Cars With the Best Resale Value
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Cars With the Best Resale Value

By Chris Teague | July 27, 2021

The automotive world is almost upside down right now. Used car prices and demand for good condition vehicles have skyrocketed as manufacturing and supply difficulties have made new cars scarce. As a result, vehicles such as the GMC Sierra, Toyota Tacoma, Volvo XC40, and others reportedly sell on the used market for more than new versions.

There are still winners and losers in the market, just as there were before. Some vehicles hold their values longer than others.

Kelley Blue Book knows this, and for years now, has had annual best resale value awards for the vehicles that best cling to their values over five years. The survey includes all vehicle types, from minivans to full-size pickup trucks to luxury cars and luxury compact SUVs. The KBB awards cover all brands as well.

Here are some of the vehicles that have the best resale values after five years.


1. Subaru Impreza

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The compact Subaru Impreza sedan and hatchback offer incredible value and carry features that aren't available anywhere else. It also has one of the highest predicted resale values of any car on the market. In addition, its reasonable entry-level pricing makes it popular among first-time car buyers, and standard all-wheel-drive makes it ideal for drivers that live where the weather can turn nasty in winter.

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The 2021 Impreza is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission and all-wheel-drive (AWD) are standard, though buyers can get a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

Despite its diminutive size and small engine, the Impreza is impressively capable for a compact car and can deliver the goods in an off-road situation as well, thanks to standard AWD.

Browse Subaru Impreza listings here.


2. Toyota Camry

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In the car world, it doesn't get much more ubiquitous than the Toyota Camry. The midsize car is one of the best for families and has been fighting depreciation for well over three decades. In addition, the sedan is one of the best cars at holding its value over five years of ownership.

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Sweetening the deal for Camry buyers is that Toyota has focused heavily on making the car as exciting to drive as possible. That means that the latest Camry models come with powerful engines, upscale interiors, and aggressive styling.

The 2021 Camry gets a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine as standard equipment. It produces up to 206 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, but Toyota recently added an all-wheel-drive option for the Camry that improves its winter weather performance.

Browse Toyota Camry listings here.


3. Chevrolet Corvette

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It shouldn't be surprising to see a mid-engine sports car on our list. The Chevrolet Corvette moved to a mid-engine layout for the 2020 model year for the first time in its multi-decade history. The car is a proper performance car that can stand up to some of the best and fastest cars in the world. It should also have one of the best residual values of any car after five years. Previous versions of the Corvette also maintained their value, despite a brand-new model hitting the streets.

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The 2021 Corvette comes with a 6.2-liter V8 that produces 490 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and rear-wheel drive. As a result, the Corvette is one of the best cars for buyers wanting extreme performance at a lower cost than typical exotic cars.

Browse Chevrolet Corvette listings here.


4. Lexus IS

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The Lexus IS is a mainstay among compact luxury cars, having been on sale in some form or another since the early 2000s. The vehicles offer sharp styling, interiors befitting a luxury brand, outstanding predicted reliability, and excellent predicted resale values. In addition, Lexus offers the cars in a few different configurations, so there's an IS for almost any buyer.

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The standard IS powertrain includes a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. There are two 3.5-liter V6 engines available as upgrades, producing either 260 or 311 horsepower, depending on the IS trim. An eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard, though there is an AWD option.

Browse Lexus IS listings here.


5. Lexus LS

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The Lexus LS set the bar for imported luxury cars in the 1990s with one of the most impressively smooth powertrains and best ride quality anyone had ever seen. The luxury sedans continue to impress today for many of the same reasons. Still, the LS line has grown with optional all-wheel-drive, hybrids, and the latest technology.

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The 2021 Lexus LS comes standard with a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 416 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. The LS Hybrid gets a 3.5-liter V6 paired with two electric motors that produce a combined output of 354 horsepower. Gas models get a ten-speed automatic transmission, while hybrid models come with a continuously variable transmission.

Browse Lexus LS listings here.


6. Honda Civic

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The Honda Civic isn't the super cheap compact car it once was. Instead, it has become a premium compact car with an upscale interior and almost minivan-like utility. The car also happens to be one of the best for residual values. The Civic is also available in a few different body styles, depending on the year. So you may be able to find a new or almost-new car in a hatchback, coupe, or sedan body style.

