The Tacoma laughs in the face of depreciation.
How many of us can say we think about depreciation when looking for a new car? It's important but often forgotten as we pore over safety and reliability ratings and, crucially, cost. But with the average American keeping their car for longer, it makes sense to choose something that holds its value well.
According to a study released by Zutobi, it appears that trucks are most resistant to depreciation on the local market, with the Toyota Tacoma coming out tops. On average, the Japanese pickup loses just 21.93% of its value in three years, with an average value of $22,286. Unsurprisingly, Ford's F-Series takes second place, wiping just 24.48% of its value in 36 months.
The soon-to-be-replaced Ranger is tied with its bigger brother, also losing an average of 24.48% in three years. Interestingly, six of the top ten vehicles with the strongest values are pickup trucks: the Tesla Model 3 (24.79%), Toyota RAV4 (25.97%), Mazda 3 (26.31%), and BMW X3 (27.02%) fill in the rest of the gaps.
It comes as no surprise that vehicles such as the Honda Pilot and Accord also hold their value well, but several entrants depreciate at a mesmerizing rate - the biggest loser of them all is the Kia Sorento. Despite an enviable reputation for quality, reliability, and value for money, it seems the popular family SUV retains value like a colander holds water.
Over three years, the Sorento loses a whopping 55.16% of its value, with an average price of $13,831. While this will come as a blow for new car buyers, this does mean the Korean SUV offers unbeatable value on the secondhand market. The Chevrolet Trax clinching the silver medal isn't much of a surprise; it's not a particularly exciting car and the competition is far better.
As such, the crossover sheds 50.31% of its value in just three years. It may not be as bad as the Sorento but, remember, the Trax is a budget car - why should owners have to contend with such poor depreciation?
Once a byword for strong residual values, Mercedes-Benz finds itself in third place with the GLE-Class. The luxury SUV loses 48.85% of its value in the same period. That means a car you paid $56,750 for is worth just $29,029 (on average) in three years. Depreciation isn't a worry for most luxury car owners, but rivals such as the BMW X5 (39.80%) and Lexus RX (30.22%) retain their values far better.
Other vehicles with surprisingly poor depreciation include the Lexus ES, Nissan Altima, and Kia Telluride. The pillowy-smooth Lexus loses 44.21% of its value in three years, which represents an average of $18,158. The Nissan Altima does a bit better at 43.21% but it's still a shock to see a reliable, in-demand car plummet so quickly.
Hopefully, the recent facelift given to the Telluride can boost its poor depreciation; the handsome SUV wipes 38.92% of its value away in the same period, a painful loss for owners.