For many Americans, a new car will be the second-largest purchase of their lives — next to owning a home. When a purchase is this important, not only do shoppers want low prices, they want to know their new purchase will retain its value for years to come. Although most vehicles lose considerable scratch the moment they’re driven off a dealer’s lot, Kelley Blue Book says the cars and trucks listed here will retain their value better than all others in their respective categories. Prices shown are base MSRP with no options added.
Best Subcompact Car — Honda Fit
Value in 36 months: 53.3% of MSRP — $8,469
Value in 60 months: 37.0% of MSRP — $5,879
The Honda Fit is a repeat winner, topping this category in 2015. However, Kelley says the 2015 model holds its value better than the current model year. Completely redesigned in 2015, the Fit offers a surprisingly spacious interior with a versatile seating system that allows for all sorts of cargo. With its small footprint and high-level of utility, the Fit makes an excellent alternative to the typical large crossover.
Best Compact Car — Subaru Impreza
Value in 36 months: 57.4% of MSRP — $10,501
Value in 60 months: 43.4% of MSRP — $7,940
Another repeat winner, the Subaru Impreza brings a lot to the table. The least-expensive model in the Subaru lineup, the Impreza features full-time all-wheel drive and can be equipped with the brand’s high-tech Eyesight system. This system provides a suite of high-tech safety features and makes the Impreza one of the safest cars on the road.
Best Mid-Size Car — Subaru Legacy
Value in 36 months: 54.3% of MSRP — $11,808
Value in 60 months: 39.3% of MSRP — $8,546
The Honda Accord and Toyota Camry may be the best known names in the family sedan market, but with a competitive starting price and the added security of all-wheel drive, it’s surprising that more people haven’t discovered the Subaru Legacy. Legacy was all new for 2015 – this is the second year in a row at the top of the Mid-Size Car category.
Best Full-Size Car — Toyota Avalon
Value in 36 months: 46.0% of MSRP — $15,019
Value in 60 months: 32.4% of MSRP — $10,579
Toyota’s full-size sedan was refreshed for the 2016 model year with updated styling and a number of new high-tech features. The most luxurious offering in the Toyota lineup, the Avalon provides a quiet, roomy cabin and is available with either a powerful V6 engine or very efficient hybrid system.
Best Sporty Compact Car — Subaru WRX
Value in 36 months: 65.2% of MSRP — $17,340
Value in 60 months: 50.8% of MSRP — $13,510
Returning one of the highest resale values of all vehicles available in the U.S., the Subaru WRX is one of the most fun cars on the road today. With 268 horsepower and all-wheel drive, the WRX offers excellent all-weather performance as well as the latest in high-tech safety features.
Best Sports Car — Chevrolet Camaro LT
Value in 36 months: 61.0% of MSRP — $15,677
Value in 60 months: 49.0% of MSRP — $12,593
The Chevrolet Camaro is all new for the 2016 model year with updated styling, a brand new chassis and — for the first time — a turbocharged engine. The new 2.0-liter powerplant puts out 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque and can be teamed with either a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic providing impressive performance as well as more-than-respectable fuel economy.
Best High-Performance Car — Chevrolet Camaro SS
Value in 36 months: 61.0% of MSRP – $22,143
Value in 60 months: 49.0% of MSRP — $17,787
Although some Camaro buyers are perfectly content with the good looks but smaller engine, there are those who need that V8 power. Enter the all-new Camaro SS that sports a 6.2-liter V8 engine boasting 455 horsepower. With a hefty weight reduction and improved chassis, the Camaro SS can certainly hold its own on the street or the track.
Best Entry-Level Luxury Car — Lexus RC 350
Value in 36 months: 58.3% of MSRP — $24,941
Value in 60 months: 38.3% of MSRP — $16,385
All-new for 2015, the RC is designed as a sports coupe rather than a 2-door version of a sedan. Sporting the large Lexus grille, the RC features a wide stance with rear- or all-wheel drive. With a 306-horsepower V6 engine, the RC offers a great combination of luxury and performance.
Best Luxury Car — Lexus GS 350
Value in 36 months: 50.5% of MSRP — $25,250
Value in 60 months: 35.5% of MSRP — $17,750
The Lexus GS is all-new for the 2016 model year with a completely revised design as well as new powerplants, available all-wheel drive and a suite of high-tech safety features. The interior has also been upgraded, featuring a large 12.3-inch display screen. Power for the GS 350 comes from a 311-horsepower V6 engine. The GS is also available with a smaller turbocharged engine, as well as an efficient hybrid system.
Best High-End Luxury Car — Porsche Panamera
Value in 36 months: 50.5% of MSRP — $39,441
Value in 60 months: 35.0% of MSRP — $27,335
It may not be the most attractive cars on the road, but the Panamera certainly delivers both luxury and performance. Passenger space is surprisingly roomy, and the hatchback design provides plenty of cargo space. And being a Porsche, the Panamera is one of the best performing sedans on the road, making 310 horsepower in the base level, ranging up to the Turbo S that puts out a whopping 570 horses.
Best Hybrid/Alternative Energy Car — Lexus ES 300h
Value in 36 months: 55.0% of MSRP — $22,506
Value in 60 months: 39.0% of MSRP — $15,959
One of six hybrid models available from Lexus, the ES 300h receives a design update for the 2016 model year. With a premium interior and the latest in high-tech safety features, the ES 300h is impressively efficient. The gas-electric powertrain puts out a total 200 horsepower while delivering up to 40 mpg.
