The Best and Worst Cars for Depreciation

  • Jeep Wrangler tops the list of vehicles with the lowest depreciation, at 9.2 percent over five years, compared to 40.1 percent average

  • Nissan LEAF depreciates the most, losing 65.1 percent of its value, amounting to a $23,666 drop in value over five years

  • Trucks and truck-based SUVs hold their value the best, while EVs and luxury sedans see the most depreciation

The new cars that retain the most value after 5 years consist of trucks, truck-based SUVs, and sports cars, while luxury cars depreciate the most according to a new study by automotive research firm and car search engine iSeeCars.com.

iSeeCars.com analyzed more than 800,000 car sales to identify vehicles from the 2016 model year with the lowest and highest loss in value from MSRP after five years. iSeeCars found that the average five-year-old vehicle depreciated by 40.1 percent in 2021, compared to 49.1 percent in 2020.

“We’ve seen record high used car prices over the past 15 months as a result of the microchip shortage, and that has slowed down the average depreciation rate across all vehicles,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “Vehicles that have historically maintained their value well have depreciated even less this past year, but even in today’s market some cars continue to drastically drop in value.”

Vehicles That Depreciate the Least

The average car depreciation over the first five years is 40.1 percent, and the five-year-old cars with the best resale value depreciate 1.6 to 4.4 times less than average, as shown below.

Top 10 Vehicles With the Lowest Depreciation - iSeeCars Study

Rank

Model

Average 5-Year Depreciation

Avg $ Difference from MSRP

1

Jeep Wrangler

9.2%

$2,796

2

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

10.5%

$3,810

3

Porsche 911

12.8%

$20,710

4

Toyota Tacoma

13.8%

$4,899

5

Toyota Tundra

19.5%

$8,458

6

Ford Mustang

21.0%

$7,280

7

Chevrolet Corvette

22.7%

$17,655

8

Chevrolet Camaro

23.6%

$8,553

9

Dodge Challenger

24.4%

$10,308

10

Toyota 4Runner

24.6%

$10,818

Average for All Vehicles

40.1%

$15,764

Jeep earns the top two spots on the list, with the Jeep Wrangler having the lowest depreciation followed by its four-dour counterpart, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited in second. “Jeep Wranglers are known for retaining their value due to their enthusiastic fanbase, as well as their durability and performance across all terrains, especially off-road,” said Brauer. “Jeep Wranglers also have maintained their iconic design, so even older models don’t appear dated.”

Sports cars account for five models on the list including the third-ranked Porsche 911, the sixth-ranked Ford Mustang, the seventh-ranked Chevrolet Corvette, the eighth-ranked Chevrolet Camaro, and the ninth-ranked Dodge Challenger. “Along with the 911’s timeless design and reputation for reliability, Porsche sells few 911s relative to market demand, so there aren’t many 911s in the used car marketplace,” said Brauer. “The Mustang, Corvette, Camaro, and Challenger are all classic American sports cars with an aspirational appeal for many consumers, and drivers are likely more willing to pay a premium for them, especially because they aren’t as common in the used car marketplace.”

Two Toyota pickup trucks make the list: the Tacoma in fourth and the Tundra in fifth. “Toyota trucks have a well-earned reputation for reliability and quality, and the in-demand Tacoma is the best-selling midsize truck in the country,” said Brauer. “These indestructible trucks can be workhorses or dependable family haulers, which widens their appeal and helps boost resale value.”

Rounding out the list is the tenth-ranked Toyota 4Runner midsize SUV, which depreciates 38.5 percent after five years. “The Toyota 4Runner has Toyota’s reputation for reliability and indestructibility as a truck-based SUV,” said Brauer. “It has also enjoyed enduring popularity since its release over 35 years ago, contributing to its high residual value.”

Vehicles that Depreciate the Most

iSeeCars also examined the vehicles that depreciate the most after five years, which lose 1.4 to 1.6 times more of their original value than the average vehicle.

