It isn’t news that SUVs lose value quickly. Most people know by now that you can expect a vehicle to be worth half its original value after three years and only a third of its original value after five years. That’s not a hard-and-fast rule though, and the truth is, some SUVs depreciate faster than others. Even if you have to pay a little more in the beginning, it’s often worth it to buy one that will hold its resale value better so you don’t lose as much when you sell it.
In an effort to highlight the cars that do the best to retain their value, Edmunds compiles lists of the vehicles that are projected to retain more of their value than the competition in the next five years. So which SUV should you get if you’re looking to buy the one that will best retain its value? Here are eight segments and their winners.
Compact Crossover SUV: Honda CR-V
When you start with a reputation for reliability, you’re on the right track for strong resale value. Honda’s reputation with the CR-V has been stellar over the years, and while it might not be the most exciting vehicle on the market, CUVs don’t need to be exciting so much as they need to be comfortable and easy to drive. With a recent redesign and the Civic platform underneath, the CR-V nails both of those requirements.
Entry Luxury SUV: Acura RDX
Acura gets a lot of grief from enthusiasts for losing its edge, and to an extent, they have a point. If there’s one area where Acura still nails it, though, it’s crossover SUVs. Take everything that’s great about the Honda CR-V, then refine it and move it upscale, and you have the Acura RDX. It’s reliable, comfortable, enjoyable to sit in, and because of that, it holds its value well.
Large Crossover SUV: GMC Acadia
You might be surprised to see the GMC Acadia on this list, but you probably should’t be. General Motors has a lot of experience building SUVs, and while the Acadia might not be quite as nice as its big brother the Yukon, it will still get the job done. There are other large crossovers that are more modern and better-built, but if resale value is your concern, you can’t beat the GMC Acadia.
Large Traditional SUV: GMC Yukon
The GMC Yukon is certainly large, and if you get the Yukon XL, it’s even larger. In Denali trim, it’s way more luxurious than you would expect, and the sound of its exhaust is absolutely intoxicating. You’ll pay a pretty penny for the privilege to own one, but buyers like them enough that you’ll also end up losing less money in five years than you will on any of the Yukon’s competitors.
Midrange Luxury SUV: Lexus GX 460
The Lexus GX 460 isn’t the best-looking midsize luxury SUV, but the interior is extremely well-appointed, and it also has the advantage of being made by Lexus, so you know it will be reliable. You probably won’t ever take a Lexus SUV off-road, but if you happened to do so, you’d find that the GX 460 is also surprisingly capable in the dirt. In five years, it will also hold its value better than its competitors.
Midsize Crossover SUV: Toyota Highlander
The Terry Crews commercials for the Toyota Highlander with the Muppets might make it hard for you to take the Toyota Highlander seriously, but if resale value is what you’re concerned with, you shouldn’t make that mistake. It’s reliable and roomy, but its biggest strength might be the amount of storage you find inside. For families traveling with lots of kids, that’s a strength worth paying extra for.
Midsize Traditional SUV: Jeep Wrangler
The Jeep Wrangler may as well be in a class of its own thanks to its off-road focus and general disregard for civility or road manners. Despite not being very good on-road, you can’t beat a Wrangler once the pavement ends, and over the years, it’s built a rabid fan base. Wrangler fans are generally only interested in owning a Wrangler, pushing the resale value much higher than other similarly-sized SUVs.
Premium Luxury SUV: Mercedes-Benz G-Class
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is far from a modern SUV, but that’s part of its charm. It’s old school and a bit primitive, giving it a distinct presence that you don’t see on the road much anymore. A few choices of big, powerful engines and a leather interior dress the G-Class up nice enough to partly hide its farm truck roots, but it’s still far from the most civilized luxury SUV on the market. Buyers don’t care, though, and they’re willing to pay big bucks for a used one.