You can be saved a huge number of dollars by knowing the price over time of an expensive car.

Occasionally spending more up front on a car can cost you less in the long term. She's the writer of the books, "Whispers of the Soul," "A Slice of Life," "Whispers of the Soul for the Rest of Your Life," "From Where I'm Sitting," "View from the Sidelines," "Reaching for the Brass Ring of Life," "Purple Days and Starry Nights," "Here and There," "And That's How it Goes," and "The Counseling Effect."The trick is understanding most expensive cars when to invest.

It's relatively easy to see which cars cost more to buy initially. But it is more difficult to know how much you will get soaked in insurance depreciation, maintenance and repair, and sometimes even fuel. Consumer Reports' owner-cost approximations bring to light all these hidden costs over 1, 3, 5, and 8 years of ownership.

And they contain some surprises. For example, a four-cylinder Mazda6 family sedan might seem like a good deal, at a price $1,900 under a comparable Toyota Camry. However, the overall expense of possessing the Mazda for five years is than the Camry. Likewise, you'd save more than $5,000 by buying a Toyota Highlander SUV over the long haul, rather than a Dodge Journey.

The variables included in our owner cost approximations are fuel, depreciation, interest on lending, insurance, sales tax, and typical upkeep and repair costs you can't find anywhere else. Because depreciation is factored in our estimates, we suppose the vehicle will likely be traded in at the ending of the period (after eight years, three, five, or one) . However long you own your new car, checking out these estimates can save you thousands of dollars by the time you sell it.

Prices vary among models that are similar

Below are some other remarkable discoveries we made in our evaluation:

Over the first five years of ownership, the median automobile costs more than $9,100 a year to own--about