Conventional logic dictates that the moment you drive a vehicle off the dealer floor, and it rumbles tyres onto municipal pavement, you’ve just lost 25% of what it was worth only before. No matter how well you patrolled for a deal.
Depreciation is a very real issue, something that become hysterically costly when you engage with one of those bizarre balloon payment financing deals. And when it’s time to settle the balloon payment – you suddenly realise that the vehicle you own, is worth quite a lot less than what you owe on it.
Residual values, then. It is what guides us to make supposedly sensible purchases. Ordinarily, the more expensive you buy, the worse depreciation is. Peculiarly, if you manage to keep a very expensive car, for a very long time, there’s an excellent chance that it will mature into a classic and become quite collectible.
But what is the car which represents the best possible residual value after only one year – the period which is generally accepted to be the worst compounding of that dreaded depreciation curve. And thanks to a diverse sample group of 7000 cars, we now have an idea which is the most depreciation-proof car you can buy – and it’s not German.
In fact, it’s a Nissan. And no, it’s not a GT-R, but the legendary Patrol 4×4 station wagon. According to an in-depth sampling undertaken by UAE domiciled vehicle trading platform, carswitch.com, the Patrol only 12% of its purchase price when traded after 12 months.
That’s hugely impressive and even more so when you consider that UAE buyers have no shortage of cash – and demand for luxury German cars are rampant. Despite this, the Patrol remains the most coveted buy and therefore returns 88% of what you spent on it, after a year’s worth of dune cruising.
With very little to do wrong mechanically – Patrol has a ladder-frame chassis, hydraulic steering and a choice of naturally-aspirated engines – you’re unlikely to spend much on maintenance surprises either. A total deal, then, for the world’s most underrated 4×4, which is also the best short-term investment SUV. Who would have guessed? Well, Nissan has – which is why they’ve relaunched a rugged version of it, called the Super Safari.