Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A popular affordable used car, a silver 2017 Subaru Impreza, is driving down the street away from a city and marina.

10 Affordable Used Cars that will Retain Their Value

Depreciation is a fact of life when you buy a car, whether it is new, used, or certified pre-owned. As soon as you drive your latest purchase off the lot, it is losing value. There is nothing you can do about this since all vehicles lose value as you drive them. This is especially important when you are looking to buy affordable used cars. Your budget is already tight, and you don’t need to feel the squeeze of a car, truck, van, or SUV that won’t be worth much when you go to re-sell it or trade it in for another vehicle.

Therefore, it is imperative to know what used cars hold their value. We have identified 10 affordable used vehicles, including SUVs, pickup trucks, sedans, vans, and compact cars. These 10 come from different manufacturers, but they have a few things in common. First, they are affordable when you buy them used. Generally, a more expensive luxury vehicle is going to have greater depreciation since buyers of these cars can generally afford to buy them new and the depreciation hit is larger since it is often a percentage factor of the total cost of the car. Second, these 10 used vehicles have reliable maintenance records, so they will hold up better over the long run. Finally, they each represent a great value to begin with, which will help them retain their value so you will get more back when you go to trade them in for your next vehicle purchase.

#1. Subaru Impreza

A used Subaru Impreza is a really impressive compact, available in sedan or hatchback style. It is noted for exceptional safety. This is vital since, in general, smaller cars aren’t rated as highly for safety as larger vehicles, so accident avoidance is a critical feature. It helps that every Subaru Impreza features standard symmetrical all-wheel drive, which improves its traction and overall handling. The 2019 Impreza comes equipped with a 2.0-liter Subaru Boxer DOHC 4-cylinder engine with 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. The Impreza is chock full of standard safety features as well.

#2. GMC Yukon

On the other side of the scale is the full-size, three-row SUV, the 2019 GMC Yukon. This one proves that sometimes size matters as it can seat up to 9 passengers, tow up to 8,400 pounds of trailer, and can fit up to 94.7 cubic feet of cargo in its trunk with the rear two rows of seats folded down. The Yukon comes in either rear-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive and also features two great engines. The 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission that produces 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. In comparison, the 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8 engine is equipped with a 10-speed automatic transmission that produces 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque.

#3. Honda Odyssey

The Honda Odyssey is the best minivan for families, and if you need a van that has everything and will keep its value as you use it for fun, family, work, or all of the above. The 2019 Odyssey features a very efficient 3.5-liter V6 engine with a 10-speed automatic transmission that provides 19 miles per gallon in city driving and 28 miles per gallon on the highway. It also has an extremely roomy interior for you and your family and can easily convert to a cargo van with an astounding 145 cubic feet of space for your belongings. Honda is noted for its dependability, and a used Odyssey fits this notion to a tee.

#4. Toyota Highlander

Three-row midsize SUVs have become one of the most popular categories of vehicles on the road today, especially for folks with large families. The 2019 Toyota Highlander has moved to the head of the class in this category when you want an SUV that will retain its value over the years of driving. This SUV runs on a 3.5-liter V6 engine with an 8-speed transmission that produces 295 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque. You can also find this model with a 2.7-liter engine that produces 185 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. You have a choice of front-wheel and all-wheel drivetrains, which is an added plus. The Highlander is also one of the safest midsize SUVs. This will help you and your used Highlander take the high road to value.

A red 2018 Chevy Silverado RST is parked in the woods.

#5. Chevy Silverado 1500

The full-size pickup category is crowded with many great trucks, but if you want the champion for holding its value, you should consider a Chevy Silverado 1500. That’s because this truck can tow up to 13,400 pounds and carry up to 2,250 pounds of maximum payload while still getting solid fuel economy. The Silverado also has a truck for every driver and every job, with five different engines, 8 different trims, and three different cab configurations to choose from. A used Silverado 1500 is versatile and dependable, which is why it has such an excellent resale value.

#6. Ford Ranger

Sometimes a midsize truck is more your speed, and you want to make sure you buy one that will hold its value. If that is the case, then the 2020 Ford Ranger might make the most sense. It features a best-in-class payload capacity of 1,860 pounds, as well as an excellent maximum towing rating of 7,500 pounds. In addition, the Ranger comes equipped with many great standard safety features as part of the Ford Co-Pilot360 technologies. All of this adds up to a used truck that will give you everything you are looking for without having to worry about it losing its value.

#7. Toyota Avalon

If you are looking for a full-size sedan that has all the premium features you want without the price tag of a luxury brand, then the Toyota Avalon should be a top pick. The 2019 Avalon has the lines, looks, and refinement of more expensive cars while also delivering on safety and power. This is because Toyota has equipped the Avalon with an exceptional 3.5-liter V6 engine paired with an 8-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission, as well as many standard active safety features. It also has a standard infotainment system and a luxurious, spacious interior. Best of all, a used Avalon will hold its value for you.

#8. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

The four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is a great choice for an off-road SUV that will retain its value in the long run. The 2019 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is worthy of its name, able to go anywhere and do anything. A used Trail Rated Jeep Wrangler Unlimited features a four-wheel drivetrain, plenty of skid plates, and other systems to make it the ultimate off-road machine. These Jeeps are so highly coveted that you will have no problem finding a great price for it when you go to trade it in for a new one, assuming you ever want to part company with this excellent Jeep SUV.

A black 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is driving through a river in the woods.

#9. Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V practically invented the crossover vehicle category that it now dominates. The 2019 CR-V is remarkably roomy for a small SUV, with 39.2 cubic feet of trunk space that expands to an astounding 75.8 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down. The Honda CR-V runs on a 1.5-liter in-line turbocharged 4-cylinder engine paired with a continuous variable transmission (CVT) that continuously alters the engine speed to fit the driving conditions, improving overall engine efficiency. All of this, combined with the outstanding maximum fuel economy of 28 miles per gallon in the city and 34 miles per gallon on the highway, combine to provide drivers with a reliable ride that will last for years.

#10. Toyota Prius

Another vehicle that truly invented its vehicle category is the Toyota Prius. Can you believe that it has been 20 years since the Prius first took a bow? A used Toyota Prius is going to give you an exceptional fuel economy, a fun ride, and a vehicle that today is one of the safest compacts on the road. All of these factors come together to make the Toyota Prius one of the most reliable and fuel efficient cars on the road that will retain its value for years to come.

Buy Reliably

Choosing a used car can be nerve-wracking. You want to make sure what you buy won’t give you problems and that you won’t lose sleep worrying that your used car will depreciate to nothing by the time you are looking for your next vehicle. You spent your hard-earned money on this used car, and you don’t want to lose your investment over time. By buying one of the ten vehicles listed above, you are not just getting a great used car; you are getting the peace of mind that your used car will hold its value.05