Finding a good car that holds its value well means that the car will do right by you, even when it’s time to move on. With so many good sedans on the market, we decided to find out which models will provide the most return when the owner trades it in or sells it. Naturally, we turned to Kelley Blue Book and their annual Best Resale Value awards. These awards take a look at each car on the market and use data to figure out how much of its original value it’s worth, both at the 36-month and 60-month marks. To find cars suitable for a range of budgets, we looked for the best-performing sedans in each class. Here are 10 of the best sedans that hold their value.
10 Sedans that Hold Their Value
Photo Credit: Subaru
2017 Subaru Impreza — 54.9% after 36 months
According to Kelley Blue Book, the 2017 Subaru Impreza is one of the best sedans to buy if you’re looking for a car that retains the most value. After 36 months on the road, KBB projects the 2017 Impreza will retain 54.9% of its value, and after 60 months, it’s expected to retain 36.1% of its value. In the meantime, this affordable and fully redesigned compact sedan provides excellent safety ratings and competitive fuel economy estimates along with standard all-wheel drive, meaning that it’s a good value now as well as later. Overall, the 2017 Subaru Impreza is a smart choice for a commuter car and one of Autobytel’s top picks for a sedan that holds its value.
Photo Credit: Honda
2017 Honda Civic — 49.4% after 36 months
Right off the bat, we have to mention that though the 2017 Honda Civic is available as a coupe and an all-new hatchback alongside the trusty sedan, the KBB awards we reference for this article doesn’t distinguish between those body styles. Regardless, the Civic has an excellent reputation amongst compact cars, and we feel confident in naming the 2017 Honda Civic sedan as one of the best sedans that holds its value. People who buy a new Civic this year can expect it to be worth 49.4% of its original value after 36 months, and at the 60-month mark, the Civic should be worth 33.3% of its original value. Those are great numbers for an affordable and thoroughly enjoyable car.
Photo Credit: Lexus Media
2017 Lexus ES — 48.5% after 36 months
If you’re looking for a midsize sedan that’s pretty good at almost everything, and will serve you right when you’re ready for something new, consider a 2017 Lexus ES. The ES is a luxury model that prioritizes comfort over sportiness, which means it often gets overlooked in a category that is dominated by strong acceleration and agile handling. But if a smooth and quiet experience is more important, the ES is a good choice. Plus, the ES has great projected value ratings for its class. KBB expects the 2017 IS to be worth 48.5% of its original value after 36 months, and 34.5% of its original value after 60 months, making it one of our top picks for a smart sedan purchase.
Photo Credit: Subaru Media
2017 Subaru Legacy — 47.6% after 36 months
We shouldn’t be surprised that Subaru takes another top spot in our list of 10 sedans that hold their value. After all, Subaru’s best attributes — a great reputation for safety, standard all-wheel drive, and tons of flexibility — are highly sought-after characteristics in a car, whether it’s new or used. The midsize Legacy might not be as entertaining to drive as some other options in the class, but it’s a responsible pick, and there’s something to be said for that. The Legacy will reward buyers with good fuel economy now, and later down the road, it should be worth about 47.6% of its original value after 36 months, and 33.2% of its original value after 60 months.
Photo Credit: Lexus Media
2017 Lexus IS — 46.7% after 36 months
The Lexus IS, a compact luxury sedan is often criticized for aspiring to, but not quite achieving, performance on par with competitors from Germany. That said, the IS holds its own as a pretty well-rounded option in its class, and it’s also got some of the best-projected values down the road. KBB’s study shows that buyers of the 2017 Lexus IS can expect it to be worth 46.7% of its original value at the 3-year mark, and 32.7% of its original value at the 5-year mark. For the 2017 model year, Lexus increased the number of standard safety features that come with the IS, which further increases the value of this compact luxury car.
Photo Credit: Toyota Media
2017 Toyota Camry — 43.8% after 36 months
Toyota joins our list of 10 sedans that hold their value with the 2017 Camry, a midsize model that’s generally one of the best sellers in its class. The Camry offers top-notch safety and reliability ratings, a comfortable interior with a high build quality, and a fair amount of features for the price. It’s not all that exciting to drive, but millions of happy Camry owners know that this car will reach its destination without drama. Since the Camry has been such a popular car for so many years, it should be no surprise that KBB expects the 2017 Camry to retain 43.8% of its value over 36 months, and 30.8% of its value over 60 months.
Photo Credit: Honda
2017 Honda Accord — 43.5% after 36 months
In the midsize car segment, the 2017 Honda Accord comes in right after its close competitor, the Camry, in our list of 10 sedans that hold their value. The Accord is another heavy-hitter in its class, with an affordable entry price, tons of options, a comfortable ride, and fantastic fuel economy. The Accord is a great car to own when you need something reliable to get you from A to B, no doubt. But the Accord serves its owners well over the long run, too. KBB expects that a 2017 Accord will be worth 43.5% of its original value after the first three years of ownership, and after five years, the Accord will be worth 31.8% of its original value.
Photo Credit: Nissan USA
2017 Nissan Maxima — 42.8% after 36 months
The 2017 Maxima is Nissan’s first entry on our list of 10 sedans that hold their value. The Maxima is a large sedan that’s a great option for buyers who like a little more room to stretch out, and among its numerous sought-after features is an easy-to-use infotainment system that now includes Apple CarPlay as standard equipment. The Maxima’s interior has a reputation for its strong build quality, class-leading seats, and high-quality finishes, which all but ensures it’ll remain comfortable and stay in good shape as long as you own it. And, when it’s time to sell, you can expect 42.8% of its original value after 36 months, or 30.8% after 60 months, according to KBB’s estimates.
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2017 Dodge Charger — 41.8% after 36 months
We have to admit, we were a little surprised that the 2017 Dodge Charger managed to snag a spot on our list of 10 sedans that hold their value. The Charger’s an affordably-priced large sedan (at least in base form), and it offers plenty of fun upgrades, which means it can give a muscle car-“lite” experience whether you’re on a budget or can afford to go all-out. That said, the Charger’s safety ratings are mediocre, its reliability is just average, and it has some obvious cost-cutting in interior build quality. Nevertheless, KBB says the Charger will retain 41.8% of its value after 36 months and 28% of its value after 60 months, figures that easily justify its inclusion here.
Photo Credit: Toyota Media
2017 Toyota Avalon — 41.0% after 36 months
The 2017 Toyota Avalon is a large sedan that tends to get overlooked compared to many of the other vehicles in the brand’s portfolio. True, the Avalon isn’t exactly exciting — but that’s exactly why it’s a smart choice for sedan buyers. The Avalon provides a strong engine, a smooth ride with predictable handling and steering, and loads of top-notch features, including some new standard safety features added to the list for this year. Prices are a little high compared to other large sedans, but that has the potential to pay off in the long run. The Avalon sneaks into the last spot on our list with 36-month projected value of 41% and 60-month projected value of 29.2%, according to KBB’s data.