When you are out shopping for a new car the last thing that is usually on your mind is, “I wonder how much this car will be worth in five years.” Usually the intoxicating aroma of that new car smell mixes with the acute sensory deprivation one can really only find in a dealership’s finance office forcing people forget to look into that possibly devastating piece of any new car’s financial equation.
For instance, let’s say you need to sell your car before you planned to after three years because of financial hardship. If your car has terrible resale value you could be stuck paying for a car you can’t afford because the amount you owe is more than the amount it is worth. This very common situation is known as being “upside down” with the resale value of your car.
So what vehicles manage the best resale values after five years of ownership? If you are thinking the most popular new cars must be the ones with the best resale value you would be wrong. While the Honda Civic does manage to make an appearance in the new car sales top ten each month, the rest of these entries are all pretty specialized cars in their appeal. Don’t go looking for the Toyota Camry or Chevy Impala on this list.
Look at the list as a whole, however, and a pattern begins to emerge. It seems that the most desirable used vehicles are the new vehicles that are at once fun to drive yet still manage to convey class, style and quality construction. Surprisingly, two of the vehicles on this list are hatchbacks-a body style that by conventional wisdom was deemed “entry level” and “cheap” by the marketing departments of most automakers up until recently. My, how times do change.
Mini Cooper (52% after Five Years)
It’s cute, it’s a laugh riot to drive and now it comes in an even more practical shape as the extended length Mini Cooper Clubman wagon. But remember, no matter whether you buy the Clubman or the regular coupe you will always be guaranteed of two things. That you will always be smiling after your evening commute and that the Mini Cooper you bought was worth every penny-even if the initial price of purchase was a little high. You see, that doesn’t matter if you get the value back after you are done with the car.
Acura TSX (51% after Five Years)
Based on the more sporting European Honda Accord, the Acura TSX has been a big hit with luxury buyers as its residuals are as bank vault solid as its build quality. The Acura TSX is also a blast to drive and is very frugal when equipped with the revvy four cylinder engine. A fine new car buy makes a great used car choice as well.
Honda Civic (51% after Five Years)
According to Kelley Blue Book Honda is the auto manufacturer with the best overall resale value and proof of that can easily be seen from the Civic’s rock solid residuals. Not only is this car great for young or first time drivers but it also makes a very economical commuter. An added advantage over rivals like the Toyota Corolla is its youthful image and fun to drive nature.
VW GTI (48% after Five Years)
The VW GTI is practical, spacious, has a gorgeous interior and just so happens to be one of the most delightful driver’s cars on the market today. If you were looking at a Mini Cooper but need just a bit more space the VW GTI might be just the answer for you. And you can rest easy that whether you buy new or used your money will be safe.
Lexus IS (47% after Five Years)
As the Lexus model with the most personality the Lexus IS bears a great burden for this iconic Japanese luxury brand. Another added bonus of the IS sedan is the fact that it was never involved in the recall that afflicted so many of parent company Toyota’s esteemed products. It’s also really fun to drive.