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There's a 2022 Honda Civic on the horizon, but the 2021 model has plenty to like at a reasonable price. The base car comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque. It's mated to a continuously variable transmission and front-wheel drive. The Civic Hatchback is available with a six-speed manual transmission as well. Top Civic trims get a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 180 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque.

Browse Honda Civic listings here.


7. Porsche 911

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As one of the most, if not the most, legendary sports cars globally, it's no surprise that the Porsche 911 is an in-demand vehicle with great residual values. As a result, the cars have taken on a second life on the used market, with price tags that easily surpass their new car MSRPs.

Several configurations have been available in recent years, including the standard coupe, a convertible, and a Targa model with a removable roof panel.

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The 2021 Porsche 911 is offered with four different powertrains, all variations on a twin-turbo six-cylinder. The base engine is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter six and produces 379 horsepower. Other available engines include a twin-turbo 3.0-liter six with 443 horsepower, a twin-turbo 3.8-liter six that makes 572 horsepower, and a twin-turbo 3.8-liter six that produces 640 horsepower.

Rear-drive is standard, but the 911 can be had with all-wheel-drive. An eight-speed PDK dual-clutch automated gearbox is standard, and a seven-speed manual is available on the entry-level Carrera S.

Browse Porsche 911 listings here.


8. Subaru Forester

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The Subaru Forester has one of the best resale values of any vehicle on the market. It's also one of the only crossovers to offer the capability that people expect in an off-road SUV while remaining a family vehicle.

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The Forester is a standout among new vehicles, especially subcompact SUVs, because of its standard all-wheel-drive, list of standard safety features, generous interior space, and capability.

The Forester is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 182 horsepower. It sends its power to all four wheels through a CVT.

Browse Subaru Forester listings here.


9. Subaru Outback

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The Subaru Outback is another vehicle with excellent resale values and is one of the most practical vehicles on sale. The latest generation Outback has sleek styling and new tech features but still offers generous utility and space.

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It won't carry as much cargo as a heavy-duty truck, but its interior shape with folding seats gives it the ability to haul way more than most people expect. A new Wilderness trim also provides the Outback with extra ground clearance and even more capability off-road.

The base engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder rated at 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. The available engine is a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. A CVT and all-wheel drive are standard.

Browse Subaru Outback listings here.


10. Tesla Model X

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The Tesla Model X is a quirky electric vehicle with performance that can shame a supercar. But, at the same time, it offers a roomy, tech-forward interior and compelling technology. It also retains much of its value over five years, making it a decent purchase for people who like to trade in after a while.

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The Model X's all-electric powertrain includes a 100-kWh battery, two electric motors, and standard all-wheel-drive. Some versions of the Model X can sprint to 60 mph from a standstill in under three seconds.

Browse Tesla Model X listings here.


11. Porsche Macan

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Porsche's sporty compact crossover hits most of the right notes with performance, luxury, and styling. Its interior can be outfitted to near-luxury car levels of plushness, while its roaring powertrains can help it outrun most of its competition.

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The Porsche Macan is offered with a variety of powertrains. The base engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 248 horsepower. Depending on the model, a 3.0-liter turbo V6 is available that produces 348 horsepower, a twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 is offered with 375 horsepower, and a twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 that makes 434 horsepower.

Browse Porsche Macan listings here.


12. Toyota 4Runner

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The 4Runner is an oddity among midsize SUVs because it's far more off-road-ready than almost all of its competition, but it carries options and features that make it suitable for on-road cruising.

It's not quite as plush as a Land Rover Range Rover, Toyota Highlander, or Kia Telluride. And it's not as spacious as a full-size SUV like the GMC Yukon. Still, the 4Runner has more than enough space and capability to carry a family well off the beaten path. It's also among the best vehicles for residual values.

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All 4Runner models this year get a 4.0-liter V6 that produces 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. It's mated to a five-speed automatic transmission, and either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive are offered.

It's not as refined as most new midsize SUVs, but it can pretty much keep up with a Jeep Wrangler on a trail while offering (a little) more creature comforts.

Browse Toyota 4Runner listings here.