Best Resale Value Sedans
The best resale value sedans are determined based on analyzing over 3 million vehicles to calculate how much each sedan model depreciates after 5 years.
The best resale value small and compact car is the Subaru WRX (70.7% 5-yr resale value), with the Lexus RC 350 being the best resale value luxury small and compact car (67.7% 5-yr resale value). The Honda Accord ranks #1 for the best resale value midsize cars (61% 5-yr resale value).
The best resale value luxury midsize car is the Lexus LC 500 (63.2% 5-yr resale value) and the best resale value large car is the Dodge Charger (63.8% 5-yr resale value). Topping the list for the best resale value luxury large cars is the Lexus LS 500 (53.7% 5-yr resale value), while the Toyota Prius c ranks first for the best resale value hybrid cars (60% 5-yr resale value).
The best resale value luxury hybrid car is the Lexus LC 500h (62.5% 5-yr resale value), with the Toyota Prius Prime being the best resale value plug-in hybrid cars (PHEV) (59.5% 5-yr resale value). The Polestar 1 ranks #1 for the best resale value luxury plug-in hybrid cars (PHEV) (61.9% 5-yr resale value).
The best resale value electric car is the Tesla Model 3 (51.8% 5-yr resale value), which is also the best resale value luxury electric car. The Tesla Model 3 ranks #1 for the best resale value small and compact electric cars (51.8% 5-yr resale value).
Sedan and coupe sales have fallen in recent years as consumers discovered the superior utility and flexibility offered by pickup trucks and SUVs. It’s tough for even full-size sedans to compete with the all-wheel drive, off-road capability available from a low-priced, subcompact SUV like the Nissan Rogue Sport or Subaru Crosstrek. But sedans still have their place, and some of them, including the Audi A4 and Subaru Impreza, even offer AWD, giving them SUV-like confidence in bad weather.
But sedans, like all new vehicles, suffer depreciation as soon as they leave the dealership. If you’re buying one you should consider not only its new car MSRP, passenger capacity, safety ratings, and fuel efficiency, but also how much retained value it will have after several years of ownership. This residual value figure is what you can apply toward your next purchase when it’s time to trade in your car.
The best cars will retain much of their original value after several years, showing continued strong demand in the used car market. But keep in mind, the popularity of full-size pickups, like the Ford F-150 and Toyota Tundra, and sports cars like the Chevrolet Corvette and Ford Mustang, puts sedans at a distinct disadvantage in when it comes to retained value
However, automakers such as Honda and Toyota still make appealing sedans that hold their value, while luxury brands like Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche offer excellent luxury cars with strong residual values. Compelling electric vehicles, including the Chevy Bolt, Tesla Model 3, and Volkswagen ID.4, are even more advanced, letting owners avoid the time and cost of filling up with gas.
While none of these models can compete with perennial best resale value award winners like the Ford Maverick, Jeep Wrangler, Subaru Forester and Toyota Tacoma, buyers looking to avoid the world of trucks, SUVs and minivans should give extra consideration to sedans and sports cars that lead their segments in retained value.
How We Rank These Cars
iSeeCars analyzed over 3 million vehicles to calculate the resale value for each model after 5 years. The resale value for a given model is based on the difference between the new car MSRP and the equivalent 5 year-old used car price for the model.
Vehicles within a given category are sorted to show the models with the best resale values first. If two cars have the same resale values, then we break the tie by seeing which vehicle has the higher overall iSeeCars Score. Along with resale value, we show comprehensive iSeeCars ratings for each model, because we believe multiple factors should be taken into account when buyers are seeking the best overall vehicle. Two of these additional factors are reliability and safety, both of which are included in our ratings system.
The overall iSeeCars Score is an analysis of these three key factors: reliability, resale value and safety. It is calculated based on the latest research and analysis by our data science team. The data analysis comes from over 12 million new and used vehicles in our Longest-Lasting Cars and 5-Year Depreciation Studies, combined with NHTSA and IIHS Safety Ratings.
Vehicles are scored in three categories:
Reliability | 33.3%
The reliability score represents an analysis of iSeeCars' proprietary research on the longest-lasting vehicles.
Value Retention | 33.3%
The value retention score is based on our data science team's statistical analysis and prediction of 5-year depreciation from MSRP to determine which cars hold their value best, using US Bureau of Labor Statistics data to adjust for inflation.
Safety | 33.3%
The safety score is calculated based on the last five years of crash test ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and incorporates the latest Top Safety Pick information from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).