Are you one of those people who likes to pay cash for a used car? Well, if you're looking three years down the road, Automotive Leasing Guide is out with its annual report on the top brands for residual value. In effect, ALG is predicting what new cars will be worth 36 months after purchase.
The top brand is Subaru (in no doubt helped by an outstanding 2009 sales year when most other manufacturers tanked). ALG reports that Subarus, on average will be worth 52.9% of their value after three years. ALG says that number is "significantly higher" than the industry average of 44.3%.
Honda, the perennial front runner, was pushed back into second place with a residual value of 52.3%. It's no wonder when you see how the marquee does overall. ALG reports Honda was ranked first place in three segments: Entry Compact Car (Fit), Midsize Car (Accord), and Minivan (Odyssey).
Coming in third place was a newcomer, Mazda, at 51.9%. The Japanese manufacturer displaced Volkswagen and jumped from 6th place in 2009 to 3rd place. Mazda took home the gold in the Mid-Compact segment with its Mazda 3 product.
Unfortunately, ALG doesn't point out who the losers are in terms of residual value. Just remember, three years from now you know you're going to pay premium prices for Subarus, Hondas and Mazdas.