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What New Cars Have The Best Resale Value?

Posted in Car Buying, Lists, Promoted by Kurt Ernst | April 14th, 2011 | 6 Responses |

Audi's A5 leads the pack. Image: Audi

Let’s face it: most of us don’t hold on to our cars forever, and selling your used car is probably the biggest hassle involved with buying a new car. You may think your blown Mustang GT is the very definition of cool, but the guy who offers you fifty cents on the dollar (well below your advertised price) probably doesn’t agree. Sure, you can trade your old ride in at the dealership, but that will put even less money in your pocket. What if you knew the projected resale value of a car before you signed the paperwork? It probably wouldn’t change your mind if you’re dead set on one make and model, but it would probably help if you were trying to decide between two or more choices.

Below are the ten 2011 vehicles with the highest projected resale value, according to Kelley Blue Book. The list seems heavily weighted towards crossovers and SUVs, so you need to take that into consideration; it may be the best data available today, but if gas prices keep climbing don’t be surprised to see a 2012 list that’s heavily populated with fuel efficient compacts and hybrids.

2011 Audi A5

Image: Audi

Good looks count for a lot, and Audi’s A5 coupe is a stunner.

2011 BMW X5

Image: IFCAR

The original BMW X5 combined sport, luxury and utility like no other SUV when it was launched in 1999. Twelve years later, it still does.

2011 BMW X6

Image: IFCAR

This entry surprised me quite a bit, as BMW has taken more than a little heat for the quirky styling of the X6 crossover.

2011 Honda CR-V

Image: American Honda Motors

One of the best selling compact crossovers, Honda’s reputation for bulletproof reliability means that the CR-V retains its value well. “Worn out” for other cars typically means “broken in” for Hondas.

2011 Jeep Wrangler

Image: Chrysler Group, LLC

The ultimate blank canvas for those seeking fun on and off road transportation, there will always be strong demand for both new and used Wranglers

2011 Lexus GX

Image: Toyota USA

The luxury version of Toyota’s famed Land Cruiser, the GX is at the “expensive” range of the price scale. My guess is that Toyota’s less expensive Land Cruiser would fare almost as well in resale value, and will certainly cost you less to buy new.

2011 Lexus RX

Image: Toyota USA

The poster vehicle for suburban soccer moms, the Lexus RX enjoys a rabid following in both the new and used market.

2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser

Image: Toyota USA

I’ll second KBB’s pick of the FJ. In fact, my 2008 FJ Cruiser is worth (on paper, at least) about the same as I paid for it three years ago. Why does it have such a high residual value? As far as I can tell, it’s supply and demand. Toyota imported too many into the U.S in 2007 and 2008, and sales were slow to ramp up. By 2009, demand was high and supply was low, escalating prices for clean used FJs. I’ve owned a lot of cars and trucks over the years, and the FJ is, hands down, the most versatile vehicle I’ve ever owned. It’s the one ride I can’t ever see myself selling.

2011 Toyota Tacoma

Image: Toyota USA

The truck that Top Gear couldn’t kill, almost everyone has a story about a Toyota pickup. Even high mileage Tacomas sell for surprisingly high prices, which helps justify their relatively high purchase price.

2011 Subaru Outback

Image: Subaru of America

If you live where it snows, the Subaru Outback may be the most practical four-person hauler on the planet. It’s cheaper to buy and own than most SUVs, and doesn’t drive like a truck.

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6 Responses

  1. PFULMTL says:

    Wouldn’t mind having an FJ Cruiser, but not in that blue color.

  2. crispy says:

    I would agree that 9 out of 10 qualifies as “heavily weighted towards crossovers and SUVs”. Who sponsored KBB’s study, 4×4 magazine?

    • Kurt Ernst says:

      Crispy, just wait until next year’s study: I’ll guarantee it’s chock full of hybrids and 40 MPG econoboxes….

  3. I guess, Land Cruiser is missing here as the prices are already gone high for the newer models, so it can return a good value

    • Kurt Ernst says:

      Not sure why KBB skipped over the Land Cruiser, but you’re entirely correct – it also holds value very well.