Does the Toyota RAV4 Hold Its Value?

The Toyota RAV4 is an extremely well-rounded small SUV. Toyota’s compact SUV model has become the best-selling SUV in America because of its affordability, practicality, and excellent gas mileage. Does the RAV4 hold its value over time?

The Toyota RAV4 maintains its value reasonably well over time

Toyota RAV4 small SUVs are parked on a lot.
Toyota RAV4 SUVs are parked on a lot | Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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The Toyota RAV4’s depreciation rate isn’t incredibly high or low. The RAV4 holds its value well, but it doesn’t touch the value retention of market anomalies like the Toyota Tacoma.

According to Kelley Blue Book, a 2017 Toyota RAV4 with under 69,000 miles has a fair market value of $20,737. The small SUV has an MSRP of about $26,700. The RAV4 has depreciated by at least 23% in the last five years. Most new SUVs lose a chunk of their value as soon as they are rolled off of the lot.

Should you buy a used Toyota RAV4?

A gray Toyota RAV4 small SUV is parked.
The Toyota RAV4 | Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

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Buying a used Toyota RAV4 is a good way to save money on a vehicle purchase. The RAV4 is reliable, so it’s a great used SUV to buy. Consumers can save thousands of dollars on the RAV4 by buying a used model and still get plenty of use out of the SUV. Toyota RAV4 models can easily last for over 200,000 miles. That’s the equivalent of over 14 years of ownership based on the national average driving range of 13,500 miles.

Purchasing a used RAV4 model can also make buying upper trim levels more affordable. The RAV4 is one of the best SUVs to buy used, along with the Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V. If you’re looking to buy a small SUV that retains most of its value over the first few years of ownership, there are even better options on the market.

The Subaru Forester retains a large percentage of its value over time

A gray Subaru Forester small SUV is driving down a wet road.
The Subaru Forester | Subaru

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The Subaru Forester retains its value over time extraordinarily. The small SUV isn’t the most refined, but it offers plenty in terms of off-road capability. According to Kelley Blue Book, the 2017 Subaru Forester has an MSRP of around $23,500. Today, KBB claims that a 2017 Subaru Forester with less than 73,000 miles has a fair purchase price of $18,610. The Forester has lost about 20% of its value after a five-year period, which equates to a four percent annual depreciation rate.

Buying a new Forester is a great option for consumers because the small SUV has decent resale value. Buying a used Forester is perhaps an even better deal because the average driver can save thousands on a model with under 70,000 miles on it and still get nearly a decade of use out of the resilient SUV.

The Toyota RAV4 can maintain its value well, but it still doesn’t depreciate as well as some competitors like the Subaru Forester. It also isn’t nearly as capable as the Forester off-road. Is the Subaru Forester better competition for the RAV4 than consumers realize?

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