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All Contents © 2020The Kiplinger Washington Editors
By Jessica L. Anderson, Associate Editor
| January 29, 2014
These new vehicles have the highest projected three-year resale values in their respective categories. A vehicle’s resale value -- what it is expected to be worth three and five years down the road -- is an important measure of its overall value and appeal. These figures are the estimated price a dealer would pay if you traded in the vehicle, expressed as a percentage of the original sticker price.
Resale values come from a complex set of calculations based in part on historical data and economic predictions, as well as competition in each automotive segment, how appealing a car's brand is, and supply (including fleet sales and leases) versus demand.
To win the Best Resale award, the model must first be selected as one of our top 25 vehicles in its category. A vehicle is not eligible for the award if another trim level of the same model has won Best Resale in a lower price category.
Because of the increase in crossover models, this year we split the large and midsize crossovers into separate categories. SOURCES: Kelley Blue Book (new vehicle data & ownership costs); Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (Top Safety Pick)
Resale value: 3-year: 63%; 5-year: 48%
Sticker price: $19,190 (manual)
Invoice price: $18,364
KBB Fair Purchase Price: $18,230
MPG: City: 25; Hwy: 33
The Impreza, the only all-wheel-drive option in the compact class, packs a lot of bang for the buck. Serious cargo room, sporty driving dynamics and a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, combined with top resale values, also earn it our Best in Class award in the lowest price category.
Resale value: 3-year: 59%; 5-year: 45%
Sticker price: $23,545
Invoice price: $21,620
KBB Fair Purchase Price: $21,470
MPG: City: 27; Hwy: 36
Last year’s winner of an award for Best New Model garners both Best Resale and Best in Class commendations for 2014. Upscale features such as Honda’s LaneWatch, which gives drivers a camera view of their right-side blind spot for ease of changing lanes and exiting a highway, complement a Top Safety Pick + designation from the IIHS.
Resale value: 3-year: 66%; 5-year: 49%
Sticker price: $26,790 (manual)
Invoice price: $25,338
KBB Fair Purchase Price: $26,189
MPG: City: 19; Hwy: 25
Though more and more performance cars are embracing all-wheel drive, the Impreza WRX lays claim to the lowest price of entry. Add a turbocharged engine, which puts out 265 horsepower, 17-inch wheels and a sport-tuned suspension, and Subie’s track-ready hatch keeps its value for years.
Resale value: 3-year: 65%; 5-year: 47%
Sticker price: $37,380
Invoice price: $35,072
KBB Fair Purchase Price: $35,361
MPG: City: 21; Hwy: 31
Last year’s redesign gave the ES 350 a bold new look and improved its handling and fuel economy. The gas-engine model -- with a 286-horsepower V6 -- now achieves 24 miles per gallon in combined highway and city driving. For 2014, the base model gets LED fog lights and Siri Eyes Free Mode, which allows you to play music, connect to contacts and more with an iPhone.
Resale value: 3-year: 65%; 5-year: 46%
Sticker price: $40,375 (rear-wheel drive)
Invoice price: $37,613
KBB Fair Purchase Price: $38,025
MPG: City: 19; Hwy: 28
Redesigned for the 2014 model year, the IS lineup adds value across the board. A longer wheelbase increases legroom and cargo space, improved suspension (both front and rear) gives the vehicle better handling, and ten airbags come standard. Available tech includes forward-collision warning, automatic high beams, lane-departure warning and blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert.
Sticker price: $73,050 (rear-wheel drive)
Invoice price: $67,278
KBB Fair Purchase Price: $71,757
MPG: City: 16; Hwy: 24
Lexus’s flagship sedan has passed Kiplinger’s value test year after year. In addition to the raw power of the 386-horsepower V8, the LS has three modes to tailor driving style to your mood for performance or economy. Sitting in the lap of luxury has never been so cozy -- heated and ventilated front seats adjust 16 ways for the driver and a dozen ways for the passenger, and four-zone climate control ensures each occupant’s comfort.
