Although most car buyers consider fuel costs when deciding which vehicle to buy, few people factor in depreciation (the decrease in a car's value over time) - even though it's typically the biggest expense in buying a new car. To help car buyers who really want to save money on their next new car, we've compiled this list of vehicles that can sip gas and also hold more of their value over time.
While the stylish Chevy Camaro may look like a wild and crazy sports car, good fuel economy and high resale value are two sensible reasons to purchase the retro-themed coupe. According to Kelley Blue Book, the V6-powered Camaro retains nearly 42 percent of its value over five years - more than high-performance rivals like the Ford Mustang and MazdaSpeed3, which don't crack the 40 percent mark. The Camaro also gets surprisingly good mileage for a sports car, returning a noteworthy 29 mpg in highway driving with the standard 323-horsepower V6. Best of all, the coupe is no slouch in the performance department, capable of going 0-60 mph in less than 7 seconds and reaching a top speed in excess of 150 mph.
Honda Civic Hybrid
According to Kelley Blue Book, the compact Honda Civic Hybrid tops this year's list of hybrid vehicles with the best resale value. Expected to retain more than half of its value after 36 months and nearly 40 percent after five years, the Civic Hybrid is certainly among the most sensible new car purchases. The small sedan also gets remarkable fuel economy, achieving up to 44 mpg in city and highway driving. This makes the Civic Hybrid an easy pick for car shoppers who want great gas mileage without losing an arm and a leg in depreciation.
The five-door Honda Fit hatchback is Kelley Blue Book's top pick among subcompact cars that hold their value. While the Fit's 117-horsepower 4-cylinder engine makes it more tortoise than hare, the hatchback's tiny engine helps it achieve fuel economy ratings as high as 35 mpg on the highway with the available 5-speed automatic transmission. Better yet, the Fit is expected to retain around 60 percent of its value after 36 months and 40 percent after five years - several points better than any other subcompact car.
The handsome Hyundai Tucson is undoubtedly the right SUV for car shoppers who want to save on fuel and depreciation. While Kelley Blue Book says the Jeep Wrangler retains more value, the Tucson is far more comfortable than the off-road oriented Wrangler. The Tucson does retain a whopping 45 percent of its value after five years - more than nearly any other vehicle on the road - and can return more than 30 mpg on the highway with its standard 165-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine.
Although Kelley Blue Book named the Honda Civic its top choice among compact cars that hold their value, the enjoyable Mini Cooper came in second by retaining a projected 40 percent of its value after five years. The Mini is also more engaging than the Civic, thanks to a sport-tuned chassis, slick-shifting standard 6-speed manual transmission and performance-oriented options like Xenon headlights, sport suspension and big wheels. But despite all the fun, the Mini Cooper is still surprisingly frugal at the pump: non-turbocharged Cooper models can return up to 37 mpg in highway driving.
What it means to you: Shoppers who want to save more money on their next new car should check out these vehicles that hold their value and achieve great gas mileage.