• Image Credit: Jeep

Choosing a car that holds its value is a smart economic decision

You know your brand-new car starts losing value the minute you drive it off the lot. And it loses more value with every passing minute. How quickly it depreciates depends on a number of factors, and not all vehicles depreciate at the same pace.

According to a recent study of more than 8.2 million new and used car sales by iSeeCars.com, the average vehicle loses just about half of its initial value after five years of ownership. Some cars and trucks depreciate much more quickly while others, like the ones you're about to see on this list, manage to retain a lot more of their value than average.

As iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer points out, “For consumers who purchase new vehicles and plan to sell them in the first 5 years of ownership, choosing a model that retains the most value is a smart economic decision, especially when you consider depreciation is the single large ‘cost' to owning a vehicle.” Click on the image above to find out which cars and trucks depreciate the least in five years.

  • Image Credit: Nissan

Number 10: Nissan Frontier

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Number 10: Nissan Frontier
Average 5-year depreciation percentage: 43.5%
Average 5-year depreciation in dollars: $12,823

Seeing the Nissan Frontier on this list may initially seem like a head scratcher. The current Frontier isn't a competitive product, and it hasn't been for the last few years. But remember that this list represents vehicles five years old, back when mid-size pickup production wasn't nearly as prolific as it is today. Couple that pent-up demand for right-sized trucks with what we have to imagine were comparatively reasonable retail prices back when these trucks were sold new and you have a recipe for solid resale value.

Nissan Frontier Information

Nissan Frontier
  • Image Credit: GMC

Number 9: GMC Canyon

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Number 9: GMC Canyon
Average 5-year depreciation percentage: 41.2%
Average 5-year depreciation in dollars: $16,115

The GMC Canyon is one of three mid-size pickup trucks to make this list of the top 10 vehicles with the least depreciation over their first five years of ownership. “The redesigned GMC Canyon holds its value due to its heightened demand from its production hiatus for the 2013 and 2014 model years, making the all-new 2015 model a desirable used truck," says Brauer.

GMC Canyon Information

GMC Canyon
  • Image Credit: Dodge

Number 8: Dodge Challenger

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Number 8: Dodge Challenger
Average 5-year depreciation percentage: 40.6%
Average 5-year depreciation in dollars: $16,303

The Dodge Challenger is an outlier on this list because it's not a pickup truck or sport utility vehicle. Seven out of the top 10 vehicles with the lowest five-year depreciation are trucks or SUVs. Brauer cites "a competitive starting price for the segment" along with "its classic nature, iconic styling and strong performance" as reasons for the Challenger's strong resale performance. We'll just add that it's also pretty darn fun to drive, too.

Dodge Challenger Information

Dodge Challenger
  • Image Credit: Subaru

Number 7: Subaru WRX

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Number 7: Subaru WRX
Average 5-year depreciation percentage: 39.8%
Average 5-year depreciation in dollars: $14,192

As we said on the last slide, the majority of entries on this list of vehicles that retain their value are trucks and SUVs. Interestingly, the only four-door sedan (or hatchback) to make the top 10 is the Subaru WRX. Brauer highlights the fact that there aren't that many new WRXs sold each year as a contributing factor to its strong resale value.

Subaru WRX Information

Subaru WRX
  • Image Credit: Toyota

Number 6: Toyota 4Runner

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Number 6: Toyota 4Runner
Average 5-year depreciation percentage: 38.5%
Average 5-year depreciation in dollars: $16,325

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming. After two high-performance cars we come to the Toyota 4Runner. Toyota enjoys a reputation for reliability that's unmatched by any competitor, and its trucks and SUVs in particular benefit from that well-earned reputation with strong resale value.

Toyota 4Runner Information

Toyota 4Runner
  • Image Credit: Toyota

Number 5: Toyota Tundra

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Number 5: Toyota Tundra
Average 5-year depreciation percentage: 37%
Average 5-year depreciation in dollars: $17,020

Another Toyota lands in the fifth spot on this list of vehicles with the lowest five-year depreciation. Interestingly, the Tundra is the only fullsize pickup truck that you'll see in the top 10, despite the fact that it's outsold every year by American competitors like the Ford F-Series, Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500 and GMC Sierra. We have to wonder if its comparatively low sales numbers contribute to its stronger-than-average resale value on the used market.

Toyota Tundra Information

Toyota Tundra
  • Image Credit: Porsche

Number 4: Porsche 911

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Number 4: Porsche 911
Average 5-year depreciation percentage: 36%
Average 5-year depreciation in dollars: $56,133

The Porsche 911 is the only vehicle from a German automaker to land on this list. It's also the most expensive, which means its 36% five-year depreciation rate equals more than $56,000. “Porsche maintains a tight inventory, so there aren’t many 911s in the used car marketplace and people are willing to pay a premium because it’s an aspirational car,” said Brauer.

Porsche 911 Information

Porsche 911
  • Image Credit: Jeep

Number 3: Jeep Wrangler

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Number 3: Jeep Wrangler
Average 5-year depreciation percentage: 32.8%
Average 5-year depreciation in dollars: $10,824

It's no surprise to see the Jeep Wrangler near the top of this list. The legendary off-road sport utility vehicle has long enjoyed stellar resale value. Brauer says that Wrangler models "have maintained their iconic design, so even older models don’t appear dated." That's certainly true. It's also worth noting that there aren't really any competitors that offer the combination of open-air driving, off-road prowess and relative affordability.

Jeep Wrangler Information

Jeep Wrangler
  • Image Credit: Toyota

Number 2: Toyota Tacoma

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Number 2: Toyota Tacoma
Average 5-year depreciation percentage: 32.4%
Average 5-year depreciation in dollars: $10,496

Coming in second place is the Toyota Tacoma, making it the best-performing pickup truck on the list of vehicles that retain the most value after five years of ownership. “Toyota trucks have a well-earned reputation for reliability and quality, and the Tacoma and Tundra appeal to consumers who want a rugged hauler and those who want a dependable family vehicle,” said Brauer.

Note that the Tacoma's five-year depreciation equals a loss of $10,496. That's the lowest figure on the list.

Toyota Tacoma Information

Toyota Tacoma
  • Image Credit: Jeep

Number 1: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

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Number 1: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Average 5-year depreciation percentage: 30.9%
Average 5-year depreciation in dollars: $12,168

If you want to enjoy the least amount of depreciation, you'd better start shopping for a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. The four-door version of Jeep's off-road specialist tops the list, losing well under a third of its initial value after five years.

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Information

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
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