Best and Worst Resale Value SUVs

With the average price of a new SUV near $40,000, it’s important to consider the resale price of your vehicle before purchase. The average SUV in the U.S. loses more than half its value after five years, according to a new study by iSeeCars.com (ISC).

The ISC study had data compiled from millions of SUVs and over 8.2 million new vehicles in total sold in 2015 and used cars sold between January and September 2020.

Some crossover models lose their value at a much faster rate, which can really hit you in the pocketbook. On the other hand, some SUV models hold their value by as much as 70% over a five year period.

Find out which SUV models hold their value and which crossover models don’t in this best and worst resale value list.

The Best Resale Value SUVs

The SUVs that hold the most value range from off-road-focused models, to top-selling compact SUVs, to subcompact crossover models. And there are some surprises on this list.

Below are the SUV models that retain the most value with the 5-year depreciation percentage based on the ISC study next to the model.

jeep wrangler


Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, 30.9%

If you want the SUV with the least depreciation, you want the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, which is the four-door hardtop version of the Wrangler. The model, which is an off-road specialist, holds its value exceedingly well.

The Wrangler Unlimited has a choice of powertrains, and an easy to remove top, doors, and windshield.

Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler, 32.8%

The Wrangler keeps getting better. The 2019 Motor Trend SUV of the Year remains iconic, so even older models don’t appear dated and hold their value. The Wrangler also improved its reliability, ranking higher than 2020 in our SUV reliability list.

The Wrangler has more competition coming from the Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport.

toyoya 4runner

Toyota 4Runner, 38.5%

The 4Runner has been on the market for over 35 years. It continues to be rock solid with an excellent 38.5% depreciation percentage over five years. The 4Runner is a rare body-on-frame midsize SUV that has solid off-road credentials.

Between the Wrangler Unlimited, the Wrangler, and the 4Runner, it’s clear that certain models in the off-road SUV class are excellent at holding their value.

Toyota RAV4

Toyota RAV4, 45.7%

The RAV4 was the top selling SUV during the first half of 2020. It’s a popular compact crossover model with excellent reliability and good fuel economy.

The RAV4 also has the best compact crossover resale value. It offers a variety of powertrains including a four-cylinder engine, a hybrid, and the Prime plug-in hybrid which delivers strong performance.

honda cr-v

Honda CR-V, 45.8%

The CR-V is another popular compact crossover. It offers a compelling mix of utility, comfort, excellent fuel economy, and reliability.

The CR-V has become more powerful in recent years with its base engine offering being a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 192 horsepower.

Toyota Highland Hybrid

Toyota Highlander, 47.8%

The Highlander has the best resale value among three-row crossovers. It features a comfortable, quiet ride, with excellent fuel economy and reliability.

The Highlander has a starting retail price of about $35,000. Despite having room for seven people, the Highlander is rated at 29-mpg highway. The Highlander Hybrid gets a stellar 36-mpg around town but has a starting price closer to $40,000.

jeep renegade

Jeep Renegade, 49.4%

The Renegade is a subcompact crossover from the automaker known for making vehicles with off-road prowess. With a starting retail price of $23,000, the Renegade is Jeep’s most appealing small SUV.

The Renegade has a composed ride and solid handling. Its been on the market since 2014 and hasn’t changed much since then although it does now offer many active safety and standard tech features. The Renegade’s fuel economy is rated at 24 mpg city and 32 mpg highway with front-wheel drive.

2017 forester

Subaru Forester, 51.5%

The Forester has been on the market for 20 years and it continues to be a strong seller for Subaru as its compact crossover offering. It delivers a compelling mix of passenger room, cargo space, and standard features.

The Forester is unique in its class and price point coming with standard all-wheel drive. It still produces excellent fuel economy and is rated at 26-mpg city and 33-mpg highway.

mitsubishi outlander

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, 51.8%

The Outlander Sport isn’t a vehicle you’d expect on a top 10 SUV resale list. But it’s low price, lengthy warranty, and relatively good amount of cargo space help boost its resale value.

For this subcompact crossover, Mitsubishi includes a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. New safety features are also now standard features.

Kia Sportage

Kia Sportage, 52.0%

The Sportage is Kia’s compact crossover. It also benefits from a lengthy warranty of 10-year/100,000 mile for powertrain. The Sportage is also noted for spacious seats, a confident ride, and a high-quality cabin for its price.

The Sportage has two engine choices and with its base engine gets 23 mpg city and 30 mpg highway fuel economy.

What Helps SUV Resale Value?

SUV buyers that are looking to purchase a model that has less depreciation and more bang for their buck have a range of models to choose from.

Based on our top 10 resale value list, SUV buyers are wise to focus on models that have off-road capability, reliability, have many standard features, a warranty to protect their investment and a relatively low retail price.

All of the models that have the lowest depreciation have starting prices under $40,000.

The Worst Resale Value SUVs

The good news is that SUVs tend to hold their values better than cars. The bad news is there are still some crossover models where their value drops precipitously over a five-year period.

Here are the worst resale value SUVs over the past five years with their depreciation value noted.

BMW X3

BMW X3, 66.5%

The X3, the German automaker’s compact crossover, fell a steep 66.5% over the five year period. This is a serious decline and the X3 was the only SUV among the top 10 worst resale value models between cars, trucks, and SUVs.

