10 Best Resale Value Cars

At fifty thousand dollars, buying a new Corvette can hurt—but on the plus side, after five years it will still retain a value of around 50% . That puts it among the top 10 best cars for resale value as compiled by CNN Money and based on Kelley Blue Book figures. Or if your budget is smaller, a Honda Civic Sedan costs around $19k and retains 52% of its value.

1. Corvette (50%)
2. Honda Civic Sedan (52%)
3. Infiniti G37 (52%)
4. Mini Cooper (52%)
5. Scion tC (52%)
6. Scion xB (52%)
7. Toyota Corolla (52%)
8. Volkswagen Eos (52%)
9. Volkswagen Jetta (51%)
10. Volkswagen Rabbit (51%)

It might seem a little odd that Volkswagen has three cars on the list, considering their “spotty reputation for reliability – the brand fairs poorly in J.D. Powers’ annual rankings of long-term dependability.” On the other hand, “Volkswagen’s certified pre-owned program, recently rated the best by Intellichoice.com, may help boost resale values in the long term.”

“Top 10 best resale value cars” [CNNMoney]
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. JPropaganda says:

    It’ll be sad when these all change in 5 years…

  2. zolielo says:

    How about the other way. What drops like a rock?

  3. 5cents says:

    According to Galileo, all items drop at the same speed as a rock.

  4. EvilSquirrel says:

    In five years, I plan on having the same car. Dedication is driving your car until the state will let you order historic license plates for your vehicle.

  5. azntg says:

    The owners of the aforementioned vehicles beware. What enhances a sweet incentive to you makes a sweet incentive for theieves too. Oh damn, did I do the glass half empty thing again? LOL

  6. Heliochrome85 says:

    Its nice to know that my infiniti is on the list. Too bad, AZNTG is right…

  7. theirishscion says:

    Oooh, I love this… I just bought Beloved a Mini as a kinda unconventional engagement ring, and this confirms what I was seeing on the 2nd hand market. The Minis are actually about the same value proposition to buy new, if not better. They’re holding their value better than houses in some parts of the country right now :-D

    That said, haggling with the dealers is something of an exercise in futility. I managed to knock about $500 off MSRP and get a few freebies thrown in but that was about it. People are paying over MSRP in some parts of the country…

  8. gretch9er says:

    Yeah…I have to attest to VW holding their value. I bought an ’03 Golf in December of ’04 through their VW Certified program – got a great APR on the purchase of the car (I had been pre-approved through a Credit Union, and they beat that rate). A year and 3 months later, I no longer needed the car (I live in a major city, and was no longer commuting an hour each way – in no traffic – to the suburbs for a coaching job 4 times each week), so I sold the car. I made back enough money to pay the car off, and also made back all but $100 of my down payment AND trade in value. Which was FANTASTIC. Because selling my car put a fair amount of money in my pocket…

  9. mconfoy says:

    @EvilSquirrel: Can you beat a 1991 T-Bird with 62K miles on it? Think it it must be 25 years old her to get the antique plates.

  10. LAGirl says:

    @theirishscion: i bought a MINI last February. gets great gas mileage, lots of power, fun to drive, looks great. i knew when i was shopping around, that they’ve got great resale value. that helped seal the deal for me.

    i also own a 1974 AMC Javelin. i’m having the original engine rebuilt. can’t wait to drive it again. although its value has really increased, i don’t ever plan on selling it. it’s a really beautiful car. i just love it.

  11. TechnoDestructo says:


    The incentive for thieves is expensive parts that are easily sold. I’m pretty sure not many cars stolen in the US are being sold intact in the US.

  12. sleze69 says:

    People were buying used 2005 TDI Passats for more than I paid a year AFTER I bought mine new. VWs do indeed retain value very well.

  13. Namilia says:

    Now I know what to look into with my next car..my current one I’ve owned for only four years, and it has already depreciated to around 3k (from 12k I believe). It is almost to the point the loan on the car is worth more than the car itself…I’ll likely not buy Pontiac again. I’m debating buying a new car with a better fuel economy and a bit more reliable than my Grand Am, but I don’t think I could afford it now even if I chose to. :

  14. beavis88 says:

    VWs no doubt retain their value so well because at 5 years old, you would expect the owner to have installed LOTs of brand spanking new replacement parts.

    /former VW owner
    //great to drive, hell to repair

  15. shaunirving says:

    Amen to the VW TDIs. I’m trying to sell my buddy’s 2-year-old Jetta TDI. Judging from previous sales, I think he’ll only lose $3,000 in depreciation off a $25,000 car.

    As fuel prices go up, the diesels will only hold their value more.

  16. chemman says:

    yeah, I checked the blue book on my 2005 VW Passat TDI and it was only about $1000 under what I paid for it for a private sale, not bad considering I have 80K miles on it. Of course, for a TDI that means the engine is just getting warmed up!

