Which Brand of SUV Has the Best Resale Value?

Resale value always should be a factor when you’re buying a vehicle. You’re not going to keep your new SUV forever, right? But it’s always hard to tell which vehicle will keep its resale value because the most popular, the hottest model, or even the “best” SUV you can buy won’t always keep its value. But there’s one brand of SUV that will. Why do Subarus hold their value better than others?

The used car market is nuts right now

The used car market is unpredictable right now, but there's one brand that can keep its resale value better than most.
The used car market is unpredictable | Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

The last few years have turned the used car market on its head and there are some cars and trucks that are actually worth more used than they are new, simply because of supply chain issues making new ones unavailable. But it’s also caused spikes in some parts of the used market, like with trucks. The old rule of thumb was that any vehicle loses about 50% of its value after five years. That’s no longer true for most vehicles, and it’s certainly not true with Subarus, which have the best resale value.

Subarus top the list for having the best resale value

The Subaru "Airslayer" WRX STI driven by Travis Pastrana.
Subaru “Airslayer” WRX STI | Subaru

The company CAREdge tracks the best resale value of cars, trucks, and SUVs and for 2022 Subaru tops the list for the brand whose vehicles lose the most value. It’s hard to say why some cars don’t depreciate, maybe they have been updated recently, maybe they were ahead of the curve with technology, maybe they’re just cool. But, according to CAREdge, a Subaru after three, five or seven years will keep its value better than an SUV from another brand. A 2020 model Subaru should keep about 92% of its value, while a 2018 will keep about 84% of its value.

Individual Subaru models don’t specifically keep their value than others, but as a brand, Subaru is the top.

The 2022 Subaru Crosstrek tops the list for Subaru

2023 Subaru Crosstrek in blue in the snow
2023 Subaru Crosstrek | Subaru

The Subaru Crosstek has the best resale value and is estimated to keep 82% of its value, topping the list for Subaru SUVs. The Crosstrek may be the smallest, and least expensive, Subaru SUV. But it comes standard with one thing that the others don’t: a manual transmission. A CVT is optional.

You can order a Crosstrek as a hybrid, but it only comes fully loaded and is more than $36,000. It’s a bit smaller on the inside than a Forester, but it does get better gas mileage and is rated at 34 mpg on the highway. It has the same engine as the Forester. The Crosstrek is a bit more carlike and feels more nimble around town.

The Impreza wagon comes in at second place for the brand.

The 2022 Subaru Forester should keep its value, too

The Subaru Forester Wilderness, pictured here in blue, is one of the cheapest cars to insure
A Subaru Forester Wilderness | Subaru

CAREdge estimates the Forester will retain 78% of its value in 5 years. The Forester was updated for 2022 with a mild makeover that gave it a tougher appearance. The new cladding on the front makes it look like it can tackle the fun stuff. However, the Forester comes with a 182-horsepower four-cylinder engine that is mated to a fun-sapping CVT.

It may be fuel-efficient, but it’s not quick. That being said, the Forester competes very well against other small SUVs and unlike Honda’s CRV competitor, it has all-wheel drive. The Forester isn’t much bigger on the outside, but it’s a lot bigger on the inside than the Crosstrek.

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