A too often overlooked factor when purchasing an SUV is the vehicle’s likely resale value in relations to its peers. Purchasing a model that holds value is not only a better financial decision, it can also make your next vehicle purchase more enjoyable. Higher than average resale value models also tend to be reliable vehicles.
In reviewing IntelliChoice’s 5-Year Retained Value scores for 2015 models, many models exceed 50% in forecasted values. Overall foreign models tend to perform better than U.S. models although they’re are exceptions. Several SUV models score well with scores above 52% while Volkswagen struggled with its SUV retained value scores with the Tiguan scoring a lowly 45% and the Touareg not much better at 46%.
All-new models for 2015 are not represented in the scoring so vehicles such as the BMW X4, Lexus NX, and Chevrolet Trax are not included in the results.
The Best Overall Resale Value SUV
This may come as a surprise but the best overall is from an American manufacturer. The Jeep Wrangler scores an incredible 67% five year retained value! The Wrangler has even less competition in the off-road ready SUV segment now that Toyota has discontinued the FJ Cruiser.
The Worst Overall Resale Value SUV
The worst 2015 SUV models for retained value were the Lincoln MKT and Honda Crosstour. Each scored at a lowly 42%, 3% lower than any other model scored. Both the MKT and Crosstour are unchanged from the 2014 models. We picked both models for our ugliest 2013 SUVs post.
The Crosstour, which first debuted in the 2010 model year as the Accord Crosstour, is a bit of a surprise as it based off the wildly successful Honda Accord. However, the Crosstour substitutes styling for utility with a rear design slope that really cuts into cargo space compared to it’s new competitors such as the Toyota Venza and Subaru Outback. Honda is expected to launch an all-new Crosstour to compete better.
The all-new Lincoln MKX, which is based of the Ford Escape, should fare better as the Escape scored a 49% and the MKX has better exterior styling than the MKT.
Popular models from Japanese manufacturers shine in this category. The Subaru Forester, the 2014 Motor Trend SUV of the Year, is tops at 60%. The Honda CR-V is rated at 55% closely followed by the Toyota RAV4 at 53%. On the lower end of the spectrum, the Chevolet Equinox and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport came in at 47%. One surprise in this category could be the Mazda MX5, which scored a worse than average 48%.
The Toyota 4Runner is a real standout at 61% while the Subaru Outback scores an excellent 57% closely followed by the Toyota Highlander at 56%. Some midsize SUVs don’t fare nearly as well in retained value studies. For example, the Dodge Durango and Nissan Murano each came in at 45%.
The Toyota Sequoia is the top full-size SUV at 55%. Despite being all-new for the 2015 model year, the Chevrolet Suburban’s strong track record gives it a 54% retention score. This compares quite favorably to it’s primary competitor the Ford Expedition, which came in at 48%. The Nissan Armada also scored a 48%.
Lexus was a top scorer in 2014 among premium brands and Lexus continues to show strength in 2015. The RX is rated at an impressive 58%. It’s larger sibling the Toyota Land Cruiser does even better at 60%. The Audi Q5 scored a 57% followed by the BMW X6 at 56%.
The Subaru Crosstrek stands out in this category as having the best five year retained value at 58%. The Mini Countryman and Paceman scored an excellent 54%. In comparison, the Nissan Juke came in at 49%.
Lexus, Subaru, Toyota, Mini, and Audi are the makes that shine most overall in resale value. One factor buyers may not be aware of is that more off-road ready SUV models like the Jeep Wrangler, Toyota 4Runner, Nissan Xterra, and Land Rover LR4. However, off-road ready makes are strong across the board. For example, the Land Rover Range Rover and Jeep Compass each had poor scores.
Another factor that hurts resale value is the availability of models in rental car lots. Since rental car companies only keep models for a few years, the used vehicle market gets flooded with these models in the first few years of ownership. For example, the Kia Sportage and Chevrolet Traverse, two popular rental SUV models, each scored a below average 48%.