2011 Best Retained Value Awards

Canadian Black Book is pleased to present the winners of its 2011 Retained Value Awards. This year we examine 2007 model year vehicles, now four years old, in seventeen categories. The awards are calculated by looking at the 1 January 2011 Canadian Black Book values and comparing them to the original MSRP of the vehicle. Prizes are awarded to those vehicles that hold the highest percentage value of the original MSRP.

2011 Best Retained Value - Sub-compact car

Volkswagen New Beetle*

Full of character much of it coming from its modern interpretation of the iconic original Beetle, the New Beetle captured the hearts of many when it launched in the late 1990's. Even today the appeal has not tapered off, as evidenced by achieving top marks for retained value in this year's study. The New Beetle's design is only part of the story, the proven drivetrain and easy-to-manoeuvre dimensions make it a great choice for those looking for worry-free driving.

Get Trade-In Value
* Indicates top 3 finish in 2010

2011 Best Retained Value - Compact car

Volkswagen City Golf

Based on the previous generation of Golf, the City Golf was designed to be a return to original Volkswagen thinking - practical, affordable, and reliable. The hatchback design, low price, and proven technology address those three points. Appearing on this list is proof that those are characteristics that remain desirable whether a vehicle is new or used. This compact hits the mark for used car buyers and helps to keep its value strong.

Get Trade-In Value
* Indicates top 3 finish in 2010

2011 Best Retained Value - Mid-size car

Subaru Outback*

Runners-up

In our 2010 study the Outback's sister the Legacy, took top honours. We remarked that its all-wheel-drive system, solid construction, and traditional Subaru durability made it a great choice for the Canadian market. It is no surprise that Subaru appears on the list again this year. The Outback takes the Legacy and adds a rugged appearance, offered exclusively in wagon format, and adds some extra ground clearance. While not an off-roader those extra centimetres of clearance make snowy driveways and cottage roads a cinch.

Get Trade-In Value
* Indicates top 3 finish in 2010

2011 Best Retained Value - Full-size car

Toyota Avalon*

The Toyota Avalon makes a return appearance in the top rank of the full-size cars. The Avalon continues to offer great interior room, a serene ride, and the Toyota name that buyers trust. One of the factors to the Avalon's retained value success is the fact that it sells in numbers small enough to keep demand high. While not the most rambunctious offering in the class, it is nonetheless a great bet for holding its value in understated comfort.

Get Trade-In Value
* Indicates top 3 finish in 2010

2011 Best Retained Value - Entry Luxury Car

Volvo C30

Entering the market in 2007, this year's focus for the retained values awards, the C30 introduced a unique package to the segment. Coming from a brand known for safe vehicles, that was a given but it added a large dose of style with its sleek, compact form offering a useful hatchback body to boot. Inside the C30 offers typically discreet Scandinavian style with an unfussy quality that has aged well and will continue too. Using the inline five-cylinder engine that has been used in countless other Volvos, the powertrain is proven and provides enough power to make this compact luxury entry fun-to-drive, especially if you go for the turbocharged T5 - indulge in it if you can.

Get Trade-In Value
* Indicates top 3 finish in 2010

2011 Best Retained Value - Luxury Car

Volvo S80

The Volvo S80 joins the retained value awards winners list for the first time this year. The S80 has too often been overlooked by new car buyers. Perhaps they don't believe it has the cachet of a German maker but it does offer Volvo's long history of safe, comfortable, well-built vehicles. Over the past few years Volvo has been upping their ante in the style department and performance too, the S80 can be had with powerful V8. While not the most stylish, the S80 brings a timeless design to bear and that is a quality, along with the other mentioned, that help it rise to the top of its class.

Get Trade-In Value
* Indicates top 3 finish in 2010

2011 Best Retained Value - Premium Luxury Car

Lexus LS460

When Lexus entered the market in 1989, it offered an alternative to the German brands not seen before in North America. Over time Lexus has become synonymous for offering flawless build quality, recall the TV commercial with the marble being rolled along its hood opening lines? The LS460 offers a cabin that cossets its passengers with some of the best interior quality in the business. The power from the eight-cylinder engine never overwhelms, rather it comes in a smooth stream that constantly builds; think of it as an eight-tenths Rolls-Royce.

Get Trade-In Value
* Indicates top 3 finish in 2010

2011 Best Retained Value - Sports Car

Volkswagen GTI*

Returning to top place in 2011, the GTI remains one of the most fun-to-drive cars on the road but it also remains one of the most usable cars available too. Offered in two- and four-door hatchback variants it can accommodate passenger in comfort with decent cargo space or it can be expanded to offer cargo space that would make some SUVs blush. Of course, if you plan to take advantage of the great handling on offer you better secure that cargo well because before long the two litre turbocharged engine might rearrange your belongings.

Get Trade-In Value
* Indicates top 3 finish in 2010

2011 Best Retained Value - Premium Sports Car

Jaguar XK

The gorgeous XK makes its way to the top of its class in this year's study. On looks along the XK is a winner. Never failing to attract favourable glances, the XK is a car that provides great performance with a powerful V8 as standard and if that is not enough, the XKR ups the power by adding a supercharger. Inside you are treated to that wonderful British tradition of leather which scents the cabin and tasteful applications of wood and metal finishes. Combine the feline style, great driving dynamics, and a sumptuous passenger compartment and you end up with a package that remains desirable even as a used vehicle.

