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Resale Important For My Next Car Purchase

Posted by: David Kiley on November 14, 2007

As I continue to shop for my next car, I am enticed by the fact that Volkswagens are not only terrific cars to drive, but they hold their resale value better than any other brand. That was re-affirmed by Kelley Blue Book this week when it ranked VW as top brand for resale value after five years of ownership.

It’s a conundrum, though. VW owners know that their cars are glitchier and more prone to nagging problems than other cars on my list. And VW dealers as a whole have not kept up with modern standards of customer service. Sure, some dealers do great. But J.D. Power and Associates rankings don’t lie.

Two VW models on my consideration list: The GTI and Jetta TDI, are especially great on resale. The VW Rabbit, Eos and Jetta all finished in the top ten vehicles along with Chevy Corvette, Toyota Corolla, Scion xB, MINI Cooper, Scion tC, Infiniti G37, Honda Civic.

The reasons for the excellent resale value are several: The most affordable German engineered cars, VW’s tendency not to do heavy discounting, pricing strategy when the car is new. Also, while VW’s have had a reputation for nagging problems (it is said that the check-engine light is prone to go on if you drive over a stick of gum)that bedevil owners, VW buyers figure that they have been sorted out after three or four years of ownership. That leaves a great driving car with what has historically been a terrific powertrain. VW’s diesel vehicles are especially good on resale, and boost the overall ratings of each model. Because they are the most affordable diesels in the U.S., there is always great demand for them in the used market..

Reader Comments

Edward Kuryluk

November 14, 2007 8:40 PM

Somehow, after owning 5 VWs, I haven't been bedeviled by CELs and other nagging problems. Three other family members have owned 6 VWs and they survived without any major problems. Must be just my luck.

VWs aren't perfect, but in my experience with other brands, no car is. A Honda Civic I owned since new went through 3 exhaust systems in the 5 years I had it. My Nissan Sentra SE-R left me stranded multiple times because of an issue with the starter and ignition. Fun to drive, but not so reliable.

VW resale is astonishing. I bought a used 03 GTI in 2004 for $19k. Sold it last week for $17k.

Matt Prater

November 15, 2007 12:33 PM

I've no idea where or how VW generates all the great Chi around their cars. VWs have had black marks on reliability for some time. They tend to add more value, but that's simply because they don't know how to compete without adding value. A car like a VW will operate on half as thick as those of a Toyota, simply because Toyota knows enough about engineering to cost-out without penalty. VW can't. For example, if VW takes out that extra thick carpeting, you know what you got? A really loud car!

Other German options are nascent. The Saturn Astra probably will be every bit as good as your VW counterparts.

Resale, shmesale. When you're lying in that coffin, you're not going to be all that glad about saving $450. Instead, you're going to be ticked about not buying the car you want.

If you like driving, get a BMW, or some analog (G37, for example). If you don't care, get a Toyota that was engineered and built in Japan. US Toyotas are, er, not quite as good.


November 16, 2007 7:11 AM

I have just bought my 4th Jetta...and they have all been superb.
Many of my freinds family members and collegues have had various VW models...and you know what...we all love them.
They look great drive well have lots of equipment are safe have the best trunks...and now have the best resale as well.
GO Volkswagen.


November 16, 2007 2:55 PM

VW sales are not good, pretty sad actually. They lack a lot in the reliability department, yet resale prices remain high? Something perverse here. So what does high mean? And who is paying these high prices for those used cars, VW dealers desperate to move their latest? The Olde Saab game again?

I'd say to take a REALLY good look at the Civic. And then compare the relative probable downtime of the Civic and any VW. Like sitting around the dealership? Or driving one of their loaners while yours awaits parts from either Germany, more likely Mexico?

I have to laugh at the highly thought of German engineer-ing. As in about a decade of MB rolling fiascos. And BMV's i-Drive still plagues sales, and for those who bought, the owners as well. Until relatively recently German cars demanded far more maintenance than anything on the world's roads, our domestic brands the very least. And yes, our standards were lower and their crude design required less care. And then Japan launched and perfected its brands and forced a lot of changes...


November 19, 2007 10:46 AM

I've not had good experiences w/VWs. While the engines might last forever their always seems a lot of little things go wrong which rapidly would negate any resale value, not to mention the time wasted with the car in the shop. I'll take resale value based on reliability rather than some unquantifiable "German" heritage.


November 27, 2007 6:47 AM

i need car.(auto)

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