These Two Car Brands Retain The Most Resale Value

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Toyota and Honda are scoring big in two competing indexes that measure how well new cars are expected to retain their value.For the second year, Toyota and its luxury brand, Lexus, hold the top spots overall when it comes to resale value in Kelley Blue Book’s predictions announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

And Honda and its Acura luxury division are the big winners in a similar survey by ALG, which also tracks expected car depreciation.

When it comes to individual models in various car categories, Honda did well in KBB’s survey with Honda Fit, Civic and Accord, which all were the leaders of their respective categories.

ALG, once known as Automotive Lease Guide, gave a big nod to Hyundai in its rankings: Elantra, Azera and Santa Fe were category leaders.

Overall, a new car bought today is expected to be worth 38.2% of its original value in five years, KBB says. That’s an increase of 2.5 percentage points compared with the 2012 model-year average from the same period last year.

KBB and ALG’s indexes are closely watched in the car industry because projected resale value over five years is considered a key measure of quality and how well automakers are managing their business.

A decade ago, for instance, Detroit automakers all had relatively low resale values on their vehicles because they were selling new ones at hefty fleet discounts, making the older ones less valuable.

For Toyota, the place atop KBB’s 2013 Residual Analysis Report shows how far it’s come since the recalls and safety questions around its vehicles in the wake of unintended-acceleration fears a few years ago. It, as did other Japanese automakers, also saw a dramatic drop in inventory following the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami. This year, Toyota has been posting record sales increases.

“After the past two tumultuous years, Toyota bounced back in 2012 to prove it hadn’t lost its competitive spirit,” said Eric Ibara, director of residual consulting for Kelley Blue Book, in a statement. “Enduring some of its darkest days in the U.S. market after unintended-acceleration issues caused a massive worldwide recall of Toyota models, the brand managed to retain residual value levels consistent with its historical averages.”

KBB says Toyota improved its 60-month average residual value by more than 3 percentage points from this time last year. Its FJ Cruiser and Tacoma continue to be tops in their truck categories. The next Avalon full-size car, which underwent a dramatic restyling, is projected to have a nearly 8 percentage-point increase in projected resale value over five years.

Overall, the forecast says trucks will hold more value than cars. The average 60-month residual value across all trucks will be 39.8%, compared with cars at 37.2%.

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