• 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 7.7 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 CEO Phong Ly points out, “For consumers who purchase new vehicles and sell them after five years, choosing a car that holds its value is a smart economic decision.” Click on the image above to find out which cars and trucks depreciate the least in five years.

  • Image Credit: Subaru

Number 10: Subaru WRX

Number 10: Subaru WRX
Average 5-year depreciation percentage: 40.0%

You're going to see several trucks and sport utility vehicles on this list, with a couple high-performance coupes mixed in to keep things interesting. What you won't see are any more sedans or hatchbacks like the Subaru WRX. And we're not terribly surprised. In a world crazed with crossovers of every shape and size, sedans and hatchbacks are a dying breed (see the loss of the dearly departed Mitsubishi Evolution series for further evidence). That's especially so of cars like the WRX that are aimed at driving enthusiasts, and that means they can command a premium on the used market.

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Subaru WRX Information

Subaru WRX
  • Image Credit: Nissan

Number 9: Nissan Frontier

Number 9: Nissan Frontier
Average 5-year depreciation percentage: 39.5%

While we weren't surprised to see the Subaru WRX in 10th place, the Nissan Frontier in 9th initially left us scratching our heads. The Frontier isn't currently a competitive product, and it hasn't been for the last few years. But then we remembered 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.

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Nissan Frontier Information

Nissan Frontier
  • Image Credit: Nissan

Number 8: Nissan GT-R

Number 8: Nissan GT-R
Average 5-year depreciation percentage: 39.4%

There aren't a lot of vehicles in America like the Nissan GT-R. A technological tour de force when it was launched in the States for the 2008 model year, Godzilla earned its nickname with a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V6 sending 480 horsepower to all four wheels through a dual-clutch gearbox. The fact that it's still on sale today proves its enduring appeal.

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Nissan GT-R Information

Nissan GT-R
  • Image Credit: Honda

Number 7: Honda Ridgeline

Number 7: Honda Ridgeline
Average 5-year depreciation percentage: 38.1%

The same qualities that make the Honda Ridgeline an intriguing alternative to traditional pickups make it an intriguing used vehicle purchase. Compared to its popular body-on-frame competitors — including two other mid-size pickups on this list — the Honda Ridgeline is a comfortable and efficient outlier that still has enough hauling and towing capability to fulfill the needs of the majority of truck buyers. The fact that it's so unique can't help but prop up its resale value.

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Honda Ridgeline Information

Honda Ridgeline
  • Image Credit: Porsche

Number 6: Porsche 911

Number 6: Porsche 911
Average 5-year depreciation percentage: 37.2%

“The Porsche 911 is an iconic and beloved sports car that will always be in demand as a dream car for many consumers,” said Ly. We'd add that the 911's basic shape hasn't changed in decades, which means an example that's five years old still looks new.

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Porsche 911 Information

Porsche 911
  • Image Credit: Toyota

Number 5: Toyota 4Runner

Number 5: Toyota 4Runner
Average 5-year depreciation percentage: 36.5%

Toyota enjoys a stellar and well-earned reputation for reliability. That's a big reason why three of the top five vehicles on this list of cars that depreciate the least wear Toyota badges. Unlike most of its crossover competitors, the 4Runner is a rough-and-tumble sport utility vehicle that durability and off-road capability over refinement and on-road manners. The fact that it stands out as different might be a benefit on the second-hand market.

“Since its release in 1984 the 4Runner has amassed a loyal following, and its ruggedness and reputation for being a reliable vehicle help contribute to its value retention,” said Ly.

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Toyota 4Runner Information

Toyota 4Runner
  • Image Credit: Toyota

Number 4: Toyota Tundra

Number 4: Toyota Tundra
Average 5-year depreciation percentage: 35.9%

Each and every year, fullsize pickup trucks sit atop the sales charts here in the United States, led for as long as we can remember by the Ford F-Series. Interestingly, the Toyota Tundra is the only large truck to show up on this list. Credit Toyota's dependable reputation and the fact that it's sold in lower volumes than its American competitors with its strong fourth-place finish in the resale value rankings.

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Toyota Tundra Information

Toyota Tundra
  • Image Credit: Toyota

Number 3: Toyota Tacoma

Number 3: Toyota Tacoma
Average 5-year depreciation percentage: 32.0%

“Toyota and Honda are known for their reliability, and their reputation for dependable pickups helps aid their resale value,” said Ly. This is the third Toyota in a row, and it's the top-ranked mid-size truck for resale value.

Just half of a percentage point separates the third-place Tacoma from the SUV that sits in second. Click on the image above to see what's next.

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Toyota Tacoma Information

Toyota Tacoma
  • Image Credit: Jeep

Number 2: Jeep Wrangler

Number 2: Jeep Wrangler
Average 5-year depreciation percentage: 31.5%

No surprise here. “Jeep Wranglers are known for retaining their value for reasons including their ruggedness, durability, and iconic design,” said Ly. “Because of Jeep’s loyal following, their demand outstrips supply in the used car marketplace leading to high resale values.”

If you weren't surprised to see the Jeep Wrangler sitting so high on this list, you certainly won't be surprised by what comes next.

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Jeep Wrangler Information

Jeep Wrangler
  • Image Credit: Jeep

Number 1: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Number 1: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Average 5-year depreciation percentage: 30.0%

Jeep introduced the four-door Wrangler Unlimited model in 2006, having successfully tested the extended-wheelbase waters for two years with a two-door version based on the previous generation of the automaker's standard-setting off-roader. It was an immediate success, and its continued demand as a used vehicle earns it the title as the vehicle that retains more value after five years than any other in America.

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Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Information

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
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