By on November 20, 2008

The Automotive Lease Guide has released its projections for the vehicles most likely to retain their value three years from now, and they’ve awarded the top honors to three compact(ish) cars, the Scion xB, the Honda Fit and BMW’s MINI. The MINI took the overall prize, with ALG predicting that a new Cooper will retain 64.5 percent of its retail value after the average 36-month lease. The xB won the mid-compact category with a projected retention of 63 percent of its new value, while the Fit topped the compact class with a residual value estimated at 59.8 percent. ALG president John Blair tells Automotive News [sub] that price, design, new-vehicle incentives and fleet sales all went into the projections, with special consideration paid this year to Detroit’s woes. “The public needs to have confidence that the companies are solid and they’re going to be around to service the vehicles and provide a pathway for warranty work,” Blair said, by way of explaining why US firms ranked so low in the rankings.Cadillac ranked the lowest of all luxury brands in projected resale value, expected to retain only 36.9 percent of its value in a segment that averages only 44.3 percent value retention. Meanwhile Honda/Acura had the highest combined residual prices by brand, with 54.8 percent average projected for Hondas and 50.1 percent for Acura, which topped all luxury brands. But all the news wasn’t horrible for Detroit. Ford’s F150 had the highest resale expectations of all light trucks, with a big 40.7 percent, while Jeep’s Wrangler tied the Subaru Forester for best projected residuals for compact SUVs. On the car front though, things were not so good. The best US car brands in the survey were Saturn and Pontiac, each of which squeaked over the industry average of 45.7 percent by .1 percent. And the worst residuals of all in the non-luxury segments was GMC, with an average value retention of only 38.8 percent.

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