The Honda CR-V holds on to half its value over 5 years. (American Honda Motor Co., Inc.)

Small SUVs and crossovers are extremely popular. According to data from, compact SUVs have twice the share of the new car market that they had a decade ago, and are now the fourth most popular type of vehicle (midsize cars, small cars and pickup trucks are more popular). While Edmunds points out that small SUVs offer things like space, price and fuel economy that appeal to buyers, there’s another reason to love small SUVs: Their resale values tend to be better than the resale values of other vehicle types. 

[See compact SUV rankings]

If you’re looking for a new car, one that holds its value is a smarter choice than one that doesn’t. With better resale value, you get more money when it’s time to sell or trade your car in. When you finance a new car, choosing a car that holds on to its value also protects you from owing more than the car is worth.

According to Edmunds, the five compact SUVs with the best resale values have resale values well above the median resale value for the car market as a whole. Those high resale values not only help you if you’re looking to buy a small SUV and resell it someday, but they also help lower the lease payments if you want to lease a compact SUV.

[See this month’s Best Lease Deals]

The Honda CR-V, which is currently our top-ranked compact SUV, has the best resale value among compact SUVs, retaining 50.7 percent of its purchase price over five years. With a resale value that high, it’s possible for you to buy a CR-V, drive it for five years, and get half of your money back when you trade it in. If you bought a new CR-V for $25,000 and get half the purchase price back when you trade it in, that effectively lowers your outlay for the SUV to just $12,500 – not a bad deal for our top-ranked small SUV. 

[Honda CR-V vs. Subaru Forester]

Coming in right behind the CR-V’s resale value is the Toyota RAV4, which Edmunds says holds onto 48.6 percent of its purchase price over five years. The Subaru Forester retains 47.1 percent of its value and the Ford Escape has a 45.7 percent resale value over five years. The Nissan Rogue and Mazda CX-5 round out the top five compact SUVs for resale value, holding onto 43.5 and 43.2 percent of their original purchase prices, respectively. Most of these small SUVs are also near the top of our compact SUV rankings.

[Honda CR-V vs. Nissan Rogue]

It’s important to be smart with your money and think about the long term – not just your monthly payment – when you’re buying a new car. By considering a compact SUV with great resale value, you’re more likely to get more of your money back when it’s time to get a new car.

Want the best price on a car with a great resale value? Check out the U.S. News Best Price Program for guaranteed savings on a new car, SUV or truck. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.