By on January 30, 2019

Image: Toyota

Until subscription services irreparably modify what constitutes “owning” a car, resale value will continue being an important consideration when shopping for a new vehicle. Every dollar you can squeeze out of your vehicle down the road is one you don’t have to hand over at the dealership.

Every year, Kelly Blue Book compiles a list of models occupying the top spots of the resale value charts, and, every year, we’ve watched as passenger cars are gradually replaced by pickups, crossovers, and SUVs. Last year, the Subaru WRX was the only sedan to break into the top 10. However, this year’s KBB list is entirely devoid of cars. 

While the information is incredibly helpful for consumers, predicting the deprecation of a new model isn’t an exact science. Analysts have to account for current and future market conditions, supply and demand, brand perception, the changing state of the economy, equipment offerings on specific models, and how well older versions of the vehicle fared on the resale market. In the end, all you’re left with is a well-informed guess across trim lines.

According to KBB, your average auto will garner a 39 percent return on its original sticker price after 60 months. These vehicles should fare much better, with none expected to deliver any less than 50 percent of their initial value:

For 2019, the Porsche Macan comes in at number 10 by holding 65 percent of its value after 36 months and 50 percent at five years. That makes it the only German or premium nameplate to grace the list. It was bested by the Ford F-Series, which is expected to keep 57.5 percent of its value after three years and 50.6 percent of its sticker after 60 months.

Moving up the list, we have the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado, Honda Ridgeline, Toyota 4Runner, GMC Sierra, and Toyota Tundra — all of which are expected to maintain at least 51 percent of their original MSRP after five years.

However, the big standouts are the 2019 Jeep Wrangler and Toyota Tacoma pickup. FCA’s iconic off-roader took second place with 66.5 percent after 36 months and 58.3 percent after 60. Meanwhile, Toyota’s pickup is expected to keep a whopping 69.4 percent after three years and 62.2 percent at five.

All-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler Sahara

Thankfully, KBB also breaks down its value assessment to include segment standouts.

With none averaging better than 41 percent after 60 months, subcompact crossovers ended up not being the best group for those looking for stellar resale prices. Standout models included the 2019 Honda HR-V, Toyota C-HR, and Mazda CX-3. But going bigger ultimately turned out to be better in terms of resale. Mid and full-size SUVs averaged higher resale values than their economy minded brethren.

Cars averaged worse overall, but didn’t suffer from the same size disparity as crossovers and SUVs. For example, the Honda Civic took top honors in the subcompact category by holding an estimated 41.2 percent of its initial value after 60 months. In comparison, the full-size winner, Dodge’s Charger, fared far worse at only 35 percent — lower than the industry average.

If you’re shopping for a replacement vehicle, you might want to check out KBB’s expanded list to see if anything you’re considering made the cut. Again, you won’t be able to set your watch to these findings. But, based on the accuracy of KBB’s pervious resale estimations, they should still give you a very good idea of what to expect.

[Images: Toyota; Porsche; Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

 

 

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55 Comments on “Kelley Blue Book’s ‘Best Resale Value’ Awards Goes Carless for 2019...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I’m always amazed that trucks that are so heavily discounted up front retain so much of their value over their useful life. I guess there’s always a market for a good work truck

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    No real surprises here.

    Although if you buy solely based on resale then I’m sure you’re lots of fun at parties.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      A lot of party chat revolves around the resale value of houses and cars. Maybe I need to go to better parties

      • 0 avatar
        Tele Vision

        @Lie2me

        Nah, you’re going to the right parties. The ‘better’ parties are much worse.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          The true cynic in me would say I should just buy a Taco or a Wrangler with no regard to whether I actually like it or not. Drive till the loan is paid off, trade it for another one for a very small difference between trade and transaction price. Pocket the savings.

