For some, a car is a long-term, tangible investment that will repay its owner with years upon years of service before ultimately succumbing to old age and the harsh paces that we tend to put our cars through. For others, cars are a more short-term endeavor — to be used for a little while before being passed on while they still hold some sort of significant monetary value that can be reclaimed. In terms of the latter, the Kelley Blue Book has created a list of your best investment bets if you’re not planning to hang on to your car for the long term.
Immediately, one might notice that there is a conspicuous shortage of American companies listed in the top 10. While the Chevrolet (NYSE:GM) Camaro was able to snag the tenth spot last year, it appears to have been bumped off this year, potentially due to the release of a new, refreshed model. Although the Jeep Wrangler snagged third place (down from first last year), the domination by Japanese brands highlights the difficulties that American mainstays like GM and Ford (NYSE:F) are having when it comes to maintaining price power over time.
However, many of these brands — Cadillac, notably, as well as Ford and Chevy — are currently undergoing significant overhauls throughout much of their respective lineups. Down the road, these new models now may be able to hold their own more effectively. Here are the top-rated 10 best resale values, as per the Kelley Blue Book.
10. Scion tC
At three years, the sporty, fun, and comparatively affordable Scion (NYSE:TM) tC can be resold for roughly 60 percent of its MSRP value. By five years, owners can still reclaim 46.5 percent, making the tC a pretty decent investment.
9. Honda Civic
Honda’s (NYSE:HMC) Civic has long been a mainstay of the reliable, affordable auto marketplace, and it has the official Kelley numbers to prove it. At 3 years, owners can reclaim as much as 62.5 percent of the original price — by five, a handsome 46.9 percent.
8. Lexus LX
Well-appointed and spacious, the Lexus LX SUV is reportedly good for 65 percent of its original value at three years. Two years later, owners can expect to relinquish around 47 percent.
7. Porsche Cayenne
The first full, family-friendly Porsche is now the brand’s best selling model in the States. However, it appears that going mass-market hasn’t hurt the name’s cachet too much. The Cayenne is still worth around 67 percent after three years, and 47.3 after five.
6. Toyota Land Cruiser
Essentially Toyota’s ‘lower-end’ version of the LX, the Land Cruiser is still the most expensive model sold in the U.S. Interestingly, the Land Cruiser will return around 62 percent after three years. While less than the Porsche, it will still be good for an impressive 49 percent after five years.
5. Toyota 4Runner
Toyota’s more trail-going SUV can reclaim up to 66.7 percent of its original MSRP after three years and 49 percent after five. The Blue Book notes that, “As car-like crossovers continue to displace truck-based SUVs, the venerable and capable Toyota 4Runner is regaining its specialness.”
4. Honda CR-V
A favorite in the compact SUV class, the CR-V is both comfortable and utilitarian. It’s still good for 64.7 percent of its original value by three years and crosses the 50 percent threshold (with 50.7 percent) at five.
3. Jeep Wrangler
Iconic, capable, and the true outdoor enthusiast’s car, the Jeep (FIATY.PK) Wrangler took the number one spot in 2012, but falls to number three with a three-year resale value of 67.6 percent and a five-year value at 55.4 percent.
2. Toyota Tacoma
“A 10-time Best Resale Value Award winner, the Toyota Tacoma is both the resale value and sales leader of the competitive mid-size pickup segment,” the Kelley Blue Book notes. It’s not hard to see why as it can retain 70.3 percent of its value after three years and 57 percent after five.
1. Toyota FJ Cruiser
Clocking in with a 76.3 percent resale value after three years, the Toyota FJ is the number one pick for 2013 models for the measure. Capable and dependable, the FJ will sadly be discontinued after next year. If you’re looking to buy one five years from now, you’ll still be paying 67 percent of what a new model is going for today.
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