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IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Kelley Blue Book, ( www.kbb.com ) the trusted resource for vehicle information, is releasing its Top 10 list of 2004 model year vehicles that will best retain their value over the next five years. This year's list has been segmented by overall retention value and by vehicle category.
Based on current vehicle data, market conditions for each vehicle, expectations of the future economy and the combined experience of the Kelley Blue Book editorial team, the lists forecast which 2004 model vehicles will retain the greatest amount of their original MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price). Savvy consumers in the market for a new vehicle may want to take a closer look at the following lists.

2004 Model Year Vehicles KBB Forecasts Will Best Retain Their Value Over
Next Five Years:

OVERALL LIST
Acura MDX
Infiniti G35 Coupe
BMW 3-Series
Lexus RX 330
BMW X5
Mercedes-Benz CLK
Chevrolet Corvette
Mini Cooper
Honda Civic
Toyota Tacoma Prerunner

(High performance, low volume vehicles or vehicles with an original MSRP
over $60,000 were not taken into consideration on the overall list.
Values based on the November/December 2003 Kelley Blue Book(R) Residual
Values Guide.)

2004 Model Year Vehicles KBB Forecasts Will Best Retain Their Value Over
Next Five Years

BY CATEGORY
SEDAN: Honda Accord LX V6
LUXURY: Mercedes-Benz S55 AMG
COUPE: Infiniti G35 Coupe
PICKUP: Toyota Tacoma Prerunner Crew Cab 4D V6 4WD
CONVERTIBLE: Mercedes-Benz CLK 320 Cabriolet
SPORT UTILITY: BMW X5 4.4 i
WAGON: Subaru Impreza WRX Sport Wagon
VAN/MINIVAN: Honda Odyssey
HATCHBACK: MINI Cooper
SPORTY: Chevrolet Corvette Z06

(Kelley Blue Book vehicles that are expected to retain the greatest
amount of value in their category over the next five years. Values based
on the November/December 2003 Kelley Blue Book(R) Residual Values Guide.)


According to the Kelley Blue Book editorial team, several newly introduced 2004 model vehicles are expected to retain a high percentage of their value looking five years into the future, but fall just short of making this year's list. Vehicles just missing this years Top 10 list include the Acura TSX, Cadillac SRX, the redesigned Ford F150, Mazda RX8, Nissan Titan, Saab 9-3 Convertible and the Toyota Prius. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Subaru Impreza WRX STi are also expected to do well, but were omitted from the overall list because they are low volume performance vehicles.

"The Internet provides more information on car-buying today than in the past," said Charlie Vogelheim, executive editor, Kelley Blue Book. "Today, it's about more than just getting a good deal when you buy a new car, but getting the information to help you determine its actual value down the road."

When buying a new car, Vogelheim reminds shoppers to do their homework on vehicles they are considering. Information buyers should look at include:

* The New Car Blue Book Value: What others are paying for the car you
are considering.

* 5 Year Cost of Ownership: How much the car will cost to own over a
five year period, which takes into consideration, depreciation,
maintenance, insurance, gas costs, state fees and other ownership
costs. This information is also available on kbb.com from
IntelliChoice.

* Quality of the Car: Kbb.com offers J.D. Power Quality Ratings on new
vehicles.

* Owners Reviews/Ratings: Find out what current owners of the vehicle
think about the vehicle you are considering. This information is
available in the reviews section on kbb.com.


Vehicle depreciation is inevitable. Some cars, like the ones on this year's Top 10 lists, have a slower depreciation rate than others. "Vehicle depreciation is based on manufacturer supply and sustaining consumer demand, as well as long-term quality, reliability and usefulness," according to Vogelheim.

No matter what vehicle you own, there are a few things you can do to slow the depreciation of your vehicle according to Kelley Blue Book.

1. Maintenance History: Have your car serviced regularly and keep track
of the car's maintenance schedule.
* Save receipts from oil changes, tune-ups, tire rotations and
other services that demonstrate long-term vehicle care.
Providing a verified history of maintenance often helps maintain
vehicle value.
* Make sure you perform the required maintenance at intervals
recommended by your owners' manual.

2. Interior/Exterior Condition: This is a top factor in determining a
car's value.
Interior
* A one time investment of $50 - $100 for seat covers can maintain
the quality of the interior.
* Keeping cigarettes out of the car. Cigarette smoke is tough to
remove or cover up and can affect the overall value of a car.
Exterior
* Perform a thorough washing and waxing on a regular basis.
* Watch where you park your car and what you park next to, try to
avoid door dings. Park your car away from other vehicles if
possible.
* Park in the shade. Some vehicles with vinyl dashboards crack due
to regular sun exposure.


Kelley Blue Book values are the most accurately and frequently reported on the Internet today. All Kelley Blue Book pricing and values are based on data obtained from dealers, auction data, remarketers as well as through consumers via a feedback tool on the company's Web site, kbb.com .

Kelley Blue Book values take into consideration the region of the vehicle, its engine, transmission, trim style, optional equipment, current mileage and current condition. In addition to actual vehicle details, other considerations that determine a vehicle's value include the current marketplace, current economy and supply and demand. Kelley Blue Book reports factual and timely data reflecting the current marketplace for consumers and the automotive industry.

For more information on Kelley Blue Book values, see www.kbb.com or contact media relations.

About Kelley Blue Book ( kbb.com )

Kelley Blue Book is the most trusted vehicle information resource by both consumers and the auto industry. The company's Web site kbb.com provides research tools and up-to-date pricing on thousands of new and used vehicles, including the company's New Car Blue Book Value, which reveals what a new car is actually selling for. Since 1926, car buyers and sellers have relied upon Kelley Blue Book for authoritative and unbiased information to make well-informed automotive decisions. The company reports vehicle prices and values via products and services including the famous Blue Book Official Guide(TM), software and Internet site, kbb.com . Kbb.com has been rated the No. 1 automotive information site by Nielsen//NetRatings as well as No. 1 and first visited automotive site by J.D. Power and Associates six years running. No other medium reaches more in-market car-buyers than kbb.com; one in every four American car-buyers complete their research on kbb.com .

Source: Kelley Blue Book
 
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