Which type of vehicle retains the highest resale value? Well, according to a study released by Carnegie Mellon University, it's most likley to be one with a non-gasoline-fueled powertrain.
CMU found that hybrids and diesel-burning vehicles are often slapped with price tags that are, at least in some cases, substantially higher than gas-powered vehicles. The news is that the lower upfront costs don't necessarily make gasoline-burning autos raging long-term bargains.
The Carnegie Mellon research team compared the diesel-fueled Volkswagen Jetta TDI with its gasoline-burning counterparts; the five-cylinder and the turbo'd four-cylinder Jetta. In addition, the team compared the Toyota Prius with a Toyota Camry sedan and stacked up the Honda Civic Hybrid against the conventional gas-fueled Civic. In the end, the Jetta TDI and Toyota Prius were declared winners, at least in terms of retaining resale value over a three-year time period. The Carnegie team concluded that fuel-efficient vehicles, in general, are desirable among used car buyers, which leads to a higher than anticipated resale value.