Top 10 Vehicles With the Highest Depreciation - iSeeCars Study

Rank

Vehicle

Average 5-Year Depreciation

Avg $ Difference from MSRP

1

Nissan LEAF

65.1%

$23,666

2

BMW i3

63.1%

$32,663

3

BMW 7 Series

61.5%

$63,271

4

Maserati Ghibli

61.3%

$51,659

5

BMW X5

60.3%

$41,950

6

Jaguar XF

59.5%

$38,523

7

BMW 5 Series

59.1%

$36,210

8

Audi A6

58.2%

$35,393

9

Lincoln Navigator L

57.7%

$44,849

10

Volvo S60

57.3%

$24,956

Average for All Vehicles

40.1%

$15,764

The Nissan LEAF is the vehicle that depreciates the most, losing 65.1 percent of its value after five years. “Electric vehicles like the first-generation Nissan LEAF become outdated quickly due to the rapid advancements in range and battery life, as early LEAF batteries were only expected to last eight to ten years,” said Brauer. “Government incentives like the $7,500 federal tax credit also play a role in the LEAF’s steep depreciation, as its resale value is based on original MSRP, but real-world transaction prices when new are effectively $7,500 lower.

A second electric vehicle, the BMW i3 earns the second spot. “The BMW i3 had just 80 miles of range before its 2017 update, and it had a high price tag for its city car designation,” said Brauer. “The limited market for the i3 led to its recent cancellation, and its lack of popularity, high price tag, and government incentives all contribute to steep depreciation.

Luxury sedans account for six models on this list, including the third-ranked BMW 7 Series superluxury sedan, the fourth-ranked Maserati Ghibli, the sixth-ranked Jaguar XF, the seventh-ranked BMW 5 Series, the eighth-ranked Audi A6, and the tenth-ranked Volvo S60. “Luxury buyers want to be seen in the latest version of their preferred model, but that status fades quickly after a luxury vehicle drives off the lot, drastically reducing these models’ value on the secondary market,” said Brauer. “Moreover, the popularity of sedans has declined, so the price has to significantly drop to make these vehicles desirable to used car shoppers to compensate for their high operating costs and outdated technology.”

Two SUVs from luxury brands round out the list, including the fifth-ranked BMW X5 midsize crossover SUV and the ninth-ranked Lincoln Navigator L full-size SUV. “The BMW X5 has a higher than average starting price for the class as well as a high cost of ownership and high repair costs, all contributing to the vehicle’s steep depreciation,” said Brauer. “The Lincoln Navigator L is a common fleet and livery vehicle, which depreciate more than privately owned vehicles.”

Vehicle Depreciation by Segment

iSeeCars determined the lowest- and highest- depreciating subcompact and compact SUVs relative to the segment average, which is 41.0 percent.

Top 5 Lowest- and Highest-Depreciating Small SUVs - iSeeCars Study

Lowest-Depreciating

Highest-Depreciating

Rank

Vehicle

Average 5-Year Depreciation

Vehicle

Average 5-Year Depreciation

1

Jeep Wrangler

9.2%

Ford Escape

49.8%

2

Honda HR-V

34.3%

FIAT 500X

49.1%

3

Mazda CX-3

34.5%

Chevrolet Equinox

47.7%

4

Jeep Renegade

34.8%

GMC Terrain

47.3%

5

Toyota RAV4

35.8%

Mitsubishi Outlander

46.2%

Small SUV Average: 41.0%

For more information on this vehicle segment, refer to our list of Best Small SUVs.

Small Luxury SUVs

iSeeCars determined the lowest- and highest-depreciating small luxury SUVs relative to the segment average, which is 46.0 percent.

