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.

Kelley Blue Book has been publishing its residual value guide since 1981 and has been handing out Best Resale Value Awards since 2003.

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:


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Ron Bowles

The comments on Tundra are unbalanced, poorly written and misleading. Notwithstanding rust, ball joint and large recalls, the bias shows through. The "car truck" was introduced in 1999 after the T100 failure and had weak towing capacity until the second generation 2007 5.7 was introduced. The highest sales year was 196,555 in 2007 and 112,732 in 2013 after almost 1.5 decades of trying. Ford sells more than that in 6 weeks. Towing capacities of the competition can go over twice that of the Tundra. Statements like "payload, towing capacity... give the Tundra such a huge following a half-decade after its release" do not square with the facts. As far as reliability, Tundra is just not in the heavy use pro game...so reliability comparisons are meaningless.. Going to Home Depot on Saturday doesn't count.

Tuesday at 1:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cybrwalker

Careful of the "prima dona" Prius; it starts to burn oil at 125,000 miles...mine does and it's a relativly common problem. So much for Toyota quality Buyers beware

July 31 2014 at 7:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
egoad25236

My rule. Never pay more than $10,000 for a vehicle. I am driving a 1997 Buck Lesabre with 215,000 miles on it. I also have a 1994 Chevy 4WD pickup with 135,000 miles on it. People ask me when I plan on getting a new car. The answer is never. I look for a good 10 year old car with 100,000 miles or less. Usually I drive models that old people drive because I can find them with low miles. My kids aggravate me about it, but I don't care.

July 07 2014 at 8:48 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
seminoleagle

Wrong

The land rover series are selling above initial sticker price if you can get one.

July 07 2014 at 5:49 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
migellc

I don't know But I guess they missed the VOLVO's Cars and Trucks even. Hope they do include these on the first 3 of the list and very probably it might easily be the first of all worldwide level. Believe you Me!

July 07 2014 at 4:29 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
ferebot

Just buy a Toyota Camry!

I drive a '99 Toyota Camry handed down from my father-in-law who bought it new. I do my own maintenance so there's minimal maintenance costs, no depreciation, low insurance ($25/month from Insurance Panda) and registration costs, no car wash expenses (I park it outside when it's raining) and people think twice before trying to cut in front of me. It's a comfortable ride on the highway but is also nimble on dirt roads. I could easily afford a new car but then I'd have to fuss about dents, scratches, car washes and all those other costs. It's got a 3.1L V6 that achieves 30 mpg on the highway. As long as it continues to pass smog it's a keeper.

July 07 2014 at 2:24 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
alfredschrader

The condition of a vehicle has more to do with the retention of resale value than the make or model. If you ever get a chance take a quick drive through Fort Lauderdale and check out the vehicles parked on the estates. Nearly all of them look like you just drove them out of the showroom even the 15 year old Rolls or 10 year old Buicks.
The finish on most cars will look like new for decades if you wash it gently and keep it waxed.
And use protectant on the rubber and plastic parts - I prefer Vaseline applied gently with a shammie or soft paint brush. You can do this to your entire car in an hour.
Spray Turtle Wax is the easiest to use- no elbo grease required - it's a wipe off liquid.

July 07 2014 at 1:42 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
rgkarasiewicz

In regards to the Big Domestic Three vehicles (in so far as the quality and safety issues associated with them are concerned), the bigger question would be whether one could even peddle those used junkers in a private sale (because of the inherent liabilities).

In many cases, the only viable options would be to either trade those junkers in, or tow them to Joe Brown.

July 07 2014 at 1:25 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Linda

hi:)

July 07 2014 at 1:22 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply