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The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to Cars That Hold Their Value the Longest

Nissan GT-R

Our list below of cars that hold their value may hold a few surprises. It could be of no surprise to some but Japanese automakers dominated the list taking seven of the eleven spots with Subaru leading the way with three cars. This is followed by three American made cars and one lowly German made car.

Also note that high-performance cars make up a large chunk of our list. This may be due to their limited production runs which may lead to the car one day reaching collector status.

Each car includes a brief description and a depreciation curve along with historical price information to visualize the depreciation of the car.

Our list does not include luxury cars or trucks or suvs. Those lists will be coming shortly. Also our list of cars that hold their value only includes models with 2020 versionsavailable for purchase.

Continue below to find out which cars hold their value and hopefully it will help you with your purchasing decisions.

Rank Make / Model 5 Yr. Depreciation
#1st Tied Nissan GT-R 39%
#1st Tied Subaru WRX 39%
#3rd Dodge Challenger 40%
#4th Ford Mustang 42%
#5th Tied Chevrolet Corvette 43%
#5th Tied Subaru Impreza 43%
#7th Honda Fit 45%
#7th Tied Volkswagen Golf-R 45%
#9th Tied Honda Civic 45%
#9th Tied Subaru BRZ 45%
#9th Tied Toyota Yaris 45%

1st - Tied) Nissan GT-R

Tied for first place in our 2020 shootout of cars with the lowest depreciation is the Nissan GT-R.

Nissan GT-R at Car Show
Nissan GT-R at Car Show|

The GT-R models historically depreciate only 39% in its first five years.

The successor to the iconic Skyline GT-R, the Nissan GT-R was first produced in 2007 and launched to the USA market in July 2008. The cars are hand built on a special assembly line at Nissan’s Yokohama plant.

The Nissan GT-R is an all-wheel-drive sports car powered by a high performance 3.8L twin turbocharged engine that puts out 562 hp at 6400 rpm and 467 lb-ft of torque at 5800 rpm.

The rear mounted six speed dual clutch semi-automatic transmission is used in conjunction with Nissan’s ATTESA E-TS AWD system and its Vehicle Dynamic Control(stability control computer) to drive power to all 4 tires.

Famous for being a monster on the track, the GT-R posts times comparable or better times than high end Porsches, Corvettes et al.

1st - Tied) Subaru WRX

Along with the Nissan GT-R above, based on past pricing history, a Subaru WRX is forecast to depreciate only 39% from it’s original MSRP after 5 years.

White Subaru WRX Driving Down The Highway
White Subaru WRX Driving Down The Highway|

Only available as a sedan, the 2020 WRX is a sports sedan that features a turbocharged 2.0L Subaru Boxer Engine that produces 268 hp and 258 lb.-ft of peak torque while achieving 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. The 2020 Subaru WRX comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission.

The WRX STI model features a 2.5L turbocharged Subaru Boxer Engine that produces 310 hp and 290 lb.-ft. of peak torque while achieving 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. The STI also features high-performance sport-tuned four wheel independent suspension.

The WRX comes with two unique features:

  1. The first is the Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system that Subaru is famous for. Long known for their superior awd systems, the WRX is no different. The WRX awd allows for superior handling in all weather conditions, both on the track and on the street.
  2. The second is the Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive) system. SI-Drive is an advanced engine management system with driver-selectable modes that are optimized for different conditions. The WRX (equipped with the CVT transmission) come equipped with three modes:
    1. Intelligent Mode: directs the throttle to open gradually thereby increasing fuel efficiency by up to 10%. Also well suited for low traction driving conditions such as wintery roads or loose gravel.
    2. Sport Mode: Best all-around setting that allows for crisp engine response when needed while still staying relatively fuel efficient under normal conditions. The system allows for quicker throttle response than the Intelligent Mode which makes it perfect for passing on the highway and ideal for mountain roads etc.
    3. Sport Sharp Mode: Sport Sharp Mode pulls every last drop of performance from the WRX’s engine and transmission by providing immediate response to the driver’s inputs. Sport Sharp Mode is designed for tackling the twistiest of roads and aggressive highway merging and overtaking.

The 2020 Subaru WRX received a IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award.

3rd) Dodge Challenger

The 3rd generation Dodge Challenger takes third place on our list of cars that depreciate the least. Based on past Challenger models, the Challenger is forecast to depreciate 40% in five years.

Dodge Challenger with its hood up
Dodge Challenger with its hood up|

The Dodge Challenger is a pure muscle car. The basic package is equipped with a 305hp V-6 with options for supercharged V-8’s that make 717 hp or 797 hp depending on the configuration!

Depending on the version, six speed manual transmissions are available as are all-wheel-drive models.

4th) Ford Mustang

Next, at fourth on our list of cars that hold their value, is the Ford Mustang. The Mustang is forecast to depreciate 42% in five years.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 at a car show
2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 at a car show|

The venerable Mustang has been around since 1965 and is as popular as ever.

The Mustang has 5 engine options available:

  • turbocharged 2.3L EcoBoost - (310 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque)
  • turbocharged 2.3L EcoBoost High Performance Package - (330 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque)
  • 5.0L Ti-VCT V8 - (460-480 hp with 420 ft-lb of torque)
  • 5.2L Ti-VCT V8 - (526 hp and 429 ft-lb of torque)
  • 5.2L Ti-VCT V8 - (760 hp and 625 ft-lb of torque)

The 2019 GT and Bullitt models made Car and Driver’s 10Best list.

5th Tied) Chevrolet Corvette

Tied for fifth on AutoPadre’s list of cars that hold their value is the Chevrolet Corvette. The Corvette has an expected depreciation of 43% after five years based on past model depreciation.

Blue 2020 Chevrolet Corvette
Blue 2020 Chevrolet Corvette|

Also known simply as a “Vette”, the Corvette has spanned 8 generations from 1953 to the most recent re-design in 2020. Originally a front engine car, the 2020 model, known as the C8, now has a mid-engine configuration.

The 2-seater C8 lives up to its performance heritage with a 6.2L V8-LT2 puts out 495 hp at 6450 rpm and 470 lb-ft of torque at 5150 rpm.

The 2020 Corvette is the recipient of MotorTrend’s North American Car of The Year Award.

5th Tied) Subaru Impreza

Tied alongside the C8 on our list at number 5 is the Subaru Impreza.

White Subaru Impreza looking at it from front
White Subaru Impreza parked|
Image by Tucker Epp from Pixabay

Based on past pricing history, a Subaru WRX is forecast to depreciate only 43% from its original MSRP after 5 years.

The Impreza is available in either a five door hatchback or a 4 door sedan and comes with only one engine option, the 152 hp and 145 lb.-ft peak torque 2.0L naturally aspirated Boxer engine. The Impreza’s engine is rated for 28 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway.

The Impreza comes standard with a five speed manual transmission that can be upgraded to a CVT transmission in higher trim levels.

The Impreza comes standard with Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive System that provides excellent all-weather/all-condition handling and performance.

Like the WRX, the Impreza’s (CVT equipped) come with SI-Drive modes but the Impreza is limited to 2 modes… the Sport Mode and And the Intelligent Mode.

The 2020 Subaru Impreza received a IHSS 2020 Top Safety Pick+ award and a NHTSAFive-Star Overall Safety Rating.

7th Tied) Honda Fit

Tied for seventh on our list of cars with the least depreciation is the Honda Fit. The Honda Fit is forecast to depreciate 45% over five years.

Green Honda FIT parked in front of car dealership
Green Honda FIT parked in front of car dealership|

Sadly, the Honda Fit is being discontinued in North America after the 2020 model year in favor of higher production volume of the HRV crossover.

The Honda Fit debuted in 2007 and immediately won Car And Driver’s 10Best Award and followed up by winning several more over the next few years.

The Fit is noted for it’s ‘Magic Seating’ system which allows the driver to easily configure the Fit’s seating to allow for transportation of large awkwardly sized items and even makes the Fit somewhat ideal for camping/sleeping inside.

The North American model comes equipped with a 1.5L DOHC i-VTEC engine putting out 130 hp at 6600 rpm and 114 lb.-ft torque at 4600 rpm.

Transmission options include either a six speed manual transmission or a CVT automatic transmission.

Fuel economy ratings for the Fit are:

  1. Automatic Transmission - 33 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway.
  2. Manual Transmission - 32 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway.

In 2015 the Fit received a five star safety score from the NHTSA.

Honorable Mentions

7th Tied) Volkswagen Golf-R

The Volkswagen Golf-R is expected to depreciate 45% over the next five years

9th Tied) Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is expected to depreciate 48% over the next five years

9th Tied) Subaru BRZ

The Subaru BRZ is expected to depreciate 48% over the next five years

9th Tied) Toyota Yaris

The Toyota Yaris is expected to depreciate 48% over the next five years