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Toyota, Jeep stand apart for residual value

When shopping around for a new or used car, qualities like resale value are often in the back of a driver's mind. Everyone wants to get bang for their buck, but they also want to be in a good position should they decide to sell a vehicle and upgrade to a different model. Luckily for fans of off-road driving, even the most modified off-road vehicle can still boast a solid resale value, although certain brands have proved to be better than others.

Kelley Blue Book recently released its list of the 2014 Best Resale Value Awards, and many of the recognized models and automakers are found in the world of off-roading. No matter what truck mods or alterations are made to these machines, they should retain a fair amount of value, especially if the upgrades improve the overall quality of the automobile. 

"Most options and packages added to a vehicle do not necessarily increase its resale value," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director for Kelley Blue Book. "However, there are exceptions to the rule, such as a high-performance engine for a performance package ... Regional preferences can significantly impact the value of a vehicle as well. In the colder sections of the country, a two-wheel drive vehicle's resale value often will not be as high as a four-wheel or all-wheel drive of that same model."

To determine the winners, Kelley Blue Book measured which vehicles retain the most of their purchase value over the following five-year period. 

Toyota takes a win
One of the biggest takeaways from the list was the excellent resale value of Toyota vehicles. In fact, the automaker was named the 2014 Best Resale Value: Brand, landing four automobiles in the top 10 list of individual models. It also had models top their respective categories in six of the 22 segments, which was tied with Lexus for the most of any brand. Over the course of five years, Toyota vehicles kept an average of 46.1 percent of their original sticker price, an increase of 2.1 percent from last year. 

This was the third year in a row Toyota came out on top, largely thanks to its rugged models. Its four vehicles in the top 10 consisted of the FJ Cruiser, Tacoma, Tundra and 4Runner, each of which can be used as a viable off-road vehicle or heavy-duty work machine. Additionally, the Toyota Sequoia took the title as the Full-Size SUV/Crossover with the best resale value, while the FJ Cruiser, Tundra and Tacoma had the highest value in their segments as well. 

Jeep, Dodge stand out
While Toyota may have taken the win for the top overall brand, the Jeep Wrangler landed on the list of the top 10 individual vehicles with the best resale value. The Jeep Wrangler was also named the top Compact SUV/Crossover for resale value. Not to be outdone, the Dodge Challenger also made an appearance in the top 10, and although it didn't win its segment, it is still a force to be reckoned with and should continue to appear on the list in the coming years.

"Jeep continues to dominate in its segment and among the top 10 list, increasing its residual value 3.9 percentage points from just last year," said Eric Ibara, a director for Kelley Blue Book. "New to this year's list is the Dodge Challenger, which heavily contributes to Dodge's success for the 2014 model year, along with other strong vehicles from the brand."

While the resale value of a vehicle will have a lot to do with the maintenance and care that it receives, knowing which brands are more likely to hold their value could be a major boon for all drivers.