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2012 Jeep Wrangler, SUVs rank highest for resale value

Posted by Bill Griffith  November 18, 2011 11:38 AM

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If resale value is No. 1 among your priorities, you might find yourself looking at utility vehicles and mid-sized pickup trucks, at least according to Kelley Blue Book’s 2012 Best Resale Value Awards. Only one passenger car, the Chevrolet Camaro, makes the overall Top Ten list.

The No. 1 model is the 2012 Jeep Wrangler, the iconic model that has recaptured the buying public’s fancy of late and is projected to retain 68 percent of its value after 36 months and 55 percent after five years. The Wrangler combines its legendary off-road ability with a more refined interior and the new Pentastar V-6 that replaced the venerable in-line engine. There’s also a four-door Unlimited model that’s become popular with families and actually is outselling the two-door version.

The rest of the top 10 (three- and five-year projected resale amounts in parentheses):

2. Toyota’s FJ Cruiser (67 and 50 percent). Toyota’s funky looking off-roader continues to have a niche following combined with a strong demand in the used-car market.

3. Toyota Tacoma (64 and 49). This top-selling pickup truck is available with a capable four-cylinder engine that will achieve 25 miles per gallon on the highway.

4. Hyundai Tucson (64.3, 45.3). This type of resale value is another step in Hyundai’s rise from obscurity to major automaker.

5. Audi Q7 (63.3, 44.3). This is a hefty (almost three-ton) vehicle with excellent handling and highway manners and the choice of either a supercharged V-6 or turbocharged diesel engine.

6. Infiniti FX (58, 44). The FX proves an SUV can have a unique and striking design along with lasting desirability.

7. Honda CR-V (60.3, 43.5). This is a surprise entry on this list because we’re still awaiting the 2012 model to arrive in Honda showrooms.

8. Lexus RX (64, 43). This top-seller has legendary reliability and long has been a best-seller, both new and pre-owned.

9. Nissan Frontier (56.2, 42.8). This is a tough, old-style boxed-frame midsize pickup that is more of a working truck than “gentleman’s pickup.”

10. Chevrolet Camaro (57, 42.2). When you go retro, you have to have multi-generational appeal. The Camaro does just that.

The two brand winners

Kelley, a trusted source of vehicle values, also annually rates the top brands on the basis of projected resale values.

That’s outstanding news for Toyota because it just won the esteemed brand award for the second time in three years, good news after a year-plus of recalls, self-examination, and the devastating Japan earthquake and tsunami. The coming year is big for Toyota with the redesigned 2012 Camry on sale and its expanded Prius lineup.

Lexus won the companion best luxury brand award, also for the second time in three years. The brand, now in its third decade, already has a legendary dealership experience and established reliability. Now the lineup has expanded to include a sub-$30,000 CT 200h hybrid and the LF-A supercar.

The awards were presented on the eve of the ongoing Los Angeles Auto Show.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
In the garage: Mazda 5, Dodge Neon
George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
In the garage: Lifted 1999 Jeep Cherokee
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