The 10 Cars With Best Resale Value

jeep wrangler 2013

Photo: Chrysler

A new car starts depreciating the minute it’s driven off the lot.  According to a 2008 Edmunds survey, the average vehicle loses a third of its value in two years.

But these 10 models get high marks for retaining their worth, making Kelley Blue Book’s Top 10 list of 2013 models with the best resale value.

Can you guess which auto came out on top?

10. Scion tC

MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price): $20,000

Resale value after 36 months: 60 per cent of price when new

After 60 months: 46.5 per cent

The smallest car on the list, and one of the cheapest, the gasoline-powered, two-door tC is historically the Scion brand's top-selling model. It's a solid performer in terms of gas mileage, too, averaging 31 miles per gallon (m.p.g.).

What makes for good resale value? Keeping your car in overall good shape, for one, and keeping the mileage low. Other factors can include brand (the more recognisable, the better), colour (stick with neutral colours like black, white, and tan; hold off on the fiesta orange), and overall popularity.

The prices listed are mostly base prices for new automatic transmission vehicles, before any features are added on.

9. Honda Civic

MSRP: $20,000

Resale value after 36 months: 62.5 per cent

After 60 months: 46.9 per cent

The Honda Civic has been in production for nearly 30 years and is consistently the top-selling compact car in the United States. One of two Honda-made vehicles on the list, the Civic is hard to beat in terms of brand recognition, and it come in a wide range of styles, from hatchbacks to hybrids.

8. Lexus LX

MSRP: between $75,000 and $85,000 (2012 model)

Resale value after 36 months: 65 per cent

After 60 months: 47 per cent

The swanky cousin of the Toyota Land Cruiser, this full-size SUV is in its third generation and has been sold by Lexus since 1996. It's the most expensive SUV on the Lexus roster, and among the least fuel-efficient vehicles on the list (the 2012 model averages 17 m.p.g. on the highway and a measly 12 m.p.g. in the city).

7. Porsche Cayenne

MSRP: $53,000

Resale value after 36 months: 67 per cent

After 60 months: 47.3 per cent

The first Cayenne model came out a decade ago to a tepid response; now, it's the top-selling Porsche in the US and is considered the gold standard for SUVs with a sports car edge. The Cayenne also comes in diesel and pricey turbo varieties. With all the bells and whistles, the car can top out at around $150,000 in price. The Cayenne averages 22 m.p.g. in fuel efficiency.

6. Toyota Land Cruiser

MSRP: $80,000

Resale value after 36 months: 62 per cent

After 60 months: 49 per cent

The Land Cruiser is the first of four Toyotas on the list (six, if you count the Toyota-owned Scion and Lexus brands). The full-size SUV is also the oldest Toyota nameplate -- the automaker started producing the sport utility vehicles in the early 1950s to compete with Jeep. But that brand familiarity comes at a cost: most of the features on the 2013 model come standard, making the starting base price quite high. Like its Lexus LX cousin, the Land Cruiser is a gas-guzzler, averaging 18 m.p.g.

5. Toyota 4-Runner

MSRP: $32,000

Resale value after 36 months: 66.7 per cent

After 60 months: 49 per cent

Toyota's mid-size SUV offering is a much cheaper option than the Land Cruiser, topping out at around $46,000 in price. Launched in 1984 as little more than a pickup truck with a covered bed, it has evolved into a more typical SUV over the past three decades. Not a great performer on the fuel-efficiency front, the 4-Runner gets around 22 m.p.g. on the highway.

4. Honda CR-V

MSRP: $23,500

Resale value after 36 months: 64.7 per cent

After 60 months: 50.7 per cent

Honda's popular crossover vehicle is the brand's best-selling SUV, and one of its smallest. Gas-powered, the vehicle averages 31 m.p.g. on the highway, ranking a respectable fifth of 15 in fuel-efficiency among compact SUVs by Kelley Blue Book.

3. Jeep Wrangler

MSRP: $23,000

Resale value after 36 months: 67.6 per cent

After 60 months: 55.4 per cent

The Wrangler, Jeep's beloved off-roader, has had a relatively consistent look and feel since its debut in 1987, which may contribute to its high resale value. According to Kelley Blue Book, the 2013 model is larger and safer than in previous years and remains one of the last off-road vehicles available with a manual transmission. The 2013 Wrangler gets an average 21 m.p.g. on the highway.

It's the lone American-made vehicle on the list.

2. Toyota Tacoma

MSRP: $18,000

Resale value after 36 months: 70.6 per cent

After 60 months: 57 per cent

The only pickup truck in the Top 10, the Tacoma has made Kelley's list for 10 straight years, and it's the best-selling compact pickup in the US. Kelley attributes the Tacoma's success to being one of the few pickups on the market that effectively pulls double duty as a reliable worker and a family vehicle, with solid towing capability and a comfortable ride. It gets decent gas mileage for a truck, at 24 m.p.g.

1. Toyota FJ Cruiser

MSRP: $28,000

Resale value after 36 months: 76 per cent

After 60 months: 63 per cent

The FJ Cruiser is expected to retain its resale value better than other comparable off-road SUVs, including the Nissan Xterra and the Pathfinder. It's one of the newer models on the list, first introduced in 2003. The vehicle is a fun off-roader, but it has some practical drawbacks -- it ranks dead last in fuel-efficiency among other vehicles in its class, at 20 m.p.g., and it doesn't have as much cargo room as its size suggests. Still, the FJ Cruiser is projected to have the best resale of any 2013 model.

Want even more reason to go with these budget friendly cars?

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