10 best, 10 worst for holding original value

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If you spend tens of thousands of dollars on a car, you want to get something back for your investment when it’s over. Inevitably, the value of your car will depreciate, but you’d like it to have as much trade-in value as possible.

This doesn’t just go for buying a car. When you lease a car, the amount it will be worth at the end of the lease is critical in determining your monthly lease payment price. It’s called residual value, an important factor to keep in mind if you’re shopping for a new car.

In a list compiled by Automotive Lease Guide, or ALG, the 10 cars expected to hold value the most over the next five years are an eclectic group (sedans and small sport utility vehicles, among others). What do these cars have in common?

“You see a much better alignment of production with market demands,” says James Clark, editorial director of ALG.

What about cars that will hold the least value after five years? “You’ll see a lot of brands we traditionally have high-depreciation rates for,” says Clark. Some of these vehicles are heavily used as fleet vehicles for rental car companies; some (i.e., Korean brands like Hyundai and its subsidiary, Kia) have perceived quality issues, even though Clark says the Korean brands’ “quality has actually gotten a lot better, but their perceived quality is still low.”

The 10 best and 10 worst autos for holding value over 5 years
Best value holders Worst value holders
1. Volkswagen R32 10. Hyundai Entourage
2. Jeep Wrangler 9. Chevrolet Malibu Classic
3. Mini-Cooper 8. Kia Optima
4. Scion XB 7. Suzuki Forenza
5. Honda CR-V 6. Hyundai Accent
6. Toyota RAV4 5. Kia Rio
7. Infiniti G35/G37 4. Suzuki Reno
8. Dodge Viper 3. Kia Spectra
9. BMW 1 Series 2. Chevrolet Uplander
10. Nissan Rogue 1. Lincoln Town Car
10. Nissan Rogue
5-year residual value:
37.5 percent or $7,286
Four-cylinder, 2.5-liter, 170 horsepower
Basic — 3 years/36,000 miles, powertrain — 5 years/60,000 miles
Special features:
Drive computer, XM satellite radio, MP3/WMA capability
Reasons it will hold value:
It’s a fuel-efficient SUV and good for those wishing to downsize a bit.