Vehicle Value
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Cars, Trucks, and SUVs With the Best Resale Value

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Vehicle Value
halbergman/istockphoto

Vehicle Value

New vehicles lose about 10 percent of their value the moment they leave the dealer's lot. For buyers who don't plan to drive that new car or truck into the ground, depreciation is a factor to consider when calculating the total cost of the vehicle. Cheapism turned to Kelley Blue Book's 2019 Best Resale Value Awards to compile our list of new cars, trucks, and SUVs that are projected to have the best resale value after five years. Read on for value-retention tips that apply to all vehicles. Thinking of buying a preowned vehicle? Take a look at 44 Cars Where You'll Save Big By Buying Used.

Best Compact Car: Honda Civic
Honda

Best Compact Car: Honda Civic

Estimated resale value: 41.2%
Starts at: $19,550
Honda has long had a reputation for building durable, efficient vehicles that retain their value for years after rolling out of the showroom. It's been named a Kelly Blue Book Best Buy for five years running, and KBB editors expect no less from the 2019 Honda Civic coupe and sedan, saying it "continues to set the benchmark for what a compact car should be." The Civic has also been named Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Looking for other reliable rides? These Cars Are the Most Likely to Surpass 200,000 Miles

Best Mid-Size Car: Subaru Legacy
Subaru

Best Mid-Size Car: Subaru Legacy

Estimated resale value: 38.4%
Starts at: $22,745
No other automaker enjoys stronger brand loyalty than Subaru, according to J.D. Power's 2019 edition of its annual owner survey, with more than 60% of owners saying they'd buy another Subaru. Part of that appeal lies in the relatively high resale value that vehicles like the 2019 Subaru Legacy enjoy. It "remains the go-to car for those who regularly deal with winter's worst," KBB editors say. "Toss in the Legacy's excellent crash-test, resale and reliability scores, and it's hard to make an argument why anyone wouldn't want this car. In search of more Subaru models and other vehicles that offer great features for older drivers? Be sure to check out 18 Popular Cars for Drivers Over 50

Best Full-Size Car: Dodge Charger
Dodge

Best Full-Size Car: Dodge Charger

Estimated resale value: 35%
Starts at: $29,470
The Dodge Charger is a full-sized, full-throated American car in the best sense of the word, KBB editors say: "It's nice that even the least expensive Charger still offers a potent yet fuel-efficient 292-horsepower V6 engine, great handling, a roomy interior and plenty of features." Dodge has made a number of refinements to the Charger since it first appeared as a 2006 model, KBB notes, and the 2019 iteration boasts enough trim options to satisfy just about buyer.

Related: 19 Cars Your Insurance Company Doesn't Want You To Buy

Best Luxury Car: Audi A7
Audi

Best Luxury Car: Audi A7

Estimated resale value: 32.3%
Starts at: $68,000
The Audi A7 may be expensive, but it represents a heck of a deal for people who can afford to buy one, according to Kelly Blue Book. Although you can quickly push the price tag to almost $90,000 with options, even the base model is laden with luxury. "You get leather seating, navigation, a power liftgate and a moonroof," KBB editors say, in addition to a sophisticated safety technology including collision-avoidance monitors and autonomous emergency brakes.

Related: Luxury Cars Under $50K That Are Totally Worth Owning

Best Hybrid Car: Honda Insight
Honda

Best Hybrid Car: Honda Insight

Estimated resale value: 37.7%
Starts at: $22,930
Honda revived its hybrid Insight sedan for the 2020 model year, and critics say it's miles ahead of the original version, with plenty of power to negotiate highway traffic. The Insight offers "everything that the Honda Civic sedan can offer in terms of granite-solid quality, reliability, features, and resale value," KBB editors say. Did we mention the Insight has 55-mpg fuel economy rating, too? Its base price is also more than $1,200 less than another popular hybrid, the Toyota Prius.

