Five years from now, you'll want to own these cars

Members of the media look over the 2016 Lexus GS F at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, January 13, 2015.
Rebecca Cook | Reuters

Coming off a year when Subaru and Lexus both saw sales grow faster than the industry average in the U.S., the two Japanese brands are also selling models expected to retain more of their value than their competitors.

Kelley Blue Book calculated the average 2015 Subaru will retain 46.2 percent of its residual value five years from now.

Meanwhile the same report estimates 2015 Lexus models will retain an average of 42.2 percent of their value when they are five years old.

Along the highway

"Both Subaru and Lexus have kept their values high in the past, and will likely continue to do so in the future by limiting the number of vehicles they build while also increasing consumer demand with high quality models," said Eric Ibara, Director of Residual Value at Kelley Blue Book.

Subaru jumps to the top of KBB's residual value list after finishing third last year, while Lexus has been deemed the best resale luxury brand for four consecutive years by Kelley Blue Book.

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Both Subaru and Lexus are projected to retain a far higher percentage of their value five years from now than the industry average for their class of vehicles. Subaru's residual value of 46.2 percent is 5.3 percentage points above the average for mass market brands.

2015 Lexus residual value estimate of 42.4 percent is 9.8 percentage points greater than the average luxury vehicle resale value estimate.

"The bottom line is that both of these brands make very good vehicles people want," said Ibara.

Chevy Resale Value Surges

While Subaru jumped into first place in residual value, it barely finished above Chevrolet, which showed the biggest improvement in residual value estimates for any brand jumping 2.1 percentage points to 46.1 percent.

"The redesigns the Chevy Silverado and Colorado pickups as well the recently redesigned Chevy SUV's have lifted the value of the brand," said Ibara.

Ironically, Chevy was able to lift its residual value even though its electric vehicles (The Volt and Spark EV) have much lower residual values.

Chevy's improvement is even more impressive given the overall residual values for 2015 vehicles is estimated to be more than 2 percent lower than 2014 models.

The decline in the value of vehicles five years from now is due to the increasing supply of used cars that will hit the market by 2020.

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