Is a Goldmine Sitting in Your Driveway?

An orange 2019 Ford Mustang speeding down an open highway with mountains in the distance

Most financial advisors will tell you that a car is not typically a good investment if you’re looking to make money; they tend to lose a lot of value within the first few years and usually only gain value in certain fringe cases. That being said, not all vehicles lose their value at the same rate, which means you might have a vehicle you’re interested in selling that’s worth more than you realize. Whether you’ve sold previous cars you owned, or you’re doing this for the first time and just searched, “How do I sell my car?” online, it’s vital that you do some research and know what you’re getting into.

Here at Future Ford of Sacramento, we’re always looking to buy high-quality cars from sellers who are ready to move into a new model or who simply have a car they no longer need. We’re happy to help you throughout every step of selling your car, but we also know that a lot of people like to figure things out ahead of time and know what they’re getting into. To help with this, we thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the models that experience the least amount of depreciation (loss in value) over their first few years of ownership. Who knows? You might have a car sitting in your driveway that’s worth a lot more than you realize.

General Guidelines for Depreciation

The not-so-secret reality of the auto industry is that brand-new cars lose most of their value to depreciation within the first five years after they’re sold. Depreciation is at its worst the first year, then a bit less the next couple, and even less the next two years––after this five-year period, they’ll still depreciate, but the loss in value is much less severe. There can always be exceptions to this, but in general, this is what you want to keep in mind, and we’re going to look at how well some vehicles retain their value within this five-year period.

Models that Depreciate the Least in Five Years

To start, let’s take a look at the models that have been seen to depreciate the least in their first five years of ownership, according to research by iSeeCars, an aggregator of used-car sales and prices online. This information is from November of last year and represents some of the most recent data regarding depreciation on different vehicles. For comparison, the average depreciation in the auto industry is 33.3% over five years or about $14,000 in value.

Overhead view of a yellow 2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon on a forest trail.

The Jeep Wrangler

This is good news for Jeep fans because one of the biggest complaints Jeep critics have is that they can be a bit expensive. Jeep Wrangler models, including both the standard two-door and the four-door Unlimited, retain their value better than any other vehicle at the moment. The standard Wrangler experiences just 7.3% depreciation, about $2,300 – while the Unlimited loses 8.7% of its value over five years, or around $3,300.

The Porsche 911

Sports cars can seem like a luxury item with a somewhat niche market, but they remain in high demand and retain a lot of value. Since models like the Porsche 911 are quite pricey, a lot of people look for a pre-owned one as a more accessible option. With used models being so popular, a Porsche 911 experiences just 14.6% depreciation for a loss of about $20,000 in value from when it was sold as new.

The Toyota Tacoma

Trucks have become more expensive in recent years, so people tend to use them longer and put a lot of miles on their pickups. The Toyota Tacoma starts off at a great price and is well known for reliability, making it a favorite on the used car market. Because of this, the Tacoma only goes through 14.9% depreciation in the first five years and loses less than $6,000 in value.

A blue 2020 Honda Civic Coupe parked on an open road.

The Honda Civic

Sedans have retained their popularity for a lot of drivers, despite SUVs coming to dominate the car market. A used sedan is a great option for many people, especially younger drivers looking for something reliable. The Honda Civic only experiences 16.3% depreciation and loses about $4,200 in value over its first five years after being sold as new.

The Subaru BRZ

In keeping with other popular sports car options, the Subaru BRZ is a favorite among many drivers, and its value demonstrates that. On average, a BRZ only loses 18.2% of value, less than $6,000 from when it was first sold. This makes it a terrific option for resale if you have one and you’re considering getting rid of it or changing to a different vehicle.

The Ford Mustang

It’s no surprise that the legendary Ford Mustang has remained one of the most popular sports cars on the road and continues to be highly sought after. As a result, the Mustang typically loses just 19.4% in its initial five-year depreciation or about $7,500 in value. We’re certainly fans of the Mustang, and we’re always on the lookout for a used model to offer to our customers.

The Toyota Corolla

Along with the Civic, the Toyota Corolla remains one of the most popular sedans on the market and retains a lot of its value as a result. In general, the Corolla experiences 19.8% depreciation and loses about $4,600 of its value over the first five years. Not only this but used models increased in value last year by about 9% compared to previous years, according to data from and the listings they looked at.

A red 2020 Nissan Versa driving on a city highway at night

The Nissan Versa

Clearly, sports cars and sedans seem to be the best option overall for retaining value as we keep seeing them pop up as incredibly popular options. The Nissan Versa only goes through 19.9% depreciation in the first five years and loses just over $3,000 in value. This is a great one to sell if you have it sitting around or you’re considering moving up to a crossover model for more room.

The Chevy Camaro

Nearly as beloved as the Ford Mustang, it’s no surprise the Chevy Camaro is here, too, as a popular option that retains a fair amount of value. As the more budget-friendly performance model from Chevy, compared to the Corvette, a used Camaro is a favorite for shoppers who want a sports car on a tight budget. As a result, the Camaro experiences 20.2% depreciation and loses just under $8k in value on average.

Models that Depreciate the Most over Five Years

If you’re thinking about depreciation and retaining value when shopping for your next vehicle, then it’s worth also considering which models generally depreciate the most and lose their value. The typical rule is that luxury models tend to lose the most value since they’re priced so high, to begin with. Specifically, however, here are the top five vehicles that lose the most in five years:

  • BMW 7 Series – 56.9%
  • Maserati Ghibli – 56.3%
  • Jaguar XF – 54%
  • Infiniti QX80 – 52.6%
  • Cadillac Escalade ESV – 52.3%

You can see a clear pattern here, and they’re joined by other models like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Audi A6, which also lost more than 51% of their value in five years. Of course, these kinds of vehicles are about the experience they offer rather than holding onto resale value. However, it still demonstrates the significant difference between them and something like the Wrangler or Honda Civic. If you have one of the valuable vehicles we looked at above, then bring it to us at Future Ford of Sacramento, and we’ll make you a great offer on it today!


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