Top 10 Cars with the Best Resale Value

Others | December 22nd, 2007 by 4

Hmm, interesting to see that the Cadillac Escalade made the top 10. The residual values are calculated after a 5-yr period so I’m thinking that …

Hmm, interesting to see that the Cadillac Escalade made the top 10. The residual values are calculated after a 5-yr period so I’m thinking that the Escalade does well after the first 3 years, otherwise, I don’t see it making the top 10. Also, BMW is ranked number ten with its acclaimed M6 model. But here is the rest of the top:

10. BMW M6: 48 percent
9. Cadillac Escalade: 48 percent
8. Chevrolet Corvette Z06: 48 percent
7. Honda Civic Si: 48 percent
6. Mini Cooper S: 48 percent
5. Pontiac Solstice: 48 percent
4. Porsche 911 GT3: 48 percent
3. Saturn Sky: 48 percent
2. Volkswagen Rabbit: 48 percent
1. Scion tC: 47 percent

Top 10 Cars with the Best Resale Value

BMW M6
Base price: $99,100
Residual value after five years: 48 percent*

The M6 features strong reliability and safety (Consumer Reports gives the M6 its top “Excellent” rating in accident avoidance), muscular styling, high performance, ample luxury, and a relatively small production run. “People buy into an exclusive club when they buy this car. That always bodes well for residual value,” says Eric Ibara, director of market valuation at Kelley Blue Book.

Top 10 Cars with the Best Resale Value

Cadillac Escalade
Base price: $54,670
Residual value after five years: 48 percent*

With gas prices going up and the Escalade being one of the worst gas-guzzlers out there, why is it valued so highly? “For someone in this price category, luxury has no price limit — and high gas prices are not a deterrent from either buying, or resale value,” Ibara says. However, Larry Batton, president of the Auto Appraisal Group, feels differently. “If gas prices keep going up, the resale value [of the Escalade] will eventually go down,” he says.

Top 10 Cars with the Best Resale Value

Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Base price: $69,175
Residual value after five years: 48 percent*

Our list of luxury cars with the best resale value also spotlighted the Corvette, and it makes this list partly because it’s an American icon. That keeps demand high and resale value way up. “This is a case where the perception of having a coveted, classic car means a lot to buyers — both new and used,” Ibara says. Owners of the higher-performance Corvette Z06 enjoy an even better resale value since it is an even rarer vehicle than the standard Corvette.

Top 10 Cars with the Best Resale Value

Honda Civic Si

Base price: $21,090
Residual value after five years: 48 percent*

The sporty Civic has a lot going for it, especially at its affordable price. Add a high Consumer Reports quality rating, and capable performance to get what Batton calls “a strong overall performer.” And while the base Civic is strong, the Si is even stronger. “We’ve noticed that the Civic Si has even better residual value than the base models,” Ibara says, “so the extra performance for the money is well worth it.”

Top 10 Cars with the Best Resale Value

Mini Cooper S

Base price: $21,200
Residual value after five years: 48 percent*

Just like the Civic, the Mini Cooper S, with its performance upgrades over the standard Mini Cooper, fares even better in residual value than the base model. “The performance enhancements are well worth the money, and are valued when the car is used, just as much as new,” Ibara says. The Mini gets great fuel economy and has plenty of personality, making it an inherently great used car value. “It’s got a feel-good quality,” Batton says. Clearly people are willing to pay for that.

Top 10 Cars with the Best Resale Value

Pontiac Solstice

Base price: $21,515
Residual value after five years: 48 percent*

The Solstice, finishing a bit ahead of its twin, the Saturn Sky, is a bright spot in what some see as a bleak lineup from domestic automakers. “Of the American car manufacturers, GM is making concerted efforts — and investments — into well-priced, well-designed new car developments,” says Ibara. Fresh design, a high fun factor, solid performance, and a reasonable MSRP put the Solstice on this list and all bode well for the resale price.

Top 10 Cars with the Best Resale Value

Porsche 911 GT3

Base price: $106,000
Residual value after five years: 48 percent*

It’s not surprising that a rare version of the Porsche 911 is on this list since high desirability and performance lead naturally to high resale value. But rarity plays a big role as well, and the specialized GT3 is produced in fewer numbers than the basic 911. Another resale-value booster, which Batton attaches to both this car and the BMW M6, is that it likely won’t be driven too much. “This is generally not a daily-use car; it’ll take a long time just for a driver to put 5,000 miles on it. That keeps them in excellent condition, which certainly helps the value when it’s time to sell,” he says.

Top 10 Cars with the Best Resale Value

Saturn Sky

Base price: $24,725
Residual value after five years: 48 percent*

The Sky roadster is one of the prime models that have given back the formerly ailing Saturn some of its original mojo. “The Sky’s combination of fun, practicality, and performance at a reasonable price” is what got it onto this list, says Ibara. Note that even though it made this prestigious list, it ranks two spots below the Solstice. Batton has a simple explanation: “It costs $2,000 more off the top.”

Top 10 Cars with the Best Resale Value

Volkswagen Rabbit

Base price: $15,620
Residual value after five years: 48 percent*

Beyond its improvements in style, handling, and features, the resurrected Rabbit has gotten it right due to one simple, buyer-pleasing fact: It’s cheaper than the Golf it replaced. “Even the residual value is a similar dollar amount as before, it’s a better percentage simply because the initial price is more reasonable,” Ibara says. Note to carmakers: Revamping your bottom line might improve resale value and desirability.

Top 10 Cars with the Best Resale Value

Scion tC

Base price: $17,740
Residual value after five years: 47 percent*

Because the Scion tC packs plenty of individuality and unique styling for such a reasonable price, it holds its value well enough to round out our list. The excellent resale value, says Ibara, is a result of the tC not being a cookie-cutter car. “With its Scion brand, Toyota didn’t concern itself with being mass market,” he says. That’s good for resale value because the lower production numbers keep it somewhat desirable. When you’re going for top-notch resale value, it’s important to maintain an air of exclusivity, even at a low price point.

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