How much a vehicle costs when you buy it or lease it is just one part of the equasion.
You also need to factor in how that vehicle rates for operating costs, maintenance costs and resale value.
Since depreciation — or loss of value — is typically a car buyer’s biggest cost expense during ownership, you should always consider the resale price after the typical ownership period of two years to five years.
Your new car typically loses around one-third of its value the moment you drive it off the dealer lot. That means a $50,000 new car today will only be worth just around $17,750 after five years.
Some models and manufacturers hold their value better than others, based on supply and demand, as well as current and projected future market conditions and continued buyer interest.
According to Kelley Blue Book, these 2012 cars retain the best value — and the highest resale price — after a period of ownership.
2012 best resale value overall by brand is Toyota.
2102 best resale value for a luxury brand is Lexus.
2012 BEST RESALE VALUE BY VEHICLE CATEGORY
- SUBCOMPACT CAR: Honda Fit
- COMPACT SUV: Jeep Wrangler
- COMPACT CAR: Honda Civic
- MID-SIZE SUV: Toyota FJ Cruiser
- MID-SIZE CAR: Toyota Camry
- FULL-SIZE SUV: Chevrolet Traverse
- FULL-SIZE CAR: Nissan Maxima
- LUXURY SUV: Audi Q7
- NEAR-LUXURY CAR: Lexus IS
- HYBRID SUV: Lexus RX 450h
- LUXURY CAR: Audi A5
- MID-SIZE PICKUP: Toyota Tacoma
- SPORTS CAR: Chevrolet Camaro V-6
- FULL-SIZE PICKUP: Ford F-Series Super Duty
- HIGH-PERFORMANCE CAR: Chevrolet Camaro SS
- VAN: Honda Odyssey
- HYBRID CAR: Honda Civic Hybrid
- WAGON: Subaru Outback
- ELECTRIC CAR: Chevrolet Volt
List of top ten 2012 best resale value cars on next page
TOP TEN 2012 BEST RESALE VALUE CARS
- Audi Q7
- Jeep Wrangler
- Chevrolet Camaro
- Lexus RX
- Honda CR-V
- Nissan Frontier
- Hyundai Tucson
- Toyota FJ Cruiser
- Infiniti FX
- Toyota Tacoma
Consider all costs — purchase or leasing price, MPG gas mileage, monthly maintenance, and resale value — when shopping for a new car.