The top vehicle for resale value is an unusual one, but the brand is no surprise.
Toyota’s FJ Cruiser, the now discontinued Jeep-like off-roader turned mall crawler, has the top resale value in the land. With an incredible 91.5% 3-year retention of value, the FJ has passed the Toyota Tacoma, which has long been the number one vehicle in America for resale value. This according to the NADA Used Car Guide, a division of J.D. Power & Associates. The Toyota Tacoma, despite troublesome frame rusting issues, is the top truck in America in terms of value retention maintaining 75.6% of its value after three years of use. The Jeep Wrangler is a close third overall with a retained value of 74.3%. Fully 40% of the Tacomas sold are TRD off-road trims. That these three vehicles, which are all marketed to off-road enthusiasts, can retain their value given their tough lifestyles is even more remarkable.
Just as Toyota 4X4s owns the top two overall slots, Subaru owns the used affordable car crown. The Subaru Impreza is the highest rated non-luxury car with a 65.7% retained value, and Subaru’s Legacy comes in at number two overall at 58.9%. This means that in the top two largest selling segments, compact cars and mid-size sedans, Subaru is the number one brand for resale value. The Legacy is also one of only nine vehicles to have recorded zero driver deaths over a three-year period according to IIHS and NHTSA. Again, Subarus are most popular where road salt and winter frost heaves eat and beat cars, so the fact that they can top other car models is further evidence of their longevity and popularity.
In the luxury world, Audi is the top brand overall for resale value, but the win is much less dominant here. Although Audi’s A3, Q5, and A7 win their segments, Lexus, Volvo, and Nissan each also wins a luxury segment and the groupings seem tighter. Interestingly, the highest resale value percentage for any luxury vehicle on NADA’s list is the Nissan GT-R super-coupe with a 60.6% retained value. We say this is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, Nissan is not a luxury brand (Infiniti is Nissan’s luxury brand), and second, having tested the GT-R we scratch our heads as to why it would be considered a luxury model. It is an amazing car, but luxury does not jump to mind when one drives it.
We would be remiss if we did not point out two wins by Dodge that impressed us. The Dodge Charger is the top-ranked large car for resale value, and the Dodge Challenger is the top-ranked car in the Sports Car category. Fans of these cars are, well, fanatical about them, and desire pushes up value. Both top their segments by a wide margin too. They didn’t squeak in, pun intended.