Congratulations if you bought one of these this year.
Dealerships love luring owners back into showrooms with tempting trade-in offers. Sometimes the deal is simply too good to pass up. But for those who want to ensure they buy something today that'll still have solid value tomorrow, it's important to know which new cars are expected to have the best resale value. Not only will this knowledge come in handy whenever that trade-in happens, but your bargaining position with the dealer will be strengthened because you'll know what you have. Dealers count on customers being uninformed.
We did some digging around and, thanks to Kelly Blue Book, here are 2018's top 10 vehicles projected to retain the highest percentage of their original suggested price. Last year's list can be found here. Under what criteria were these vehicles chosen? It boils down to current vehicle data, sales data and overall market conditions. A typical new car is worth 33 percent of its original price after five years. However, this list of vehicles will return an average of 51 percent. Happy buying.
Not only does the Toyota Tacoma have the best resale value in the mid-size pickup truck class, it's also number one for the entire list. No wonder why used Tacomas are still so expensive. The Tacoma is expected to bring 61 percent of its original MSRP after five years of ownership. That's incredible compared to the typical 2018 model-year vehicle's 35.1 percent average. No one should be surprised at this point by the Tacoma's place on this list. It has earned Kelly Blue Book's (KBB) top overall Best Resale Value Award for the past four years straight. What's so special about the Tacoma? For starters, it's rock-solid reliable. It also has more than 30 different configurations thanks to six trim levels, two cab sizes, two gearboxes, and an impressive suite of safety features. 2018 base price: $25,550.
Are you surprised the 2018 Chevy Silverado HD is on this list? With its more than 7,000 pounds of payload capacity and ability to tow up to 23,000 pounds, the Silverado HD is more than just a tough as nails work truck but also a fully modern vehicle with lots of tech features buyers are demanding today.
The Silverado 2500 and 3500 have come a long way in only a decade's time; they're no longer only for construction sites and farms. With a choice of two turbo diesel engines, the Silverado HD is more powerful and more fuel-efficient than ever. Thanks to multiple cab sizes and wheelbases, there's literally a truck there for every buyer. Resale value is predicted to bring 56.4 percent of its value after 60 months. Base price today: $34,400.
As the corporate twin of the Chevy Silverado HD, the GMC Sierra HD is nearly identical in every way, save for some styling differences inside and out. Generally speaking, the Sierra HD is the more luxurious version, though the Silverado HD has also become far more premium than ever. Some buyers are not interested in that bow tie badge and prefer something else yet still desire a GM truck. That's what GMC is there for. In addition to offering the same engines, cab configurations and wheelbases as the Chevy, GMC also has its Denali luxury trim for those who literally want the "Cadillac of HD pickup trucks." KBB predicts the 2018 GMC Sierra HD will retain 58.8 percent of its value after 60 months. Current base price: $38,100.
Another truck? Seriously? Get used to it. Pickup trucks simply retain value better than all other body styles. So it comes as no surprise for Toyota's full-size truck to make this list. Projected to retain 54.2 percent of its value over five years of ownership, the Tundra is capable of towing 10,000 pounds and has standard V8 power. It's also extremely comfortable for daily use whether on or off-road and it's very reliable. Because Lexus doesn't build a truck, Toyota enables buyers to load up on the luxury, thus making the Tundra an outstanding all-around vehicle. A total of six trims levels are available, beginning at $31,420.
Are you serious? The Jeep Wrangler? Absolutely. Not only is its ancestor the original SUV, but it's also a great buy today. Please note we're referring to the outgoing 2018 JK model, not the completely redesigned 2019 Wrangler JL that recently went on sale. Why does the Wrangler earn a place on this list? Because it manages an impressive 58.1 percent value retention over 60 months. A lot of compact and mid-size SUVs today are really crossovers, meaning they're truck-based. Not the Wrangler. It's an unapologetic off-road SUV with serious off-roading capabilities. Available in two- and four-door configurations, the Wrangler is a solid and smart buy. KBB even predicts the redesigned model will also be on this list next year at this time. The outgoing 2018 Jeep Wrangler carries a base price of $28,200.
The Toyota 4Runner is part of a dying breed of vehicles. Unlike crossovers, such as the Ford Explorer, that were once true SUVs, the 4Runner has yet to give up its truck chassis. On top of that, it also has incredible resale value. KBB pegged it with a 54.2 percent value at 60 months. Like the Tacoma and Tundra, the 4Runner is very reliable and it's not uncommon to find owners driving them for well over 100,000 miles with little to no trouble. No wonder why they don't want to trade them in. For 2019, the Toyota 4Runner returns with only a few packaging changes. How much will one set you back? Consider a minimum of $34,910 a long-term and very smart investment.
The Ford F-Series is not only America's best-selling vehicle, it's also one of the smartest buys out there. With its 49.6 percent resale value over the course of five years, buyers can be assured they're making a solid investment. For the past four years the F-Series, which includes the F-150 full-size truck and F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks, has made KBB's top 10 resale value list. It's unlikely to leave this list anytime soon. Ford knows how to build trucks and the F-Series is its crowning glory. Now that Ford has decided to discontinue its US car lineup, save for the Mustang, in favor of focusing on trucks and SUVs, the F-Series' role is more vital than ever. Pricing starts at $28,155.
The Toyota Tacoma is not the only mid-size pickup truck on this list. The 2018 Chevrolet Colorado has been on KBB's top 10 resale list ever since it returned to the market in 2015. After five years of ownership, expect the Colorado to retain 47.5 percent of its value. Nice. Not only does the Colorado offer two cab sizes, but there's also a diesel engine option alongside two gasoline engines. It's both a capable off-roader (specifically the ZR2 trim) and a great daily driver around town. Chevy once told us a number of car and SUV buyers were trading those vehicles in for a Colorado because trucks are simply cool. The Colorado manages to do everything well and for a base price of $20,500, it's hard to go wrong.
We know what some of you are going to say, and it goes something like "the Ridgeline isn't a true truck." That's only partially correct. No, the Honda Ridgeline does not ride on a body on frame chassis like its Toyota Tacoma and Chevy Colorado competitors, but it does offer something they don't: a better all-around on-road driving experience. Think of the Honda Ridgeline as the ideal city truck but can also handle itself just fine in many off-road conditions. Just don't take it rock crawling. KBB predicts it will retain 46.7 percent of its retail value over the next five years, and combined with Honda's long-time general reliability record, the Ridgeline is simply a smart buy. Pricing begins at $29,990.
No, this is not a mistake. Not only is the Subaru WRX the only non-truck or SUV on this list, but it's also a niche vehicle. With its 268-hp turbocharged boxer four engine and all-wheel-drive system, the WRX is a rally-inspired performance sedan based on the previous generation Subaru Impreza. A redesign is expected soon, but for now the current generation WRX has a 46.2 percent resale value over 60 months. Combined with its standard six-speed manual, the Subaru WRX is one of the best ways to have performance, reliability, and solid value all in one package. Pricing begins at $27,195.