Everybody wants to think they’ve made a great car purchase, one that will hold its value three to five years down the road – especially if it’s a family car. But the decision is sometimes a trade-off between what we really want and what the car experts (the people who study these statistics) have to say on the matter.
One source for this information that FamilyCarGuide always checks out – being cognizant of the aforementioned consumer desire to have a car that holds its value – is Kiplinger. In this case, it’s the publication’s 2011 Best New Car Values: Best Resale Value.
First, we feel obliged to mention how Kiplinger arrived at their list of category winners. They used data from Kelley Blue Book, specifically new vehicle data from 12/28/10, and resale values from January/February 2011. To win best resale award, a vehicle had to be selected as one of the top 25 in its category. And no model could be selected if another trim of the same model won in a previous category.
There are eleven categories and four brands (five counting Scion and Lexus from parent Toyota) that have two winners each. Do we find that more than just coincidental? When you look at the brands, Audi, BMW, Honda and Subaru, and think about their overall reputation for quality and reliability, it’s not surprising at all that they’d wind up on Kiplinger’s list.
Here’s the list of winners. Check out the table for specifics.
2011 Scion xBEnlarge Photo
Under $20,000: Scion xB
The safe, affordable and unique small car appeals to certain segments of the population. It’s also a Kiplinger winner in its category for three-year resale value of 57 percent, clearly way ahead of the rest in its class. Kiplinger cites the Scion xB’s low insurance costs, 22 cubic-foot cargo space and good fuel economy as other pluses.
2011 MINI Cooper ClubmanEnlarge Photo
$20,000-$25,000: MINI Cooper Clubman
Any MINI is well-known for good resale values and the 2011 MINI Cooper Clubman, with its 50 percent more cargo space than MINI Cooper, more rear seat legroom, and 64 percent three-year resale value propel it to the top in its resale value category.
2011 Subaru Impreza WRXEnlarge Photo
$25,000-$30,000: Subaru Impreza WRX
Affordable, fast and powerful, the performance-tuned 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX, with its 265-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine (and over 300 horsepower in the WRX STI), is a stellar resale value winner at 55 percent for three years. Standard all-wheel drive (AWD) helps seal the deal.
2011 Audi A5 2.0T QuattroEnlarge Photo
$30,000-$45,000: Audi A5 2.0T quattro
In a tie with the Lexus GX 460 for highest three-year resale value of all winners, the 2011 Audi A5 2.0T Quattro rates an impressive 67 percent for three-year resale value and leads the Kiplinger list in the $30,000-$45,000 category. The coupe or convertible, powered by the same 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that’s in the A4, achieves respectable EPA-estimated 21 mpg city/31 mpg highway – not bad, for all that performance.
2011 Audi S5 QuattroEnlarge Photo
Over $45,000: Audi S5 quattro
Sexy and sporty, the 2011 Audi S5 quattro is the performance-tuned version of the A5 and takes the top spot in the luxury category. It may be a coupe, but there’s 16 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk – plenty sufficient for luggage for week-end trips out of town or carrying golf clubs. Three-year resale value of 56 percent is highly impressive as well.