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Cars that hold their value the best - and the worst

Autoblog's Greg Migliore breaks down the best and worst cars from a depreciation perspective.

Video Transcript

ADAM SHAPIRO: Baby, you can drive my car, and that comes with a discount if you're buying used. Let's talk about that with Autoblog's Greg Migliore. Good to have you here. And for those people who are about to buy a new vehicle, some will retain their value, but not many, right?

GREG MIGLIORE: That's right, Adam. And thanks for having me back. Depreciation is basically the amount of value that your car loses the minute you drive it off the lot. So we've been examining some data from ICcar.com-- they're experts in this-- and trying to pull together some trends and figure out which ones lose the value the most and which ones hold their value the best.

Generally speaking, trucks, SUVs, pretty good, especially if you go with sort of brands like Toyota, Honda, Jeep that have good reputations and are desirable. Other brands don't fare so well. During the break, you were mentioning how luxury sedans are actually pretty good after a few years out.

Well, one of the cars that holds its value the least-- it's kind of an awkward way of putting it, but you get what I'm saying-- is the vaunted BMW 7 Series. You're going to lose 73% of your value after five years. So I think that's great, too. It's a great car. And I would drive a 2015 BMW 7 Series that you could get for $21,000. It seems like a pretty good deal just looking at the listings.

SEANA SMITH: Greg, what's interesting here among the cars that lose-- that depreciate, I guess, the fastest is there is an electric vehicle on here, the Nissan Leaf. It was the only electric vehicle to appear in the bottom 10. I'm curious just why that is. Why is that-- I guess, why did that lose its value so much faster than some of its peers in that category?

GREG MIGLIORE: That's a great question. And the Leaf is actually kind of a unique case. Nissan has done a nice job of keeping it updated. And, of course, it's still a very interesting electric car.

That said, it's a pretty small car. It doesn't fit the lifestyle many people are going to actually need it for. You could get things that are larger and offer greater range, for that matter, for about the same price or maybe a little bit more.

To me, the Leaf is kind of a car that it's a good commuter car. It's good for driving around relatively short distances. It's still a decent value.

But it's also a car that, I think, time and technology have sort of passed by a little bit. To your point though, Seana, it's a pretty good deal. If you just need to drive maybe 15, 20 miles a day and you want to do it on electricity, you can get a steal for one of those.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Well, what about-- when you say that something like the Jeep Wrangler holds its value better, so if you go and buy one of these new Jeep Wranglers, what does that really mean that it holds its value? It's still going to depreciate.

GREG MIGLIORE: It'll definitely depreciate. It just it will depreciate less than, perhaps, some other vehicles out there. In the case of Jeep, they're good vehicles. They're rough and tough vehicles.

They're not necessarily the most reliable vehicles. But they're highly desirable. There's always going to be a market for the Jeep Wrangler.

They're, again, very capable. And, obviously, people want them, whether you're going to take them off road or not. So there's certainly a resale market for them as well.

SEANA SMITH: Greg, how quickly do cars lose their value? I know you hear right when you drive the car off the lot, it's already depreciated in value. Is there any truth to that?

GREG MIGLIORE: Oh, absolutely. I mean, basically, the minute you cross the curb, your car goes from whatever you paid sticker to more like a wholesale value sort of price. And then after five years, you could be looking at anywhere from 10% to 50% or more of the value of your car dropping. So really, five years is a good barometer, too, because that's a lot of time when you start to think, hey, I'm going to stick with this car for 10 years, just it is what it is, or five years, you're probably thinking, hey, I want to do something else. So that's one of the reasons we look at it that way.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Can I just-- because I love this discussion. I go nuts over flipping cars all the time. Jaguars-- I know people are terrified of Jaguars. Best deal I ever did was a 2003 Jaguar XK8 convertible. This was an $80,000 car.

I got it for $12,000, 34,000 miles on it, because they don't hold their value because people are terrified of them. So is that still the case with Jaguar? Because there's some nice Jags out there.

GREG MIGLIORE: Jaguars are kind of up and down. I would say this-- the XK8, that's a really good move, in my opinion. It's the X type from that same era, you wanted to stay away from those things. Those things were not so good.

But yeah, Jaguars are kind of up and down. I mean, really, they're in a different place now as a car company, too. They're really getting into electrification and their interiors are much better. And they're a little bit more reliable than, perhaps, their history and their reputation would lead you to believe at this point.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Look, if you want luxury with a bench seat, I got a Studebaker Cruiser. That was the luxury, top of the line back in 1964. I can get you hooked up for 1,000 bucks. Greg Migliore from AutoBlog, thank you so much for joining us.