Here Are the SUVs and Trucks That Hold Value the Best

BOSTON (MainStreet) — Sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks depreciate more slowly than passenger cars — and here's a look at five 2014 SUVs and trucks that seem likely to lose their value the slowest of them all.

"Whether a vehicle retains its value well really comes down to basic economics: the balance between supply and demand," says Eric Ibara of Kelley Blue Book, which recently honored some two dozen 2014 cars, trucks and SUVs with the firm's 12th annual Best Resale Value Awards.

KBB believes the winning models will depreciate the least over the next five years of any offering in each vehicle's respective class.

That's good news for people who buy the winning rides, as depreciation is one of the biggest "expenses" car owners face. For example, KBB predicts that the average 2014 will lose 60.3% of its original value to depreciation by 2019.

But the firm recently analyzed millions of used-vehicle sales to identify those models that seem likely to depreciate far less. Judges added their picks for low-depreciation 2014s based on each model's appearance, performance, features and popularity with consumers.

Ibara says vehicle shoppers worried about depreciation might start by steering clear of passenger cars and focusing on SUVs or trucks instead; KBB predicts that the average 2014 SUV or truck's value will decline by 58.3% over five year, whereas the typical 2014 sedan or hatchback will lose 62.2%.

That might not seem like such a big difference, but it translates into nearly $2,000 if you buy a $50,000 SUV or truck this year instead of a $50,000 passenger car.

Ibara says SUVs hang onto their value better because they're harder to come by in the resale market. "There are just more cars out there," he says.

As for trucks, the expert believes pickups tend to retain more of their value partly due to customer loyalty. "Truck buyers tend to be very loyal to their chosen brand," Ibara says.

Click below to check out the 2014 SUVs and trucks KBB predicts will depreciate the least in percentage terms over five years in some of the most popular market segments. (Or click here to see five 2014 passenger cars that the firm expects will retain their value best.)

Dollar figures refer to manufacturer's suggested retail prices for each 2014's base version, while estimated resale values reflect an average estimate for all of a model's various trim lines.

Best crossover/compact SUV: Jeep Wrangler
Estimated value after five years:
58% of what you paid

Ibara says the Jeep Wrangler's one-of-a-kind look should help the $22,395 model hold its value better than rival small SUVs from Honda, Toyota or other automakers.

"If you're just in the market for a compact utility vehicle, you can look at the Honda CR-V or the Toyota RAV4 or a lot of other strong choices — but if you want something that looks like a Jeep Wrangler, there really aren't any alternatives," he says.

All Wranglers come standard with plenty of features to handle bad weather and off-road driving. For instance, even base models feature four-wheel drive, a six-speed manual transmission, a detachable soft-cloth top, high- and low-range transfer case gears and a 285-horsepower V-6 engine.

Best midsized SUV: Toyota FJ Cruiser
Estimated value after five years:
70% of what you paid

The $27,130 Toyota FJ Cruiser not only wins for best projected five-year depreciation among midsized SUVs, but takes first place among all 2014s regardless of market class.

Ibara says the FJ Cruiser earns the top spot thanks to quirky looks and the fact that the model's small supply barely meets demand. "The FJ Cruiser is a very unique vehicle, and Toyota makes it in very limited quantities," he says.

In fact, Toyota plans to discontinue the FJ Cruiser after the 2014 model year — a move Ibara says should help the model retain its value all the more.

Like the Jeep Wrangler, the FJ Cruiser boasts lots of features that make off-road or bad-weather driving a snap.

For instance, the vehicle comes standard with a limited-slip rear differential, heavy-duty flooring and a solid 260-horsepower V-6 engine. Optional upgrades include all-wheel drive, a locking rear differential, all-terrain tires and heavy-duty shock absorbers.

Best large SUV: Toyota Sequoia
Estimated value after five years:
48.3% of what you paid

Toyota's biggest 2014 enjoys the highest predicted resale value of any large SUV, with KBB estimating the $43,595 vehicle will hold onto nearly 50% of its value over five years.

Ibara believes the Sequoia does so well because of Toyota's strong reputation among U.S. consumers. "I think the Sequoia benefits a lot from the fact that it's branded a Toyota," he says.

Built on the same platform as the Toyota Tundra pickup truck, the Sequoia boasts three rows of seating that can accommodate up to eight people or fold flat for 120 cubic inches of cargo space.

The Sequoia also comes standard with an independent rear suspension, a 381-horsepower V-6 engine, automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive is available as an option.

Best midsized pickup truck: Toyota Tacoma
Estimated value after five years:
61.9% of what you paid

It's not really hard to have the best retained value of any 2014 midsized pickup truck, because there are only two such models in the U.S. marketplace: the Toyota Tacoma and the Frontier from Nissan.

What's tougher is the other thing the Tacoma does: come in second place among 2014s overall regardless of market segment.

Ibara says the Tacoma ranks so high precisely because there are so few midsized pickups to choose from in the used-vehicle arena. "So many of competitors have left the segment that there's only the Tacoma and the Frontier left," he says.

Base Tacomas cost $17,875 and come with two doors, manual transmission, rear-wheel drive, a 159-horsepower four-cylinder engine and a single bench seat with room for three people. Higher trim levels feature 236-horsepower V-6 engines, all-wheel drive, automatic transmission, four doors, two rows of seats and other upgrades.

Best large pickup: Toyota Tundra
Estimated value after five years:
52.3% of what you paid

This full-sized pickup truck not only takes first place in its class for expected five-year depreciation, but also comes in sixth place among 2014s overall.

Toyota designs and builds the $25,920 Tundra in America in a bid to challenge the Big Three Detroit automakers' dominance of the U.S. pickup-truck market.

The Tundra got a major refresh for 2014, with the base version featuring a 270-horsepower V-6 engine, automatic transmission, rear-wheel-drive, two doors and a three-person bench seat. Costlier models offer four doors, two rows of seating, all-wheel drive and your choice of a 310- or 381-horsepower V-8 engine.

— By Jerry Kronenberg

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