          The other cynical observation is that it is difficult to recommend buying a sedan new. But then waiting for used sedans is part of what is killing the sedan market. Someone has to be the original owner.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      I never buy solely on resale but everything I buy just happens to retain value. Buying high quality fun vehicles is an easy choice. Hummers all have held their value excellently, SS sedan seems to be following the GXP G8 path doubly so since I chose a manual, 4Runner, and my wifes old Suburban hasn’t done too bad.

      No one wants to drive boring shoddy vehicles, not even second hand.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    The Tacoma and Wrangler and 4Runner around here are the insane ones. List doesn’t surprise me really. I see 1-2 year old 4Runners listed for maybe $1000 or $2000 less than a brand new one. A 20 year old 4Runner with 200,000 miles might still fetch 8k.

    At this moment, buying a truck is probably not as “expensive” as it seems, looking at the entire life of the vehicle including depreciation.

    Yes, I want a 4Runner but I can’t get over that “hump” when it comes to actually affording one, new or used.

    • 0 avatar
      multicam

      When I lived in Hawaii, Taco prices on the used market constantly amazed me. People were asking $20k for like 7 year old models.

      • 0 avatar
        forward_look

        So if they’re in Hawai’i, they don’t rust and have low mileage? No wonder they keep their value.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          But they do rust in HI, and in really funny places.

        • 0 avatar
          multicam

          Depends on how vigilant the owner is with car care and where he/she lives. If they live right on north shore they have more exposure to salt; if they live in the middle of Oahu like Mililani then they’re better off.

          But yeah there’s like a triple-crown of factors:
          1. Everything on the island is more expensive anyway
          2. Hawaii’s particular obsession with Tacos
          3. The already-high resale value of Tacos

          This creates a perfect storm which causes some unbelievable prices.

  • avatar
    JMII

    My brother owns a Boxster GTS. He bought it used and calculated that it holds its value so well he could basically own it for free for 18 to 24 months.

    I never understood the Jeep thing but if was Toyota I would be blasting TV with commercials referencing this report.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      The Jeep thing I get, they never go out of style. Since new ones look like old ones people will buy old ones to save a couple of bucks, but they sure don’t save much over new

  • avatar
    cartime

    I would like to see this as a function of price paid. I can guarantee you Sierras and Silverados would be much higher. Sale price is generally 20% of MSRP.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    “Civic took top honors in the subcompact category”

    Subcompact?

    • 0 avatar
      PSX 5k Ultra Platinum Triple Black

      I paid sticker price for a hard to find Blue 2009 Honda Fit Sport with a stick in February of that year. It listed for $16,700, I tried to negotiate with the dealer but they laughed at me and said no discount. It only had $400 in markup, so I bought it. I put 67,000 not so trouble free miles on it, and totaled it in an accident in December of 2011. Besides the accident, the car was super clean inside and out. Insurance appraised the car at $15,100, and wrote me a check. I couldn’t believe how little the car depreciated.

  • avatar
    Peter Gazis

    So 3 GM Trucks in top 10
    #4 GMC Sierra
    #6 Chevy Silverado
    #8 Chevy Colorado

    I just have to say Chevy Silverado again. Since the author left it out.
    No wonder TTAC is no longer invited to GM events.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      You have a point, there.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      Somehow I feel like people being paid to write about GM products are represented here anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        I don’t think anyone here is paid to GM shill Todd. From personal experience I get why the full size GM stuff maintains resale. They work with little fuss for a long time. My two DD’s are old 08 & 05 (Suburban & Vette’) and neither shows any need to be replaced anytime soon, I would guess another 10 years.

        I have read about the interior bits and pieces stuff; I don’t get it. The seats are comfortable and since I bought them used I have no reference point to the quality of plastics nonsense compared to other in it’s class. Who cares. Everything works. For decades and multiple 100k’s of miles.

        What I am willing to wager is the new 4 cylinder full size does not maintain long term value like the LS powered versions.

