Most expensive car features and additions
As Cars.com points out, Car ownership is expensive. Take your monthly payments and add insurance, gas and maintenance, and it's a big part of the family budget. Some features available in today's cars, though, can make the ownership experience more expensive than it needs to be. Because it's not always apparent which features might hit your wallet later, Cars.com outlined some common ones with hidden costs, and how you can minimize those costs through smart shopping.
Oversized wheels and tires
Twenty-inch -- or larger -- alloy wheels look great, but the cost of the low-profile tires they wear could come as a rude surprise when it's time for new rubber as the cost for a single replacement tire can top $400. If one of those large wheels also needs to be replaced, you can plan on paying considerably more.
Despite advances in tire technology, summer tires can be abysmal in even small amounts of snow, so bad, in fact, that you might need a set of dedicated winter tires just to get out of your driveway. Summer tires tend to be more expensive to replace than all-season tires, sometimes to the tune of an extra $100 or more per tire.
Four-wheel or all-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive technology has proliferated and is now offered in everything from family sedans to luxury cars to sports cars. These systems are more complex, and have more moving parts, than conventional front- or rear-wheel-drive systems, and that's a recipe for expensive repairs when something breaks. It's not unheard of for repairs to four-wheel-drive systems to cost thousands of dollars. What's more, the added weight usually exacts a fuel-economy penalty.
Automakers heartily offer up performance components. When looking at the cost, though, it's not just the performance engine's typically lower gas mileage that you need to consider. The maintenance schedule for the Dodge Dart's optional turbocharged four-cylinder engine, for instance, calls for more frequent spark plug changes than the base engine, and things like high-performance Brembo-brand brake systems require more expensive brake pads and rotors.
Built-in navigation systems
Not only do they add to the cost of a new car, but built-in navigation systems also depreciate quickly. While a 5-year-old car should usually have a lot of life left in it, a 5-year-old navigation system is probably as dated as that 5-year-old cellphone you found during spring cleaning and quickly tossed in the trash.
Camera- and sensor-based systems
Cameras or a row of small round sensors are being placed on more and more new cars in the name of safety and convenience, but they're also highly susceptible to damage if they're located on or around the bumpers. According to RepairPal, expect to pay $860 or so to replace the backup camera of a 2013 Honda Accord or Toyota Camry.
If something is going to get knocked off your car, it's likely one of the outside mirrors. A 2013 Toyota Camry side mirror with its blind-spot monitoring system, for instance, could cost $397 to replace, according to RepairPal. Other increasingly common high-tech elements could further add to that cost.
Power doors and liftgates
The convenience of power doors and liftgates can quickly become an aggravation when one of those motors fails. According to RepairPal, repairing the motor for the 2013 Toyota Sienna's power-sliding door can cost $1,181. Ouch.
Roof racks compromise fuel economy more than you realize. Automakers spend a lot of time tuning a car's aerodynamics so it slips cleanly through the air, but a roof rack (even when there's nothing in it) acts as a giant wind deflector that will decrease your gas mileage, especially on the highway.
The advantages of air suspension technology -- a comfortable ride and active management of the vehicle's ride height -- are noteworthy. However, RepairPal says that air suspensions, in general, are more expensive to maintain and repair, and some consumers opt to replace them with conventional springs when they experience a failure.
Retractable hardtops have made a resurgence blending the freedom of top-down summer driving with the comfort and security of a coupe. The operation of these systems is something to behold as the multipaneled roofs motor up and down in a carefully choreographed dance. It just looks expensive. But if something goes wrong and the car is out of warranty, expect to open your wallet wide.