Used cars with the least depreciation
Buying a used car with low depreciation is a sort of catch 22. On the one hand, you know the value won’t drop too dramatically post-purchase. On the other, you most likely just contributed to the trend of low depreciation with your own wallet. Regardless of your used car decision, it’s best to be informed about the cars that hold their value the best, which is what we’ll go through on this list.
The majority of the cars on this list are foreign, specifically Japanese with Honda and Toyota dominating the list. Ford is the only domestic manufacturer with any cars on the list at all. Having a reputation for dependability and not being a luxury marque seem to be the two biggest prerequisites to score well here.
Carvana compiled this data by looking at three-year-old vehicles sold in the wholesale market over a three-month period. The wholesale price was then compared to the MSRP when new to find a the median discount the vehicles offer now. It's important to note that the results reflect vehicles that are three years old, and that the rate of depreciation can change after a few more years on the market.
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10. Honda Accord
2015 Honda Accord - $7,700 median discount
Honda is a no-brainer for this list, with several of its cars making it. The 2015 Accord isn’t as amazing as the redesigned 2018 model we have now, but it was still a super respectable sedan to ride around in. The 2015 Honda Accord retains 66 percent of its original value. We definitely aren’t surprised to see it kicking the top 10 off.
9. Honda CR-V EX
2015 Honda CR-V EX - $7,700 median discountWe specify the trim on the CR-V, because Carvana actually narrowed it down to the trim level for its list and put the CR-V on here twice. The EX comes in at ninth place as the second Honda on the list. For 2015, Honda went through and completely reworked the CR-V. It got new styling and an updated engine and transmission, making it an appealing choice for those looking to buy used but still get a “newer” car. The CR-V is only one of two crossovers on this list, which is surprising considering the demand for them these days. The CR-V retains 72 percent of its original value.
8. Toyota RAV4
2015 Toyota RAV4 - $7,700 median discountThe Toyota RAV4 is the Honda CR-V’s natural competitor, and they fall right next to each other on this list too. Tons of people cross shop these two, but we’re partial to the CR-V’s more engaging driving experience. This one retains 71 percent of its original value. We’ll be getting a thoroughly updated RAV4 soon though, so buyers might want to wait to drive that one.
7. Honda CR-V LX
2015 Honda CR-V LX - $7,500 median discountThe first CR-V included on this list was the more luxurious EX trim, whereas this one is the rather pedestrian LX. Seeing the more expensive version of a car on this list ranked worse than the cheaper one is actually a microcosm of the market as a whole. Most cars with higher starting price points depreciate faster, which is depicted in a very small way by the two slightly different CR-Vs shown here.
6. Hyundai Sonata
2015 Hyundai Sonata - $7,500 median discountHyundai took the Sonata down a sales freefall following the the car's 2015 redesign, but the model year still does well on the used market clearly. The Sonata took off in the early 2010s with its most comprehensive redesign ever, and Hyundai is still trying to recapture that magic. It clearly isn’t easy in the world of crossovers we live in now, but the newest Sonata is a pretty nice car. The 2015 models are retaining about 65 percent of their original value as of now.
5. Ford F-150
2015 Ford F-150 - $7,100 median discount
The Ford F-150 is the only truck on this top 10, and it places extremely high, too. Still the best-selling vehicle in the U.S., people definitely want them badly on the used market. Unfortunately, truck buyers won’t get much of a discount when waiting a few years for the prices to go down.
Since F-150s tend to be pricey from the start, this minimal drop in price means it still retains 84 percent of its value when new, which is the highest percentage of any vehicle on this list. That’s a shocking statistic to see three years post-purchase when compared to the rest of the field.
4. Ford Focus
2015 Ford Focus - $6,800 median discountMoving further along the list, we get to the second and last domestic market car. Sorry GM and FCA. The Focus has a good reputation amongst the general car buying public as being cheap and reliable. That and it being the premiere American compact car probably contribute to it being on this list. Ford had themselves a pretty solid Focus for 2015 too — it retains 65 percent of its value since new.
3. Nissan Sentra
2015 Nissan Sentra - $6,200 median discountNissan only has one vehicle on this list: the Sentra. We’re a bit surprised the Sentra retains its value so well, because Nissan’s reliability reputation isn’t quite up to snuff when compared to Honda and Toyota. The Sentra has gotten better since the 2015 model year though, with the addition of the Nismo. Its proportion of original value retained is a respectable 69 percent.
2. Honda Civic
2015 Honda Civic - $6,100 median discountThe venerable Civic was bound to show up on this list eventually, and it almost takes the top spot. This 2015 model came before the massive 2016 redesign. Honda greatly improved the Civic for 2016, but it doesn’t appear to have demolished values of the 2015, which manages to retain 69 percent of its original value.
1. Toyota Corolla
2015 Toyota Corolla - $5,600 median discountTaking top honors is the trusty Toyota Corolla. Up until recently we’ve been living in a world with nothing but boring Corollas for the past couple decades, but the new hatchback is changing all of that. Additionally, the redesigned sedan was just revealed to plenty of fanfare, because it too promises to be more engaging to drive. The RAV4 sells more than the Corolla does nowadays, but it looks like the Corolla still edges it out in retention of value. It’s sitting at 72 percent of its original value retained for 2015.