When pricing a new car, it’s important to take the expected depreciation into consideration over the length of your ownership in order to ensure that you’re getting the deal you think. After just three years, the average used car is worth half of what is was worth when new. While some cars will retain more of their value (and a rare model might even increase in value), the cars with the worst depreciation will have lost around two-thirds of their value after three years. To help with your research, take a look at our list of the ten car brands with the best resale value.
10 Car Brands with Best Resale Value
Infiniti is Nissan’s luxury brand, and like other luxury brands its models tend to hold their value better than manufacturers that specialize in lower-end cars. The compact Infiniti QX50 crossover and fullsize Infiniti QX80 sport utility vehicle lead the brand in this regard with its other models following suit, helping make the brand on of the ten car brands with the best resale value. Unlike some of the other Japanese manufacturers, Infiniti isn’t well known for its reliability, but is instead known mostly for its combination of luxury, performance, styling and futuristic technologies (including steer-by-wire, where the steering is controlled via an electric signal instead of through a steering column).
While Mercedes-Benz was once well known for its Germanic quality, recently the brand has had its share of ups and downs in terms of reliability (though it has been improving recently). These reliability concerns don’t seem to have had an effect on its second-hand pricing, and Mercedes remains one of the car brands with the best resale value. Models that do especially well include the compact Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class coupe, the compact Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class crossover and the luxurious fullsize Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan, though thanks to the laws of supply and demand, just about every Mercedes model has a resale value that is above average.
BMW is a German manufacturer that makes a wide variety of cars, from sporty compacts to fully-loaded fullsize luxury sedans. Like the other manufacturers on our list of the brands with the best resale value, some of BMW’s models retain their value better than others. Models that are most sought out on the used market, and therefore those with the highest resale value, tend to be special edition or rare models such as the BMW i8, as well as the brand’s high performance M models, especially those equipped with manual transmissions (where possible), though all of the brand’s models do a good job of holding their value.
Photo Credit: Porsche
While nearly all of Porsche’s models hold their value well, a few of the brand’s models have actually appreciated in the last few years. While investing in a car and expecting it to go up in value does involve quite a bit of risk, some of the brand’s extremely rare cars, like the Porsche 911 GT2 and the Porsche 918 Spyder, might be good candidates. Other models, like the mid-engine Porsche Cayman sports car and the fullsize Porsche Panamera sedan (as well as any of the brand’s plug-in hybrid models), are some of the best when it comes to retaining their resale value (and being fun to drive).
Photo Credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Jeep does well when it comes to the car brands with the best resale value, largely thanks to the 2-door Jeep Wrangler and the 4-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited sport utility vehicles. While none of the models in Jeep’s lineup are particularly reliable, many of them are tough, can handle a fair amount of abuse, and work exceptionally well off-road. Without much competition in their price range, these vehicles are almost always in demand, helping them to retain their value. On the other side of the equation, some of the brand’s smaller and less capable vehicles don’t do quite so well.
Acura is Honda’s luxury arm, and while unfortunately Acura’s vehicles don’t seem to be quite as reliable as its parent company’s, that hasn’t had a huge effect on the brand’s resale values. Much like its corporate leader, most of the brand’s lineup does a good job of retaining its value, though the Acura RDX and Acura ILX perform especially well in this regard. Because of high demand for the new low-volume Acura NSX hybrid sports car, we expect it to retain a significant portion of its value as well, helping make Acura one of the top ten car brands with the best resale value.
While Toyota isn’t known for making cars that are flashy or exciting, they are well known for producing long-lasting cars that are extremely reliable and cheap to repair. Because this has become fairly common knowledge, there are now many used car shoppers out there who are looking for a second-hand Toyota. That demand drives up prices, and so many of the brand’s models are at or near the top of their segments when it comes to resale value; from the hybrid Toyota Prius to the midsize Toyota Camry sedan and the fullsize Toyota Tundra pickup, it’s hard to go wrong when buying a Toyota.
Photo Credit: Honda
While Honda’s vehicles aren’t quite as reliable as those from some of its fellow Japanese competition, the brand’s cars do tend to be more attractive, slightly more powerful, and a bit sportier than some of its rivals’ vehicles. Because these qualities are often at the forefront of a used vehicle shopper’s mind, Hondas are popular vehicles on the second-hand market. This is reflected in the brand’s resale values, with models such as the compact Honda Civic, midsize Honda Accord, and the Honda Odyssey minivan amongst the best in their respective classes and making Honda one of the brands with the best resale value.
Lexus is the luxury arm of Japanese manufacturer Toyota, and very close to the top of the list of car brands with the best resale value, largely thanks to a reputation for being building some of the most reliable and best put-together cars on the market (a reputation Lexus started earning the day the brand was first introduced). Models such as the compact Lexus RC coupe, midsize Lexus GS sedan and fullsize Lexus LX sport utility vehicle can be expected to follow in that tradition, which helps explain why they hold their value as well or better than any other car in their class.
Subaru has been doing a great job producing cars that are reliable, safe and fun to drive, and this has led to an increase in demand for the manufacturer’s cars on the second-hand car market. The midsize Subaru Legacy sedan, the compact and sporty Subaru WRX and the compact Subaru Forester crossover are all examples of the brand’s cars that are both rare to find on dealer’s lots and at or near the top of their class in terms of resale value, but unfortunately for those looking to buy a used vehicle, all of Subaru’s models seem to do a better than average job of retaining their values.