With advances in technology allowing us to hold endless information at our fingertips, car shoppers are savvier than ever about finding discounts on vehicles they’re interested in. Yet many continue to neglect another important financial factor - the vehicle’s resale value. The resale value of the car you buy can be just as crucial as its sale price because it factors into your total cost of ownership. Unless you plan to drive your new car until the wheels fall off, depreciation will be the single biggest expense of buying a new car.
To help you decide on your next vehicle and recoup as much as possible when you sell it, Kelly Blue Book ranks vehicles with the best resale value based on extensive vehicle data and market conditions. We break down what factors affect resale value and the full list of the 2018 winners to guide you in your car buying decision.
What Determines Resale Value?
According to Kelly Blue Book, over the span of 5 years, depreciation is a bigger expense than other auto-related costs like fuel, maintenance, and insurance. The average new car will only be worth about 33% of its sticker price after 5 years, while these 10 vehicles will be worth on average, 51%. This can make a difference of thousands of dollars back in your pocket when you're ready to sell and upgrade.
Brand reliability ratings and market conditions such as the demand for a segment are the major determining factors for resale value. Toyota and pickup trucks dominate the list thanks to Toyota's excellent reliability ratings and the exploding popularity of pickup trucks. Rugged, body-on-frame SUVs were also well represented due to their longevity.
1. 2018 Toyota Tacoma
A 4-time defending champ of maintaining its resale value, the Toyota Tacoma is a solid choice if you're looking for a mid-size pickup. The 2018 Tacoma has Toyota's
Starting MSRP: $25,400
Resale Value at 36 months: 69.6%
Resale Value at 60 months: 61.1%
2. 2018 Toyota Tundra
The 2018 Toyota Tundra isn't far behind the Tacoma when it comes to its resale value. The full-size truck comes with a capable V8 standard and can tow up to 10,500 pounds when properly equipped. Although its ride isn't as smooth and car-like as some of the competitors, it holds up well as a workhorse truck that will also hold its value through the years.
Starting MSRP: $31,320
Resale Value at 36 months: 64.7%
Resale Value at 60 months: 54.2%
3. 2018 Toyota 4Runner
The 2018 Toyota 4Runner rounds out Toyota's resale value dynasty and is one of the few body-on-frame SUVs still available. Although it's a little dated, it has a lot to offer. Its cargo space is plentiful, it handles off-roading like a beast and it has a unique exterior style that stands apart from the sea of crossovers on the road. This rugged, mid-size SUV will serve you well today and a few years down the road when you're ready to move on.
Starting MSRP: $34,810
Resale Value at 36 months: 65.8%
Resale Value at 60 months: 54.2%
4. 2018 Jeep Wrangler
The Jeep Wrangler is a smart buy from both a financial and performance angle. The 2018 Wrangler became a more refined SUV but it also hasn't lost any of its off-road capabilities. A well-tuned suspension offers a smoother ride and the 2018 Wrangler has precise steering to handle curves better than ever before. When you're ready to upgrade to a new Jeep, you'll be able to get a good chunk of change back.
Starting MSRP: $27,945
Resale Value at 36 months: 65.2%
Resale Value at 60 months: 54.1%
5. 2018 GMC Sierra
The 2018 GMC Sierra combines a luxurious driving experience with a capable and rugged side. An optional 6.2-liter V8 produces 420 horsepower which can tow over 12,000 pounds. The advanced technology in the 2018 Sierra makes towing safer and easier, and the infotainment system is top notch. Sierra owners won't have to worry about high depreciation since its resale value after 5 years is almost 50% higher than the average vehicle.
Starting MSRP: $29,000
Resale Value at 36 months: 58.4%
Resale Value at 60 months: 51.9%
6. 2018 Chevrolet Silverado
The 2018 Chevy Silverado is available with multiple engine options including a V6, V8, a turbocharged four-cylinder, and a diesel inline-six. The V8 offers up 420 horsepower and can tow up to 12,500 pounds. The full-size pickup truck provides a smooth and agile ride and excellent infotainment. When you're trading up to a newer model in 5 years, you'll likely be able to get over half the value to put towards something new and improved.
Starting MSRP: $28,300
Resale Value at 36 months: 57.6%
Resale Value at 60 months: 50.4%
7. 2018 Ford F-Series
Trailing the Chevy Silverado in resale value is its biggest rival, the Ford F-Series. The 2018 Ford F-150 is Ford's best selling model and for good reason. The full-size truck is a solid workhorse that can be customized with several engine options including an excellent V8 that's new for 2018 as well as a new transmission which brings horsepower up to 395.
Starting MSRP: $27,705
Resale Value at 36 months: 58.7%
Resale Value at 60 months: 49.6%
8. 2018 Chevrolet Colorado
The Chevy Silverado's smaller sibling follows in its footsteps when it comes to resale value. The mid-size 2018 Chevrolet Colorado is also a great choice for everyday driving and tackling tougher hauling and towing jobs. In addition to being able to tow up to 7,000 pounds, the 2018 Colorado offers up plenty of off-road fun, especially in the ZR2 trim.
Starting MSRP: $20,200
Resale Value at 36 months: 60.5%
Resale Value at 60 months: 47.5%
9. 2018 Honda Ridgeline
Honda's only pickup truck, the 2018 Honda Ridgeline is anything but a typical truck. That's exactly what makes it so popular and contributes to its high resale value. Built on a unibody construction, the Ridgeline drives just like a car or crossover and has plenty of convenient features for families like smart storage and great passenger space. Despite its unique appearance, the Ridgeline can get the job done with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 280 horsepower and a 5,000 pounds towing capacity.
Starting MSRP: $29,730
Resale Value at 36 months: 60.7%
Resale Value at 60 months: 46.7%
10. 2018 Subaru WRX
If you're looking for a sedan that won't leave you empty-handed when you go to sell, the 2018 Subaru WRX is the only car that made KBB's top 10 list. Subaru is high on reliability ratings which helped propel the WRX to this list. In addition to getting above average resale value when you're trading in down the road, the WRX is a thrilling sports car to drive with excellent acceleration, steering, and traction.
Starting MSRP: $26,995
Resale Value at 36 months: 57.8%
Resale Value at 60 months: 46.2%