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By the time it’s five years old, the average vehicle’s value has dropped by about 66%. The editors of Kelley Blue Bookcompile an annual list of those vehicles that best hold their value, based on supply and demand as well as current and projected future market conditions.
The 2011 brand for overall best resale value is Subaru, which are expected to be worth 39% of their purchase price after five years of ownership. The best resale make for luxury cars is BMW, with 37.1% expected value retention after five years.
As for the standouts among specific models, click ahead to view Kelley Blue Book’s winners in every category, from subcompact on up to full-size pickup and over to luxury. (Note: Resale values listed are taken from Kelley Blue Book's website and are calculated based on list price, not MSRP.)
By Colleen Kane
Posted 19 Jan 2011
Category: Subcompact Car
Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $6,260.75
Retained Value: 39.5%
Why it’s Popular: Honda returned to its hatchback roots with the Fitand despite the car carrying a price tag several thousand dollars over its subcompact competitors, it’s been a success. Two reasons why: the Honda Fit rates well for reliability and has good fuel economy at 35 MPG.
Category: Compact Car
Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $7,954
Retained Value: 40.6%
Why it’s Popular: Distinctive style and high performance (users give it 4.7 out of 5 stars for both performance and style), are the duo that helped make the MINI Coopertake the compact car category.
Category: Mid-Size Car
Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $7,745.20
Retained Value: 37.4%
Why it’s Popular:Sporty yet sensible, the Honda Accord sedan and coupe rate 4.5 out of 5 stars for style.
Category: Full-Size Car
Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $7,299.30
Retained Value: 32.3%
Why it’s Popular: The Taurus amended its family-friendly reputation with a sedan that still looks sleek with an emphasis on driving dynamics and technologies such as standard Bluetooth hands-free communication.
Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $8,582.15
Retained Value: 41.3%
Why it’s Popular: This wagon scores high for fuel economy and safety, and the Outback’s more rugged features include off-roading ability and slightly raised rear seats that, lend an SUV feel to the car.
Category: Sports Car
Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $5,948.30
Retained Value: 42.7%
Why it’s Popular: The Impreza may not be the most economical among its competitors, but this compact car has all-wheel drive, making it versatile for all weather conditions, and tech features like Bluetooth, a removable TomTom GPS unit, and iPod integration.
Category: High-Performance Car
Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $8,415.10
Retained Value: 39.5%
Why it’s Popular: The classic model in Ford’s stable, the Mustang remains a sporty two-door coupe with a 4.6-liter V8 engine, and now comes equipped with standard AdvanceTrac Electronic Stability Control.
Category: Hybrid/ Alternative Energy Car
Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $8,361
Retained Value: 39.0%
Why it’s Popular: After two stints when it was known as the Rabbit, the Golf TDI hatchback stands apart from its peers in that it now features a highly efficient turbocharged direct injection diesel engine.
Category: Compact Utility Vehicle
Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $9,328.85
Retained Value: 46.8%
Why it’s Popular: The CR-V compact utility vehiclewas one of the first of its kind and has retained attributes that made it popular: the high riding height and cargo capacity with the stability of all-wheel drive.
Category: Mid-Size Utility Vehicle
Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $10,962
Retained Value: 42.0%
Why it’s Popular: The rugged Toyota FJ Cruiser has a slightly retro look (it’s descended from the much-loved Toyota Land Cruiser) and with 32-inch tires, a steep approach and departure angles, it’s well equipped for off-roading.
Category: Full-Size Utility Vehicle
Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $12,099.20
Retained Value: 37.3%
Why it’s Popular: The GMC Acadia is a crossover SUV is known less for its “sport” and more for its “utility,” as the suspension is best suited for on-road driving. Part of the Acadia’s appeal is that it has the space of a minivan, with a seating capacity of up to eight people.
Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $8,104.80
Retained Value: 37.0%
Why it’s Popular: The 2011 Toyota Siennahas a new exterior redesign. Inside the also-upgraded interior are lounge-style reclining second-row seats with leg rests, and in-car entertainment system capable of showing two different programs.
Category: Mid-Size Pickup
Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $9,102.46
Retained Value: 44.5%
Why it’s Popular: The Tacoma is a bestseller in its category largely thanks to its longtime reputation as a reliable workhorse. Also helping its already strong case: a powerful V6 engine.
Category: Full-Size Pickup
Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $7,396.95
Retained Value: 38.7%
Why it’s Popular: The Ford F-Series Super Duty, has been the best-selling truck in America for 33 years. The 2011 retains the ever-popular payload and towing capabilities and is also fresh off a powertrain overhaul, with four all-new engines and a six-speed automatic transmission.
Category: Near-Luxury Car
Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $15,956
Retained Value: 39.8%
Why it’s Popular: The IS is sporty and luxurious, but still priced in the “near-luxury” echelon, and carries the quality reputation of the Lexus brand.
Category: Luxury Car
Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $15,330
Retained Value: 42.7%
Why it’s popular: The Audi A5’s, recent addition of all wheel drive won over even the skeptics, its performance is powerful, and looks-wise, it’s just one sleek coupe.
2011 BMW X5
Category: Luxury Utility Vehicle
Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $20,610
Retained Value: 44.0%
2011 BMW Xdrive35d
Category: Hybrid/ Alt. Energy Utility Vehicle
Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $23,598
Retained Value: 46.0%
Why They’re Popular: The all-wheel drive X5 and its Advanced Diesel fuel-efficient version the Xdrive35d (which gets up to 36 MPG) began as BMW’s crossover “sports activity vehicle,” to indicate a blend of performance, handling and practicality. The engines are updated and the eight-speed automatic trans is also new for 2011.