These 5 vehicles have the best resale value

There's a reason cars aren't considered an investment: As soon as you drive them off the dealer lot, they begin depreciating in value. Precious metals, art, and real estate can all appreciate once you take ownership, but unless you're bidding on a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO (it sold in 2014 for more than $34.6 million, making it the most expensive car sold at auction), you should consider the car you're thinking about buying a depreciating asset and weigh its utilitarian value more heavily.

Few cars appreciate in value like this 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, so car buyers should take note of those that retain as much of their value as possible.

That means car buyers should compare an auto's estimated resale or residual values so that when they go to trade it in later on, or sell it privately, they'll get the biggest return for their money.

Recently, Kelley Blue Book released its third-quarter 2016 survey on retention values for manufacturer-suggested retail prices when a car that's anywhere from one to three years old goes to auction. It found that while the cost of such vehicles has remained relatively stable over the past few years, their retention value has fallen by $807 on average, or some 4.6% in the third quarter. Despite vehicles coming equipped with better, pricier option packages than ever, vehicle prices are still falling, suggesting there are too many cars available in the market and one doesn't need to pay up for all the bells and whistles.

While 4% or so is the average decline in MSRP at auction, some cars actually performed much better than average. Here are the five best vehicles for model years 2013 to 2015 for retained value in the third quarter, as compiled by KBB.

5. Mazda 2 (+2.3%)

Mazda's (NASDAQOTH: MZDAF) Mazda 2 was introduced in the U.S. in 2011 and has remained largely unchanged since, though later models of the subcompact four-door hatchback have seen their option packages upgraded to include Bluetooth, navigation systems, and USB inputs. Considering KBB is finding buyers generally not willing to pay up for extras, the Mazda 2's performance may be seen as counterintuitive, then, though a USB input is almost de rigueur these days. The popularity of the vehicle, though, may be due to its thriftiness in gas consumption and price, which car-rating service says it "addresses both of these realities head-on," even if creature comforts aren't extant in the car.

4. Nissan Xterra (+2.5%)

The traditional midsize SUV Xterra from Nissan(NASDAQOTH: NSANY) is getting a bit long in the tooth, having been introduced back in 2000, though the wheelbase has grown somewhat over time and the interiors have gotten a bit roomier. Perhaps unlike some other SUVs that are really geared toward on-road use, the Xterra has been commended for its off-road chops that make it a treat to drive on trails. However, that seems to have come at the expense of around-town comforts and polish, but with a reasonable price it has seemingly retained its value.

3. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Extended Cab (+2.8%)

While the Ford(NYSE: F) F-series pickup remains the best-selling vehicle in the country -- through November, more than 733,000 F-series trucks have been sold -- the Chevrolet Silverado from General Motors(NYSE: GM) is the second most popular vehicle, though it has sold 40% fewer pickups so far this year. Still, it remains an exceptionally popular truck because of its muscular build that makes it a tough workhorse. From towing capacity to bed strength, and even fuel economy (though that tends to be a lesser consideration among full-size pickup truck buyers), the Silverado 1500 is a top all-around vehicle, and its ability to retain value shouldn't be surprising.

2. GMC Sierra 1500 Extended Cab (+2.8%)

When coupled with the Silverado, GM's sister truck, the Sierra model, combines to almost match Ford F-series pickup sales (together they total more than 718,000 vehicles so far this year).

The differences between the two are really cosmetic, with more chrome, style options, and trim packages that upgrade its look. Even so, despite its more upscale appearance, like the Silverado, the Sierra remains a tough work vehicle at heart, with effective tow capacity up to 10,000 pounds and a powerful V8 engine. It may appear luxurious, particularly when put up against the Silverado, but it's also a truck that doesn't mind getting its fingernails dirty.

1. GMC Canyon Crew Cab (3.2%)

The midsize GMC Canyon pickup may not be one of the top-selling trucks on the market -- it doesn't make the top 20 list from Motor Intelligence -- but like its twin the Chevy Colorado, the Canyon is a good all-around pickup that has a best-in-class 7,000-pound tow capacity and a better than 1,600-pound payload. And like the Sierra, it's also a more upscale version of the more downmarket Colorado.

That probably puts it in a sweet spot for demand that gives buyers comfort and utility, serving to bolster any residual value the vehicle may hold. Indeed, according to the KBB analysis, the midsize pickup for the 2015 model year retained value better than any other segment, with 87% of the MSRP being kept, substantially better than the 77% retained by high-performance cars, and far and away ahead of full-sized pickups, which retained only 64% of their values.

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RELATED: See the places with the most vehicle theft in every state:

Places with the most vehicle theft in every state
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Places with the most vehicle theft in every state

#50. Vermont: Windham County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 22.7
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 10

Property Crimes per 100K People: 1,284.9
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 566

County Population: 44,050
Major City in County: Brattleboro*

*All numbers are aggregated to the overall county level, but we've noted a major city in each county for reference.

