According to the Cambridge Dictionary, depreciation is defined as “a loss of value, especially over time.” For cars, depreciation is an unavoidable situation that affects every buyer and every purchase, except for rare collectible models. It’s why you’ll never be able to sell a car for the same price as you buy it. The question is always this: how much does a car depreciate?

Some vehicles depreciate more than others, and the reasons for it vary widely. When you’re choosing a vehicle to buy, its resale value is an important consideration. Which cars are top-rated purchases that retain the most value during ownership?

We’ve selected seven models that car buyers in Ontario, Canada can expect to depreciate the least.

Toyota Corolla

Once upon a time not so long ago, compact cars were extremely common. In today’s car market, the Toyota Corolla is one of a select few in its class. The Corolla represents fantastic value with standard Toyota Safety Sense technologies and available heated front seats, heated steering wheel, 8-inch touchscreen audio system, and bi-LED headlights.

Not only does the 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine achieve phenomenal fuel economy but a hybrid model has been introduced to the lineup to go even further per tank. What sets the Toyota Corolla apart more than anything is its renowned dependability. As a result, the Corolla experiences just 40% depreciation over a five-year period, retaining incredible resale value.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Sexy, defined lines and an obvious air of luxury is what you get from the Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan. Standard equipment is vast including memory power-adjustable heated front seats, remote window and sunroof opening and closing, keyless start, 17-inch alloys, and gorgeous piano-black accents throughout. Safety systems are comprehensive including Active Brake Assist and Attention Assist, not to mention LED lighting all around.

For luxury cars, depreciation occurs at the highest rate in the first year. With the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, that rings true. However, if you’re in the market for a used luxury car, you’ll reap all the rewards with a resale value that holds rather steady from year three onward.

Subaru Forester

One of the top-rated compact SUVs on the market is the Subaru Forester. Although their designs are traditionally slightly off the beaten path, you can’t deny the value they bring to the table. Standard Symmetrical AWD is a key feature that connects with Canadians, while EyeSight Driver Assist tech, LED headlights, and smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are all standard for this model.

Sales volume might not match that of other more mainstream brands, but Subaru Forester buyers can expect their vehicle to hold the line on depreciation. After five years, Forester’s resale value will be around 53% of new.

Ford Mustang

Arguably the most popular sports car of all time, the laws of supply and demand all but guarantee that the Ford Mustang will hold its resale value well. That aggressive look with a long, wide hood and bulging rear fenders has a visceral effect on gearheads. Whether you go with the 5.0-liter V8 or a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, the Mustang’s standard options include LED headlamps, dual-zone climate control, push-button start, and one of Ford’s SYNC infotainment systems.

Dodge Challenger

A modern-day muscle car is perhaps the best way, to sum up, the Dodge Challenger. The elongated hood and rearward-positioned cabin clearly demonstrate its tendency to run wild on the highways. It’s all about performance with the Challenger, from a capable 3.6L Pentastar V6 to the iconic HEMI V8 to the SRT Hellcat engine with 707hp. It has available seating for five, 8.4-inch infotainment screen, and advanced driving techs like Performance Pages and driver-selectable drive modes, but the moment you sit in the driver’s seat, you see it’s all about who’s piloting the car.

It shouldn’t be any surprise that the Challenger is a popular model but it still depreciates – as much as 26% in the first year, in fact. But for the next four years, its resale value holds strong, dropping only an additional 14 points to 40% after five years of ownership.

Hyundai Sonata

In the midsize car segment, the Hyundai Sonata has captured a lot of attention in the past few years. Its appearance has been refined to fit in with premium and luxury models with simple, elegant curves and content that sets a very high bar. The Hyundai Sonata Preferred trim includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Following Assist, LED headlights, an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, heated front seats, AND a heated steering wheel all as standard equipment. Upper trims add even more equipment such as a panoramic sunroof, Bose audio, and ventilated leather upholstery up front, not to mention an incredible digital instrument cluster and Remote Start Parking Assist.

It’s impossible to overlook the Sonata in today’s midsize car market, and that’s strengthening its resale value. Expect that the Sonata will retain 55% of its value after 5 years.

Land Rover Range Rover

Full-size luxury SUVs are a strong, steady segment in southern Ontario. Of the most popular is the Land Rover Range Rover, a model that’s absolutely packed with equipment that impresses along with fully-functional all-terrain performance that excites. Expect standard equipment such as heated and cooled front seats, a fully-digital driver display in-cluster, adaptive cruise control, and dual 10-inch screens in the center stack for flexible configuration and control.

Of course, all-wheel drive is standard in this flagship model, paired with a mild hybrid 398-hp 3.0-liter engine, terrain-specific driving modes, electronically-controlled air ride suspension, and much more.

The Range Rover tends to depreciate most in the first three years. After that, the resale value diminishes at a much slower rate of around 4% per year, making a pre-owned Land Rover Range Rover an excellent buy.

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