Behind The Sticker
Forget the price in the window. Find out what you should pay for that new car and what it'll cost you down the road. Start here
By Lawrence Ulrich

(MONEY Magazine) – WHAT'S THAT NEW CAR GOING TO COST? Use this guide to home in on price and boost your negotiating power. It's filled with data on 370 of the most popular 2005-model cars and trucks. Vehicles that we've chosen as best-in-class or runner-up are highlighted.

The data were compiled by automotive research company The first two columns show the base sticker price (also known as manufacturer's suggested retail price, or MSRP) and the dealer's cost. The next two columns highlight sticker prices and dealer's costs for models equipped with basic popular options such as air conditioning, power windows and cruise control. (Sticker prices in these tables don't include destination, or shipping, charges, which range from about $480 to $800, so add those.)

The next column is a biggie: target price. This critical figure can give you a negotiating edge at the dealership. Because rebates and other incentives vary from month to month and region to region, we don't consider them here. Use the target as a baseline, and then subtract rebates to get a real-world idea of fair market price.

You'll also find a projection of resale value after five years, expressed as a percentage of the original sticker price; EPA city and highway fuel economy; and relative insurance costs compared with other models in a vehicle's class.


NOTES: Prices as of January 2005. [1] Cost to insure reflects only physical damage coverage, including theft. [2] Power-train warranty on this model is 60/60. [3] Power-train warranties on these models are 60/unlimited. [4] All wagons are four-door unless otherwise noted. [5] All SUVs are four-door unless otherwise noted. [6] Estimates, 2005 model. [7] Power-train warranty on this model is 60/36. [8] EC=Extended Cab. [9] CC=Crew Cab. A dash indicates not available.

SOURCES:, automobile manufacturers.