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Car insurance price comparison: SUVs vs sedans


As SUVs have become more eco-friendly, comfortable, and safe, they've emerged as a popular alternative to sedans. If you're weighing costs and benefits in the SUV vs. sedan debate, it's worth diving into the numbers to see which vehicle will cost more to purchase and to insure.


Which is cheaper to buy and insure: SUV vs. sedan
  1. Is it cheaper to buy a SUV or a sedan?
  2. Is it cheaper to insure a SUV or a sedan?
  3. Final thoughts: Which is the best option for you?




Is it cheaper to buy an SUV or Sedan?


While prices may vary by model, it’s more than $5,000 cheaper on average to buy a sedan than to purchase an SUV. Between the most expensive sedan (Nissan Altima) and the most expensive SUV (Ford Explorer), there’s a difference of more than $8,000.


Sedan vs. SUV list prices

Sedan list values SUV list values
Chevrolet Cruze - $17,995 Honda CR-V - $24,450
Honda Accord - $23,720 Chevrolet Equinox - $23,800
Ford Fusion - $23,170 Subaru Forester - $24,295
Honda Civic - $19,550 Toyota RAV4 - $25,650
Honda Civic - $19,550 Nissan Rogue - $25,020
Toyota Camry - $24,095 Ford Explorer - $32,765
Nissan Altima - $24,100 Jeep Grand Cherokee - $32,045

If you’re looking for an SUV on a budget, consider the Chevy Equinox or the Subaru Forester. These vehicles' average list value of $24,047 is $2,307 more than the average sedan price, but approximately $2,800 less than that of the typical SUV.




Is it cheaper to insure an SUV or a sedan?


While the average cost of an SUV far surpasses that of a sedan, car insurance costs may also differ substantially. Although rates will depend on your car insurance company and model, SUVs are typically $314 per year cheaper to insure than sedans.


Average car insurance premiums for sedans and SUVs

Average annual insurance cost: sedans Average annual insurance cost: SUVs
Chevrolet Cruze - $1,604 Honda CR-V - $1,509
Honda Accord - $1,624 Chevrolet Equinox - $1,496
Honda Odyssey - $1,633 Subaru Forester - $1,588
Nissan Altima - $1,744 Toyota RAV4 - $1,556
Honda Civic - $1,801 Nissan Rogue - $1,546
Toyota Camry - $1,692 Ford Explorer - $1,569
Toyota Corolla - $1,724 Jeep Cherokee - $1,579

If you're car-shopping on a budget, the Chevrolet Equinox (list price $23,800) is the cheapest option, with an average annual premium of $1,496. For a standard 6-month policy, you'd pay $748, or $124 per month with a payment plan. The Chevy Cruze (list price $17,995) is the cheapest option among sedans, setting you just over $1,600 per year or $802 for a standard 6-month policy.




Final thoughts: sedans or SUVs


Although finding cheap car insurance will be important once you've settled on a model, the list price should be your first concern when choosing between SUVs and sedans. If you’re looking for more information on top SUVs and sedans, including rates from actual car insurance companies, see our articles below. Already found the car of your dreams? Enter your zip code below to see which car insurance company offers you the cheapest quotes.


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Ava Lynch photo
Ava LynchSenior Analyst

Ava worked in the insurance industry as an agent for four-plus years.

Ava currently provides insights and data analysis as one of The Zebra's property and casualty insurance experts. Her work has been featured in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, Car and Driver, and Yahoo! Finance.

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.

  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.

  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.