An important measure of a vehicle's value -- and appeal -- is what it's expected to be worth three and five years down the road. These figures are the estimated price a dealer would pay if you traded in the vehicle, expressed as a percentage of the original sticker price.

Resale values come from a complex set of calculations based in part on historical data and economic predictions, as well as competition in each automotive segment, how appealing a car's brand is, and supply (including fleet sales and leases) versus demand.

To win Best Resale plaudits, the model must first be selected as one of our top 25 vehicles in its category. From that group, we pick the vehicle with the highest three-year resale value. A model is not eligible for the award if another trim level of the same model has won Best Resale in a lower-price category.


Cars Under $20,000: Ford Focus S

Resale value: 3-year: 62%; 5-year: 45%

Sticker price: $16,995 (manual sedan)

Invoice price: $16,064

TrueCar national average price: $16,672

MPG: City: 26; Hwy: 36

In addition to nabbing the highest resale value in its class, the Focus walks away with Best in Class honors just one year after its 2012 redesign. It's an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick, too.


Cars $20,000-$25,000: Mini Cooper Hardtop S

Resale value: 3-year: 68%; 5-year: 53%

Sticker price: $24,000 (manual)

Invoice price: $21,670

TrueCar national average price: $23,094

MPG: City: 26; Hwy: 35

The original Mini Cooper ties with the Mini Cooper Coupe for the top resale value of any vehicle in our rankings. The Cooper Hardtop S has go-kart-like driving dynamics and a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine that produces 181 horses (which allows the car to zip from 0 to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds), but it still gets 35 miles per gallon on the highway.


Cars $25,000-$30,000: Mini Cooper Coupe S

Resale value: 3-year: 68%; 5-year: 53%

Sticker price: $25,450 (manual)

Invoice price: $22,975

TrueCar national average price: $24,500

MPG: City: 26; Hwy: 35

Mini's outside-the-box styling routinely defies expectations. The Mini Cooper Coupe, introduced last year, shares the body of the Cooper Hardtop -- but adds a sloped, sporty roofline. In John Cooper Works trim, the two-seater Coupe gets from 0 to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds.


Cars $30,000-$40,000: Volvo S60 T5

Resale value: 3-year: 61%; 5-year: 43%

Sticker price: $32,795

Invoice price: $30,881

TrueCar national average price: $30,884

MPG: City: 21; Hwy: 30

Volvo's S60 adds high resale values to its reputation for stellar safety, and this year IIHS named it a Top Safety Pick+ (a new designation that means it did well in the new small overlap test; only midsize models were tested). The 2013 model year brings more advanced technology with standard Tunnel Detection, a feature that automatically turns on your headlights when you enter a tunnel.


Cars $40,000-$50,000: Infiniti G37 Journey

Resale value: 3-year: 62%; 5-year: 45%

Sticker price: $41,195

Invoice price: $38,223

TrueCar national average price: $38,096

MPG: City: 19; Hwy: 27

Every member of Infiniti's G series is fun to drive -- with a sporty suspension and plenty of power -- but the model that's tops for trading in is the base level G37 coupe.


Cars $50,000 and Over: Audi A7 3.0 Premium Plus

Resale value: 3-year: 58%; 5-year: 41%

Sticker price: $64,695

Invoice price: $60,231

TrueCar national average price: $62,424

MPG: City: 18; Hwy: 28

The hatchback version of the A6 tops the luxury charts for resale value for the second year in a row. Though it shares powertrains with its sibling, the A7 has the edge in cargo space -- it claims 11 cubic feet more, for a total of 25.


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