2016 Jaguar XE on road ・ Photo by Jaguar Land Rover
This selection of 10 luxury cars that hold their value comes with some fine print. It should be noted that the luxury car segment is not the overall best-performing in terms of retaining resale values. Trucks take the prize there. But assuming a buyer is in the luxury car market and wants to make a decision that makes some financial sense, then welcome in, we have some wonderful selections for you. Our choices are the result of collecting information from several automotive analysts, such as lease specialists and companies known for calculating resale values. And we have assembled a varied mix of cars, because not everyone wants or needs the same thing.
The RDX enjoys strong build quality, great materials and impressive reliability, all of which make it a smart choice not only in terms of resale value but also for everyday driving. The ride quality is smooth and sweet yet still composed, equipment levels are generous compared with many rivals (especially the German ones), and space is plentiful. There are intelligent luxury touches, but the whole vehicle doesn’t seem too ostentatious. The 2016 model was estimated by the Automotive Lease Guide (ALG) to retain 55 percent of its value over three years, a figure the competition couldn’t match. It still hasn’t adopted the now-common use of a turbocharged 4-cylinder 2.0-liter engine, but its 3.5-liter V6 is superb.
Photo by Acura
Coupes and cabriolets are supposed to be emotional purchases, where we’re swayed by the looks and what kind of statement they make about us as owners, where we let our hearts rule our heads and our wallets. But the A5 injects a healthy shot of reason into the equation. This is the sensible choice for the sensual buyer. The outgoing generation is among the best luxury cars that hold their value, according to the ALG. Some people may like to acquire the last of the current model, since all the bugs have been ironed out. But a new generation (based on the new A4) debuts early 2017 for the 2018 model year and should continue to perform impressively.
Photo by Audi
This is the sporty end of luxury. The M3 is based on the excellent 3 Series sedan. It has a 3.0-liter inline-6 engine (a hallmark BMW configuration) that’s turbocharged to produce 425 hp (or 444 hp with the Competition package), which is then complemented by an array of performance hardware. The current version (the F80) has been around since 2015, but M3 models have existed for three decades, creating a legendary machine in the process. Its combination of speed, agility and class puts it at the top of many enthusiasts’ lists. So the laws of supply and demand keep the prices up. The M3 is estimated to retain 50.1 percent of its value over five years.
Photo by BMW
Among premium compact crossovers, the QX50 doesn’t have quite the same impact as, say, a BMW X3. But it’s expected to hold 57 percent of its value over three years. That’s better than any rival. The reasons why it’s so highly regarded include a sporty character that compares well with the Porsche Macan (the clear enthusiast’s choice in this segment), offering most of the fun (it’s based on the same platform as the sporty Nissan 370Z) for about two-thirds of the cost. And because it received a 4-inch stretch in 2016, it also comes with generous rear passenger space — not something all compact crossovers enjoy. On top of that is Japanese build quality, which is never a bad thing.
Photo by Infiniti
The Jaguar XE is all-new for this year, so it has yet to prove itself in the used market. But that hasn’t stopped ALG running its resale value algorithms and declaring it the smartest buy in the premium entry level sedan class. Pretty impressive, considering the competition includes the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Lexus IS. Apart from the looks and equipment (the XE’s top engine is a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 making 340 hp, good for a 4.5-second sprint to 60 mph), the suspension is a marvel. Like other Jaguars, it manages to be precise and supple simultaneously. As we said, the XE is the new kid in a tough class, but it has all it needs to succeed.
Photo by Jaguar Land Rover
Best premium midsize utility vehicle at retaining its value. That’s ALG’s findings. The Range Rover Sport is remarkably consistent, because this is now 10 years in a row where it has earned this accolade. Imagine most of the big Range Rover’s style, plushness and extraordinary off-roading hardware put into a slightly smaller, slightly less expensive package. An air suspension is standard — sinking down for easy entry and exit, rising up for useful ground clearance. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s an SUV, virtually the most popular form of vehicle at the moment, even among owners who will never dream of going further off the road than the parking lot at the mall.
Photo by Jaguar Land Rover
It could be any Lexus, really. This is by far the most successful luxury brand for retaining resale value. The GS midsize sedan was refreshed for 2016 and is one of those cars with many talents. Exemplary build quality and reliability, naturally, plus an array of advanced safety systems that include pedestrian detection, intelligent high beams and adaptive cruise control. The infotainment setup received a large 12.3-inch touchscreen and improved voice recognition. It’s also one of the better Lexus cars from a driving standpoint — a credible sport sedan, no less. The GS 350’s smooth 3.5-liter V6 delivers 311 hp. Alternatively, there’s the hybrid version or the new 241-hp 200t with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine.
Photo by Lexus
Quality lasts. It’s really as simple as that. The current generation debuted a couple of years ago, but the previous model was still outselling all its rivals combined when its lifecycle was winding down. The S-Class flagship sedan is a highlight of the automotive world, packed with state-of-the-art technology, convenience and safety features, and an attention to detail that would impress an obsessive-compulsive. These attributes all play their part in holding the car’s value. It’s expensive to begin with, but that’s the point — it’s one of the finest cars money can buy. The range includes a plug-in hybrid, coupe and convertible models, a high-luxe Maybach variant, and high-performance AMG versions.
Photo by Mercedes-Benz
The Porsche 911 sports car is pretty much a sure bet in the resale value stakes. Older versions often appreciate to more than the price of a new one. The Panamera large sedan (well, hatchback) has much of the 911’s engineering expertise along with a suite of luxury appointments. The 2016 model was recognized over strong competition like the Lexus LS and Mercedes-Benz S-Class as having the best resale value among its peers. A lot of the appeal is how great it is to drive and sit in, plus a wide range of engines from good to “good heavens” and the availability of all-wheel drive. A new generation debuts for the 2017 model year.
Photo by Porsche
This is the only all-electric car on our list and Tesla is still a comparatively young brand. And please pardon the use of a tired old phrase, but the Model S really has been a game-changer. It’s a full-on luxury car with incredible technology and a range of more than 200 miles. Tesla is also building a fast-charging infrastructure. The Model S is desirable and quick: standstill to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds (that’s the least powerful version), and it really feels like part of the future. Tesla can’t make enough of them, so the whole supply/demand thing is in effect as well. The S is expected to retain 47.7 percent of its value over three years.
Photo by Tesla