Blue Book: Toyota And Lexus Hold Their Value Best, But The Winner Is The Wrangler

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
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blue book toyota and lexus hold their value best but the winner is the wrangler

If you are one of those who are itching to buy a new car after years of economy-induced withdrawal, one of the many questions that may run through your mind is the exit strategy from that shiny new car. In other words: How well will the car hold its value? If you want the executive summary: Buy just about any Toyota, Lexus, or the 2012 Jeep Wrangler.

If you need more detail, hit the jump.

Residual value is an important data point in the business. Amongst many other things, the residual value influences your lease rate, and your trade-in, just in case you don’t want to hold on to that car for 10 years, which happens to be the average age of a car on U.S. roads.

To help you with this tough decision, Kelley Blue Book published its 2012 Residual Analysis Report and handed out its Kelley Blue Book’s Best Resale Value Awards. The awards went to Toyota and Lexus. Says Kelley:

“The brand in which the entire lineup of 2012 model-year vehicles is expected to retain the greatest amount of its original value after five years is Toyota. The luxury brand with the same claim is Toyota’s more refined sibling, Lexus. Both brands regain the titles they claimed from Kelley Blue Book back in 2010.”

“Despite Toyota’s success in the 2012 residual rankings, the company lost market share in the U.S. due to its supply shortage following the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. The challenge for Toyota next year will be to regain this share without depressing its residual values,” said Eric Ibara, director of residual consulting, Kelley Blue Book. “A number of actions that could quickly increase sales and market share also could jeopardize its residual value crown, including over incentivizing and increasing daily rental volume. Clearly, Toyota’s actions through the next year will be pivotal in shaping its future direction.”

This may all be fine and good, but which car holds its value the best? Kelley came up with this top ten list. It shows the predicted resale value as a percentage of the purchase price after 36 and 60 months.

Kelley Blue Book Value Leaders 2012

RankModel36 months60 months12012 Jeep Wrangler68.0%55.0%22012 Toyota FJ Cruiser67.0%50.0%32012 Toyota Tacoma64.0%49.0%42012 Hyundai Tucson64.3%45.3%52012 Audi Q763.3%44.3%62012 Infiniti FX58.0%44.0%72012 Honda CR-V60.3%43.5%82012 Lexus RX64.0%43.0%92012 Nissan Frontier56.2%42.8%102012 Chevrolet Camaro57.0%42.2%

This list could save you a lot of green, but greenies could possibly congregate for a Kelley Blue Book burning: 9 out of 10 on the list are trucks (or trucklets). The only non-truck on the list is the archetypical American muscle car, in place 10. Also, the list is mildly un-American.

(I of course am morosely interested in which cars are at the very bottom of the list. Steve Lang, did you get your copy?)

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Steven02 Steven02 on Nov 21, 2011

    I would think resale value would be based up on actual price paid vs MSRP. Easier to calculate vs MSRP, but not a good representation since no one pays MSRP.

  • Redav Redav on Nov 21, 2011
    one of the many questions that may run through your mind is the exit strategy from that shiny new car Not really. My exit strategy is and always has been to drive my car until it dies. I view the money spent on a car just like that of every other purchase--a sunk cost.
    • Pch101 Pch101 on Nov 21, 2011
      My exit strategy is and always has been to drive my car until it dies. Your exit strategy may be determined for you, such as if your car has been totaled in a wreck. Therein lies the problem with cars that depreciate rapidly. This can be a bigger problem if you're upside down on a loan at the time that the decision is made for you.
  • Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.
  • Carsofchaos The problem with congestion, dear friends, is not the cars per se. I drive into the city daily and the problem is this:Your average street in the area used to be 4 lanes. Now it is a bus lane, a bike lane (now you're down to two lanes), then you have delivery trucks double parking, along with the Uber and Lyft drivers also double parking. So your 4 lane avenue is now a 1.5 lane avenue. Do you now see the problem? Congestion pricing will fix none of these things....what it WILL do is fund persion plans.
  • FreedMike Many F150s I encounter are autonomously driven...and by that I mean they're driving themselves because the dips**ts at the wheel are paying attention to everything else but the road.
  • Tassos A "small car", TIM????????????This is the GLE. Have you even ever SEEN the huge thing at a dealer's??? NOT even the GLC,and Merc has TWO classes even SMALLER than the C (The A and the B, you guessed it? You must be a GENIUS!).THe E is a "MIDSIZED" crossover, NOT A SMALL ONE BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION, oh CLUELESS one.I AM SICK AND TIRED OF THE NONSENSE you post here every god damned day.And I BET you will never even CORRECT your NONSENSE, much less APOLOGIZE for your cluelessness and unprofessionalism.
  • Stuki Moi "How do you take a small crossover and make it better?Slap the AMG badge on it and give it the AMG treatment."No, you don't.In fact, that is specifically what you do NOT do.Huge, frail wheels, and postage stamp sidewalls, do nothing but make overly tall cuvs tramline and judder. And render them even less useful across the few surfaces where they could conceivably have an advantage over more properly dimensioned cars. And: Small cuvs have pitiful enough fuel range as it is, even with more sensible engines.Instead, to make a small CUV better, you 1)make it a lower slung wagon. And only then give it the AMG treatment. AMG'ing, makes sense for the E class. And these days with larger cars, even the C class. For the S class, it never made sense, aside from the sheer aural visceralness of the last NA V8. The E-class is the center of AMG. Even the C-class, rarely touches the M3.Or 2) You give it the Raptor/Baja treatment. Massive, hypersophisticated suspension travel allowing landing meaningful jumps. As well as driving up and down wide enough stairs if desired. That's a kind of driving for which a taller stance, and IFS/IRS, makes sense.Attempting to turn a CUV into some sort of a laptime wonder, makes about as much sense as putting an America's Cup rig atop a ten deck cruiseship.