For many Americans, a new car will be the second-largest purchase of their lives — next to owning a home. With the average transaction price of a new vehicle now exceeding $35,000, buyers find it even more important to know that their new purchase will retain its value for years to come. Although most vehicles depreciate considerably the moment they’re driven off a dealer’s lot, Kelley Blue Book says the cars and trucks highlighted here will retain their value better than all others in their respective categories. Prices listed are base MSRP with no optional equipment.
Best Brand — Toyota
When it comes to building vehicles that hold their value, Toyota remains at the top as Best Brand for the last three years. Fielding three best-resale vehicles of the top 10, Toyota’s overall placement isn’t a big surprise.
Best Luxury Brand — Porsche
Porsche has also resided at the top for the last three years, maintaining its place as Best Luxury Brand. With two category winners in the Panamera and Macan as well as a strong showing from the Cayenne and a new 911 on the way, Porsche will likely be a tough competitor for years to come.
Best Compact Car — Honda Civic
Value in 36 months: 55.5% of MSRP — $10,795
Value in 60 months: 41.2% of MSRP — $8,013
The Honda Civic edged out last year’s winner — the Subaru Impreza — to take the top spot in the compact car category. The 10th generation of this popular car debuted early in 2017 featuring fresh styling, improved aerodynamics, new vehicle architecture, a more spacious interior and two new engines. Fuel economy also is impressive — rated as high as 42 mpg with a new turbocharged powerplant.
Best Mid-Size Car — Subaru Legacy
Value in 36 months: 51.8% of MSRP — $11,678
Value in 60 months: 38.4% of MSRP — $8,657
The Honda Accord and Toyota Camry may be among the most recognizable names in the family sedan market, but with a competitive starting price and the added security of standard all-wheel drive, the Subaru Legacy could be considered the undiscovered gem of this segment. Legacy was all new for 2015 with updates in 2018, and this is its third year of the last four at the top of the Mid-Size Car category.
Best Full-Size Car — Dodge Charger
Value in 36 months: 48.3% of MSRP — $14,113
Value in 60 months: 35.0% of MSRP — $10,227
For the Charger to hold its resale value better than any other large car is quite an achievement considering this car has not changed all that much since it returned to the market almost 15 years ago. In keeping with the idea of the original Charger, Dodge has retained this proper muscle car’s pedigree with rear-wheel drive and a range of powerful engines — topping the charts is a supercharged V8 in the Hellcat that generates more than 700 horsepower.
Best Sports Car — Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
Value in 36 months: 58.5% of MSRP – $34,597
Value in 60 months: 46.5% of MSRP — $27,500
Whenever the name Shelby gets put on a Mustang, it’s practically guaranteed that performance will be over the top. Similar to the original GT350 introduced in 1965, this modern iteration takes an everyday Mustang (which is an awesome car on its own) and turns it into a high-performance street-legal race car. At the heart of this transformation is the most powerful naturally-aspirated engine Ford has ever produced. The all-new 5.2-liter flat-plane crankshaft V8 is unique to the GT350 and makes an impressive 526 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque.
Best Entry-Level Luxury Car — Lexus RC
Value in 36 months: 54.5% of MSRP — $22,424
Value in 60 months: 38.5% of MSRP — $15,841
The Lexus RC has owned this category since the luxury car’s rollout for 2015. Designed as a sport coupe rather than simply a 2-door version of a sedan, the RC has the signature large Lexus grille and features a wide stance with rear- or all-wheel drive. A variety of engines offer differing levels of performance, ranging from the 241-horsepower RC 200t to the RC F with its 5.0-liter V8 putting out 467 horsepower.
Best Luxury Car — Audi A7
Value in 36 months: 47.3% of MSRP — $32,164
Value in 60 months: 32.2% of MSRP — $21,964
The luxurious and sporty Audi A7 was all new for the 2018 model year, and Kelley Blue Book says the new model will hold its value well enough to unseat the Lexus GS that held this position for the last few years. One of the most captivating luxury sportback models on the market, the A7 retains its signature sleek silhouette; however, it now provides a more comfortable environment for rear-seat occupants via increased headroom and legroom.
