By Jason Notte
Your car is a significant investment and should get at least as much consideration as you'd give any other equities.
True, cars depreciate in value as soon as they leave the lot. But unless you decide to drive it until it's a pile of parts (or buy a less reliable model to save money in the short-term), your vehicle with still have significant resale value of tens of thousands of miles down the road. The folks at auto pricing and valuation site Kelley Blue Book note that depreciation costs a car owner more than gas, maintenance or insurance during the first five years of new-car ownership.
The 2014 model year favored Toyota (TM), much as it did last year and much to the chagrin of Detroit Three loyalists. Toyota and its Lexus division were named Best Brand and Best Luxury Brand, respectively, for their ability to retain their cars' value over the first five years of ownership. Despite the automaker's spate of recalls, Toyota took five out of KBB's 22 vehicle categories, while Lexus won two of three luxury categories (the Audi (AUDVF) A5 won Luxury Car) and best Hybrid/Alternative Energy Car for its Lexus ES 300h.
Though rivals Nissan, Subaru and Honda (HMC) took the small and midsized car categories, Honda took best plug-in vehicle, and Toyota won both midsize and full-size pickup honors, the Detroit automakers weren't completely shut out. The Chevrolet Corvette won Best High Performance Car, while the Chevy Camaro beat the Porsche (POAHF) Cayman for Best Sports Car.
There aren't a whole lot of vehicles out there that give car-buyers the majority of their investment back five years later. According to Kelley Blue Book, the following vehicles are a your best chance of getting half of your money back -- or more -- once it's time to sell: