Many drivers decide to purchase a used car rather than a new one for several good reasons. First, buying a used vehicle can save you money, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the year, make, and model. Second, you also don't absorb the steep drop in value in new cars in the first 3-5 years. Yet, all vehicles continue to depreciate beyond five years.
No matter what age of car you consider buying, you'll want to find one that holds its value better. Some brands hold their value better than others across their lineup. In addition, some manufacturers have specific models that depreciate slower than others.
In addition, the mileage and condition factor into the value of a used car. On average, a car gets driven around 12,000 miles per year, which most used vehicle evaluation tools use as a benchmark. So, when you look at a five-year-old car with 60,000 miles, it will have an average value for its age. If the same vehicle has only 40,000 miles, it has an above-average value. The same car with anything over 60,000 miles has below the average value.
The question remains, how do you find the best cars for retaining value? That's why we've created this list, to help you make an informed decision as you search for a new car, truck, or SUV. So, when it's your turn to sell, you have the remaining value that you can capitalize on in a future trade or sale.
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited - 72.7%
Jeep's Wrangler Unlimited takes the top spot for resale value, retaining nearly 73% of its value after five years. In 2018, Jeep redesigned the Wrangler Unlimited to include better ride handling and a more polished interior with comfort and technology upgrades. As always, a Jeep performs well off-road or in wintry weather with its superior 4x4 capabilities. As a result, shopping for a Wrangler Unlimited will give you the best return on your investment when you decide to trade it in, presumably for another Jeep.
We should note that the standard Jeep Wrangler came in at 72.2% resale value. So if you don't want the added features of the Unlimited but still want the capability of a Jeep, the Wrangler will do nicely.
Toyota Tundra - 62.9%
Toyota began producing the Tundra in 1999. If you want a reliable truck that can handle work and play, you should look for the Toyota Tundra. The 2022 model year marks the first year of Tundra's third generation. You'll find many Tundra owners looking to upgrade to the latest model, which means you'll find some surplus on the used Tundra market. Off-road enthusiasts in Missouri can take advantage of this and pick up a model from 2015 with the TRD Pro option package. You'll get the power of a 5.7-liter V-8 with the off-road suspension system to tackle your workdays and weekends.
Chevrolet Camaro - 52%
Chevy Camaro sports cars have been turning heads for decades. Classic versions date back to the '60s and '70s. After a brief 8-year production hiatus, Chevrolet reintroduced the fifth-generation Camaro in 2010 with remarkable success. In its sixth generation that started with the 2016 models, you get plenty of powertrain options and packages.
Motor Trend named the 2016 Camaro Car of the Year if you want a sports car with power and performance. The Camaro ZL1 trim comes race-ready with a powerful V-8 engine and a top speed above 200 mph. If you'd rather cruise the boulevards in St. Louis, the SS trim gives you classic muscle car looks.
Toyota Tacoma - 70.5%
We aren't surprised that Tacoma holds its value so well. The third generation of Tacoma trucks began in 2015, with a facelift occurring in 2020. Updated exterior styles for 2020 and newer models have helped the used Tacoma market. While the Tacoma doesn't boast the prowess of its big brother Tundra, this midsize truck offers plenty of power in the V-6 powertrain. It can tow up to 6,800 pounds and comes with 4x4 and crew cab options.
The TRD Pro trim made its debut in 2017 Tacoma trucks. So, if you love off-road adventures around Farmington, then look for the TRD Pro with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. On the other hand, if you want economy, the Toyota sold plenty of inline four-cylinder engines in its third generation.
Ford F-150 - 55.9%
Ford F-150 pickup trucks have long been considered a good investment. The F-150 continually outsells the competition and offers up to eight trim levels plus various option packages. So you'll always have plenty of choices shopping for a used F-150. They hold their value so well because they work hard, run great, and are one of the most durable, dependable trucks on the market.
The F-150 just entered its fourteenth generation in 2021, which also helps the used F-150 market. You can find great value in the thirteenth generation, which began in 2015. It also marked the switch to aluminum panels which reduced curb weight and improved efficiency. However, Ford still used a high-strength steel frame to maintain its towing and payload capacities.
Toyota Corolla - 52%
Toyota consistently ranks high in resale value across the brand, and Corolla keeps 52% of its original value after the first five years. The Corolla has been around since 1966, making it one of the longest-running production cars on the market. Toyota last updated the Corolla in 2018, marking the twelfth generation for this sporty sedan. Look for a 2018 model or newer with low miles, and you'll enjoy a better than average return on your investment.
Before that, the 2013 model kicked off the eleventh generation for Corolla. These models still offer great value, but you might not find the latest in-vehicle tech and driver-assist systems found on newer models.
At CarSmart of Farmington, we know buying used cars, trucks, and SUVs makes sense to many people. That's why we stock an expansive inventory of reliable, dependable vehicles that always prove a good value today and down the road.
If you're ready to elevate your Missouri commute with a great used car, we invite you to browse our inventory online. We have a great selection of late-model cars, trucks, and SUVs with low miles and priced to sell. If you see something you like online, stop in at our Farmington or Jackson location and take it for a test drive.