Best High-End Luxury Car — Porsche Panamera
Value in 36 months: 49.9% of MSRP — $43,064
Value in 60 months: 34.2% of MSRP — $29,515
A few years ago, the Porsche Panamera was reimagined with much more appealing design that improved its resale value enough to put it atop this luxury category. With the addition of the Sport Turismo to the lineup, this 4-door sports car seems to have solidified its position. Panamera is available with a wide choice of powertrains including a hybrid V8 that generates 680 horsepower.
Best Hybrid Car— Honda Insight
Value in 36 months: 53.7% of MSRP — $12,313
Value in 60 months: 37.7% of MSRP — $8,645
In 1999 the Honda Insight was a small 2-seat hatchback that held the honor of being the first hybrid car ever sold in America. Now the Insight has returned to the Honda lineup as an all-new model positioned between the Civic and Accord. Insight gets a fuel-efficient powertrain with a 1.5-liter Atkinson Cycle engine teamed with an electric motor delivering a total of 151 horsepower and 197 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy numbers are impressive — this roomy 4-door sedan delivers 55 mpg city / 49 mpg hwy / 52 mpg combined.
Best Electric Vehicle — Tesla Model 3
Value in 36 months: 69.3% of MSRP — $24,913
Value in 60 months: 48.7% of MSRP — $17,508
The third model from America’s most successful all-EV automaker, the eponymous Model 3 is more affordable than the higher-end Model S and Model X. With a bold level of standard equipment and sleek styling that befits the rest of the Tesla lineup, the more economically-priced Model 3 was created for high-volume sales. Although the Model 3’s standard battery delivers a 220-mile range, the Long Range trim features a larger battery that bumps the range to 310 miles. Performance is impressive — the dual-motor all-wheel-drive Model 3 sprints to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.
Best Subcompact SUV/Crossover — Honda HR-V
Value in 36 months: 58.2% of MSRP — $11,943
Value in 60 months: 41.0% of MSRP — $8,413
The HR-V is the smallest of the Honda crossover lineup, and it has held the best resale value of any subcompact SUV since its introduction in 2016. With a surprisingly spacious interior, the HR-V can handle cargo of myriad shape and size with its configurable second-row “Magic Seat.” Power comes from a 141-horse engine teamed with a continuously variable transmission, offering reasonable performance in this very competitive market segment.
Best Compact SUV/Crossover — Subaru Crosstrek
Value in 36 months: 63.7% of MSRP — $13,947
Value in 60 months: 49.3% of MSRP — $10,794
Subaru introduced the next-generation Crosstrek last year, built on an all-new platform that originally debuted with the Impreza. The new Crosstrek is slightly longer and wider than the outgoing model, which not only provides more interior space but also gives the crossover a more aggressive look. Crosstrek comes equipped with full-time all-wheel drive as well as available Eye Sight — Subaru’s innovative driver-assist system that utilizes stereo forward-facing cameras as well as other sensors.
Best Mid-Size SUV/Crossover (2-Row) — Subaru Outback
Value in 36 months: 59.0% of MSRP — $15,544
Value in 60 months: 45.2% of MSRP — $11,908
One of the vehicles that helped define the crossover segment, the Outback is Subaru’s best-selling model. In fact, the company recently celebrated the 2-millionth Outback sold in America. The last extensive redesign was for the 2015 model year, and for 2018 Outback received revised exterior styling and interior updates with more premium materials. New multimedia features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Nuance voice recognition, and steering-responsive LED headlights are offered.