  17. Dibbler says:

    VW’s are just “trendy” right now and soon those things will be selling for less than a Dodge Neon at the used car lot. A friend of mine has a Jetta and that thing started falling apart before it even left the new car lot. I can’t believe how much the interior has faded in that last year.

  18. sleze69 says:

    @Dibbler: TDIs are a whole different breed of VWs

  19. Vicky says:

    We recently purchased a Scion and can attest that their values remain relatively high. I think it’s because many buyers like us prefer the body style for the 2006 and earlier models – the 2008 looks like an Element to me.

  20. @Dibbler: I have my third Jetta (2005 2.5). It’s great, but not as great as my second Jetta (2001 1.8T). This spring, I’m looking to switch to a brand-new GTI. Can’t wait!

  21. Sucko-T says:

    My 2002 Neon has held 50% of it’s value over 5 years. I bought it brand new for $8699, and could easily sell it for around $4500. Now if had paid the $14,000 MSRP it wouldn’t be this way. It pays to buy the loss leader.

  22. Nick986 says:

    You can keep your electrical gremlin VW. I can go get a 1 year old Taurus SE w/30K for $10K OTD. That’s called a deal. Thank you Ford for miserable resale value!

  23. Black Bellamy says:

    Ummm WTF?

    This list sucks ass. The Jeep Wrangler is the hands-down champion of resale value.


    Go ahead, price some used Wranglers. I dare you, CNN Money cretins!

  24. madanthony says:

    They don’t tell you how they calculate it, but previous lists like this I’ve seen use the MSRP as the value of the car, and the resale is a percentage of that MSRP.

    This makes the list pretty much worthless, because lots of cars sell for considerably less than MSRP – especially domestic cars, which frequently carry huge rebates, and often have more room to haggle a discount.

    I have a Ford Ranger, and after rebates and about 5 minutes of haggling, I paid about 80% of MSRP brand new. So of course it’s going to be significantly below MSRP in a couple years, because it was significantly below MSRP when I drove it off the lot.

  25. lowlight69 says:

    honestly i don’t care about resale value. i buy honda, then drive them forever. eventually they will die, but by then i will have driven them for so many years i’m doing great. currently i’m driving a 96 prelude, the wife has a 2003 civic. current plan is to give the civic to our daughter when she gets her license (she is 1 year old). 15 years on a honda is nothing. :) of course i also own a 1969 Mustang Mach 1, but that needs some TLC.

  26. bendsley says:

    nice to see pictures of the Cadillac Ranch here.

  27. kwsdurango says:

    Maybe they only looked at common or higher volume makes/models but Porsche 911’s hold their values extremely well. My 1983 Porsche 911SC Coupe retailed for just over $30k new and is still worth $18k today (same as when I bought it used 12 years ago). Sure it’s not daily driver but it’s still fun, insurance is cheap (relatively speaking) and I get vintage tags next year! That’s got to be tough to beat.

  28. wesrubix says:

    I would trust KBB over CNN any day, especially with cars.


  29. EtherealStrife says:

    When I bought my 99 corolla back in late 02 from a vw dealership they were willing to deal WAY more on it than a 96 jetta that was right next to it. Go figure. Anyway, it’s 5 years later and I can’t be happier with their vw stubbornness. :)

  30. beavis88 says:

    @wesrubix: For that matter, I’d probably trust KBB over CNN when it came to world news too… :)

  31. dalejo says:

    Hmm, what does this say about VW owner’s? Willing to overpay for junk. I know a lot of ex-VW owner’s and I can’t believe how many lemons there are. That rep is well deserved.

  32. TechnoDestructo says:


    As other manufacturers jump on the diesel bandwagon, VW diesels will hold their value less.

  33. UpsetPanda says:

    For all of you VW owners, and I see there are quite a lot of you. Is the resale value worth it compared to the amount of money it takes to fix the VW in case something goes wrong? I drive a german car and my biggest problem is that when something does go wrong (not often) it takes a chunk of money out of my wallet.

  34. hustler says:

    Since when has VW experienced a remotely respectable resale value? VW is a shameful company. I can’t believe people still buy cars from them.

  35. sleze69 says:

    @CaffeinatedSquint: If you go to the dealer, you definately will pay for it. Luckily I live near a place called Gene’s that has been fixing VWs forever and is actually pretty well known among VW owners. They are very reasonable and I bet there are other foreign car specialists like them all over.

    @hustler: I bought my TDI Passat wagon for $29k in 08/2005 new. People were successfully selling the same car USED 1 year later for $30-31k. I would say that is a pretty good resale, no?

  36. joellevand says:

    I’m so glad I’m making my next car a MINI.

  37. mm6 says:

    This list is misleading because it implies an order that is not in the original article (#2 and others in the list retain more of their value than #1).