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Cars With the Best Resale Values

18 Cars That Keep Their Value
By the time it’s five years old, the average vehicle’s value has dropped by about 66%. The editors of compile 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
Photo: Steve Gorton | Dorling Kindersley RF | Getty Images

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

2011 Honda Fit
Best Resale Value: Subcompact Car MSRP: $15,850 Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $6,260.75 Retained Value: 39.5% Why it’s Popular: Honda returned to its hatchback roots with and 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.
Photo: Honda

Category: Subcompact Car
MSRP: $15,850
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.

2011 MINI Cooper
Category: Compact Car MSRP: $20,100 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 take the compact car category.
Photo: BMW

Category: Compact Car
MSRP: $20,100
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.

2011 Honda Accord
Category: Mid-Size Car MSRP: $23,530 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.
Photo: Honda

Category: Mid-Size Car
MSRP: $23,530
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.

2011 Ford Taurus
Category: Full-Size Car MSRP:$25,995 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.
Photo: Ford

Category: Full-Size Car
MSRP:$25,995
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.

2011 Subaru Outback
Category: Wagon MSRP: $23,920 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.
Photo: Subaru

Category: Wagon
MSRP: $23,920
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.

2011 Subaru Impreza WRX
Category: Sports Car MSRP: $18,220 Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $5948.30 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.
Photo: Subaru

Category: Sports Car
MSRP: $18,220
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.

2011 Ford Mustang GT
Category: High-Performance Car MSRP: $22,995 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.
Photo: Ford

Category: High-Performance Car
MSRP: $22,995
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.

2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI
Category: Hybrid/ Alternative Energy Car MSRP: $24,295 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.
Photo: Volkswagen

Category: Hybrid/ Alternative Energy Car
MSRP: $24,295
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.

2011 Honda CR-V
Category: Compact Utility Vehicle MSRP: $22,475 Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $9,328.85 Retained Value: 46.8% Why it’s Popular: The was 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.
Photo: Honda

Category: Compact Utility Vehicle
MSRP: $22,475
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.

2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser
Category: Mid-Size Utility Vehicle MSRP: $26,100 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.
Photo: Toyota

Category: Mid-Size Utility Vehicle
MSRP: $26,100
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.

2011 GMC Acadia
Category: Full-Size Utility VehicleMSRP: $32,615 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.
Photo: GMC

Category: Full-Size Utility Vehicle
MSRP: $32,615
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.

2011 Toyota Sienna
Category: Van MSRP: $25,370 Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $8,104.80 Retained Value: 37.0% Why it’s Popular: The has 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.
Photo: Toyota

Category: Van
MSRP: $25,370
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.

2011 Toyota Tacoma
Category: Mid-Size Pickup MSRP: $20,455 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.
Photo: Toyota

Category: Mid-Size Pickup
MSRP: $20,455
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.

2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty
Category: Full-Size Pickup MSRP: $23,390 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.
Photo: Ford

Category: Full-Size Pickup
MSRP: $23,390
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.

2011 Lexus IS
Category: Near-Luxury Car MSRP: $40,765 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.
Photo: Lexus

Category: Near-Luxury Car
MSRP: $40,765
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.

2011 Audi A5
Category: Luxury Car MSRP: $37,375 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.
Photo: Audi

Category: Luxury Car
MSRP: $37,375
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 / BMW Xdrive35d
2011 BMW X5Category: Luxury Utility Vehicle MSRP:$46,675 Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $20,610 Retained Value: 44.0% 2011 BMW Xdrive35d Category: Hybrid/ Alt. Energy Utility Vehicle MSRP: $52,175 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
Photo: BMW

2011 BMW X5
Category: Luxury Utility Vehicle
MSRP:$46,675
Projected Resale Value after 5 years: $20,610
Retained Value: 44.0%

2011 BMW Xdrive35d
Category: Hybrid/ Alt. Energy Utility Vehicle
MSRP: $52,175
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.

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