Get Trade-In Value
* Indicates top 3 finish in 2010

2011 Best Retained Value - Compact SUV

Jeep Wrangler

In 2007 the Wrangler entered the Canadian market - previously we were offered the TJ, while it was known as the Wrangler elsewhere. That year also marked a major redesign that brought a great deal more civility to what was a course vehicle, usually purchased by a hard-core Jeep fan that either aspired to, or partook in the fabled Jeep off-road experience. The new found refinement, while still no luxury-liner and the addition of rear door opened up a huge new market for the Wrangler. Sales took off and suddenly the Wrangler began appearing in suburban driveways more likely making trips to soccer pitches than fording water-filled ditches. Regardless, it is a hit with used buyers, as this award recognizes.

Get Trade-In Value
* Indicates top 3 finish in 2010

2011 Best Retained Value - Mid-size SUV

Toyota FJ Cruiser

The FJ Cruiser made a big splash when it entered the market for the 2007 model year. Its style harkened back to Landcruisers of days gone by and offered a modern drivetrain that while not the most comforting could be easily used in day-to-day driving. Utilitarian in nature it offered real off-road ability to match the best of them. Unique style and attributes that fill a niche are two of the keys reasons we find the FJ at the top of the mid-size SUV list this year.

Get Trade-In Value
* Indicates top 3 finish in 2010

2011 Best Retained Value - Full-size SUV

Toyota Sequoia*

The Toyota Tundra pick-up that takes first place in the large pick-up class, shares its internals with the Sequoia so we should not be surprised to see the Sequoia back with its second win either. Like the Tundra it is a true full-size SUV offering more room, power, and towing-capacity than most will ever need but for those who do, the Sequoia appears to be top of the list. The powerful V8 moves the Sequoia without any trouble and while not parsimonious, it is class competitive in the fuel economy department - not something buyers of these vehicle typically consider anyway, they are generally buying for a purpose.

Get Trade-In Value
* Indicates top 3 finish in 2010

2011 Best Retained Value - Luxury SUV

Mercedes-Benz G-Class*

Mercedes-Benz Gelaendewagen was first offered as a military vehicle in Europe long before it hit the streets of Canada as one of the more overt Mercedes-Benz offerings here. The G-Class will never be short of character or fail to attract attention, especially the G55 AMG, the near-500hp version of the two variants. While its roots might be no-frills in nature, today's civilian version cabin offers all of the comfort and convenience of any modern Mercedes-Benz. The biggest difference from its similarly priced S-Class sister is the G-Class will porter over any terrain. While it has always sold in small numbers it continues to have a strong following which provides for great retained value.

Get Trade-In Value
* Indicates top 3 finish in 2010

2011 Best Retained Value - Minivan

Honda Odyssey*

While the press has long been predicting the demise of the minivan, in Canada at least we remain attached to these useful beasts of burden. The Odyssey, ranking first in this class again this year, offers all of the Honda features that buyers value in a spacious and useful body. With fold-in-floor third-row seats there is ample space even when they are upright with a large well where the seats fold into. Upfront, the driver is treated to a driving experience that offers better than expected performance and even some decent handling, don't think of it as a seven-passenger Lotus Elise but that's missing the point. While the field of offerings might have shrunk, minivans are here for the long-haul and the Odyssey appears to be the favoured used buy.

Get Trade-In Value
* Indicates top 3 finish in 2010

2011 Best Retained Value - Full-size Vans

Dodge Sprinter*

Although the Sprinter is now sold in Mercedes-Benz showrooms rather than Dodge, Mercedes got this child in the divorce, it is a master at holding value regardless of its custody status. The Sprinter was offered in a barrage of configurations, both cargo and passenger versions. The efficient and trusty Diesel engine seems to soldier on regardless of what is asked of it. Routinely seen with hundreds of thousands of kilometres on the odometer, these vehicles still fetch high prices regardless of their state. A testament to their utility and durability, the Sprinter wins for the second consecutive year.

Get Trade-In Value
* Indicates top 3 finish in 2010

2011 Best Retained Value - Small Pick-up

Toyota Tacoma*

The Tacoma certainly has not fallen out of favour, evidenced by its second straight year at the top of the retained value list for small pick-ups. The rugged nature of the Tacoma and an intensely loyal following, for some there is nothing that could replace their Tacoma, makes it a very popular choice for used buyers. Anyone who has seen some of the feats of strength that Toyota trucks have powered through will understand the attraction. There is not likely any deals to be had on a Tacoma but rest assured, your investment is about as safe as it can be when we consider it's a vehicle.

Get Trade-In Value
* Indicates top 3 finish in 2010

2011 Best Retained Value - Full-Size Pick-up

Toyota Tundra*

When Toyota decided to bring a "true" full-size truck to market they went all-out by offering one of the largest trucks in the market. While it may offer a smaller number of configurations when compare to its domestic brand brethren, it seems to offer just what the market is looking for; there are three bodystyles, two V8s to choose from, and trim that ranges from farm-spec to opulent. What it also brings, is Toyota's reputation for durability and reliability, something that certainly helps it trump its competitors by winning this category, even with their fiercely loyal buyers.

Get Trade-In Value
* Indicates top 3 finish in 2010

Many Seek recognition, some earn it

Past Winners

BLACK BOOK VALUE