Photo courtesy: Getty

#49. Maine: Androscoggin County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 67.9
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 73

Property Crimes per 100K People: 2,062.9
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 2,217

County Population: 107,470
Major City in County: Lewiston

Photo courtesy: Getty

#48. New Hampshire: Hillsborough County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 79
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 318

Property Crimes per 100K People: 2,037.6
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 8,207

County Population: 402,776
Major City in County: Manchester

Photo courtesy: Getty

#46. New York: Erie County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 140.9
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 1,297

Property Crimes per 100K People: 2,616.5
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 24,090

County Population: 920,694
Major City in County: Buffalo

Photo courtesy: Getty

#45. Wyoming: Sweetwater County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 161.5
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 72

Property Crimes per 100K People: 1,838.8
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 820

County Population: 44,595
Major City in County: Rock Springs

Photo courtesy: Getty

#43. Idaho: Nez Perce County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 216.9
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 86

Property Crimes per 100K People: 3,096.7
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 1,228

County Population: 39,655
Major City in County: Lewiston

Photo courtesy: Getty

#42. South Dakota: Pennington County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 220.9
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 231

Property Crimes per 100K People: 3,062.9
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 3,203

County Population: 104,574
Major City in County: Rapid City

Photo courtesy: Getty

#41. Rhode Island: Providence County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 235
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 1,479

Property Crimes per 100K People: 2,422.9
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 15,247

County Population: 629,280
Major City in County: Providence

Photo courtesy: Getty

#40. Massachusetts: Suffolk County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 237.6
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 1,777

Property Crimes per 100K People: 2,619.4
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 19,591

County Population: 747,928
Major City in County: Boston

Photo courtesy: Getty

#39. Illinois: Cook County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 240.1
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 12,551

Property Crimes per 100K People: 2,445.8
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 127,863

County Population: 5,227,827
Major City in County: Chicago

Photo courtesy: Getty

#38. Arizona: Maricopa County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 249.5
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 9,848

Property Crimes per 100K People: 2,546
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 100,499

County Population: 3,947,382
Major City in County: Phoenix

Photo courtesy: Getty

#37. Connecticut: New Haven County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 258.9
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 2,235

Property Crimes per 100K People: 2,455.8
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 21,197

County Population: 863,148
Major City in County: New Haven

Photo courtesy: Getty

#36. North Carolina: Columbus County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 302.5
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 174

Property Crimes per 100K People: 4,475.6
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 2,574

County Population: 57,512
Major City in County: Whiteville

Photo courtesy: Getty

#35. Kentucky: Jefferson County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 323.5
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 2,431

Property Crimes per 100K People: 4,111.5
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 30,897

County Population: 751,485
Major City in County: Louisville/Jefferson County

Photo courtesy: Getty

#34. Florida: Miami-Dade County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 324.6
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 8,442

Property Crimes per 100K People: 4,007
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 104,216

County Population: 2,600,861
Major City in County: Miami

Photo courtesy: Getty

#33. Virginia: Richmond City

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 347.8
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 734

Property Crimes per 100K People: 3,974.2
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 8,388

County Population: 211,063
Major City in County: Richmond

Photo courtesy: Getty

#32. Utah: Salt Lake County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 349.5
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 3,718

Property Crimes per 100K People: 3,300.7
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 35,109

County Population: 1,063,670
Major City in County: Salt Lake City

Photo courtesy: Getty

#31. Ohio: Cuyahoga County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 351
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 4,449

Property Crimes per 100K People: 2,402.8
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 30,456

County Population: 1,267,513
Major City in County: Cleveland

Photo courtesy: Getty

#30. Alaska: Northwest Arctic Borough

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 351.9
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 27

Property Crimes per 100K People: 1,863.9
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 143

County Population: 7,672
Major City in County: Kotzebue

Photo courtesy: Getty

#29. Hawaii: Maui County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 358.9
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 570

Property Crimes per 100K People: 3,652.1
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 5,800

County Population: 158,814
Major City in County: Kahului

Photo courtesy: Getty

#28. Arkansas: Pulaski County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 361.9
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 1,407

Property Crimes per 100K People: 5,655.5
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 21,986

County Population: 388,752
Major City in County: Little Rock

Photo courtesy: Getty

#27. Pennsylvania: Philadelphia County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 370.3
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 5,728

Property Crimes per 100K People: 3,414.3
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 52,816

County Population: 1,546,920
Major City in County: Philadelphia

Photo courtesy: Getty

#26. Tennessee: Hamilton County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 389.8
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 1,344

Property Crimes per 100K People: 4,295.3
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 14,809

County Population: 344,772
Major City in County: Chattanooga

Photo courtesy: Getty

#25. Montana: Yellowstone County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 417.2
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 634

