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Cars & SUVs with the Best Resale Value

The Mini Cooper is one of the best resale value cars today.
For many people, a car’s resale value is one of the biggest considerations when purchasing a new vehicle. Car buyers often want to be reassured that they will get a decent return on their investment when it comes time for them to resell their car and buy a new one. Not surprisingly, cars with best resale value are often also the cars that are the most in demand.

Calculating Resale Value

Within the auto industry, resale value is typically the amount a dealer would be willing to pay if you were to trade your car in after three or four years of use. The actual amount is computed using a complex set of calculations based on multiple factors such as brand, historical performance data and reviews, previous resale data, and customer demand. Kiplinger and Kelley Blue Book are two of the most trusted resources within the automobile industry for identifying the best resale value cars in any given year.

Vehicle Categories

Both Kiplinger and Kelley rank vehicles by category. Kiplinger, for instance, uses 22 different categories for classifying vehicles starting with subcompacts, compacts and mid-size vehicles all the way through mid-size SUVs, crossovers, minivans and vans. Kelley, on the other hand, often tends to categorize cars by price, starting with cars that cost under $20,000 and topping off with SUVs, vans and minivans. As a result, the list of cars with the highest resale value and best resale value SUVs from the two companies are often slightly different.

Best Value Cars for 2013

The best resale value cars of 2013 from Kelley Blue Book include the 2013 Honda Civic in the compact category, the 2013 Honda Accord in the mid-size segment, and the 2013 Toyota Avalon in the full-size market. In each case, the company based its ranking on factors such as fuel economy, performance, driving dynamics, comfort and safety features. The Honda Accord was estimated to have a resale value of 58.5 percent at the end of three years, and slightly over 46 percent after 48 months. In others words, if you were to sell the car after three years, you could expect to get close to 60 percent of what you paid for the car right now. All the other vehicles in the list had similarly high resale values. Meanwhile, the 12 best cars with the highest resale value according to Kiplinger were the Ford Focus S in the sub-$20,000 category, the Mini Cooper Hardtop in the $20,000 to $25,000 segment, the Mini Cooper Coupe S in the $25,000 to $30,000 market, and the Volvo S60 T5 in the $30,000 to $40,000 range. The Ford Focus has a resale value of over 62 percent after three years, and a surprising 45 percent after five years, while the Mini Cooper Hardtop has an even higher resale value of 68 percent after 36 months and 53 percent after five years, according to Kiplinger.

Top Ranked SUVs

The top of the line full-size SUV for 2013 according to Kelley Blue Book is the Toyota Sequoia, with a three-year resale value of nearly 60 percent, followed by the 2013 Ford Explorer, which had a resale value of close to 57 percent after three years. Meanwhile, the LX RS 350 topped Kiplinger’s list of midsize and large crossovers with a estimated three-year resale value of 61 percent. Of course, other vehicles, such as the Jeep Wrangler and the Toyota FJ Cruiser, have exceedingly high resale values for their off-road-enthusiast fans.