Top 5 Lowest- and Highest-Depreciating Small Luxury SUVs - iSeeCars Study

Lowest-Depreciating

Highest-Depreciating

Rank

Vehicle

Average 5-Year Depreciation

Vehicle

Average 5-Year Depreciation

1

Porsche Macan

37.1%

Volvo XC60

54.8%

2

MINI Countryman

39.1%

Buick Envision

52.4%

3

Mercedes-Benz GLA

39.3%

Audi Q5

50.8%

4

Mercedes-Benz GLC

40.4%

BMW X3

50.7%

5

BMW X1

43.6%

Acura RDX

49.6%

Small Luxury SUV Average: 46.0%

For more information on this vehicle segment, refer to our list of Best Luxury Small SUVs.

Midsize SUVs

iSeeCars determined the lowest- and highest-depreciating midsize SUVs relative to the segment average, which is 39.9 percent.

Top 5 Lowest- and Highest-Depreciating Midsize SUVs - iSeeCars Study

Lowest-Depreciating

Highest-Depreciating

Rank

Vehicle

Average 5-Year Depreciation

Vehicle

Average 5-Year Depreciation

1

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

10.5%

Nissan Pathfinder

52.8%

2

Toyota 4Runner

24.6%

GMC Acadia

52.6%

3

Toyota Highlander

38.0%

Chevrolet Traverse

51.2%

4

Dodge Durango

41.9%

Nissan Murano

49.7%

5

Jeep Grand Cherokee

42.4%

Hyundai Santa Fe

49.5%

Midsize SUV Average: 39.9%

For more information on this vehicle segment, refer to our list of Best Midsize SUVs.

Luxury Midsize SUVs

iSeeCars ranked the depreciation of midsize luxury SUVs relative to the segment average, which is 46.2 percent.

Ranking of Luxury Midsize SUVs by Depreciation - iSeeCars Study

Rank

Vehicle

Average 5-Year Depreciation

1

Lexus RX 350

34.6%

2

Lexus GX 460

39.5%

3

Porsche Cayenne

44.5%

4

Mercedes-Benz GLE

46.4%

5

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

47.7%

6

Volvo XC90

48.6%

7

BMW X6

49.6%

8

Acura MDX

53.2%

9

BMW X5

53.7%

Midsize Luxury SUV Average: 46.2%

For more information on this vehicle segment, refer to our list of Best Luxury Midsize SUVs.

Large SUVs

iSeeCars ranked the depreciation of full-size SUVs relative to the segment average, which is 44.1 percent.

Ranking of Full-Size SUVs by Depreciation - iSeeCars Study

Rank

Vehicle

Average 5-Year Depreciation

1

Toyota Land Cruiser

35.4%

2

Toyota Sequoia

39.7%

3

Chevrolet Tahoe

41.2%

4

GMC Yukon

43.7%

5

Chevrolet Suburban

45.7%

6

GMC Yukon XL

46.9%

7

Ford Expedition

52.8%

Full-Size SUV Average: 44.1%

For more information on this vehicle segment, refer to our list of Best Large SUVs.

Large Luxury SUVs

iSeeCars ranked the depreciation of full-size luxury SUVs relative to the segment average, which is 53.1 percent.

Ranking of Full-Size SUVs by Depreciation - iSeeCars Study

Rank

Vehicle

Average 5-Year Depreciation

1

Lexus LX 570

37.7%

2

Mercedes-Benz G-Class

40.2%

3

Cadillac Escalade

51.1%

4

Land Rover Range Rover

53.0%

5

Cadillac Escalade ESV

54.2%

6

Infiniti QX80

54.7%

7

Lincoln Navigator

55.8%

8

Buick Enclave

56.5%

9

Lincoln Navigator L

57.7%

Full-Size Luxury SUV Average: 53.1%

For more information on this vehicle segment, refer to our list of Best Luxury Large SUVs.

Midsize Pickup Trucks

iSeeCars ranked the depreciation of compact pickup trucks relative to the segment average, which is 21.4 percent.

