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When buying a new car, the price of the vehicle is only one part of the equation. Factors such as maintenance and fuel costs are easy to consider, but depreciation should also be considered. When your car depreciates, it means that it is worth less than the original purchase price. That can be a nightmare if a vehicle is financed with no down payment. In this situation, the vehicle will be worth less than the remaining loan, making it difficult to escape. However, with these five affordable cars that hold their value, it is easier to avoid steep deprecation and stay away from this potential trouble.

1. Honda Civic – one of the best affordable cars will also hold value over time

A used Honda Civic will hold its value better than any other affordable car.
A Honda Civic | Honda

The Honda Civic is tops on this list of affordable cars that hold their value, shedding just 16.3 percent of the purchase price over five years. That doesn’t just put the Civic at the top of this list, either. It ranks fifth overall of all cars included in the iSeeCars study, and is one of just three vehicles in the top 10 that isn’t a supercar, SUV, or truck.

2. Toyota Corolla

2023 Toyota Corolla
2023 Toyota Corolla | Toyota

Much like the Honda Civic, the Toyota Corolla seems to show up on these best-value lists quite a bit. The Corolla is significantly behind the Civic in depreciation, losing 19.8 percent of its value in five years. However, that figure was still enough to keep in the top 10 overall. The Corolla has always done well to hold value despite its affordable price tag. That’s thanks to a reputation for both efficiency and reliability, especially as new cars continue to get more expensive.

3. Nissan Versa

Ranking third on this list and in a surprising tie with the Toyota Corolla is the smallest Nissan sedan. Of note, however, is the significantly lower MSRP of the 2017 Versa models. These cars didn’t have far to fall, and as used car prices rose their depreciation curve flatted quickly.

4. Chevrolet Spark

Similar to the Nissan Versa, the Chevy Spark is lifted by a relatively low purchase price. It’s easily the smallest car on this list, offering just 10.3 cubic feet of cargo space. That said, the Spark is a great commuter car, and the fact that it is both affordable and holds value should make it an easy buy.

5. Kia Rio

A Kia Rio is both reliable and holds value
2023 Kia Rio sedan | Kia

Kia’s improving reputation has given a lift to the oft-maligned Kia Rio. Historically known for being nothing more than a cheap vehicular appliance, modern Rio models are quite nice for the price. The 2017 models were even available with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, though power is predictably tepid. Both this and the compact Chevy Spark are tied, showing a 20.8 percent deprecation over five years.

Why are these affordable cars holding value?

With a looming recession and high fuel prices, small, affordable cars are starting to hold their value. Buyers are searching for a vehicle that won’t put a hit on their finances, and all the cars in this list are good for over 35 mpg. And in the case of the Civic and Corolla, 200,000-mile reliability isn’t out of the question, either. 

Related Avoid These Cars if You Hate Depreciation

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