If you buy a car band new or used, one cause for dismay is depreciation; when a car’s value drops. As soon as you drive off your brand new car, its original value has already gone down about 10 percent and after its first year, it will lose another 10%, and sometimes much more. Your brand new vehicle continues to depreciate for the next couple of years (15%-25% loss in a year on average) and by its fifth year, its value will have gone down to 40% of the initial amount you had to shell out to buy the car. Keep reading to find out which cars lose their value the quickest.
The value a Smart ForTwo vehicle drops dramatically in the first 12 months alone. This is most likely because despite it being heavily advertised as an environmental car, its benefits ends there. Its gas consumption is remarkably low, the inside is very small and cramped, it has two-speed transmission, which is really unpleasant to many drivers and despite it being advocated safe due to its small size, many car buyers would like a mid-sized vehicle with a safety rating that is much higher. In just a year after the the Smart ForTwo car is purchased, it’s worth roughly 36 percent less or about $14k less.
Up next is the Hyundai Genesis, which depreciates the most as well as the fastest. The Genesis competes with other luxury cars, but it lacks the brand appeal that a recognized luxury vehicle has. This car’s price is close to Mercedes or Lexus models, but it loses 38% of the retail value in its first year alone, which is a drawback if you’re purchasing it new or a benefit if you buy it used. Car buyers looking for luxury can get a one-year-old Genesis for $16k less than the $52k original price (brand new).
The Nissan Leaf embodies Nissan’s big success with regard to electric cars, but it has one of the worst depreciation rates on this list. Having many Leafs being leased, the tax credit being almost $7.5k, and several incentives or discounts from the dealer negatively affected its resale price. The mark offs from its overall price filter go down once the vehicle is being resold.
Nissan Rogue SV
Instead of being more square and practical like the Toyota and Honda models, the Rogue was launched by Nissan as a sportier alternative. However, right after it was redesigned, the value of the car went down by five percent. Much like the Nissan Leaf, the Rogue is similar to its name (with high depreciation) – a rogue on this list.
The Mini Cooper is a compact car that is appealing and has a lot of loyal followers. Despite this, the vehicle depreciates the most compared to other car models of the same kind. One year ago, a brand new Mini Cooper’s standard cost was $20k but the value of a 2015 Mini Cooper has dropped by 29.3 percent now. When you think of this kind of car, its residual value matters as the value decrease costs the most when you own a car.
The price hike of gas has generally stopped and the lure of gas-guzzling SUVs has come back. However, since the redesign of the GMC Yukon, the vehicle has suffered. It is also possible that buyers of brand new cars have been researching the 5-year cost-to-own of a new Yukon. Buying it brand new will cost $47k but owners will spend $70k to own one for the first five years alone. Regardless of the cause, the value of these SUVs drops to almost 33 percent in just the first year.
The 2015 Chevy Express is actually a cargo van, so many of us won’t own one, unless you are a business owner or this type of vehicle is specifically what you need. It is important to know that owning one will cost you almost twice the initial amount that you shelled out to buy it brand new, plus it has a depreciation rate of 37 percent in the first year of owning it, well above average. The reason for this is probably because the previous model is quite identical to the newer model, with few upgrades available and a limited buying audience.
The very popular Chevy Impala is an established car but why does it depreciate so quickly? One reason is that it is among Chevrolet’s fleet vehicles, which means most of these cars will serve as a company vehicle or a rental. In summary, these vehicles are oversupplied and aside from that, these cars have no rare or unique feature and do not look irresistibly attractive. With the large number of Impalas for sale and the decreasing demand for middle size sedans, this popular model’s market value drops significantly, with the $27k value now lower by 33.5%.
The depreciation rate of the Volkswagen Beetle in its first year is at 37%, and besides that, the MSRP and resale value of the diesel models of the Volkswagen Beetle has dropped much more quickly in comparison with that of the gasoline models. This was due to the reports that Volkswagen had added a software cheat to their diesel models in order to do well during emission tests. Since September 18th, 2015, the Beetle is among the models which have twice the depreciation rate of their gasoline counterpart. However, the Beetle purchased the previous year may be the next year’s best deal.
The Lincoln MKS is becoming obsolete. Although this model isn’t sold that often, it appeals to buyers who are looking to buy a luxury car which costs below $50k. As this vehicle was never really a top-seller, its value goes down 30.4 percent within just a year. Just like the Genesis, it’s really annoying for an individual who bought an MKS brand new, but it is really good for a used car buyer.
The Kia Optima has equal number of pros and cons. This vehicle has a reliable engine, several upgradable features, a roomy cabin, and a sharp design. However, it has an unsatisfactory fuel efficiency rating and a 35 percent depreciation rate from one year ago until this year. Owners of a brand new Optima may find other Ford and Honda models that are similar but are more value-retaining and therefore, more enticing.