Ranking of Midsize Pickup Trucks by Depreciation - iSeeCars Study

Rank

Vehicle

Average 5-Year Depreciation

1

Toyota Tacoma

13.8%

2

GMC Canyon

25.6%

3

Chevrolet Colorado

27.1%

4

Nissan Frontier

27.8%

Compact Pickup Truck Average: 21.4%

For more information on this vehicle segment, refer to our list of Best Midsize Trucks.

Full-Size Pickup Trucks

iSeeCars ranked the depreciation of full-size pickup trucks relative to the segment average, which is 31.8 percent.

Ranking of Full-Size Pickup Trucks by Depreciation - iSeeCars Study

Rank

Vehicle

Average 5-Year Depreciation

1

Toyota Tundra

19.5%

2

GMC Sierra 1500

30.7%

3

Chevrolet Silverado 1500

31.0%

4

Ford F-150

31.7%

5

Ram 1500

35.2%

6

Nissan Titan XD

38.8%

Full-Size Pickup Truck Average: 31.8%

For more information on this vehicle segment, refer to our list of Best Full-Size Trucks.

Vehicle Depreciation by Segment

Small Cars

iSeeCars ranked the depreciation of small compact cars and subcompact cars relative to the segment average, which is 36.3 percent.

Ranking of Small Cars by Depreciation - iSeeCars Study

Rank

Vehicle

Average 5-Year Depreciation

1

Subaru WRX

29.4%

2

Honda Civic

30.4%

3

Toyota Corolla

32.9%

4

Subaru Impreza

34.2%

5

Chevrolet Spark

38.0%

6

Nissan Versa

38.2%

7

Hyundai Veloster

38.3%

8

Kia Rio

38.7%

9

Volkswagen Golf GTI

39.8%

10

Kia Forte

39.9%

11

Hyundai Accent

40.9%

12

Hyundai Elantra

41.2%

13

Volkswagen Jetta

43.7%

14

Nissan Sentra

44.2%

Small Car Average: 36.3%

For more information on this vehicle segment, refer to our list of Best Small Cars.

Small Luxury Cars

iSeeCars ranked the depreciation of small luxury cars relative to the segment average, which is 46.4 percent.

Ranking of Small Luxury Cars by Depreciation - iSeeCars Study

Rank

Vehicle

Average 5-Year Depreciation

1

Lexus RC 350

32.7%

2

Lexus RC 300

33.1%

3

Lexus IS 350

39.1%

4

Mercedes-Benz CLA

39.5%

5

Lexus IS 300

40.9%

6

BMW M3

41.3%

7

BMW 2 Series

42.6%

8

Audi S3

44.2%

9

Audi A5

46.2%

10

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

46.8%

11

BMW 4 Series (coupe)

47.0%

12

Acura ILX

48.3%

13

Audi A3

48.9%

14

BMW 4 Series (sedan)

50.1%

15

INFINITI Q50

52.0%

16

BMW 3 Series

52.3%

17

Audi A4

52.5%

18

Volvo S60

57.3%

Small Luxury Car Average: 46.4%

For more information on this vehicle segment, refer to our list of Best Luxury Small Cars.

Midsize Cars

iSeeCars ranked the depreciation of midsize cars relative to the segment average, which is 43.6 percent.

Ranking of Midsize Cars by Depreciation - iSeeCars Study

Rank

Brand

Average 5-Year Depreciation

1

Honda Accord

39.0%

2

Toyota Camry

40.7%

3

Subaru Legacy

41.5%

4

Mazda MAZDA6

43.8%

5

Hyundai Sonata

44.8%

6

Chevrolet Malibu

45.1%

7

Volkswagen Passat

48.2%

8

Nissan Altima

48.9%

Midsize Car Average: 43.6%

For more information on this vehicle segment, refer to our list of Best Midsize Cars.

Midsize Luxury Cars

iSeeCars ranked the depreciation of midsize luxury cars relative to the segment average, which is 53.6 percent.