Best Mid-Size SUV/Crossover (3-Row) — Toyota Highlander
Value in 36 months: 60.2% of MSRP — $18,861
Value in 60 months: 46.3% of MSRP — $14,506
For this year’s Best Resale Values, Kelley Blue Book added a category to call out 3-row midsize crossovers. The Toyota Highlander tops this new category after being runner-up for the last few years within the midsize crossover segment. Highlander received a major update for the 2017 model year that included performance upgrades, refreshed styling and a new SE trim level. Toyota also offers the fuel-efficient Highlander Hybrid featuring a direct-injection 3.5-liter V6 gas engine teamed with an electric drive motor-generator to produce a total of 306 horsepower while delivering an EPA estimated 29 mpg in combined city and highway driving.
Best Full-Size SUV/Crossover — Chevrolet Tahoe
Value in 36 months: 55.0% of MSRP — $25,740
Value in 60 months: 43.0% of MSRP — $20,124
There aren’t many vehicles on the road that can compete with the Chevrolet Tahoe. With seating for up to nine occupants, plenty of cargo capacity, the capability to tow more than 8,500 pounds, and 9 inches of ground clearance for off-road adventures, the Tahoe is one of the most capable SUVs on the road. Available with 2WD or 4WD, Tahoe can also be equipped with a suite of safety features as well as 4G LTE connectivity with a Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless phone charging, power-folding second- and third-row seats, an 8-inch color touchscreen and multiple USB ports.
Best Off-Road SUV/Crossover — Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Value in 36 months: 67.4% of MSRP — $21,261
Value in 60 months: 58.8% of MSRP — $18,548
An all-new Jeep Wrangler was introduced last year, and sales of this iconic off-roader have never been better. The new Wrangler also carries the second-highest resale value of all the vehicles listed in this study. The 2018 Wrangler retains its 7-slot grille and round headlights but is more aerodynamic than the previous generation. Two hardtops, a new Sunrider soft-top and a new Sky One-Touch power top are offered. Both 2- and 4-door versions are available in Sport, Sport S, Rubicon and Sahara trim levels. The new Wrangler is much improved, offering a more comfortable ride on-road while retaining its legendary off-road capability.
Best Luxury Subcompact SUV/Crossover – Lexus UX
Value in 36 months: 54.0% of MSRP — $17,280
Value in 60 months: 37.5% of MSRP — $12,000
The first Lexus vehicle to use the brand’s new Global Architecture — Compact platform, the all-new UX benefits from a rigid structure and low center of gravity to deliver both agile handling and ride comfort. The exterior design is similar to the larger NX and RX models but more aggressive, with a large spindle grille that dominates the front view along with flared fenders. The UX will be offered in two versions: UX 200 and UX 250h — the latter utilizes a new fourth-generation hybrid drive system with total system output of 181 horsepower. E-Four All-Wheel Drive adds an additional electric motor at the rear axle to give the 250h AWD capability.
Best Luxury Compact SUV/Crossover — Porsche Macan
Value in 36 months: 65.0% of MSRP — $32,435
Value in 60 months: 50.0% of MSRP — $24,950
The luxury compact SUV market is plenty crowded, but the Macan certainly stands out from that crowd. The second crossover in the current Porsche lineup, Macan is the tenth-highest overall when it comes to resale value. Styled after the larger Cayenne, Macan still embodies all qualities expected from the iconic German sports car brand. Macan comes with full-time all-wheel drive and is available with various powertrains ranging from a 2.0-liter 252-horsepower 4-cylinder engine to a 440-horsepower V6 in the Macan Turbo with Performance Package.
Best Luxury Mid-Size SUV/Crossover (2 Row) — Lexus RX
Value in 36 months: 63.2% of MSRP — $27,536
Value in 60 months: 43,7% of MSRP — $19,040
One of the first luxury crossovers when it debuted as a 1998 model, the RX combines the utility of an SUV with the ride and comfort of a luxury sedan. Last year Lexus upped the utility of the RX by adding the RX L trim, which is slightly larger and offers seating for up to seven with a new third row. The RX is available as the RX 350 or the RX 450h — the latter featuring a powerful and fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain.