Kia Cadenza is among the top contenders on this list of cars that depreciate quickly. You get a good deal if you buy this car used due to its 38 percent depreciation rate, and it’s also hard to justify purchasing it brand new for this very reason. This is not the only car from Kia on the list since Kia’s big pseudo-luxury sedan still has to win over buyers of cars.
The Jaguar XK is becoming obsolete just like the Lincoln MKS. Jaguar has replaced this car with the F-type model, which is newer and fancier. A year ago, you had to shell out about $84.5k if you bought a Jaguar XK from a dealer but it has since lost 29.2 percent of its value. This specific Jaguar model is appropriate to be included in the list of cars which are best purchased used.
This original pony car’s 6th generation was always a performance bargain. If you look at the value and early prices in the used car market, you will see that with a V8 engine and great performance, the Mustang GT is worth ever penny in terms of power and looks. Since the current model is really hot right now, no one remembers the model before (modern muscle car) that has an outstanding 5.0-liter V8 engine and a cool design that is old school. Its original price was around $35k, but for a little more than $10k, you can buy this car and enjoy burning rubber.
The Sonata is a Hyundai mid-sized sedan that has a spacious interior, conventional design, power, and reasonable performance. This car has gained popularity over the years because it is a dependable and solid mode of transportation meant for the family. The $23k standard price occasionally goes up to $30,000. However, it is possible to find a 2011 Hyundai Sonata for about $8k; definitely a considerable price drop.
Lexus ES 350
Lexus has an esteemed reputation as a car company. Owners of Lexus vehicles have the tendency to favor luxury, a smooth, sleek design, and outstanding handling and speed. The Lexus ES 350 is most likely the company’s least interesting model. It certainly looks average and unremarkable on the outside. Perhaps this is the reason why it experiences a drop of $9.1k in its value during the first year of ownership.
According to Cars.com, it costs a little more than $41k to own a 2015 Charger for five years. With the original cost of $26k, the value of the car will drop over $8,000 (or roughly 45 percent) in the first year. Most models aren’t really interesting and don’t really have noteworthy add-on features. Perhaps the reason for the high depreciation rate is more popular, attractive, and upgradable competitors.
The sporty and sharp Chevy Camaro is said to have a depreciation rate of 39 percent during its first year, one of the highest rates on the entire list. The average cost to own a 2015 Camaro for 5 years is approximately $40k. After the car is driven off, it drops to $23.7k and in the first year of ownership, it loses over $8,000. Similar to a Mustang, SS or Corvette, the American-made Camaro is an example of a sports car that has worshipers like luxury car lines do, which is perhaps why the value of a Camaro drops like the value of a luxury car.
With a 35% depreciation rate, the Mitsubishi Lancer is just average on the list. This specific make and model is being advertised as a vehicle that is affordable but its depreciation within its first year is rather high. A Mitsubishi Lancer costs around $4k less than the base model of a Mini Cooper, but if you do a side-by-side comparison of both cars’ projected cost of ownership, the Cooper costs $5k less than the Lancer does. This is something you should keep in mind when deciding whether to purchase a brand new Mitsubishi Lancer or one that is used.
The luxury sedan CTS is always a part of Cadillac’s lineup. It is well-designed, is a dependable road warrior, and has solid engineering. However, its depreciation rate is 36.9 percent, higher than majority of luxury cars. Thus, a 2015 CTS that was brand new and cost around $45,000 when it was bought is now only worth about half that amount.
Chrysler 300 C
The Chrysler 300 C is definitely a veteran when it comes to luxury sedans since this car’s introduction back in 2005 sort of started the American classic sedan (big, muscular-looking, luxurious and powerful) revival. The availability of various powerful engines, like the V6, the V8, and the Hemi V8, became the major selling point for a lot of buyers around the world. The price of this stylish sedan is around $40k, but you only need to spend under $20k to get a Chrysler 300 C which is slightly used and a couple of years old. Although this means this car depreciated considerably within only a few years, the Chrysler 300 C is still perfect for you if you’re thinking of buying a luxury sedan that is mean-looking and big.
The Buick was reintroduced as a premium compact sedan manufacturer when it created the Regal. This car is practically a European Opel Insignia that is American-trimmed and has a Buick badge. The Regal has quite a few powerful turbocharged engines, drivetrain options, and many add-on features to choose from, so it soon became a prominent choice for luxury sedans which are affordable. Its original price is just below $30k, but you might be surprised to know that you can buy a cheap demo that is just a few years old for a little over $10k.
Fiat 500 L
The Fiat 500 L made many promises back in 2014, but just delivered a few, so its popularity and used cars market price was affected. Even if it’s a spacious family car with a decent trunk, it has quite a small engine and below average performance. Although it’s easy to drive with great visibility, driving its rivals is much more enjoyable as they have better performance and more power. With a little over $20k as its base price, you can get a 3-year-old 500 L for less than $14k, though this depreciation is quite significant for a car that is only three years old.
