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.
“While choosing a used car over a new car is typically associated with the greatest cost savings, sometimes the price difference isn’t that significant,” according to Ly Phong of iSeeCars.com, which compiled this list.
The 10 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.
Click on the image above to see which 10 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.
10. Dodge Charger
First up on our list is the Dodge Charger, which is offered in a range of styles from sedate family cruiser to quintessential American muscle sedan. According to iSeeCars, the Charger loses 13.9 percent of its value in the first year, representing $4,097.
Dodge Charger Information
9. Honda Ridgeline
The Honda Ridgeline is the first of two midsize pickup trucks on this list. Unlike every single one of its competitors, the Ridgeline is based on the car-like chassis, so it rides comfortably while still retaining enough towing and hauling capability to fulfill the needs of most buyers. iSeeCars says the Ridgeline loses 13.8 percent of its initial value in the first year, which equals $4,663.
Honda Ridgeline Information
8. Honda Accord
The Honda Accord is always one of the best-selling sedans in America, with a well-earned reputation for reliability and strong resale value. That's reflected in this eighth-place showing. According to iSeeCars, the Accord's 13.7-percent one-year depreciation represents $3,177.
Honda Accord Information
7. Chevrolet Corvette
There's a brand-new Corvette that adopts a mid-engine chassis layout for the first time in its long and storied history, but the C7, the last of the front-engine models, is still a very popular and capable sportscar.
“New 2019 C7 Corvettes were deeply discounted before the introduction of the C8 in 2020, and as a result, there wasn’t as steep of a price difference between the new and used versions,” said Ly, which helps explain this strong showing.
According to iSeeCars, the Corvette loses 13.6 percent of its initial value in the first year. That represents $8,113, which is the highest on this list because of the Corvette's comparatively high selling price.
Chevrolet Corvette Information
6. Subaru Crosstrek
The Crosstrek, the lone Subaru on this list, comes in at number six. “The popularity of the Crosstrek led to supply shortages for new 2019 models and it was also redesigned in 2018, so the demand for lightly-used models is high.” iSeeCars says the Crosstrek's 13.1-percent first-year depreciation represents a loss of $3,138.
Subaru Crosstrek Information
5. Honda Fit
Coming in fifth place is the Honda Fit, a hatchback that boasts a lot of usable space inside despite its small exterior dimensions. It's also good on gas, making it popular on the used market. According to iSeeCars, the Fit loses 12.5 percent of its initial value in the first year. That $2,111 loss is the smallest figure on this list due to the Fit's low starting price.
Honda Fit Information
4. Honda Civic Hatchback
The Civic Hatchback is the fourth Honda on this list, which is the most of any automobile manufacturer. “Honda’s reputation for reliability and lower than average ownership costs help drive their demand in the used car marketplace,” said Ly. The only other automaker with more than one vehicle on this list of cars that depreciate the least in their first year is Chevrolet, with two.
According to iSeeCars, the Civic Hatchback loses 11.9 percent of its value in its first year, which equals $2,704.
Honda Civic Information
3. Chevrolet Traverse
The Chevy Traverse is the only three-row vehicle on this list, joining the Corvette as the second Bowtie-branded vehicle. “It was fully redesigned in 2018, and newly redesigned cars command more money in the used car market,” said Ly.
iSeeCars says the Traverse loses 11.7 percent of its value in its first year, which equals $4,198.
Chevrolet Traverse Information
2. Ford Ranger
The Ford Ranger comes in second place on this list of vehicles that retain the most value after a year's worth of ownership. Unlike the Ridgeline that we saw earlier, the Ranger is a traditional body-on-frame truck, and that means it's a bit better suited to heavy loads. It was also just reintroduced to the American market, which means there's some pent-up demand.
According to iSeeCars, the Ranger loses 11.4 percent of its initial value in the first year, equalling $3,716.
Ford Ranger Information
1. Tesla Model 3
According to iSeeCars, the automobile that loses the smallest percentage of its initial value after one year is the Tesla Model 3. Considering the electric car's continued demand, we're not surprised.
“The Tesla Model 3 had the highest number of preorders of any car ever produced, and its backlog of orders helped further drive the high demand for the vehicle,” said Ly. “The vehicle didn’t meet its production goals until July of 2018, and because it’s so new to the marketplace and because of high owner satisfaction there is a low inventory of used versions.”
iSeeCars says the Model 3 depreciates just 5.5 percent after a year. That's by far the best performance of any vehicle sold in America.