If your new car, truck or SUV still sells like new three years from now, you've chosen wisely.
Mass-produced cars, by their nature, aren't built to retain value. As Kelley Blue Book pointed out last year, the average 2017 model-year Toyota (TM) - Get Report , Ford (F) - Get Report , General Motors (GM) - Get Report , Honda (HMC) - Get Report or Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) - Get Report -- among many others -- will retain only 32.9% of its original value after five years. That turns a $50,000 new car into a $16,450 used car half a decade from now.
The majority of the market is filled with cars with average or below-average resale value, but there are some exceptions. In the colder sections of the country, for example, a two-wheel drive vehicle's resale value often will not be as high as a four-wheel or all-wheel drive version of that same model. In warmer climates, black (or dark-colored) cars will not have as high resale value as they could command in other regions.
"Most options and packages added to a vehicle do not necessarily increase its resale value," says Eric Ibara, director of residual values for Kelley Blue Book. "However, there are exceptions to the rule, such as a high-performance engine or a performance package in a sports car."
Kelley Blue Book, which has been publishing its residual value guide since 1982, named Toyota and Porsche the brands with the best resale value for the 2017 model year. A look back at vehicles from previous model years suggests that has been the case for some time. Automotive data and research company iSeeCars.com analyzed more than 4.7 million new cars from model year 2014 sold between January and May 2014, and more than 1.1 million used cars from the same model year sold between January and May 2017. The result yielded four Toyota vehicles in its Top 10 for resale value.
Meanwhile, used vehicle pricing and analysis site CarGurus looked at cars from the same span, assessed their Instant Market Value (IMV) for resale and found several Toyotas and Porsches near the top of its resale-value list. This is an especially noteworthy outcome for Porsche, considering how many competing Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz and BMW vehicles lose half their value in the same three years.
Yet it isn't just Toyota and Porsche retaining their value. With help from iSeeCars.com and CarGurus, we found 15 vehicles -- including a few American icons -- that do a fine job of reselling for close to their original price three years later:
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.