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Crowning the Resale Kings: Ranking the Top 10 Cars for Highest Retained Value

  • Crowning the Resale Kings: Ranking the Top 10 Cars for Highest Retained Value

Here are 10 cars that hold their value the best in the used car market

Holding onto its value is an important consideration when buying a new car. Some cars depreciate rapidly, while others retain a higher percentage of their original price even after years of use. If you plan on selling your car at some point, going with a make and model that has better residual value can make a big difference.

Here are 10 cars that hold their value the best in the used car market

Porsche 911

The Porsche 911 is legendary for holding its value over time. On average, a 911 will retain over 50% of its MSRP even after 5 years of ownership. With a timeless, iconic design and Porsche's outstanding reputation for performance and engineering, the 911 continues to be highly coveted as a used sports car purchase.

Renowned for its high-precision steering, nimble reflexes, and supercar-rivalling performance, the 911 today is available in a range of variants spanning from the 992-series Carrera coupe and convertible to the cutting-edge hybrid all-wheel drive 911 Turbo S. While early air-cooled and later water-cooled 911s have become collectable classics, each generation of new 911 enjoys widespread acclaim from critics and enthusiasts alike for continuing Porsche’s tradition of technical excellence married to timeless design. More than just a true automotive icon, the 911 has evolved into an aspirational object representing the Porsche brand's identity and heritage as a maker of true driver's cars. 
Range Rover



Range Rovers carry an air of luxury that makes them retain value well as pre-owned purchases. Known for capability and comfort, used Range Rovers only lose about 45% of the original MSRP after 5 years. Reliability shortcomings tend to get overlooked thanks to the impressive image the Range Rover name carries.

The Range Rover has long defined what a luxury SUV should be since its introduction in 1970. Combining effortless on-road comfort with serious off-road capability from Land Rover's roots, the large yet nimble Range Rover established the modern SUV template years before the segment exploded in popularity. The Range Rover continues to impress with composed, refined road manners relying on its rugged underbody and available potent V8 engines.

BMW 3 Series


A firm favourite among luxury sport saloons, the BMW 3 Series experiences an average depreciation of just under 50% in the first 5 years. Great handling, refined powertrains and BMW’s driving dynamics give the 3 Series models widespread appeal in the used marketplace.

Since its debut in 1975, the BMW 3 Series has set the benchmark for enthusiast-oriented luxury saloons and estate vehicles. Over its different generations and multiple model variants, the iconic 3 Series has earned endless acclaim from drivers and journalists alike for its incredible handling agility and driver focus appeal. Powered by BMW’s latest high-output turbocharged engines, today’s 3 Series demonstrates incredible precision through corners and serves up impressive straight-line speed, living up to its ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ tagline. 

Volkswagen Golf


A long-running model known for its practicality, the Volkswagen Golf also does very well retaining resale value over time. With a depreciation of around 50% after half a decade, Golf hatchbacks make for sought-after used cars for their solid fuel efficiency and brisk handling.

Debuting in 1974, the Volkswagen Golf set a new direction for Volkswagen as a practical, modern hatchback that proved fun to drive and could also impress with quality. Now in its eighth generation, the Golf remains one of the most versatile and enjoyable family cars on the market. Sold as both the Golf and the Rabbit in North America over the years, the hatchback delivers responsive handling and zippy performance from its range of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, living up to Volkswagen’s pedigree of German-engineered driving dynamics. While innovative in its introduction of slippery aerodynamic styling and front-wheel-drive packaging, the Golf still retains Volkswagen's familiar layout and has the same youthful spirit that made the original Mk1 model an instant hit. 

Mini Hatchback

The retro-modern styling of the Mini Cooper hatchback keeps it in high demand, even after the new car smell has long faded. Minis retain about 45-50% of their original value after 5 years, thanks to the enduring personality of their funky, quirky designs over the years.

When BMW resurrected the iconic Mini Cooper for the 21st century, they captured lightning in a bottle with its cheeky, customizable style. As the definitive small performance car thanks to thrilling go-kart handling and zippy turbocharged engines, the modern Mini Hatchback still delivers smiles per mile just like its 1960s ancestor. Flaunting retro design cues like contrasting roofs, center-mounted speedometers and an agile front-wheel-drive chassis, today’s Mini is more refined and comfortable but no less playful. Between the base Cooper, sporty Cooper S, and high-performance John Cooper Works, the Mini three-door and five-door hatchbacks carry classic British motoring charm into the future. With funky personalisation options from mirror caps to racing stripes, no two Minis leaving the factory are exactly alike making each one seem special, one of a kind some might say.

