Dacia is champion in Auto Bild and Schwacke 2021 residual-value award

17 June 2021

For the 18th year in a row, German motoring magazine Auto Bild and Schwacke, the German arm of Autovista Group, have jointly selected the ‘Wertmeister’ (residual-value champions) from all new cars currently on sale in Germany. The title, awarded in 13 vehicle segments, rewards the vehicles with the most stable residual value, i.e. the passenger cars with the lowest predicted depreciation.

The car with the most stable residual value (RV) across all segments in Germany in 2021 is the Dacia Sandero Stepway TCe 90. The model scores as the winner in the small-car segment, and has the lowest overall percentage depreciation of just under 34%.

RV champions at a glance

BEVs up to €40,000 net priceMini Cooper SE
BEVs over €40,000 net priceTesla Model S Long Range
Mini carsHyundai i10 1.2
Small carsDacia Sandero Stepway TCe 90
Lower-medium segmentVW Golf 1.5 TSI OPF
Medium segmentSkoda Superb Estate 2.0 TSI 4×4 DSG
Executive segmentBMW 540i xDrive Automatic
Luxury segmentMercedes S400d 4Matic L 9G-Tronic
Sports carsPorsche 911 Carrera 4S PDK
VansMercedes V 300d LWB 4Matic 9G-Tronic
Small SUVsMazda CX-30 e-Skyactiv-G 2.0 M Hybrid
Compact SUVsToyota RAV4 2.5 4×2 Hybrid
Full-size SUVsRange Rover Sport P400 3.0
Overall winner – lowest percentage depreciationDacia Sandero Stepway TCe 90

Import brands on an equal footing

In general, the field is very broad this year, and not only among the segment winners. German car brands often dominated the Wertmeister in the past, but the competition from abroad is now on an equal footing. The number of German representatives and those from imported brands in the awarded segments is almost balanced in 2021. 

In contrast to previous years, there is only one manufacturer that could claim victory directly in two categories: Mercedes-Benz leads both the luxury and van segments with the long-wheelbase versions of the S-Class and the V-Class. Otherwise, no other car brand managed to achieve multiple victories in 2021 – a first for the RV champions.

In the sports-car segment, Porsche continues to outpace the competition. In 2021, the Zuffenhausen-based company is again the RV champion, with the all-wheel-drive version of the Porsche 911 Carrera.

There was no change in the battery-electric-vehicle (BEV) award winners compared to last year: both the Mini Cooper SE and the Tesla Model S Long Range were able to defend their titles.

A general look at powertrains shows that most segments remain dominated by petrol engines, with the exception of the van and luxury segments, where diesel engines are ahead. And in the Compact SUV segment, a hybrid model, the Toyota RAV4 2.5 4×2 Hybrid, could claim victory.

Resale value ‘plays an increasingly central role’

For private customers, in particular, the resale value, alongside running costs, can be a decisive factor in the decision to buy a new car. Expressed in figures, a total of 6,751 different variants from 350 model ranges entered the competition for the prestigious Wertmeister award.

As in previous years, the demands on the RV champions in all analysed vehicle classes were very high. The examined passenger cars have to be convincing in an elaborate evaluation process in order to emerge as the winner in their segment. Several hundred factors and parameters that influence the development of a vehicle’s RV are considered, including not only the model but also, for example, the powertrain, trim line and common optional extras. A forecast period of four years, with average mileage for the segment, serves as the basis for assessment.

Thorsten Barg, managing director of Schwacke, emphasised the growing importance of the resale value – and thus also of the RV champions – for private and commercial consumers alike: ‘In times of car subscriptions, private leasing and car-sharing, the resale value plays an increasingly central role in the ‘buy or use’ decision. With the Wertmeister, we offer private customers a reliable orientation aid. But the loss in value is also of central importance for business operators, because all these vehicles ultimately have to be remarketed when used.’

A detailed overview of all the 2021 Schwacke Wertmeister and runners-up can be found here.