Some say that a car is a liability, which, in the case of the run-of-the-mill mass-market vehicles may be true, but for some SUVs, there is an upside to buying one. Only the lucky few that own or can afford a vintage or classic car can really call their machines anything close to an investment. With that said, however, there are some makes and models of vehicles that do retain a lot of their resale value, at least in comparison to the average. After five years of ownership, SUVs, in particular, lose 51.6% of their value. But, the following five only depreciate by between 30 and 45% on average.
- Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Surprisingly, despite certain automakers having a reputation for consummate reliability, with Toyota as a good example showing exceptional resale value, it’s the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited that takes the top spot as the SUV that best retains its value after five years. Speculation states that it’s because of the Wrangler’s loyal and influential fan base and its own iconic 4×4 stature that has made it so valuable, even as a second-hand car. Interestingly, however, a lot of the people that do buy brand new Wranglers have no intention of taking them off-road. So perhaps there is more to them than just the fan base that props them up.
Depreciation after five years: 30%
- Jeep Wrangler
Off-roading is a really popular hobby in the USA and the demand for capable 4×4’s has bolstered the second-hand market substantially, particularly for the Jeep Wrangler. This is evident when you consider how impractical the Wrangler really is, with its non-existent cargo area and tiny back seats. Many people also just favor driving rugged, commanding SUVs for the confidence they provide on and off the road in general. Their big, burly engines also give them robust acceleration, and who cares about fuel economy when looking and feeling like the kind of the dirt road is the name of the game?
Depreciation after five years: 31.5%
- Toyota 4Runner
Combine proven reliability with versatility, practicality, and capability to boot, and you get the Toyota 4Runner, a time-honored SUV that just keeps going. It’s a five-door midsize SUV with a solid body-on-frame construction. It’s relatively comfortable on-road and offers plenty of off-road capability, thanks to its high ride height and purposed underpinnings. Its 270 horsepower V6 engine also gives it a 5,000-pound maximum towing capacity. All these factors contribute to its popularity as a great all-round SUV, even though it seems to be aging – seemingly adding to its venerability.
Depreciation after five years: 36.5%
- Toyota RAV4
Not only is the RAV4 one of the best SUVs in terms of resale value, but it was also the brand’s number one seller for the 2019 model year. It’s seemingly everything Americans want from an SUV and obviously carries the brand’s acclaimed reliability and safety factors. With an MSRP range of only $25,950 – $35,880 and a depreciation curve of only 44.6 percent, it’s an ideal SUV for a young family with a future filled with possibilities. Unfortunately, hybridized and fully-electric vehicles don’t hold their value as well as gasoline and diesel-powered ones, hence the RAV4 Hybrid doesn’t receive the same praise here.
Depreciation after five years: 44.6%
- Toyota Highlander
The midsize crossover, having been built on car-based underpinnings instead of a truck-derived body-on-frame one, is commended for its well-balanced drive qualities and frugal performance. Today it’s a contemporary and lounge on wheels stacked with features and is a highly favored commuter for families. Under the hood of the Highlander is a large-displacement naturally-aspirated V6 motor that delivers exceptional power and is near indestructible in terms of reliability. Essentially, everything about the Highlander makes it ideal for families.
Depreciation after five years: 44.6%
From just these five sport-utility vehicles alone, one can tell that either purposed capability or family-centric packaging are two major factors that contribute to an SUV’s resale value. Those elements, along with a robust powertrain setup, a quality overall construction, and manufacturers venerated for consistent reliability, are all things to look at before purchasing any new vehicle.