of servicing, since more manufacturers cap their services for this period.

On this basis, covering a five-year period, the Honda CR-V is in fact the cheapest car to service after the manufacturer slashed its prices when launching its new ‘agency’ sales model in July.

Honda caps its dealers to $125 per service for each of the first five visits, equalling $625 all up. But there’s a major caveat in that its intervals are a shorter 12 months or just 10,000km – meaning those who drive average mileage will need services more than annually.

The Outlander came in second overall with each of its first five services capped at $199, equalling $995. These are at longer 12 month or 15,000km intervals, remember.

Next were the RAV4 at $230 per visit for all engines over five years or 15,000km equalling $1150 all up, followed by the Hyundai Tucson at $1595 for five years or 75,000km – so long as you pre-pay, since it’s more expensive paying as-you-go for obvious reasons.

The list looks like this:

Cost of five years servicing: 

  • Honda CR-V: Five years or 50,000km = $625
  • Mitsubishi Outlander: Five years or 75,000km = $995
  • Toyota RAV4: Five years or 75,000km = $1150
  • Hyundai Tucson: Five years or 75,000km = $1595 (2.0-litre), the 1.6-litre is same price for five years or 50,000km, and the diesel $1870 for five years or 75,000km
  • MG HS: Five years or 50,000km = $1632 (1.5-litre) or $2056 (2.0)
  • Mazda CX-5: Five years or 50,000km = $1969 (2.5-litre), $2029 (2.5 turbo) or $2207 (2.2 diesel) – all adding additional items as listed by Mazda
  • Nissan X-Trail: Five years or 50,000km = $2017 (2.0-litre) or $2049 (2.5)
  • Subaru Forester: Five years or 62,500km = $2422 or $2439.60 (hybrid)
  • Volkswagen Tiguan: Five years or 75,000km = $2580 (most) or $2700 (162 TSI) (pre-paid package price only) or $3703 if you pay-as-you-go

Kia Sportage not included since a new one launches in a few weeks.

Outlander RAV4
One year or 15,000km $199 $230
Two years or 30,000km $199 $230
Three years or 45,000km $199 $230
Four years or 60,000km $199 $230
Five years or 75,000km $199 $230
Six years or 90,000km $499 $778.40
Seven years or 105,000km $199 $259.99
Eight years or 120,000km $499 $722.22
Nine years or 135,000km $199 $316.23
10 years or 150,000km $799 $577.89
TOTAL $3190 $3805