• Image Credit: Hyundai

Kelly Blue Book's Top Ten Resale Values

Depreciation is one of the most significant, yet overlooked costs of owning a car. As you may know, your car immediately begins to lose value the second you drive off of the dealer lot and will continue to do so until it ultimately dies. Depending on the type of car you own, its loss in value can occur slowly or rapidly. It pays to choose wisely.

For most consumers, depreciation is an accepted part of owning a car. Unfortunately, most buyers do not factor it in when calculating the true cost of ownership when choosing a new vehicle.

Kelley Blue Book recently released its list of 10 cars from the 2012 model year that are projected to have the best resale value, meaning that they won't depreciate as quickly as others in their class and can be sold or traded-in for a much better prices than competitors down the road.

With economic uncertainty still sapping much of the country and the world, it's worth taking this long term cost into serious consideration.

  • Image Credit: Toyota

Toyota Tacoma

MSRP: $16,875 - $27,835
Fuel Economy: 21 mpg City / 25 mpg Hwy

National Average Base Selling Price: $15,423

The Tacoma is Toyota's compact pick-up truck offering - just the right size for all but the most serious contractor.

Toyota Tacoma is available in Regular Cab, Extra Cab (extended cab) and Double Cab (crew cab) body styles, in either two or four wheel drive. Regular and Extra Cabs come with six-foot beds; Double Cabs have the choice of a shorter five-foot bed or a standard-size six-footer. The base engine is a 2.7-liter, 159-hp inline-four mated to a five-speed manual transmission; a four-speed automatic is optional. A 236-hp 4.0-liter V6 is standard on all Double Cabs and optional on 4WD Access Cabs.

The Tacoma has a loyal following for both its reliability and resale, and it appeals to tradespeople who do not wish to have a larger full-size truck like the Toyota Tundra of Ford F150.

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Infiniti FX

MSRP: $43,450 - $51,550
Fuel Economy: 16 mpg City / 23 mpg Hwy

National Average Base Selling Price: $41,046

The Infiniti FX35 is a stylish 'Supernatural Cheetah' designed sport utility vehicle with a strong emphasis on 'sport'. The FX35 is available in rear-wheel or all-wheel drive configurations. A 303-hp 3.5-liter V6 sends power through a new electronically controlled 7-speed automatic transmission that features a manual shift mode and downshift rev-matching. The FX35 features such luxuries as power heated leather front seats, moonroof, alloy wheels, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

The FX, like most of the Infiniti brand, flies under the radar of most people. But a value like this deserves more attention.

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Toyota FJ Cruiser

MSRP: $25,990 - $27,580
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City / 22 mpg Hwy

National Average Base Selling Price: $25,307

The Toyota FJ Cruiser, with styling cues reminiscent of Toyota's famed FJ40 4x4 utility vehicle, blends off-road legacy with modern power, comfort, safety, and convenience technology. The FJ Cruiser is available in one trim with a choice of three drivetrains: a rear-wheel-drive version equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission, a part-time four-wheel-drive version with a five-speed automatic transmission, or a full-time four-wheel-drive version with a six-speed manual transmission. All versions are powered by a 259 hp 4.0-liter V-6 engine.

The FJ has been a slow seller. So, if you like it, drive a hard bargain with the dealer.

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Hyundai Tucson

MSRP: $19,045 - $26,395
Fuel Economy: 20 mpg City / 27 mpg Hwy

National Average Base Selling Price: $18,745

The Hyundai Tucson features a sleek and fluid exterior design and competes in the popular CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) segment. The Tucson is offered in front-wheel and four-wheel drive arrangements, and is available in GL (FWD only) GLS, and Limited trims. The GL is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a standard five-speed manual or an optional six-speed automatic transmission. GLS and Limited trims receive a 176-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission.

