BMW cars are usually regarded as being overpriced, but despite the negative view the brand has been named as the leader in "Total Value," for the 2006 Strategic Vision Total Value study. Leading the charge was BMW’s prowess in the warranty category, but the brand also proved strong for total value in the luxury car, convertible and luxury SUV segments. Top dog was the BMW 3 Series, which came first in its segment for near-luxury vehicles for the second year in a row.

The San Diego-based research firm surveyed more than 64,000 buyers who bought a new car from October 2005 through November 2006. Some of the questions concerned price paid, fuel economy, reliability and most importantly resale-value. The survey found that BMWs retain their original value more so than most other vehicles. It just goes to show the importance of depreciation in the minds of consumers, something America’s big three should take a long hard look at.