PhotoIt's not just the purchase price of a car that determines whether it's a good buy. Resale value also enters into the picture, and Subaru and Lexus have taken top honors for best resale values in Kelley Blue Book's annual survey of the mass and luxury markets.

Subaru had three models taking the top spot while Lexus had six among a total of 22 segments. Chevrolet and Toyota each have an impressive five models winning 2015 Best Resale Value Awards, with the majority being trucks or SUVs.

Kelley editors note that depreciation often is the greatest expense incurred by drivers during the first five years of vehicle ownership. An average 2015 model-year vehicle only will retain about 38.2 percent of its original value after a five-year ownership period, meaning that a $50,000 new car today will only be worth somewhere close to $19,100 after five years.

Vehicles with average or below-average resale values are plentiful and may be heavily discounted while models with higher resale values may be a little more expensive upfront and may not come with as many rebates and discounts, which is why consumers need to carefully weigh the potential benefits of a higher resale value down the road.

No surprises

This year's ratings were no big surprise.

"Lexus notably captured the top luxury brand honors for the fourth year in a row, and after previously winning the brand award in 2011, Subaru is back on top again for 2015 as the best mainstream brand for resale value across its entire lineup," said Eric Ibara, director of residual value consulting for Kelley Blue Book.

"While both Subaru and Lexus deliver incredible resale value, we also are impressed with the strides made by General Motors, which tops domestic automakers with seven combined awards for Chevrolet and GMC," Ibara said. "The entire list of Top 10 Best Resale Value vehicles is dominated this year by trucks, SUVs and crossovers, which is a testament to the strength these categories will carry in the future."

COMPLETE RESULTS

2015 BEST RESALE VALUE: BRAND

SUBARU

2015 BEST RESALE VALUE: LUXURY BRAND

LEXUS

2015 BEST RESALE VALUE  BY VEHICLE CATEGORY

SUBCOMPACT CAR: Honda Fit

PLUG-IN VEHICLE: Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid

COMPACT CAR: Subaru Impreza

COMPACT SUV/CROSSOVER: Jeep Wrangler

SPORTY COMPACT CAR: Subaru WRX

MID-SIZE SUV/CROSSOVER: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

MID-SIZE CAR: Subaru Legacy

FULL-SIZE SUV/CROSSOVER: Chevrolet Suburban

FULL-SIZE CAR: Dodge Charger

LUXURY COMPACT SUV/CROSSOVER: Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class

ENTRY-LEVEL LUXURY CAR: Lexus RC 350

LUXURY MID-SIZE SUV/CROSSOVER: Lexus GX 460

LUXURY CAR: Lexus GS 350

LUXURY FULL-SIZE SUV/CROSSOVER: Lexus LX 570

HIGH-END LUXURY CAR: Lexus LS 460

HYBRID SUV/CROSSOVER: Lexus RX 450h

SPORTS CAR: Chevrolet Camaro V6

MID-SIZE PICKUP TRUCK: Toyota Tacoma

HIGH PERFORMANCE CAR: Chevrolet Corvette

FULL-SIZE PICKUP TRUCK: Toyota Tundra

HYBRID/ALTERNATIVE ENERGY CAR: Toyota Camry Hybrid

MINIVAN/VAN: Toyota Sienna

TOP 10 CARS

Chevrolet Colorado

Honda CR-V

Chevrolet Silverado

Jeep Wrangler

Ford F-150

Toyota Tacoma

GMC Canyon

Toyota Tundra

GMC Sierra

Toyota 4Runner

(Residual values used for award calculations are based on the 2015 model-year vehicles that appear in the January/February 2015 Kelley Blue Book® Residual Value Guide. Top 10 models appear in alphabetical order).


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