  • avatar
    multicam

    Sweet. I own a 4Runner and am about to buy a new Wrangler. Don’t plan on selling either for a looooooong time though.

  • avatar
    Jack Denver

    I’m more interested in the cars with the WORST resale value, so I can buy them used for cheap. For example, the Volkswagen CC loses almost 3/4 of its value in 5 years, so that a $35K car becomes a $9K car. Some cars DESERVE to lose much of their value (e.g. BMW 7 series) because you have to discount the price by the cost of keeping the car on the road.

    Which vehicles with poor resale value are true bargains after taking into account future repair costs, or does the market discount properly so you can’t outsmart it?

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      Jack Denver – this, indeed, would be a good list to view.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Probably the over 120K miles Escalade and Navigator have the worst depreciation (or “best”, depending on your POV) of something very reliable, cheap to maintain/fix, parts widely available, etc, followed by the Tahoe, Suburban, Expedition, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          87 Morgan

          120k Escalade still brings a ton of cash 2nd hand BTW. Obviously the drop in value as a % is higher since the Escalde starts at 100k anymore, but still you are paying north of 20k for a 120k mile slade in most cases.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            “Asking $20K” and getting it is another. Still a great value if you really like them, but can’t afford or feel it’s silly to take the hit new.

            Tahoes/Expeditions are even better values, for the same basic truck, and a low cost alternative to mid trim 4X4 crew cab pickup equivalents, if you don’t exactly need max towing/cargo or a bed.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        I thought, surely they can’t be that stupid. How can they not know heavy discounted trucks mean equally discounted “resale”?

        Adjusted for “transactional”, by the time the Tacoma and Wrangler lose 30% of their “value”, GM pickups and F-series only lost about 20%.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Cars whose value falls off the charts are gems on the used market. Normally the first round of depreciation is epic then after that it tapers off. As mentioned some drop because they deserve it, others were just overpriced to begin with. My wife’s Infiniti Q60 is good choice in this category.

      A more risky example is on that other site. They featured Alfa Giulia on NP or CP. Its a 40K vehicle selling for $23k after less then 2 years with very low mileage. Of course the reason for the low mileage is very likely being in the shop for repairs. If some YouTuber grabs one of these and keeps a running log of DYI fixes you could play along at home… well as long as you have a 2nd car to use while waiting for yet another part to show up.

    • 0 avatar
      Yaemish

      I agree! I picked up a CC in the fall, the car was never on my radar but the price couldn’t be beat. It is a hell of a car for what I paid. Now if they would just get that Arteon on the market so that I can buy it used in a few years, that would be great.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    Mostly, I buy what I want and what makes me feel good when I slip behind the wheel.

    In 1993 it was a compact Toyota PU. V6/4WD was mandatory as its primary purpose was to pull my boat in the summer and snowmobile trailer in the winter. I used a friends standard cab Mazda on a weekend trip & that sucked so extra-cab only. I started looking at used trucks, but it didn’t take long to figure out that the resale value of these trucks when they are 3-4 years old made buying a new one a no-brainer. That hasn’t changed in 26 years. God has it been that long!…..LOL

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I think I want to hurl.

    That POS Macan is actually pulling 39,2 on average in MY16 (36 mo = 3 mys) and 39 is 74.5% of the suggested MSRP of 52,6. Now this being German I know the MSRP is lower than the actual ATP after options are added but that’s still shocking. Even at 65% assuming avg ATP of 60 is 39 even which is exactly what I am seeing in MMR. This is like what that damn Evoque did when it first came out.