Ranking of Midsize Luxury Cars by Depreciation - iSeeCars Study

Rank

Vehicle

Average 5-Year Depreciation

1

Lexus ES 350

40.8%

2

Acura TLX

51.1%

3

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

51.5%

4

Audi S6

53.6%

5

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

56.8%

6

Audi A6

58.2%

7

BMW 5 Series

59.1%

8

Jaguar XF

59.5%

9

Maserati Ghibli

61.3%

Midsize Luxury Car Average: 53.6%

For more information on this vehicle segment, refer to our list of Best Luxury Midsize Cars.

Sports Cars

iSeeCars also determined the highest- and lowest-depreciation among sports cars as compared to the segment average of 24.7 percent.

Ranking of Sports Cars by Depreciation - iSeeCars Study

Rank

Brand

Average 5-Year Depreciation

1

Ford Mustang (Coupe)

21.0%

2

Chevrolet Corvette (Coupe)

22.7%

3

Chevrolet Camaro (Coupe)

23.6%

4

Dodge Challenger

24.4%

5

Chevrolet Corvette (Convertible)

27.7%

6

Subaru BRZ

28.0%

7

Mazda MX-5 Miata

31.2%

8

Chevrolet Camaro (Convertible)

31.4%

9

Ford Mustang (Convertible)

39.3%

Sports Car Average: 24.7%

For more information on this vehicle segment, refer to our list of Best Sports Cars.

Electric Cars

iSeeCars ranked the depreciation of electric vehicles relative to the segment average, which is 53.7 percent.

Ranking of 5-Year Depreciation for Electric Vehicles - iSeeCars Study

Rank

Model

Average 5-Year Depreciation

1

Tesla Model X

46.9%

2

Tesla Model S

52.4%

Electric Vehicle Average

53.7%

3

Nissan LEAF

65.1%

For more information on this vehicle segment, refer to our list of Best Electric Cars.

Hybrid Cars

iSeeCars ranked the depreciation of hybrid vehicles relative to the segment average, which is 45.4 percent.

Ranking of 5-Year Depreciation for Hybrid Cars - iSeeCars Study

Rank

Model

Average 5-Year Depreciation

1

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

36.4%

2

Toyota Prius

41.8%

3

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

42.2%

4

Toyota Camry Hybrid

45.4%

Hybrid Vehicle Average

45.4%

5

Lexus ES 300h

48.7%

6

Toyota Avalon Hybrid

50.3%

7

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

52.2%

8

BMW X5

60.3%

9

BMW i3

63.1%

For more information on this vehicle segment, refer to our list of Best Hybrid Cars.

Car Depreciation: Why It’s Important to Understand the Value of Your Car

Understanding a vehicle’s depreciation is an important factor in helping both new and used car shoppers make an informed car-buying decision at the dealership. Consumers should anticipate their long-term needs when purchasing a new vehicle. “If you plan on making a trade-in or selling your vehicle after a few years, a brand new car that has a slower rate of depreciation can put more money in your pocket for your next car purchase,” said Brauer. “Conversely, if you’re a used vehicle shopper, choosing a car that has already taken a depreciation hit can provide substantial savings.”

Car shoppers can obtain a vehicle’s projected 1 to 5-year depreciation rate to better understand a car’s value using iSeeCars’ free VIN Check tool.

More from iSeeCars.com:

Methodology

iSeeCars.com analyzed more than 800,000 used cars from model year 2016 sold between January and August 2021. Heavy-duty trucks and vans, models no longer in production as of the 2021 model year, and low-volume models were removed from further analysis. MSRPs from 2016 were inflation-adjusted to 2021 dollars, based on data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The difference in average asking price for each vehicle between its MSRP and its used car pricing was mathematically modeled to obtain the vehicle’s 5-year depreciation.

About iSeeCars.com

iSeeCars.com is a car search engine that helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, like the iSeeCars VIN check reports and Best Cars rankings. iSeeCars.com has saved users over $312 million so far by applying big data analytics powered by over 25 billion (and growing) data points and using proprietary algorithms to objectively analyze, score and rank millions of new cars and used cars.