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Lexus IS sports sedan retains its value 10% better than BMW 3 Series

A study by NADA shows that the Lexus IS 350 and IS 250 line is the number one vehicle in terms of value retention. BMW’s 3 Series is 7th on the list.

It is no secret that similarly equipped Lexus sports sedans like the IS 350 have a lower MSPR than do similarly equipped BMW sports sedans like the 335i. Now, a study by the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has also proven that the higher initial value Lexus vehicles also hold that value better than the BMW or Audi competitors.

NADA looked at the depreciation of the luxury compact car class which includes the Lexus IS 350, BMW 335i, Audi A4, and similar sports sedans. NADA tracked the Lexus IS over its full generation from 2006 through 2013. The 2014 model is still in its first year of production, so is not included (too new). The Lexus was the best car on the list, retaining 57.8 % of its value over the first 3 years after being sold new. The number two car on the list was the Audi A4 which retained 54.3% of its value. BMW was 7th out of the ten vehicles listed in the class worth just 47.9% of its initial value after three years. Since vehicles in this class often sell in the mid-$40K range, a 10% difference in trade-in value can equate to $2,000 to $3,000 after depreciation is factored in.

Besides just the added value of a car as a trade-in, cars that have a high retention (and low depreciation) are also at an advantage when leases are written. Cars that hold more residual value have lower monthly payments. That is the number that consumers remember most and have the easiest time comparing when shopping lease deals.

The new IS 350 and IS 250 by Lexus have been chosen over the BMW and Audi in comparison testing done by Car and Driver, Road and Track, and in our own testing as well. By contrast, Consumer Reports drove the IS 250 AWD on its test track and came away unimpressed. NADA’s conclusions were based on data collected by R.L. Polk & Company.

Study finds Lexus about twice as dependable as BMW