Best Plug-In Vehicle — Tesla Model S
Value in 36 months: 47.7% of MSRP — $33,390
Value in 60 months: 23.3% of MSRP — $16,310
The Tesla Model S is unique to the market with an electric range of at least 240 miles in a premium, high-performance four-door sedan. Even the base Model S reaches 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds — the top-level P85D with all-wheel drive and “Ludicrous” power make the same sprint in a mere 2.8 seconds.
Best Compact SUV/Crossover — Jeep Wrangler
Value in 36 months: 64.3% of MSRP — $15,364
Value in 60 months: 53.9% of MSRP — $12,879
The Jeep Wrangler is one of the most recognized vehicles in the world — its basic shape hasn’t changed much since it was first introduced as the CJ in the 1940s. While its features and amenities have changed considerably over the years, the Wrangler’s legendary off-road capability remains true to form.
Best Mid-Size SUV/Crossover — Toyota 4Runner
Value in 36 months: 66.7% of MSRP — $22,551
Value in 60 months: 60.3% of MSRP — $20,387
One of the last truck-based SUVs on the market, the 4Runner provides seating for seven with impressive off-road capability. Powered by a 270-horsepower V6 engine, the 4Runner is available in a number of different trim levels, including the TRD Pro Series that comes complete with TRD front springs, TRD Bilstein high-performance shocks with rear remote reservoirs, Nitto Terra Grappler tires and a TRD front skidplate.
Best Full-Size SUV/Crossover — Chevrolet Tahoe
Value in 36 months: 53.7% of MSRP — $25,239
Value in 60 months: 42.0% of MSRP — $19,740
When many Americans think big SUV, it’s often a Chevy Tahoe or its larger sibling Suburban that come to mind. The Tahoe is one of few models available that can offer seating for up to nine, plenty of cargo space and the ability to tow up to 8,000 pounds. Available with 2WD or 4WD, Tahoe can also be equipped with a suite of safety features as well as 4G LTE connectivity with a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Best Luxury Compact SUV/Crossover — Porsche Macan
Value in 36 months: 64.0% of MSRP — $33,664
Value in 60 months: 43.0% of MSRP — $22,618
The fifth vehicle in the current Porsche lineup, Macan was a brand-new model for 2015. Styled after the larger Cayenne, the compact Macan still embodies all qualities expected from the iconic German sports car brand. Macan comes with full-time all-wheel drive, and is available in either S or Turbo format — the latter equipped with a 400-horsepower V6 engine capable of pushing this small SUV to 60 mph in a mere 4.4 seconds.
Best Luxury Mid-Size SUV/Crossover — Lexus GX 460
Value in 36 months: 64.0% of MSRP — $32,499
Value in 60 months: 46.0% of MSRP — $23,359
Although the trend has moved toward luxury crossovers that are more at home on pavement than on dirt, the Lexus GX still keeps its off-road prowess. Based on the Toyota 4Runner, the GX features full-time 4WD and all the equipment needed to do some serious off-roading.
Best Luxury Full-Size SUV/Crossover — Lexus LX 570
Value in 36 months: 57.0% of MSRP — $50,661
Value in 60 months: 42.0% of MSRP — $37,330
Following in Land Rover’s tire tracks, Lexus has made its top-line SUV an excellent combination of luxurious amenities and impressive off-road capability. The large sport ute can seat up to eight, keep them comfortable and entertained, and take them just about anywhere.
Best Hybrid SUV/Crossover — Lexus RX 450h
Value in 36 months: 60.5% of MSRP — $31,602
Value in 60 months: 44.5% of MSRP — $23,245
The first hybrid luxury crossover when it arrived on the market more than 10 years ago, the Lexus RX is all new for the 2016 model year. The most noticeable styling update is the brand’s large, bold spindle grille which dominates the front end. Performance for new RX hybrid is quite impressive — the 450h hybrid powertrain puts out 308 horsepower while delivering a combined 30 mpg.
Best Mid-Size Pickup Truck — Toyota Tacoma
Value in 36 months: 72.9% of MSRP — $16,986
Value in 60 months: 61.7% of MSRP — $14,376
Not only is the Toyota Tacoma the most popular midsize truck on the market, it holds its value better than any other vehicle in America. All-new for the 2016 model year, the Tacoma is available with choices of engine, drivetrain, bed length, and cab styles, so there’s likely a Tacoma that will fit just about any truck-buyer’s needs.
Best Full-Size Pickup Truck — Toyota Tundra
Value in 36 months: 64.1% of MSRP — $18,679
Value in 60 months: 53.8% of MSRP — $15,677
The full-size truck market is one of the hardest for a non-domestic brand to crack. Although the Tundra has seen sales improve, it still makes up a small percentage of overall truck sales. That said, the big V8-powered pickup clearly has a loyal following and the sixth-highest resale value of all vehicles sold in America.
Best Minivan/Van — Toyota Sienna
Value in 36 months: 52.1% of MSRP — $15,031
Value in 60 months: 38.1% of MSRP — $10,992
Toyota refreshed the Sienna for the 2015 model year, and the top-selling minivan is still the only one on the market offering all-wheel drive. Designed with busy families in mind, Sienna has entertainment and safety features that will keep the whole crew happily humming down the road.