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What Will Happen To The Value Of My Scion?

Illustration for article titled What Will Happen To The Value Of My Scion?

Hello, good people of Jalopnik, and welcome to Letters to Doug, your weekly break from rational reality. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Letters to Doug, here’s how it works: you send me letters, and I reply to them. Occasionally, my replies make sense.


For those of you who want to participate in Letters to Doug, I’d love to have your letter. Just send it to me at, and then sit back, relax, and don’t expect it to get posted. After all, I get dozens of letters, along with a wide range of e-mails from the Donald Trump presidential campaign, thanks to several hilarious readers.

This week’s letter comes from several of you. I’m going to trot out one in particular, from a reader named Paul, who writes:

Dear Doug,

With the demise of Scion, do you think values are going to shoot up? Or go down?


Well, Paul, you’ve apparently asked an excellent question, because it’s exactly what seems to be on every Scion owner’s mind: what is going to happen to their vehicle’s value? Well, that, and paying back their student loans after they got a degree in herbivore napkin folding.


Here is the answer, Paul, and everyone else who asked the question: your values will remain largely unchanged.

This is bad news for some Scion owners. I got an e-mail from one guy—and I don’t want to name names and embarrass anyone here, but his name was Todd Bradley, and he lives in Lenexa, Kansas—asking if his FR-S was suddenly worth more because the Scion brand was no longer in existence.

Here’s the situation, Todd: your FR-S isn’t worth a penny more than it was yesterday. Scion sold thousands of FR-Ses, and unless there is some cataclysmic event in which God comes down to earth and wipes out every FR-S except yours, nobody is ever going to pay a premium because yours has a Scion badge on it instead of a Toyota badge. And even then, there’s still the Subaru BRZ. Sorry.

For proof of this, I refer you to the Datsun Z, another sports car from another defunct brand, which has been the “next big thing” since back when Lenexa, Kansas, was a prehistoric alluvial plain.


Fortunately, it works the same way in the other direction. All of you owners of used Scion models like the xA and the tC and the xB and the whatever else, I don’t remember them all, you can rest easy, because your values aren’t going to suddenly suffer a major drop just because the brand is dead.

Remember the Mercury Milan, a Ford Fusion twin made right before they decided to axe Mercury because one year a Ford executive went into a local Lincoln dealership and remembered that they still existed? (Wait, Mercury. I remember we had the Villager… then what?) Go on Autotrader and you’ll find that the average price for 2010 Milan is $10,669, while the average price for a 2010 Fusion is $10,565. They cost the same, with the Milan holding a slight premium, just like it did when it was new. You can try this with virtually any car and you’ll generally discover the same results.


Of course, there is one exception to this: the Scion iQ. Now, before I get into this, I want to say that I personally love the iQ. I see them on the streets and I think: “Look! An iQ!” And I squeal like a guinea pig who hasn’t been fed in six days because his owner died. But, folks, I’m the only one. Everyone else hates the iQ. I believe this might have something to do with the fact that it’s the same size as a thermostat. But the rest of the Scion models; they’re going to do just damn fine.

Plus, it’s not like the demise of the Scion brand has turned it into some little secret that nobody else knows about. They sold hundreds of thousands of cars over more than a decade. Everyone knows a friend who has Scion, or a friend of a friend has a Scion, or the guy they buy weed from has a Scion, or whatever. Plus, they still have Toyota reliability, which counts for a lot on the used market. Just ask the Pontiac Vibe, which– if it weren’t for the Corolla drivetrain – would be worth approximately as much as one fake office plant.


Scion owners, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, you also have nothing to get excited about, because your cars aren’t going to suddenly shoot up in value. Also, there are still no career openings in herbivore napkin folding.

@DougDeMuro is the author of Plays With Cars, which his mother says is “fairly decent.” He worked as a manager for Porsche Cars North America before quitting to become a writer.


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