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ALG's 2011 Residual Value Award Winners

Subaru and Infiniti took top brand honors in the 2011 ALG Residual Value Awards

One of the most complex concepts consumers will encounter when trying to decide if buying or leasing is the best option for them, is “residual.”

What is residual value?

This number is the projected market value of a vehicle at a given point in time in the future.

So, when it comes to leasing, the residual value is used to help calculate how much a vehicle will depreciate (lose value) during the lease period…and thus how much the consumer should pay every month to lease the vehicle now.

When it comes to buying, a vehicle that retains it’s original value for as long as possible can be very beneficial when it comes to getting the most for your money.  So, if you buy and decide to sell in the future, a vehicle with a good residual value will help you get more of your original cost back.

The bottom line is that vehicles that retain their value over time, are autos you should be heavily considering.

ALG, one of the premier auto research firms, recently announced their awards for the best residual values and some of the names on the list may surprise you, as they are not the “usual suspects.”

Atop the list for mainstream brands is Subaru, followed by Honda, Mazda, Volkswagen, Nissan, Toyota and Hyundai. Topping the luxury brand list was Infiniti, trailed by Acura, Lexus and Audi.  The luxury list is not too surprising, as they are all luxe divisions of manufacturers represented in the mainstream list.

The individual models singled out per ALG vehicle segment were:

Sub Compact: Honda Fit

Compact: Hyundai Elantra

Midsize: Subaru Legacy

Fullsize: Nissan Maxima

Sportscar: Mini Cooper Countryman

AlternativeFuel : VW Golf TDI

Multi Purpose Vehicle:  Honda Odyssey

Compact Utility Vehicle: Subaru Forester

Midsize Utility Vehicle:  Subaru Outback

Fullsize Utility Vehicle: Mazda CX-9

Midsize Pickup: Toyota Tacoma

Fullsize Pickup:  Ford F-Series Super Duty

Near Luxury: Acura TL

Luxury: Lexus LS 460

Luxury Sportscar: Nissan GT-R

Luxury Alternative Fuel: Mercedes-Benz E Class Blue Tec

Luxury Compact Utility Vehicle: BMW X3

Luxury Midsize Utility Vehicle: Land Rover Range Rover Sport

Luxury Fullsize Utility Vehicle: Infiniti QX56

and, the Brand Winners for 2011 were:

Mainstream Brand: Subaru

Luxury Brand: Infiniti

Residual values fluctuate with the economy, and year to year, on a model by model basis so whenever you are thinking about buying a new auto, it’s a good idea to get the residual value information on that vehicle.  Check out the ALG site for more information on their 2011 Residual Value Awards, and visit the Auto Prices section of AutoBuying101.com to get more insight on current market pricing of all available makes and models.