Lease customers take note. ALG (Automotive Lease Guide) recently announced their 2015 Residual Value Award Winners. If you’re considering leasing, these vehicles should definitely be on your short list.
First a little background. Residual value and resale value are sometimes confused with each other. Simply put, residual value is what the leasing company or lender expects a vehicle to be worth at the end of the lease. This requires the lender to consider a variety of factors and make what amounts to an educated guess in order to set a lease-end buyout value. Resale value is what a specific vehicle is worth on the open market today. There’s little or no guesswork involved since resale value is entirely dependent on the realities of real-time market factors.
Higher residual value usually means smaller initial out-of-pocket costs, lower lease payments and a greater probability that the vehicle’s eventual resale value will be higher than the residual value. These can be big advantages for the lessee. So, here we go with 10 of ALG’s top picks.
- SUB-COMPACT — HONDA FIT. The Fit helped define the sub-compact category. Quirky, roomy, fun and economical, the Honda FIT was a hit when it was introduced. With a roomier, more powerful third generation on the scene, Fit will most likely continue to do very well.
- MID-SIZE PICKUP — TOYOTA TACOMA. The competition is fierce in this segment but Tacoma continues to find the right formula with a perfect combination of price, size, features and capabilities.
- MID-SIZE CAR — SUBARU LEGACY. It looks like Legacy has truly arrived. With an all-new offering for 2015, Legacy has reached a new level of refinement that puts it squarely in the mid-size mix and at the top of AGL’s list.
- ALT-FUEL — TOYOTA PRIUS. This is the third consecutive year Prius has been ranked #1. A solid performer with plenty of new features in 2016, Prius has earned its spot as the go-to hybrid.
- MINIVAN — HONDA ODYSSEY. No big surprise here as Honda continues to dominate the segment, taking the top spot for the 6th straight year. Honda’s genius for ergonomic excellence is on full display in the Odyssey.
- FULL SIZE UTILITY VEHICLE — CHEVROLET TAHOE. It hauls, it tows and it’s as family friendly as they come. Completely redone in 2015 Tahoe is more richly appointed, more comfortable and handles better than ever.
- MID-SIZE UTILITY VEHICLE – 2 ROW — SUBARU OUTBACK. There’s nothing else quite like it, part wagon, part crossover, exceptional performance in tough driving conditions and the ability to go it off-road the Outback has carved out a niche all its own. Car & Driver puts it like this; “As far as the Subaru Outback 2.5 wagon is concerned, conventional crossovers and SUVs can take a proverbial hike.”
- FULL SIZE CAR — DODGE CHARGER. Dodge’s re-take on the full size sedan helped rekindle interest in the segment. Powerful with a little panache, Charger combines the best characteristics of a conventional sedan with some serious attitude and the result is a car that retains its value.
- COMPACT UTILITY VEHICLE — HONDA CR-V. At the top of the segment for the 2nd straight year Honda continues to refine the extremely popular CR-V and its excellent performance extends to the #1 ranking on AGL’s list.
- COMPACT CAR — MAZDA 3. With Honda’s Civic and Toyota’s Corolla in close pursuit it’s quite an impressive accomplishment to be ranked #1. Mazda 3 earns its way to the top spot with a solid, efficient, fun to drive, reliable and affordable vehicle that’s a favorite among enthusiasts.