Affordable Cars With the Lowest Depreciation Rates

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A car can be both a happy and sad purchase. Happy because it gives you the convenience you seek, and a bit of pride too, especially if what you got is the one you’ve been dreaming about. But once you remember that its value starts to drop the moment you drive it off, it can dampen your mood a little.

However, investment or liability, most of us want a car of our own. No matter how cheap commuting is, driving your own car just evokes a different level of satisfaction. It can make you feel more put-together, accomplished, and professional. Plus, even if its value depreciates fast, it’s still a commodity that many people will buy, even second-hand.

If you’re planning to re-sell the auto you’ll buy today in a few years, it’s wise to narrow your options to the models that retain their value the best. You can make the most out of your favorable car loan that way.

Without further ado, here are some affordable cars with the lowest depreciation rates:

1. Toyota Tacoma

The average 5-year depreciation rate of the Toyota Tacoma is 32.4%. In dollars, that’s a $10,496 decline. Not bad, considering its price ranges from $26,250 to $44,175, as per the Toyota official website.

This truck is great for off-road driving. Its other outstanding qualities are the lengthy standard features list and user-friendly infotainment system. It seats 4–5 passengers, has a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) and four-wheel drive (4WD) drivetrains, and 159–278 horsepower.

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma ranks 3rd in U.S. Car New’s Compact Pickup Trucks category. It scored 7.2 out of 10. You should consider buying this truck if you’re fond of off-road trips, or if you’re looking for a good alternative for the Ford Ranger or Honda Ridgeline.

2. Toyota Tundra

Toyota Tundra is another beast of a pickup truck. Its average 5-year depreciation rate is 37%, or $17,020. For a starting price of $33,675, and $48,895 for the Platinum and 1794 Edition editions, that depreciation rate’s quite acceptable.

The best qualities of the Toyota Tundra are its powerful V8 engine, roomy seats, and good predicted reliability rating. Being a full-size truck, it can accommodate 5–6 passengers, has RWD and 4WD drivetrains, and a 381 horsepower. In U.S. Car New’s Full-size Pickup Trucks category, the 2021 Tundra ranked 6th, scoring 6.2 out of 10.

3. Toyota 4Runner

So far, Toyota is really thriving in this list. The 4Runner is one of their outstanding midsize SUVs, with strong off-roading and towing abilities, and a good predicted reliability rating. Its average 5-year depreciation rate sits at 38.5%, or $16,325. You can buy the lowest-end trim for $36,340, the midrange TRD Off-Road trim for $40,305, or the TRP Pro trim for $50,470.

The Toyota 4Runner rides up to 5 passengers, has RWD and 4WD drivetrains, and 270 horsepower. It ranks 20th in U.S. Car New’s Midsize SUV Category, but scored pretty decently — 7.1 out of 10, to be exact.

Toyota 4Runner is a good buy if you’re looking for a family car that you can also take to off-road drives. It’s also good for camping or picnic trips since its spacious cargo makes hauling bulky items a breeze.

4. Subaru WRX

Subaru WRX
image from CNET

The first sedan in this list, the Subaru WRX may look a little old-fashioned on the outside, but it boasts some impressive qualities on the inside. Its base price is $28,420, and the premium and limited trims cost $30,970 and $33,020, respectively. With regard to depreciation, its average 5-year value decline is at 39.8%, or $14,192.

Like all Subaru autos, the WRX also possesses the brand’s standard all-wheel-drive (AWD). It has 268 horsepower and a 258 lb-ft. of torque. It’s made for hard-driving, but not the best for off-roading — unless you enjoy bouncing in your seat

In U.S. Car News’ Compact Cars Category, the Subaru WRX ranks 11th, with a score of 7.2 out of 10. The sedan performs spectacularly on winding roads, thanks to its taut suspension. And of course, its AWD system makes it grip no matter the road surface.

5. GMC Canyon

The GMC Canyon is another compact but mighty pickup truck. Its base price is at $26,400, and the AT4 trim costs $38,200 and the Denali trim $40,900. In 5 years, it may depreciate at the average rate of 41.2%, or $16,115.

This truck boasts a great towing capacity, responsive handling, and user-friendly infotainment system. It ranks 4th in U.S. Car New’s Compact Pickup Trucks category, with a score of 7.1 out of 10. Considering that, the GMC Canyon seems to be a close competitor to the Toyota Tacoma. In terms of depreciation rate, though, Tacoma might be a better pick. But if you prioritize performance, the GMC Canyon might win you over, with its 181-308 horsepower.

The GMC Canyon has better towing and hauling capacities than most of its classmates. So if you frequently handle bulky cargo in your car, include this truck among your top considerations.

Now that you know which cars retain their values the best, start getting in touch with your trusted dealers once you’re ready to buy. However, don’t forget that it’s not just a car’s brand and specs that make it hold value. Maintenance matters too, so don’t take your high-performance auto for granted.

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