    MY16 Porsche Macan 3.0L S

    1/29/19 $41,000 25,417 4.8 6GT/A WhiteRegularSoutheastOrlando
    1/28/19 $38,900 30,711 4.5 6GT/A WhiteLeaseSoutheastNorth Carolina
    1/28/19 $38,500 38,328 4.4 6GT/A BlueRegularNortheastPennsylvania
    1/24/19 $39,000 35,928 4.2 6GT/A GrayLeaseWest CoastRiverside
    1/24/19 $42,000 20,757 3.9 6GT/A WhiteLeaseWest CoastRiverside
    1/24/19 $37,000 *15,970 2.8 6GT/A BlackLeaseWest CoastRiverside
    1/24/19 $37,000 46,048 4.2 6GT/A BlackLeaseWest CoastRiverside
    1/24/19 $38,000 49,762 4.5 6GT/A – -LeaseWest CoastRiverside
    1/24/19 $35,000 44,574 3.9 6GT/A GrayLeaseWest CoastRiverside
    1/24/19 $39,500 30,516 3.7 6GT/A SilverLeaseWest CoastRiverside
    1/24/19 $41,500 27,415 4.1 6GT/A BlackLeaseWest CoastRiverside
    1/24/19 $40,000 17,486 4.3 6GT/A BlueLeaseWest CoastRiverside
    1/23/19 $42,500 29,409 4.6 6GT/A BlackRegularWest CoastCalifornia
    1/22/19 $36,500 55,831 4.6 6GT/A GrayRegularSoutheastOrlando
    1/18/19 $42,500 15,674 4.2 6GT/A BlackRegularNortheastPennsylvania
    1/17/19 $37,000 48,604 4.4 6GT/A BlueLeaseNortheastPennsylvania
    1/17/19 $37,500 30,019 4.6 6GT/A BlackLeaseNortheastPennsylvania
    1/17/19 $40,000 38,295 4.5 6GT/A BlueLeaseNortheastPennsylvania
    1/17/19 $43,500 24,450 4.6 6GT/A BlueLeaseNortheastPennsylvania
    1/17/19 $39,500 40,192 4.2 6GT/A BlackLeaseNortheastPennsylvania
    1/17/19 $43,500 *30,102 4.2 6GT/A SilverLeaseNortheastPennsylvania
    1/17/19 $36,000 59,024 3.9 6GT/A BlueLeaseNortheastPennsylvania
    1/17/19 $44,000 *30,047 4.5 6GT/A WhiteLeaseNortheastPennsylvania
    1/17/19 $42,000 16,4022.3 6GT/A WhiteLeaseNortheastPennsylvania
    1/17/19 $39,000 35,495 3.6 6GT/A SilverLeaseNortheastPennsylvania

    Rest of the list are usual suspects of resale wonders except I’m a little surprised by the GM offerings. I’ve got the ’16 4WD Ex Cab I4 LT Colorado trading at 20K and the fricking thing in 2WD was 26,5 (in 2WD it trades at 17,7). So assuming 30K on the 4WD, we’re talking about 33% depreciation wholesale, on a GM product that’s running an I4 no less.

    Mad world.

    “start at the LT model level, about $26,500 for an extended-cab and long-bed 2WD version.

    https://www.kbb.com/chevrolet/colorado-crew-cab/2016/

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      The cheapest Macan in the three dealers I checked is $59K and the average base model in stock is in the low to mid $60s. I’m surprised they only carry a 20% option load. I guess the CUV business is more price sensitive than that of grand touring cars. Those Porsches I’ve seen with 100%+ in optional add-ons.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Look at that wonderful color selection as well… (sarcasm)

        • 0 avatar
          JMII

          One of the several reasons I got a C7 instead of Cayman – GM offers colors! Granted white, black, red and grey occupy 60% of the market, but blue (mine), yellow and green (4% = rare) are available. Search for a used (what I can afford) Cayman in anything but white, black or silver, during my search I found 3… ohhhh.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      I know zero about the Macan. Honest question what qualifies it as a POS. I have zero interest in owning one, but generally curious.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Heaven forbid the bank set residuals don’t alone with auction pricing. Somebody is pushing or pulling prices that are not there.

