People who buy a Mazda will be able to sell it for a relatively high percentage of its original purchase price three years later, according to a new report from the Automotive Lease Guide issued Nov. 18.
The ALG ranked the Mazda brand in fifth place overall among mainstream brands for resale value after 36 months, behind Honda, Toyota, Subaru and Hyundai, in order. The nine brands it outranked, in order, include Kia, Nissan, Chevrolet, Dodge, Volkswagen and Ford.
Besides the overall strong score, the redesigned 2014 Mazda3 was also named the 2014 ALG Residual Value Award Recipient -- a better resale value than its predecessor. The Mazda brand also placed fifth last year, but the Mazda3 is a new winner, beating out the Hyundai Elantra.
"We are honored to be recognized by ALG with a distinction that speaks volumes not only to the quality, dependability, reliability and value of the 2014 Mazda3 but also to the overall strength of the Mazda brand," Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations, said in a news release.
The ALG ranks cars' depreciation based on the difference between their original MSRP and their projected resale value. While this unfairly penalizes cars that sell at a steep discount from their sticker price, a strong resale value score also speaks highly of a car's desirability. The Mazda3 is projected to be worth 58 percent of its original sticker price after three years of ownership.
And the ALG has a vested interest in getting this right. Its detailed ratings help guide lease rates, which are based heavily on cars' resale values. So even if the ALG has gotten this wrong, shoppers who lease a new Mazda3 will get the benefit of this prediction.
Mazda has had mixed resale results in its recent history. The ALG judged the previous-generation Mazda3 best-in-class fresh off its 2010 redesign. The 2011 CX-9 large crossover and 2012 MazdaSpeed 3 high-performance hatchback are also winners, according to Mazda's press release. In 2013, the CX-5 compact crossover and the previous-generation Mazda3 earned decent ALG depreciation ratings of four out of five stars. Other 2013 Mazdas earned two and three stars. Full 2014 results aren't yet available, but last year's weakest car -- the Mazda6 midsize sedan -- was redesigned for 2014.