Which affordable sedan offers the best resale value?

Which affordable sedan offers the best resale value?


Sedans aren’t quite as popular as they used to be, with many motorists opting for sports utility vehicles (SUVs) instead. Having said this, fairly affordable sedans such as the Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra, Suzuki Ciaz and Volkswagen Polo haven’t quite lost their lustre. But which of these sedans boasts the best resale value?

The answer, according to Darryl Jacobson, managing director of True Price, is the Volkswagen Polo. “This incredible vehicle, built right here in South Africa, really is one of THE success stories in the South African automotive landscape,” he comments.

True Price is an innovative start-up that provides South Africans with free vehicle evaluations. Members of the True Price team attend vehicle auctions each and every week in order to document actual prices achieved on auction. This information is added to the company’s extensive database, which already contains data pertaining to thousands of vehicle auctions.

Jacobson has analysed this data. “Then we calculated the actual price achieved on auction as a percentage of the original list price,” he explains. The findings are fascinating…

  1. Volkswagen Polo (achieves 55% of its original list price on auction)

According to Jacobson, this extremely popular sedan (which is also available in hatchback guise), has always been popular and will always be. “The Polo is a really good-looking vehicle. It is a very refined package, offering Golf-like ride quality, a comfortable and surprisingly spacious interior and great road manners. In fact, the Polo really doesn’t put a foot wrong. It is extremely popular on auctions, with many younger buyers wanting a Polo at any cost,” he reveals.

  1. Toyota Corolla Quest (achieves 78% of its original list price on auction)

The car of choice for Uber drivers (because it offers unrivalled value for money and reliability), the Toyota Corolla Quest is yet another South African favourite. “In its latest guise, the Corolla Quest offers more space and safety than ever before. It always attracts good support on auctions, especially from the under 40-year-olds,” says Jacobson.

  1. Hyundai Elantra (achieves 95% of its original list price on auction)

Hyundai is a brand that has grown in popularity over the years, as the company racks up one quality accolade after the other, and this is evidenced in the good resale value of the Elantra. “This is an extremely good-looking sedan that appeals to families. There are lots of things that buyers appreciate in the Elantra, not least of which is the five-year/150 000 km warranty, seven-speed dual clutch transmission and the 150-kW turbocharged petrol engine fitted to the flagship model,” says Jacobson.

  1. Toyota Corolla (achieves 15% of its original list price on auction)

Now in its 12th-generation, the Corolla offers terrific fuel consumption (from as low as 4.5l/100km); a smooth, comfortable drive and quite exceptionally low levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). According to Jacobson, for these (and many other) reasons, bidding is always keen when a Corolla comes under the hammer. “This vehicle always attracts attention from the dealers as they know they will sell it very easily. It is also very popular with private buyers in the mid-to-older age category,” he explains.

  1. Suzuki Ciaz (achieves 44% of its original list price on auction)

In April this year, Suzuki upgraded the Ciaz sedan, adding a fresh new look, more specifications and a powerful new 1.5 litre engine. Jacobson says that feedback on auctions is positive. “Bidders believe that it is an unassuming vehicle that still ticks all the boxes. Accordingly, it is popular with die-hard Suzuki fans and Suzuki dealers,” he reveals. Having said this, its resale value is not quite as high as some other Suzuki derivatives. “The two really popular Suzuki models on auction are the Swift and the Jimny; both private buyers and dealers clamber over these vehicles,” he says. 



Here are the results in a table:















The data pertains to vehicles registered in years 2016 to 2019 (both years inclusive), which have done a maximum of 140 000 km.

Original source: True Price

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