Subaru, Lexus top Kelley 2016 best resale value awards

(December 17, 2015) IRVINE, Calif. — The 2016 model-year brand and category winners of the annual Best Resale Value Awards, recognizing vehicles for their projected retained value through the initial five-year ownership period, were announced this week by Kelley Blue Book.

For the second year in a row, Subaru and Lexus earned top honors for best brand and best luxury brand (respectively), with Subaru claiming four model winners and Lexus producing six model winners from a total of 22 different segments. 

In addition, Toyota and General Motors each have an impressive five models winning 2016 Best Resale Value Awards, Porsche has two models taking home resale value honors this year, and Tesla is receiving its first-ever Best Resale Value Award.

"Lexus notably captured the top luxury brand award for the fifth year in a row, and after previously winning the brand award in 2011 and 2015, Subaru is back on top once again for 2016 as the best mainstream brand for resale value across its entire lineup," said Eric Ibara, director of residual values for Kelley Blue Book. 

"While both Subaru and Lexus deliver incredible resale value, we also continue to be impressed with General Motors, which tops domestic automakers with seven combined awards for Chevrolet and GMC and places four of its vehicles in our Top 10.  In addition, the majority of the Top 10 Best Resale Value vehicles this year are trucks and SUVs, which is further testament to the strength these segments will carry in the future.  Five out of the Top 10 vehicles with Best Resale Value for 2016 are pickup trucks."

Kelley Blue Book's Best Resale Value Awards are in their 14th year and are based on projections from the Kelley Blue Book Official Residual Value Guide.  Kelley Blue Book Residual Values are established by experienced automotive analysts that review the output from the statistical models built upon millions of transactions. 

Vehicles that earn the highest five-year residual values, expressed as a percentage of their original Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), are selected for these prestigious awards.  Low-volume vehicles and vehicles with an MSRP of more than $60,000 are excluded from award consideration, except in the plug-in vehicle, luxury and high-performance categories.

While most car buyers today consider sticker price one of the most significant numbers when choosing a new vehicle, the editors at Kelley Blue Book's recommend shoppers consider a number they won't find on any window sticker: the resale value.  Depreciation often is the greatest expense incurred by drivers during the first five years of vehicle ownership. 

An average 2016 model-year vehicle will only retain about 34.8 percent of its original value after a five-year ownership period, meaning that a $50,000 new car today will only be worth somewhere close to $17,400 after five years.  Vehicles with average or below-average resale values are generally plentiful in the marketplace and easy to find.  But certain vehicles are projected to hold their value better than others. 

While much of a vehicle's resale value is based on supply and demand, as well as current and projected future market conditions, vehicles that retain their value best are typically discounted the least and tend to generate high levels of consumer interest.

"Most options and packages added to a vehicle do not necessarily increase its resale value," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book.  "However, there are exceptions to the rule, such as a high-performance engine or a performance package in a sports car.  Regional preferences can significantly impact the value of a vehicle as well.  In the colder sections of the country, a two-wheel drive vehicle's resale value often will not be as high as a four-wheel or all-wheel drive version of that same model.  In warmer climates black (or dark-colored) cars will not have as high resale value as they could command in other regions."

While the company's Residual Value Guide has been published since 1982, Kelley Blue Book established its annual Best Resale Value Awards in 2003.  Residual values reflect projected future auction values for vehicles in average condition with 75,000 miles at the end of a five-year lease or ownership period.  Kelley Blue Book's residual values are used by manufacturers, banks, financial institutions and the automotive leasing industry.