Bengt Halvorson, a writer at www.carconnection.com, pegs the S80 as shedding the most value of any mainstream car. The Lincoln MKS is another loser in his books, retaining a mere 22 percent of showroom value.
However, a much more worthwhile endeavor for all of us car owners/buyers is to focus on what will hold the most value as a trade-in. For this information we turn to the folks at Kelley Blue Book and their long accurate history of predicting car values.
Kelley’s safest bet for 2013 is the Toyota FJ Cruiser. As they say, the FJ Cruiser “manages to be both more pleasant and more rugged than one might guess, and offers better predicted resale value than any other 2013 model.” Kelley figures that after 36 months, the FJ Cruiser will have dropped only 24 percent from its new car sticker price. At 60 months, it will have fallen just 37 percent. We all know that new cars lose value the moment they leave the showroom. The idea here, if you looking to minimize the hurt, is to choose a model that will hold as much value as long as it possibly can.
Second in ranking behind the FJ Cruiser is the Toyota Tacoma. This pickup truck has earned Kelley’s Best Resale Value award, an impressive 10 times at www.kbb.com/new-cars/best-resale-value-awards/best-resale-top-10-cars-2013/ . At 36 months, it is predicted to lose just 30 percent of its value; 43 percent after 60 months.
Third place in the parade goes to the Jeep Wrangler, which happens to be the only exclusively U.S.-based vehicle on the list (that is, if you can set aside the fact that Italy’s Fiat owns the lion’s share of Jeep’s parent Chrysler Motors). Jeep has come a long way since the 1950s when rear seats were an option, and it was used almost exclusively as a utility – not sport utility – vehicle to scoot around range lands out West looking for stray cattle. Kelley finds Wranglers to be, well, “comfortable.” And they have always had a reputation for durability, so maybe that’s why they hold a whopping 67.6 percent of their value at 36 months and 55.4 percent at 60 months!
The rest of the cars in the Kelley annual ranking all maintain around 50 percent of their value at the five-year mark. Toyota has two more offerings, while Honda makes the show with the CR-V and Civic. The Lexus LX is on the list as is the Porsche Cayenne. The latter vehicle appears to disprove the notion held by some Porsche purists that an SUV might trash that brand, as it is now the German automaker’s best seller in the United States.
So, if you’re in the market for a new car (truck or van), by all means, buy and drive whatever you want, but to be “safe with your money,” please take into account the potential resale value of your purchase.