Be smart with your money
You know the drill. As soon as you drive a new car off the lot, it's no longer new. It's used. That means it just lost a bunch of value in the eyes of car buyers. But some vehicles don't lose all that much value in the first year.
The nine vehicles on this list have the smallest changes in value after their first year of ownership. In practical terms, that means it may not make the best financial sense to buy them used.
“Instead of buying a car that’s been driven for one year, consumers can buy the new version for just a few thousand dollars more and take advantage of the latest and greatest technological and safety features. When spread out over the length of a car loan at an average of 5.5 years, the slightly increased monthly payments can be offset by the added warranty and dealer incentives,” according to Ly Phong of iSeeCars.com, which compiled this list.
Click on the image above to see which nine vehicles lose the least amount of value in their first year of ownership.
And to compare these vehicles with others in their class, try Autoblog's Compare Cars tool.
9. Subaru WRX
% Difference New Over Used: 14.2%
$ Difference New Over Used: $4,115
As you'll soon see, the Subaru WRX is a bit of an oddball on this list. It's a sedan, and it's aimed at people who value performance over comfort. Still, it's in high demand.
Phone Li, iSeeCars.com CEO, says, “The WRX is a high-demand vehicle and it had a starring role in the 2017 box office hit ‘Baby Driver’, adding to its appeal.”
Research the 2018 Subaru WRX
8. Jeep Renegade
% Difference New Over Used: 14.1%
$ Difference New Over Used: $2,897
The first SUV you'll see on this list - but not even close to the last – is the Jeep Renegade. This is Jeep's smallest crossover, and it has more off-road capability than any other vehicle in its segment. Plus, the Jeep name carries an excellent reputation, which helps resale value.
Research the 2018 Jeep Renegade
7. Honda HR-V
% Difference New Over Used: 13.8%
$ Difference New Over Used: $2,885
The Honda HR-V, like the Jeep Renegade just before it on this list, is a small crossover. Unlike the Jeep, there's no off-road credibility baked into Honda's little utility vehicle. Still, Honda's have a stellar reputation for reliability, and that's a boon for resale value.
Research the 2018 Honda HR-V
6. Chevy Colorado
% Difference New Over Used: 13.7%
$ Difference New Over Used: $4,154
The first pickup truck on our list of cars to buy new instead of used is the Chevy Colorado. The midsize segment is undergoing a major resurgence, and until the Ford Ranger hits dealerships, the Colorado is the newest entry in the segment.
Research the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado
5. Honda Pilot
% Difference New Over Used: 13.7%
$ Difference New Over Used: $4,858
The Pilot is the second and final Honda you'll see on this list. It's a relatively large crossover with lots of room inside, a comfortable cabin, and it wears a desirable nameplate. All those things help it maintain its value on the used market.
Research the 2018 Honda Pilot
4. Nissan Frontier
% Difference New Over Used: 13.3%
$ Difference New Over Used: $3,180
We're a little surprised to see the Nissan Frontier make this list of vehicles to buy new instead of used. The Frontier is a midsize truck, like the Chevy Colorado we already covered, but it's really starting to show its age. A new version of the Frontier is expected soon, and there may be great incentives on current models on dealership lots.
Research the 2018 Nissan Frontier
3. Toyota 4Runner
% Difference New Over Used: 12.7%
$ Difference New Over Used: $4,605
It's no surprise that the Toyota 4Runner retains a lot of value on the used market. The rugged off-road SUV has a well-earned reputation for durability, and that means used models are always in demand.
Research the 2018 Toyota 4Runner
2. Toyota Tacoma
% Difference New Over Used: 10.4%
$ Difference New Over Used: $3,320
Another midsize pickup truck, the Toyota Tacoma, comes in second place on the list of cars to buy new instead of used. The Tacoma has long enjoyed stellar resale value, and that means it might be a better deal to buy new instead of used.
Research the 2018 Toyota Tacoma
1. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
% Difference New Over Used: 8.9%
$ Difference New Over Used: $3,199
The vehicle with the lowest percentage of value lost in its first year is the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. “Jeeps are known for retaining their value due to their durability and performance across all terrains,” said Ly. “Strong brand reputation is another key factor to aid in value retention."
If you're in the market for a Wrangler, you'd be wise to carefully consider whether you should buy brand-new or if you should investigate the used market.