Audi A3


Known for its upscale interior accommodations and composed handling, the Audi A3 is another model that keeps roughly 50% of its initial price after 5 years. Combining prestige with accessibility, A3 models appeal widely to used luxury car shoppers.

Positioned as Audi's entry point into the premium market, the A3 Sportback and hatchback deliver Audi’s renowned driving dynamics in an accessible, but compact form. Built on the Volkswagen Group’s versatile MQB platform and available with a range of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, A3 models make Audi-levels of technology and refinement attainable to a wider audience of drivers. Known for upscale, tech-focused interiors that rival luxury cars twice their price and sharp, vigorous handling, A3 models boast stunning road composure and refinement. Whether darting confidently through traffic or cruising highways, the comfortable, elegant interior environment of the A3 punches above its weight. 

Fiat 500

The cute, cartoonish Fiat 500 sees resale values hold steady at around 45% retained after 5 years. As a stylish city runabout, the 500 develops lasting appeal and high residuals through its cheerful personality and cheeky charm.

Reviving Fiat’s cute, ultra-compact Cinquecento city car from the 1950s, the modern Fiat 500 arrived in 2007 to charm buyers with its diminutive proportions and cheerful retro styling. As a tiny hatchback optimised for city driving, the front-wheel drive 500 provides zippy performance from its 101-horsepower engine, great visibility and manoeuvrability through tight spaces and an endearing personality 

Toyota RAV4

Toyota’s RAV4 compact SUV is well-known for its rock-solid reliability and family-friendly practicality. After 5 years, you can expect a RAV4 to keep near 50% of the original MSRP. Peace of mind goes a long way towards retaining value.

One of the original compact crossovers that launched an explosively popular segment, the Toyota RAV4 has been a mainstream hit since debuting in 1994. Offering a taller ride height and available all-wheel drive over a standard passenger car, the versatile RAV4 brought light-duty SUV capabilities to families wanting a flexible daily driver. Now in its fifth generation, the modern RAV4 delivers confident handling, spacious seating for five and a choice of petrol and hybrid powertrains, pairing efficiency with practicality. Known for exceptional build quality, durability and reliability thanks to Toyota’s manufacturing excellence.

Mercedes C-Class


An icon of luxury and status, used Mercedes C-Class models retain value nicely at around 50% residual price after half a decade. Combining prestige with quality engineering, C-Class models maintain widespread popularity in the pre-owned marketplace.

For 30 years, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class has beautifully blended prestige and practicality into the German automaker's small, premium saloon and estate models. The bestselling Mercedes variant ever since its debut in 1992, the midsize C-Class provides elegance and technological innovation inside and out. Renowned for top-notch interior furnishes with industry-leading technology that rivals full-size flagship saloons, the latest W206 C-Class also delivers a dynamic driving experience with agile handling. Powered by a responsive turbo 4-cylinder or smooth inline 6-cylinder engines, modern C-Class models exhibit the vigorous acceleration and confidence that's inherent in Mercedes’ DNA.

Subaru WRX


With rally racing heritage behind its turbocharged punch, the Subaru WRX maintains real street cred to match its stellar resale values. Legendary for performance prowess in all-wheel drive, used WRX models retain as much as 60% residual through the first 5 years.

Introduced in 1992, Subaru’s rally-bred WRX sport compacts bring exhilarating turbocharged performance to practical all-wheel drive saloons and hatchbacks. Instantly recognisable thanks to bulging fenders, large hood scoops, and trademark Subaru boxer engines powering all four wheels, the aggressive-looking WRX models transform mundane driving into a thrilling ride. Delivering nearly 300 turbocharged horsepower in the latest 268 hp FA20 engine along with tenacious grip and poised dynamics, the rally racing-influenced WRX lives up to its reputation for accessible speed even in poor conditions.

When car shopping with an eye for resale value down the road, prioritise brand reputation, reliability ratings, versatile practicality and enduring design over flashier aspects. Well-established luxury brands like Porsche and Mercedes or versatile mainstream brands like Honda and Toyota that have cultivated trust in the used marketplace tend to retain value well over time. 

Additionally, look for efficient and usable design over showy styling and proven reliability over peak horsepower or acceleration numbers. Following these guidelines when purchasing can pay dividends later when you eventually sell your car. Ideal residual value cars balance brand prestige, reliability and timeless everyday usability.