Best Luxury Mid-Size SUV/Crossover (2 Row) — Lexus GX
Value in 36 months: 57.0% of MSRP — $29,728
Value in 60 months: 40.0% of MSRP — $20,862
Many of today’s midsize utility vehicles — such as the Lexus RX — are crossovers based on car platforms, but the Lexus GX is a highly-capable off-road vehicle based on the same platform as the Toyota 4Runner. Utilizing trucklike body-on-frame construction, the GX460 gets power from a 4.6-liter V8 engine that produces 301 horsepower and 329 lb-ft of torque with a full-time 4-wheel-drive system, advanced dynamic control systems and a 6,500-pound towing capacity. Despite exceptional off-road capability, the GX460 features luxurious amenities inside, while the standard Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System delivers a smooth, comfortable ride outside.
Best Luxury Full-Size SUV/Crossover — Lexus LX
Value in 36 months: 62.0% of MSRP — $53,215
Value in 60 months: 49.0% of MSRP — $42,057
The largest vehicle in the Lexus lineup with a grille to match, the LX 570 is known for its luxurious amenities, although many consumers don’t realize the LX also offers extreme off-road capability. A lockable center differential and 2-speed transfer case are standard as are crawl control, hill-start assist control, multi-terrain select and active height control that can raise ground clearance by up to 3 inches. Inside, the LX 570 has seating for eight in extremely luxurious surroundings that include a power-sliding second row and a power-folding third row.
Best Minivan/Van — Honda Odyssey
Value in 36 months: 55.5% of MSRP — $16,755
Value in 60 months: 40.2% of MSRP — $12,136
One of the most popular minivans on the market, the Odyssey was all new for the 2018 model year. With an expressive new exterior design, the updated Odyssey features the new “Magic Slide” second-row seat system that offers multiple seat configurations and third-row access options. The center second-row seat can be removed, or the outboard seats can be moved laterally between five positions for third-row access. Odyssey is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine creating 280 horsepower. Advanced connectivity and entertainment features include CabinWatch, CabinTalk & streaming video with 4G LTE Wi-Fi.
Best Midsize Pickup Truck — Toyota Tacoma
Value in 36 months: 69.4% of MSRP — $17,732
Value in 60 months: 62.2% of MSRP — $15,892
Not only is the Toyota Tacoma the most popular midsize truck on the market, it holds its value better than any other vehicle in America. Completely redesigned in 2016, Tacoma is offered as an Access Cab with rear-hinged doors to access the storage area behind the seat, as well as the 4-door Double Cab. Both cab styles are offered in 4X2 and 4X4. The 3.5-liter V6 engine provides plenty of power and actually achieves better fuel economy than the lesser-powered 4-cylinder option.
Best Full-Size Pickup Truck — Toyota Tundra
Value in 36 months: 64.8% of MSRP — $20,360
Value in 60 months: 55.6% of MSRP — $17,470
Although the Tundra doesn’t come close in sales to the American full-size pickup offerings, this big truck is third overall when it comes to holding its value. There are almost 50 different configurations of Toyota’s full-size pickup truck with multiple cabs, bed lengths, powertrains and trim levels. With trims ranging from the basic SR to the luxurious Platinum, Tundra offers impressive capability and Toyota’s reputation for reliability in a very tough truck market.
Best Full-Size Pickup Truck (Heavy Duty) — Chevrolet Silverado HD
Value in 36 months: 65.3% of MSRP — $24,553
Value in 60 months: 62.5% of MSRP — $23,500
When consumers move into the heavy-duty truck market, their choices narrow considerably. The Silverado HD combines impressive capability with a comfortable cabin and driving ease. The latter is further improved with Chevrolet’s New Digital Steering Assist power steering — designed to make hauling and trailering more manageable via electronic controls that enhance road holding and stability on the highway. Silverado HD can tow as much as 23,300 pounds when properly equipped. Look for an all-new 2020 Silverado HD to arrive later this year.