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Bankrate's 2007 New Car Guide
Dollar$ & $en$e
Status and styling aside, many car-buying decisions boil down to bucks and budgets.
Dollar$ & $en$e
Top 10 new cars for future value
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Many consumers learn that the hard way, Toprak says, when they try to trade in a car after two or three years and learn that it's worth less than what they owe, a situation known as negative equity or being "upside-down" in the loan.

Top 10 residual value -- Kelley Blue Book
Acura TSX
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2007
Acura TSX
BMW 5 series
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2007
BMW 5 series
Honda Civic
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2007
Honda Civic
Lexus IS
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2007
Lexus IS
MINI Cooper
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2007
MINI Cooper
 
Pontiac Solstice
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2007
Pontiac Solstice
Scion tC
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2008
Scion tC
Toyota Prius
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2007
Toyota Prius
Volkswagen GTI
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2007
Volkswagen GTI
Volkswagen Eos
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2007
Volkswagen Eos
List in alphabetical order. List released 11/29/06 for 2007 cars. Source: Kelley Blue Book

"You have to pay to get out of your loan," Toprak explains. Edmunds.com research indicates 28 percent of buyers who traded in a vehicle in May 2007 found themselves in a negative equity situation -- averaging a painful $4,000 each.

"Those consumers are a lot more conscious about what they want to buy next," Toprak says.

Nerad says buying based on resale value can also lead to a better ownership experience, since there's good reasons some cars hold their value better than others, like reliability.

"It steers you to cars that are better, more desirable cars," he says.

Some highlights from the Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds.com Top 10 picks for 2007:

Residual value breakdown
Two vehicles made both lists, the MINI Cooper and the Volkswagen Eos.
Both list a BMW, Honda and Scion, but different models. Kelley lists the BMW 5 series, the Honda Civic and Scion tC. Edmunds.com lists the BMW M6, Honda S2000 and 2008 Scion xB.
The Toyota Prius made Kelley's list for the second year in a row, the only hybrid on it, but Nerad sees the market for used hybrids softening, as buyers face the significant expense of replacing the battery pack. "It'll be interesting, as they age beyond the five years, what the value does," he says. "There's a realization from some people that there are other ways to accomplish the same thing. The way to fuel economy is not only through hybrids."
Edmunds.com lists the five-year resale value ranging from 54 percent for its No. 1 pick, the Lotus Elise, to 47 percent for its No. 10, the Corvette. Kelley does not rank order but lists the top 10 alphabetically.
Imports dominate. Kelley named just one domestic, the Pontiac Solstice. Edmunds.com chose two, the Jeep Wrangler and the Chevy Corvette (which made Kelley's list in 2006).
-- Posted: Aug. 2, 2007
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