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Nissan Frontier

MSRP: $18,200 - $32,080
Fuel Economy: 19 mpg City / 23 mpg Hwy

National Average Base Selling Price: $15,573

The mid-size Nissan Frontier pickup combines versatility with practicality, and is suitable for both work and the trail. It is available in either a rear-wheel (4x2) or four-wheel drive configuration, with two body styles - extended (King) Cab and Crew Cab. The Frontier is offered in five trim levels: S, SV-I4, SV, the PRO-4X off-road model and the luxurious SL. Available engines include a 152-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder (S, SV-I4), mated to either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission, and a 261-hp 4.0-liter V6 (SV, PRO-4X and SL), paired with either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.

Like the Toyota Tacoma, the Frontier is valued by tradespeople who don't want a full-size truck, and by outdoors enthusiasts who like the AWD and bed for kayaks and bikes.

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Honda CR-V

Fuel Economy: 22 mpg City / 30 mpg Hwy

The Honda CR-V is a compact crossover SUV that delivers a balance of style, versatility and comfort, along with a high level of safety technology. The five-passenger CR-V is available in both front-wheel and four-wheel drive configurations, each with a choice of four trim levels: LX, SE, EX and EX-L. All trim levels are powered by a 185-hp 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine, paired with a five-speed automatic transmission.

It has been the best selling compact crossover in the U.S.

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Lexus RX

MSRP: $39,075 - $40,475
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg City / 25 mpg Hwy

National Average Base Selling Price: $37,405

The Lexus RX was one of the first sedan-based, luxury utility vehicles, and it remains one of the best. This crossover is impressively smooth, comfortable, responsive in all driving situations and flexible when it comes to hauling people or cargo. The RX 350 is powered by a 270-hp 3.5-liter V6 with a six-speed automatic transmission delivering performance, and fuel efficiency. It is available with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.

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Chevrolet Camaro

MSRP: $23,200 - $40,600
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City / 28 mpg Hwy

National Average Base Selling Price: $23,065

With design cues evocative of the legendary 1969 model, the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro combines the spirit of the classic American muscle car with the fuel efficiency, safety, handling, technology and build quality expected in a modern performance coupe. The Camaro is available in three trims: LS, LT and SS. The LS and LT are powered by a 323-hp direct-injected 3.6-liter V6 with a six-speed manual or an optional six-speed automatic transmission. The SS's 6.2-liter V8 generates 426 horsepower with the standard six-speed manual, and 400 horsepower with the optional six-speed automatic with sequential shift control.

The Camaro has been selling better than the Ford Mustang, but the pony is hitting back with updated designs for 2012.

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Jeep Wrangler

MSRP: $22,045 - $29,995
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City / 21 mpg Hwy

National Average Base Selling Price: $21,603

The Wrangler is one of the most fun-to-drive, off-road-capable Jeeps ever made. For open-air driving at the beach, on the trail or even the just on the street, the standard soft top can be folded down or the available hard top can be taken off, the doors can be removed and the windshield can be folded down. The two-door Wrangler is configurable in either Sport, Sahara and Rubicon trim with standard four-wheel drive. A 290-horsepower (88 more than the previous model year's V6) 3.6-liter V-6 engine is new for 2012, and the standard transmission is a six-speed manual, while a new-for 2012 five-speed automatic is available.

The Wrangler does not score well on quality surveys or fuel economy ranking, but it's off-road capability and rugged image make up for it, and keep the Jeep an icon.

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Audi Q7

MSRP: $46,250 - $59,950
Fuel Economy: 16 mpg City / 22 mpg Hwy

National Average Base Selling Price: $45,577

The Audi Q7 has established itself in the luxury SUV class with bold styling, numerous tech features and five-star safety ratings. The Q7 is available with three different engine choices, two supercharged, direct-injection 3.0-liter gasoline engines, one with 272-hp, the other, on the S line trim, with 333-hp. A 225-hp 3.0-liter V6 direct injection diesel (TDI) is also available, and they are all mated to a Tiptronic eight-speed automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive.

Feels like a tank when you drive it, but that is exactly why many well-heeled crossover buyers like it.

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