Revealed: Which vehicles achieved the best resale in 2019

Volkswagen reigns supreme in study of 2018 models that held good value a year after sale

13 January 2020 - 11:09
By Motoring Reporter
The demand and popularity of pre-owned VW Tiguans has driven their resale value skywards.
Image: Supplied The demand and popularity of pre-owned VW Tiguans has driven their resale value skywards.

In the SA motor industry, the Volkswagen Tiguan was the big winner in the 2019 resale value stakes, according to a True Price study.

“We decided to analyse which 2018 model year vehicles achieved the best resale value (measured against original list price) during 2019,” said Darryl Jacobson, MD of True Price. “This has never been done before in South Africa.”

True Price is able to produce this data because its team attends bank repossession auctions throughout the year to document the prices achieved. The values of thousands of auction vehicles are used to provide motorists with free vehicle evaluations. 

It is this data the True Price team examined to come up with the list of the top 10 resale value winners for the 2019 calendar year. All vehicles had done a maximum of 60,000km.

Volkswagen is the biggest winner, with three vehicles in the top 10. Toyota and Kia also perform admirably, with two vehicles in the top 10.

Hyundai, Renault and Isuzu each have one vehicle on the list.

Here is the complete list, with the resale value percentage after one year noted in brackets:

1. Volkswagen Tiguan (87.07%)

According to Jacobson, the Tiguan’s victory would not be unexpected to anyone who attends bank repossession auctions. “It has been incredible to see the rise in popularity of this sports utility vehicle (SUV) over the past 12 months. We’re seeing bidding like never before. It’s extremely popular with all age groups. This family-focused SUV boasts a spacious interior and faultless build quality. It is a brilliant car for soccer moms,” he noted.

2. Kia Picanto (81.27%)

Jacobson said the Picanto is a real hit with first-time buyers who are in need of an economical city car. “Kia is a brand that has grown in reputation and stature, globally and here in South Africa. This is proven by the JD Power 2019 Initial Quality Study, which ranked Genesis, Kia and Hyundai highest for the second straight year. Here in South Africa, Kia vehicles are also considered to be real quality acts. With its attractive styling and funky colours, the Picanto is always a sure winner on auctions,” he said.

3. Volkswagen Polo Vivo (80.42%)

SA’s best-selling passenger vehicle, the Polo Vivo remains the hatch of choice when SA motorists are shopping for an affordable vehicle. “It has an appealing pricetag, it’s a well-spec’d vehicle and it comes with the Volkswagen quality stamp of approval. It is an all-time favourite on the auction floor, with the traders knowing they can easily sell the vehicle,” Jacobson pointed out.

4. Volkswagen Golf (80.06%)

The most successful European car for more than four decades, the Golf has been a firm favourite with South Africans and Europeans for many years. A new one (the eighth Golf) will come to SA this year. “Volkswagen has promised that it will be digitalised, connected and intuitive to operate. We clearly have a lot to look forward to. But right here and now in South Africa, the current Golf remains much loved. Buyers feel confident with the Volkswagen brand and the Golf nameplate, which is a sure bet when it comes to reliability,” said Jacobson.

5. Kia Rio (80.00%)

Nipping on the Golf’s heels is the Rio, which, according to Jacobson, is much loved because of its design. “This can be attributed to Peter Schreyer, who joined Kia in 2006 as its head of design. He took the brand, which, until then, had been a budget vehicle through and through, and transformed it into a highly desirable commodity,” he said. Like the Picanto, the Rio is also associated with quality. “It is this perception of quality, plus the Rio’s reliability and low running costs, that are seeing it perform so well in the resale value stakes.”

6. Toyota Hilux (78.56%)

The top-selling vehicle in SA, the Hilux has attained iconic status. “One of the reasons is brand image. The Toyota brand is one of the most loved and trusted in South Africa. Motorists believe that they are purchasing reliability and peace of mind when they opt for Toyota. The second is aftersales service. Toyota dealers have an outstanding reputation for delivering good service at fair prices. Furthermore, the dealer network is vast, meaning you don’t have to look long and hard to locate a dealer. Spare parts are also readily available. Finally, let’s not forget the product itself: the Hilux is a sensational bakkie,” Jacobson said.

7. Toyota Fortuner (77.73%)

A regular feature on the list of top-selling vehicles in SA (it’s normally in the top 10), the Fortuner is one of two SUVs on the list. “This is somewhat surprising. We all know how popular SUVs are with motorists. These vehicles are adored because they offer lots of space and comfort, good styling and ride height too. While I’m surprised that there are not more SUVs on this list, I’m not in the least bit surprised to see the Fortuner make its appearance. Like the Hilux, it capitalises on Toyota’s excellent reputation in terms of quality and reliability, and the product is outstanding too,” said Jacobson.

8. Isuzu KB/ D-Max (76.41%)

Jacobson confessed to being somewhat surprised to see the Isuzu bakkie so high up. “Personally, I would have expected it to be beaten by the Ford Ranger, which remains extremely popular and also has a high resale value. The Isuzu is viewed by buyers as a tough-as-nails workhorse, and it is this reputation that is clearly driving resale values higher.”

9. Renault Kwid (73.30%)

As Jacobson noted, the Kwid is rocking the new car sales charts. “In November 2019, it was the third best-selling passenger car in South Africa; no fewer than 1,508 Kwid sales were recorded,” he revealed. And buyers on auction are equally enthusiastic about the Kwid, as its excellent resale value proves. “It really is a great-looking vehicle. The millennials love it; so do I,” Jacobson said.

The latest Renault Kwid sold more than 1,000 new units in December 2019 and has cracked the top 10 of good resale value options.
Image: Supplied The latest Renault Kwid sold more than 1,000 new units in December 2019 and has cracked the top 10 of good resale value options.

10. Hyundai Grand i10 (73.26%)

Rounding off the top 10 is the Hyundai Grand i10, which is also very popular among new car buyers. “The smallest car in the local Hyundai range, this stylish and refined hatch has great build quality and good safety features. It’s very popular on auctions, where we see that it has mass appeal. It finds favour with buyers of all ages,” Jacobson said.