Resale value: 3-year: 66%; 5-year: 53%
Sticker price: $51,995 (manual)
Invoice price: $47,405
KBB Fair Purchase Price: $51,995
MPG: City: 17; Hwy: 29
Whether you’re driving the Corvette to work or on the track, the deep rumble of the 455-horsepower V8 will put a smile on your face. Winner of Best New Sports Car, the Stingray -- inspired by the ’63 classic -- has an aluminum frame, carbon fiber throughout, direct injection, and active fuel management that helps it post respectable fuel economy and superior long-term value.
Resale value: 3-year: 62%; 5-year: 44%
Sticker price: $27,620
Invoice price: $26,033
KBB Fair Purchase Price: $25,625
MPG: City: 24; Hwy: 30
For 2014, Outback ups its game with enhanced features. The all-weather package of heated seats and mirrors and windshield-wiper de-icer is now standard equipment. EyeSight, which incorporates adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and lane-departure warning, is now available on all but base models. When equipped with EyeSight, Outback gets a Top Safety Pick + rating from the IIHS.
Resale value: 3-year: 59%; 5-year: 43%
Sticker price: $27,780
Invoice price: $25,760
KBB Fair Purchase Price: $25,849
MPG: City: 18; Hwy: 25
Versatility is the Sienna’s strong suit. It’s available as a front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive model and in a seven- or eight-passenger configuration, and it has the ability to tow up to 3,500 pounds (for 2014, the towing-prep package comes standard). Whether you’re hauling kids or a trailer, the Sienna’s got you covered with 266 horses and an EPA average 25 miles per gallon on the highway.
Resale value: 3-year: 62%; 5-year: 42%
Sticker price: $47,395
Invoice price: $44,142
KBB Fair Purchase Price: $45,409
MPG: City: 24; Hwy: 31
New for 2014, the diesel variant of the Q5 adds more fuel economy to the model’s lineup -- even more than the hybrid model in both highway and combined highway and city driving. German-engineered handling is enhanced by all-wheel drive, which comes standard. Options include a heated or cooled cup holder and a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.
Resale value: 3-year: 65%; 5-year: 44%
Sticker price: $52,715
Invoice price: $49,090
KBB Fair Purchase Price: $55,500
MPG: City: 20; Hwy: 28
Offering 20% better fuel economy than the gas-engine ML350, the 3.0-liter diesel engine that powers the ML350 BlueTEC puts out 240 horses and a powerful 455 pound-feet of torque. Standard Attention Assist, which alerts drivers when drowsiness is detected, and Collision Prevention Assist, which warns you when you’re approaching the vehicle in front too quickly, keep you and your family safe. The ML350 also earns a Top Safety Pick + from the IIHS.
Resale value: 3-year: 69%; 5-year: 49%
Sticker price: $63,925
Invoice price: $59,515
KBB Fair Purchase Price: $60,978
MPG: City: 19; Hwy: 26
A redesign for 2013 loaded the full-size GL crossover with even more luxury options. Active Parking Assist helps locate parking spaces that are big enough and steers the vehicle into place for you, making parallel parking a cinch. Active Lane Keeping Assist uses the stability-control system to brake automatically, correcting your course, if you don’t heed the initial warnings that you’re straying from your lane.
Resale value: 3-year: 81%; 5-year: 69%
Sticker price: $29,580
Invoice price: $27,569
KBB Fair Purchase Price: $28,751
MPG: City: 17; Hwy: 20
Since its introduction for the 2007 model year, the FJ Cruiser has maintained a loyal following for its quirky, rugged looks and off-road capabilities. Powered by a 4.0-liter V6 that puts out 260 horses, the FJ comes as an automatic-transmission 4x2 or as an automatic or manual 4x4. When equipped with the optional towing package, FJ Cruiser can haul up to 4,700 pounds.