MARKHAM, Ontario -

If one message can be taken from the Canadian Black Book 2021 Best Retained Value Awards, with winners announced Wednesday, it is that used vehicles today are holding far more value than ever before.

That is the case even as Canadian Black Book vice president of sales Yolanda Biswah said the past year has been a wild ride in terms of retained values.

Economic phenomena directly related to the global pandemic have propped up much of the gains, Biswah said.

“We have been through steep record-setting declines last spring, followed by rapid increases culminating in record level retained values in Canada across the board,” Biswah said in a news release.

The Canadian Black Book Best Retained Value Awards quantify retained value for every model of 4-year-old vehicles in Canada in 23 segments. Three “overall brand awards” are presented to OEMs that hold the most value among their full product line.

For 2021, the overall brand awards for cars goes to Honda.

Toyota wins the award for trucks/SUVs, and Porsche wins in the luxury brand category.

On average across all car segments overall, they held 53.1% of original MSRP after four years across nearly 3,000 trims.

Trucks/vans/SUVs held a much-higher 63.6% across nearly 13,000 trims.

CBB said supply, or lack thereof, has been the overarching factor contributing to the major gains in retained value.

Supply disruptions have been a boon to the industry since the early days of the pandemic, CBB said.

Retail traffic slowed because of COVID-19 related restrictions. That stalled any trade-in activity for months.

Rental agencies saw major business loss and held onto units longer. That kept those vehicles out of the used market. During the tough times, repossessions were mostly put on hold for consumer relief. have still not gotten back to pre-pandemic levels, which has again kept those vehicles away from auction and used lots.

“People have been driving less and therefore keeping cars longer and therefore not trading in,” CBB said.

Through the past 18 months, supply from OEMs and parts suppliers (microchips, for example) has been slowed and delayed. That has caused shortages of new units and increased demand for used.

“Couple this with a general increase in demand for slightly used models in good shape, and we find these units turning quickly off of used lots,” CBB said.

These quick sales are depleting what CBB says is an already-low supply, which has resulted in historically high retained value, as illustrated by the 2021 Canadian Black Book Best Retained Value Awards and the monthly CBB Used Vehicle Retained Value Index which has posted record levels for many months straight.

CBB said the zero emission category has made progress since it was first included as a category in 2019. The Chevy Bolt was the winner in the segment, taking a leap forward with 56%. The Ford Focus won the category last year at 51%.

The category itself held 47% of original MSRP on average versus 45% last year and only 40% in 2019.

“Used EVs and BEVs are becoming more valuable,” CBB said.

The full list of winners can be found here and below. 

Overall Brand Awards
Car Honda
Truck & Crossover/SUV Toyota
Luxury Porsche


MODEL 1st 2nd 3rd
Sub-Compact Car Honda Fit Toyota Yaris Hyundai Accent
Compact Car Toyota Prius v Honda Civic Toyota Corolla
Mid-Size Car Honda Accord Toyota Camry Nissan Altima
Full-Size Car Toyota Avalon Dodge Charger Nissan Maxima
Entry Luxury Car Lexus IS-Series Mercedes-Benz
Luxury Car Mercedes-Benz
BMW 5 Series Volvo V90
Premium Luxury Car Porsche Panamera Mercedes-Benz
Premium Sports Car Porsche 911 Chevrolet Corvette Porsche
Sports Car Ford Mustang Dodge Challenger BMW 2 Series
Small Pickup Toyota Tacoma Chevrolet Colorado Honda Ridgeline
Full-Size Pickup Toyota Tundra Ford F250 S/D Ford F150
Minivan Honda Odyssey Toyota Sienna Kia Sedona
Full-Size Van Mercedes-Benz
Sprinter 2500 Cargo
RAM ProMaster Mercedes-Benz
Sprinter 3500 Cargo
Compact Commercial Van Ford Transit Connect Mercedes-Benz Metris RAM ProMaster City
Compact Crossover/SUV Honda CR-V Mazda CX-5 Toyota Rav4
Mid-Size Crossover/SUV Jeep Wrangler Toyota 4Runner Toyota Highlander
Full-Size Crossover/SUV GMC Yukon Toyota Sequoia Chevrolet Tahoe
Compact Luxury Crossover/SUV Porsche Macan Mercedes-Benz
Lexus NX Series
Mid-Size Luxury Crossover/SUV Lexus GX460 Lexus RX Series Mercedes-Benz
Full-Size Luxury Crossover/SUV Mercedes-Benz
Lexus LX570 Range Rover Sport
Sub-Compact Luxury Crossover MINI Countryman Audi Q3 Mercedes-Benz
Sub-Compact Crossover Honda HR-V Mazda CX-3 Jeep Renegade
Zero Emission Chevrolet Bolt VW eGolf Kia Soul EV


SOURCE: Charts courtesy of Canadian Black Book.