  • avatar
    SD 328I

    The discount off MSRP isn’t small, but it isn’t that great when you look at the big picture. Sure, you can get $8,000 – $12,000 off MSRP, depending on the incentives you can qualify for. But don’t forget the tax and fees you have to pay as well….

    $55,000 MSRP

    $10,000 off MSRP = $45,000 net price

    Estimate 10% for taxes, fees, registration, etc. = $4,500

    That’s still almost $50,000 out the door for a $55,000 MSRP vehicle.

    “Despite the higher incentives available on trucks today, used-car buyers are willing to pay more for trucks, relative to the initial MSRP, than they are for sedans,” says Eric Ibara, director of residual values for Kelley Blue Book.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I admit to being a little baffled how they know the resale value of a ’19 five years from now. Shouldn’t they be handing out awards to ’14’s that have gone the distance?

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      They probably extrapolate from past data. Only way I can think of that makes any sense.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Residuals are set by the banks.

      “The banks that issue the lease contracts set residual values. The residual value is their best guess as to what the car will be worth at the end of the lease. They base their projections on data from past models and a prediction of what consumer tastes will be.” Edmund’s

  • avatar
    seth1065

    If you drive them until you kill them , you should not care about resale at all or if you are more like me and drive a lot of miles you know you are gonna take a hit resale time anyway and figure that into the numbers, I am in sales so I drive a ton per year, usually buy used as it makes more sense but have bought new as well. But most of all buy what you want, need and can afford, I would not own anything on this list no matter what the resale was bc it does not make sense for me to. I also assume these numbers are with leases as well?

    Agree with most I would much rather see a list of what cars drop the most in value after 3-5 years.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    I have a related question. But first, an explanation. I have spent quite a bit of time looking for a F250/F350 4×4 crew cab with the 7.3 L diesel. These trucks in good shape with between 80 and 150 thousand miles are advertised between 20 and 30 thousand dollars. But when I check KBB and NADA the values are shown as less than half of that. Clearly the folks at those sites have no clue the cult following these trucks have and the prices they demand. So I’m wondering how they can be so far off? Isn’t it their job to understand this stuff? Makes me wonder what other vehicles values they might be out of touch with.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      You make a great point KC. The other one baffling truck would be the 03′-06′ Dodge with a Cummins and only god himself can help you if you want a MT. Double book seems to be the norm if you have one with sub 100k miles.

      I understand why they bring the money; 7.3 > 6.0 > 6.4. Ford diesels get progressively worse the newer you get. Best of luck unicorn hunting!

      • 0 avatar
        kcflyer

        Thanks 87, I put a deposit on a truck yesterday. If the lake effect lets me get out of Buffalo and past Erie I hope to go see it and hopefully bring it home tomorrow. Not a great price but if it is what the pictures say it is I will happily make it a permanent part of my life. According to KBB its worth 5 grand. I’m paying 23. NADA says 10 grand clean retail. fingers crossed! Definitely the most out of my element I have ever felt buying a vehicle.

        • 0 avatar
          87 Morgan

          Wow. I remember selling my 00′ 7.3 for 28k in 02′!

          Granted, it was a short bed extended cab, but XLT 4×4 Auto. I liked my 03′ cummins far better. For me, the 98′ or older square body super duty are the rig to have; in no way meant to insult you or the truck you are buying if you are going with the rounder bodied 7.3 that I used to have…..

    • 0 avatar
      IHateCars

      Along the same line as your question, I’d be curious to see the breakdown of F-150s as the Raptor has phenomenal resale value. My 2012 6.2L SCrew will easily fetch $35K CAD (paid $59K + taxes when new) on trade-in before haggling if I were to buy a new one (new ones start at $72K CAD….ack!) I suspect that is far better than XLTs, Lariats and Platinum/Limiteds.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    It seems like VAG diesels are really taking a beating, you can find 2-3 year old A6 TDIs with less than 35k miles online for 22-24k all day long, with an extended powertrain warranty post-fix .Not so much on Touaregs TDIs though.

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