Related: 20 Electric Cars Cheaper Than a Tesla

Best Compact SUV/Crossover: Subaru Crosstrek
Subaru

Best Compact SUV/Crossover: Subaru Crosstrek

Estimated resale value: 49.3%
Starts at: $21,895
Another Subaru with great resale value? Yes, say KBB's editors, who praise this entry-level crossover wagon for its standard four-wheel-drive, fuel-efficient engine, and higher ground clearance than some SUVs. The Crosstrek also is expected to retain nearly half its original value after five years.

Related: 25 Cars No One Wanted to Buy

Best Off-Road SUV/Crossover: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Jeep

Best Off-Road SUV/Crossover: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Estimated resale value: 58.8%
Starts at: $28,295
If you need a vehicle that can take you off the grid as capably as it handles the daily commute and will hold its value over time, Kelly Blue Book says the 2019 Jeep Wrangler is a great choice. Thanks in part to the ferocious loyalty Jeep owners typically have, KBB editors say, "Our number-crunchers anticipate the Wrangler Unlimited will offer excellent resale value, just as the previous model has done for the last several years.

Related: 24 Timeless Jeeps Everybody Still Loves

Best Mid-Size Pickup Truck: Toyota Tacoma
Toyota

Best Mid-Size Pickup Truck: Toyota Tacoma

Estimated resale value: 62.2%
Starts at: $25,850
Need a pickup that's reliable, well-appointed, and a great investment? Look no further: The Toyota Tacoma has boasted the best resale value of any truck in its class for the past five years. "Lauded for its legendary, race-tested off-road capability, tough construction, and versatility, the Tacoma has a lot to offer truck buyers," KBB's editors say. The Tacoma comes with a V-6 engine capable of towing up to 6,800 pounds.

Related: 31 Most Reliable Trucks of All Time

Best Full-Size Pickup Truck: Toyota Tundra
Toyota

Best Full-Size Pickup Truck: Toyota Tundra

Estimated resale value: 55.6%
Starts at: $31,670
Toyota sets the bar for quality and resale value, making it Kelly Blue Book's best brand overall. Their full-size Tundra pickup is no exception. Unlike other full-sized competitors, the Tundra comes standard with a V-8 engine that's able to tow just over 10,000 pounds. The four-wheel-drive TRD Pro model capably handles "challenging off-road conditions such as steep hills, fast-moving creeks, and generally rough terrain," KBB editors say. "Yet the Tundra can also be quiet and pleasant on the tarmac."

Related: The 12 Most Trusted Toyotas of All Time

Value Tips for Every Vehicle
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Value Tips for Every Vehicle

Depreciation can cost owners more than repairs, insurance, or gasoline, so it's worth paying attention to several factors that significantly affect the resale value of every car. For example, a vehicle that has been in an accident causing more than a scratch or small dent is worth less than one with a clean record. Ron Montoya, consumer advice editor for Edmunds.com, suggests three ways owners can keep the resale value of their vehicle as high as possible, barring any unfortunate mishaps.

Related: 18 Car Expenses That Are Really Worth the Money

Tip No. 1: Follow the Service Schedule
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Tip No. 1: Follow the Service Schedule

Check the manual for suggested service intervals, although many new vehicles automatically alert drivers when it's time. Also, keep records to show prospective buyers that the vehicle has been maintained as directed. Dealers' service departments do this automatically, but when using an independent mechanic it's up to owners to document the work.

Related: 32 Lies Your Mechanic Has Told You

Tip No. 2: Keep the Mileage Low
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Tip No. 2: Keep the Mileage Low

Avoid driving more than 12,000 to 15,000 miles a year, the average for drivers in the United States. Ron Montoya of Edmunds.com says an older car can be worth more than a newer model if it has logged fewer miles.

Related: These Are the Least Expensive Cars to Own

Tip No. 3: Cleanliness is a Virtue
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Tip No. 3: Cleanliness is a Virtue

Keep the vehicle clean and consider banning food and drinks, aside from water. If spills happen, take care of them immediately before they have a chance to settle. Sometimes it's possible to remove a stain or at least minimize any lasting impact.

Related: The Best Handheld Vacuums Under $60