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With the auto market facing unprecedented fluctuations in both new and used car values, finding vehicles that reliably hold their value can be a challenge. That said, a recent study into vehicle deprecation shows that the Honda Civic fends off depreciation better than any other affordable car on the market today. Calculated over the past five years, the Civic lost just 16.3% of its value on average, compared to 19.8 percent for the next closest vehicle in its class.

2023 Honda Civic sedan
Honda Civic Sedan | Honda

The Civic stands alone amid SUVs and sports cars for lowest depreciation

In the overall top-five ranking for lowest depreciation, the only car that isn’t an SUV, truck, or sports car is the Honda Civic. Slotting into fifth place, the Civic is behind a pair of SUVs, a pickup truck, and the Porsche 911. The Honda compact is one of just three cars in the top 10 that aren’t sports cars or trucks, and it ranks over three percentage points ahead of the other two contenders. Those would be the Toyota Corolla at 19.8% lost value over five years and the Nissan Versa at 19.9% depreciation.

Gas prices play a role

There are several factors that can affect a vehicle’s depreciation within such a short timeframe, but one specific factor has landed the Civic so high on this list.

The Civic, like the Corolla and Versa, offers a fuel-efficient powertrain that makes life easier when gas prices spike like they did in 2022. Combine the Civic’s excellent fuel economy with its reputation for reliability and you have a vehicle that has become an enticing option for those on a budget.

Cars lining up at a fuel pump

A looming recession and limited parts availability are also likely factors landing the Civic so far ahead of the competition. Most Honda Civic models are capable of exceeding 200,000 miles with just basic maintenance, so concerns about parts replacements are less of a concern. In addition, the Civic is assembled in the U.S., so there are fewer worries about sourcing parts from overseas as a global shipping crisis has drastically slowed supply chains.

As for the sports cars, SUVs, and trucks with such low depreciation, market demand is largely the deciding factor. People who are shopping for those cars aren’t concerned about fuel prices or even used car pricing. They want a specific experience when buying those vehicles, and many are willing to pay a bit extra to get their hands on it.

2023 Honda Civic has the lowest depreciation of any small car
2022 Honda Civic Hatchback | Honda

Honda Civic values could spell opportunities for some drivers

The five-year depreciation study, performed by iSeeCars, states that the average depreciation of a Honda Civic is $4,237 over five years. That means a Civic purchased for $20,000 in 2018 is still worth nearly $16,000 today. That may present an opportunity for buyers who put down a large down payment or who had low or no-interest financing at the time of purchase. With respectable miles, chances are that Honda Civic is now worth a pretty penny toward a new vehicle. Just keep in mind that both car prices and interest rates are higher than they were a few years ago, so getting a good deal may still be a challenge.