Ask Jay Leno

Which of these cars is the best investment?

Which practical family car is worth the most after five years?

Collector cars can be fun to have around, but that doesn't always mean they're ideal for running to the grocery store — or, say, camping. It can be pretty difficult to gather up the whole family for a deep venture into the Appalachians in a 1912 Stanley Steamer.

On the other hand, other collectible cars can still be useful in real-world scenarios. Automotive valuation expert Donald Osborne spoke with Jay Leno about three such ultra-utilitarian vehicles, to determine which was the best investment.

First up, the Citroën DS Wagon. In 1972, this vehicle looked like it was from the future — and, somehow, it still sort of does. What made the Citroën special was its load engineering. Special hydropneumatics controlled the suspension in this spacious wagon, meaning no matter how much you crammed into the back, it wouldn't sag. This Citroën originally sold for about $4,500.

Speaking of spacious, the 1977 Chevrolet Caprice Classic Wagon might as well have been a yacht. The behemoth originally sold for about $5,600, and you got a lot for your money. It had power everything: locks, windows, cruise control, air conditioning. And with 100 cubic feet of load space, you could basically take everyone in Wyoming out for ice cream.

Now, if you really wanted to get off the beaten track, this third option is the one you'd want. Inspired by the military-style Willys jeep, the 1983 4-wheel-drive Toyota Land Cruiser FJ was great for offroading. That year, it sold for about $10,300.

So which of these three vehicles was the best investment? Watch the video to find out which one is appreciating the best.

Each week, Jay Leno shares his thoughts about hot topics in the auto industry. Tune in to "Jay Leno's Garage" Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CNBC.

Related Tags