• KBB awards based on projected value after five years
  • Toyota and Lexus ranked as top brands
  • 4 Toyota models ranked among overall top 10

Kelly Blue Book (KBB) announced winners for its 2014 Best Resale Value Awards, naming Toyota and Lexus the top brands for retaining their value. The awards are based on a vehicle's projected resale value, also called residual value, after five years of ownership. KBB names models with the highest residual value in each of 22 categories, awards the top 10 models overall and also ranks brands, choosing one mainstream automaker and one luxury brand. In addition to winning the brand awards, Toyota and Lexus dominated in both the categories and the top 10 results this year.

Six Toyota models topped their respective categories for 2014. The FJ Cruiser and Sequoia won in their midsize and full-size SUV categories, and the Tacoma and Tundra were awarded for best resale value among midsize and full-size trucks, respectively. KBB called the Toyota Avalon the best full-size car for residual value and the Sienna the best in the minivan category.

Lexus had similarly stellar results in the category rankings, also earning six top finishes. The ES 350 was named best entry-level luxury car for residual value, while its hybrid sister model, the ES 300h, took the hybrid/alternative energy award. The flagship LS 460 won in the high-end luxury-car category, and three SUVs -- the RX 450h, GX 460 and LX 570 -- topped the hybrid, midsize and full-size SUV/crossover rankings, respectively.

In addition to the category wins, four Toyota vehicles scored in the overall top 10 for resale value: FJ Cruiser, 4Runner SUVs, and Tacoma and Tundra pickups.

According to KBB, a brand must offer more than just excellent resale value to earn one of its brand awards. The automaker must offer strong contenders across its lineup and also meet consumer demand with sufficient supply. That means high-volume brands such as Toyota and Lexus have an advantage over smaller, niche automakers.

Residual value is important for both buyers and lessees. Most owners will sell or trade in their vehicles eventually, and choosing a vehicle that holds its value means more money when that time comes. For lessees, higher residual value often translates to lower lease rates. So for new-car shoppers that choose to lease, KBB's award winners can be a good place to find an attractive deal.

What it means to you: Whether you plan to sell or trade your vehicle after a few years or keep it for a decade, residual value is an important factor in the cost of ownership. Consider KBB's Resale Value Award winners for a vehicle that will hold its value with the best of them.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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