Property Crimes per 100K People: 3,760.1
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 5,714

County Population: 151,965
Major City in County: Billings

Photo courtesy: Getty

#24. Nevada: Clark County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 427.3
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 8,562

Property Crimes per 100K People: 2,798.9
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 56,080

County Population: 2,003,613
Major City in County: Las Vegas

Photo courtesy: Alamy

#23. Mississippi: Hinds County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 481.8
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 1,187

Property Crimes per 100K People: 4,488.1
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 11,057

County Population: 246,364
Major City in County: Jackson

Photo courtesy: Getty

#22. Minnesota: Ramsey County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 487.7
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 2,542

Property Crimes per 100K People: 3,359.9
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 17,514

County Population: 521,265
Major City in County: St. Paul

Photo courtesy: Getty

#21. New Jersey: Essex County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 511
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 4,035

Property Crimes per 100K People: 2,223.1
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 17,554

County Population: 789,616
Major City in County: Newark

Photo courtesy: Getty

#19. Colorado: Denver County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 541.8
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 3,434

Property Crimes per 100K People: 3,526.8
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 22,352

County Population: 633,777
Major City in County: Denver

Photo courtesy: Getty

#18. Oklahoma: Oklahoma County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 557.5
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 4,143

Property Crimes per 100K People: 4,665.9
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 34,674

County Population: 743,145
Major City in County: Oklahoma City

Photo courtesy: Getty

#17. Oregon: Multnomah County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 563
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 4,264

Property Crimes per 100K People: 5,159.8
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 39,079

County Population: 757,371
Major City in County: Portland

Photo courtesy: Getty

#16. New Mexico: Bernalillo County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 564.2
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 3,788

Property Crimes per 100K People: 4,845.8
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 32,536

County Population: 671,429
Major City in County: Albuquerque

Photo courtesy: Getty

#15. Alabama: Russell County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 570.4
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 325

Property Crimes per 100K People: 4,743.8
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 2,703

County Population: 56,980
Major City in County: Phenix City

Photo courtesy: Creative Commons

#14. Indiana: Marion County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 576.7
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 5,302

Property Crimes per 100K People: 4,638
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 42,639

County Population: 919,336
Major City in County: Indianapolis

Photo courtesy: Getty

#13. Iowa: Pottawattamie County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 584
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 544

Property Crimes per 100K People: 5,058.3
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 4,712

County Population: 93,153
Major City in County: Council Bluffs

Photo courtesy: Getty

#12. Nebraska: Douglas County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 614.1
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 3,261

Property Crimes per 100K People: 3,839.9
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 20,392

County Population: 531,057
Major City in County: Omaha

Photo courtesy: Alamy

#10. Washington: Spokane County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 652.1
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 3,110

Property Crimes per 100K People: 5,823.9
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 27,777

County Population: 476,950
Major City in County: Spokane

Photo courtesy: Getty

#9. Georgia: Fulton County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 670.3
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 6,482

Property Crimes per 100K People: 4,877.4
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 47,169

County Population: 967,100
Major City in County: Atlanta

Photo courtesy: Getty

#8. Texas: Potter County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 706.3
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 862

Property Crimes per 100K People: 7,784.3
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 9,501

County Population: 122,053
Major City in County: Amarillo

Photo courtesy: Getty

#7. Michigan: Wayne County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 709
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 12,691

Property Crimes per 100K People: 3,080.3
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 55,139

County Population: 1,790,078
Major City in County: Detroit

Photo courtesy: Getty

#6. Louisiana: Orleans Parish

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 709.7
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 2,615

Property Crimes per 100K People: 4,445.9
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 16,382

County Population: 368,471
Major City in County: New Orleans

Photo courtesy: Getty

#5. Maryland: Baltimore City

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 720.9
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 4,486

Property Crimes per 100K People: 4,727.8
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 29,420

County Population: 622,271
Major City in County: Baltimore

Photo courtesy: Getty

#4. Wisconsin: Milwaukee County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 760.2
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 7,248

Property Crimes per 100K People: 4,022.7
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 38,352

County Population: 953,401
Major City in County: Milwaukee

Photo courtesy: Getty

#3. California: Alameda County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 777.5
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 12,123

Property Crimes per 100K People: 3,480.5
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 54,272

County Population: 1,559,308
Major City in County: Oakland

Photo courtesy: Getty

#2. Missouri: St. Louis City

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 1018.7
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 3,247

Property Crimes per 100K People: 6,249.6
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 19,919

County Population: 318,727
Major City in County: St. Louis

Photo courtesy: Getty

#1. North Dakota: Williams County

Vehicle Thefts per 100K People: 1097.3
Total Vehicle Thefts in 2014: 297

Property Crimes per 100K People: 5,952.1
Total Property Crimes in 2014: 1,611

County Population: 27,066
Major City in County: Williston

Photo courtesy: Getty


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