This means that if you purchased an X3 for $48,000 five years ago, it would be worth about $16,000 today. This is a serious hit to the wallet.

On the bright side, the X3 is a better value than the BMW 7 series sedans. The 7 Series has the worst depreciation with a 72.6% drop in value after five years. This equals a lofty $73,686 in vehicle value lost.

Volvo XC60

Volvo XC60, 65.6%

The XC60 is Volvo’s midsize crossover model. The model drops a prodigious amount on average of $31,765 over a five year period.

BMW X5

BMW X5, 65.4%

The X5, a midsize crossover, may be fun to drive but its resale value doesn’t bring much excitement dropping 65.4% on average. The good news is the X5 scored better than average reliability findings in a 2020 study.

The X5 also fared well in the U.S. News & World Report review of 2020 midsize SUVs finishing 2nd overall in its class. They noted its upscale interior, refined handling, and strong performance.

Infiniti QX60

Infiniti QX60, 64.7%

The QX60 has a sleek look but its resale value isn’t so hot. The three-row luxury crossover isn’t as popular as competitors from Lexus or Mercedes.

The QX60 does offer good cargo room and as a luxury model, has a starting price under $50,000.

BMW X1

BMW X1, 64.6%

The X1 is the German automaker’s smallest subcompact offering. While it may offer spirited performance at a relatively affordable price, its resale value doesn’t measure up.

With three crossover models in the top 5, BMWs are best avoided if resale value is an important factor in your vehicle purchase. They tend to have higher than average repair and ownership costs contributing to the automaker’s steep depreciation.

Infiniti QX80

Infiniti QX80, 64.4%

The QX80 is a full-size luxury SUV that typically costs near $80,000. And its value drops like a rock in the first five years of ownership falling on average $52,229 from its purchase price.

While it’s consistent and predictable, the QX80 hasn’t stepped up its game as much as some of its competitors. Mechanically and size-wise, the QX80 hasn’t changed much in a decade. The model first debuted more than 15 years ago as the QX56.

lincoln navigator

Lincoln Navigator, 64.2%

The Navigator is Lincoln’s full-size luxury SUV. The model had a 2015 refresh and significant improvements in the 2018 model year. Unfortunately, its resale value hasn’t shown much improvement.

Another weight bringing down the vehicle is Lincoln’s suspect reliability. The company finished last among major car brands in a Consumer Reports reliability study released in 2020.

A positive for the Navigator is that its spacious third row of seats folds flat and it has sufficiently more cargo capacity than its primary competitor, the Cadillac Escalade.

Audi Q7

Audi Q7, 64.1%

The Q7 is a three-row luxury crossover. It’s been on the market for 15 years and it’s another model where there hasn’t been a whole lot of innovations or compelling reasons to buy for years.

The Q7 may have a starting price of $55,000 but it can get significantly more expensive with different engine options and trim lines. The vehicle falls on average $42,047 in value over a five year period.

2017 Audi Q5

Audi Q5, 63.5%

The Q5 is Audi’s midsize luxury crossover. Its story is similar to the Q7.

The good news is that because it has a lower starting price than the Q7, it’s value fell $34,337 over a five year period.

2017 Cadillac Escalade

Cadillac Escalade ESV, 63.3%

Rounding out the top 10 worst SUVs for resale value is the top of the line Escalade ESV. This full-size luxury SUV model is a behemoth and its drop in value after five years is too.

The Escalade ESV’s price can reach near $100,000. Unfortunately, it’s depreciated $60,910 on average after five years.

What Hurts SUV Resale Value?

All of the models on our worst SUV resale value list are luxury models. The prices of these models range from $40,000 to over $100,000. Having a high starting price is usually going to make it harder to get a better return on your vehicle investment in the resale market.

6 of the 10 models on our list are European SUV models. While often sporty, luxurious, and with advanced tech, in addition to higher retail prices, they also tend to have higher than average repair and maintenance costs than vehicles from Asian automakers.

Having a less reliable vehicle hurts you during the period of vehicle ownership and at the time of resale.

While you should look at alternatives, if you love the vehicle, or it has features that you or your family really needs, the models above could still be worth a look.

How Much Does Low Resale Value Cost You?

If we use $50,000 as the price of a new SUV, it paints a clearer picture of the expected financial difference between having the best resale value SUV and the worst resale value SUV.

Based on the findings in the ISC study, the Wrangler Unlimited at $50,000 would resell for $34,550 five years later. On the other end of the Spectrum, a new X3 at $50,000 would resell for $17,700 based on the average resale values study.

This means that despite nearly costing the same as new vehicles, the Wrangler Unlimited nearly doubles the value of an X3 after a five year period.

You can learn more about SUV resale value trends here.

We Want to Hear From You

Which SUV model have you found to have a high resale value?

Or conversely, which crossover vehicle have you had trouble with and it yielded a low amount at resale?

Let us know about your experience has been in the comments below.

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  1. Most Dependable SUVs | SUV Dependability Survey | NewSUV.org Says:

    […] Dependability is also a positive for finances. In addition, to keep vehicle repair and maintenance costs down, dependable vehicles can also have higher resale values. Toyota fared well in this regard in our look at the best and worst resale value SUVs. […]

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