Tesla Model 3: 2nd Best Resale Among All Cars, Tops Segment & All Classes


No matter how you frame it, the Tesla Model 3 has better resale value than all rivals.

Let’s start by saying the Kelley Blue Book (KBB) awarded the Tesla Model 3 for best resale value among all electric cars. Its larger sibling, the Tesla Model X, grabbed the second position within the same segment. However, the electric car segment is quite small, so while this is impressive, it isn’t saying a lot Interestingly, KBB ranked these cars in the electric car category, but didn’t talk about how they compare overall or in their respective classes.

The numbers:

According to KBB, the resale value of a Model 3 after 36 months comes in at 69.3 percent of the original price. After 60 months, this number drops to 48.7 percent. Tesla Model X percentages are 56.7 and 34.3 over the same time periods.

The overall winner among all vehicles is the 2019 Toyota Tacoma, which is a compact pickup truck and doesn’t compare with either Tesla vehicle. However, KBB says its estimated 36-month resale value is 69.4, only one-tenth of a percent better than the Model 3. Next in line overall is the 2019 Jeep Wrangler, at 66.5 percent. So, while KBB doesn’t point it out, over 36 months, the Model 3 is the second-place car in terms of resale value among all vehicles on the U.S. market.

Diving Deeper:

What if the Tesla Model 3 and Model X were matched up with other vehicles in their classes, rather than divided into a solitary electric car category? Looking closely at the numbers provides a very interesting answer to this question.

The Model 3 is a classified as midsize car or compact car, depending on which agency or publication you rely on. It also fits in the luxury car segment, although some would argue that it’s not a luxury car. At any rate, what were the vehicles in those segments with the top resale values and how did they fare?

Best Compact Car – 2019 Honda Civic

  • 36 months: 55.5%
  • 60 months: 41.2%

Best Luxury Car – 2019 Audi A7

  • 36 months: 47.3%
  • 60 months: 32.3%

Best Entry-Level Luxury Car – 2019 Lexus RC

  • 36 months: 54.5%
  • 60 months: 38.5%

Best Mid-Size Car – 2019 Subaru Legacy

  • 36 months: 51.8%
  • 60 months: 38.4%

As you can clearly see, the Model 3 wins by a long shot in all the above categories. If you look at Model X resale value in comparison to others in categories like Best Full-Size SUV/Crossover, Best Mid-Size SUV/Crossover, Best Luxury Mid-Size SUV/Crossover, and Best Luxury Full-Size SUV/Crossover, it fares well against every winner, especially with its 36-month figure.

There is a lot to digest in KBB’s resale value awards. Follow the link (2) below if you want to crunch some more numbers and form your own conclusions.

If you’re interested in purchasing a used electric car, check out our sister site MYEV.com.

Sources: KBB, 2, CleanTechnica

Categories: Tesla

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16 Comments on "Tesla Model 3: 2nd Best Resale Among All Cars, Tops Segment & All Classes"

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Why would I trust what Cox Enterprises says about the value a car will have 3 years after purchase when no car like that existed 3 years ago?

Just curious, how do they estimate a 36 month resale value of a car that was sold in volume for only 12 months?

These Guys and their numbers are FOS !

I’m assuming resale is based on purchase price, and not purchase price minus credit? People who bought prior to the tax credit halving may have effectively higher resale value but will the kbb data reflect that?

It is indeed great to see a publication not complain about the resale of EVs, but it is so hard not to laugh at the made up, probably extrapolated numbers.
One of the historical biggest issues with EV resale calculations is that they don’t consider the tax credit. While $7,500 on a $140k vehicle is a 5% hit, on a $30k vehicle it’s a 25% hit. That’s why the X can do so good.

If you take out the tax credit, numbers for most EVs start to little decently good.

Looking forward to tomorrow’s article about how the I-Pace has the top satisfaction score after 10 years of ownership…

Just a note to correct: Toyota Tacoma is mid-sized, not sub-compact, it hasn’t even been “compact” for quite a few years. It may have been sub-compact when introduced decades ago, but they’ve grown it in size at least once a decade.

Hardly a surprise as the Model 3 is meant to last, and probably will for years. EVs have an inherent advantage over ICE, if they are made well and have a well designed battery pack with LTM.
A few years from now evs will probably take all the top spots. Just in terms of maintenance they are far superior to the ICE, a lot fewer things to go wrong. Now if people actually maintained their ICE, well they can last a long time too, but it will cost you more to keep them up, and most people don’t take care of them properly.

I think that this is good news, but quite premature. It remains to be seen what resale values will be in 2021 after rebates have all ended and Model 3 has been in production for a full 3 years.

There are tons of resale of Model 3 already?

Bulk of volume only happened in the last 6 months, how does KBB make up its predication? From thin air?

IMO that resale value will drop a little when Tesla catches up to orders and we can buy from a showroom. Less demand for used and new. After all the value is really just a popularity contest mostly that considers quality second. Toyota popularity holds even when quality fades. My Volt quality may be as good but demand is poor – even worse with M3 out – so value isn’t holding as well, took a big drop this last year and I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

“The Model 3 is officially categorized as a compact car,”

Really Steven? I thought based on its interior volume it was officially designated as a midsized car. That’s using EPA figures for determining categories. Going by memory, so you’ll have to fact check me, but I believe EPA classifies midsized cars as those with interior volume between 110 – 119 cf, and the Model 3 comes in around 111 cf. So on the low end of midsized, but midsized nonetheless.

Has anyone seen the resale value of a Ford F-150 Raptor? Doug Demuro did a video on the subjuect.