Just like other luxury vehicles, Jaguar’s cars are also hit with high rates of depreciation, so the mid-sized luxury sedan XF doesn’t cost very much if bought used. The XF was first released back in 2009 and its base price was $50,000, but most models cost about $60k since customers bought them including some add-ons. The base model included a V6-300hp engine, though a V8-420 hp engine is also available in the performance version. Today, you can get a 2010 or 2009 XF for under $15k (with full-service history and in good condition), definitely a great deal because the XF has a full leather interior, great design, advanced safety features, and powerful engine.
In the super competitive sector of executive sedans, the Lincoln MKZ was Ford’s response to the BMW 3-Series and the Mercedes C-Class. Sadly, although it is a true luxury model that has a rather powerful engine and high-level standard equipment, people never really acknowledged the MKZ as an actual rival. In spite of the 263 hp engine and leather interior of the MKZ, it could never really rival the speed and refinement of the other models, affecting its price. With its $35k base price, it might surprise you to learn that you can find a 5-year old MKZ that is in perfect condition, has low mileage and with a price tag of under $15k.
The Nissan Maxima is definitely worth every penny and could be thought of as a luxury vehicle since it’s big, powerful, nicely equipped, and comfortable. There was a new generation launched in 2016 that had a new engine (V6-300 hp), technology, and wonderful styling which cost just over $32k brand new. However, today, second-hand units fetch a little more than $20k, meaning it depreciated around $10,000 in only two years. For just two-thirds of the MSRP, you are getting a Maxima which is basically brand new and still under the warranty, which makes purchasing a Nissan Maxima definitely worth considering.
The K900 is the full-sized luxury sedan that Kia created as its answer to the BMW 7-Series and the Mercedes S-Class. This means you could imagine luxury features, creature comforts, powerful engine lineup, and a considerable price tag that will also depreciate quite significantly, similar to other luxury cars. In late 2014, the 2015 model was introduced and it came with high luxury, a 420-hp engine, and a standard price of around $60k, which was low in comparison with its competitors but surely high for a Kia. You can now find a 2-year old K900 that is well-cared for and priced at a little more than $30k, which is cheap considering it’s quite a large, premium model.
The VW Passat is not a luxury car but is actually a typical mid-sized family sedan that you can purchase for just under half of its base price. Boasting advanced features and technology, offering a variety of engines, and possessing the signature VW quality and style, the Passat is actually a good car. Unfortunately, with Volkswagen being embroiled in an emission cheating scandal, a lot of the diesel Passats were recalled a year ago, giving bad publicity to the entire diesel lineup of Volkswagen, and thereby causing the drop in the price of the said models. A 2014 VW Passat used to have an MSRP of $25k but it is now only $12-13k (depending on the options that you choose).
The Audi A8 is an uber-luxury sedan that is quite a popular premium model, charming buyers with luxury items, elegance, powerful engines, and advanced Quattro AWD. In spite of its size and luxury, it is built using aluminum, which makes the A8 relatively agile as well as light. Since the current model was launched some time ago, there is already noticeable depreciation, similar to other luxury vehicles. While the base price for a 372 hp engine short wheelbase version was around $80k, right now, a 2012 A8 model will only cost you about $30k and the W12 model will set you back $40k or less.
Introduced in 2013, the mid-sized Cadillac XTS has an elegant design and plenty of luxury options but it still failed to make an impact. Unlike the ATS or CTS, the XTS doesn’t have top driving dynamics, nor does it have the luxury which the larger CT6 offers, which makes the XTS sort of Cadillac’s middle child. A front-wheel drive that has a 304 hp engine, the base price of the Cadillac XTS is roughly $45k, which is definitely a huge amount of money. However, it’s possible to buy a well-kept XTS with low mileage for half of the base price, meaning it is one of the best deals as far as mid-sized luxury sedans are concerned.
The ZDX was an ambitious attempt by Acura to launch a sporty looking four-wheel drive crossover with a powerful engine and a low roofline, yet only four short years after it was introduced in 2010, it was taken off the market. Even though the ZDX seems perfect on paper, in reality, the car looks strange and ugly. It’s too bad because the market didn’t notice Acura’s signature qualities in the ZDX, like its powerful engine and nice interior. When the Acura ZDX was launched, the base price was around $35k, but you can find one which is a few years old for only $13k – quite a steal!
The super luxury car Maybach embodies the qualities of an extravagant sedan, so you might find it strange that it is included in this list for its really bad depreciation rate over the years. Think back to 2006, when the base price of a Maybach 57 was close to $400,000 and the 62 S model could fetch as high as $500k – definitely an outrageous amount of money! Nevertheless, due to depreciation, a Maybach right now costs about $50k and you can also find some lower priced Maybachs with more miles. This means that owning one of the most prestigious cars in the world will only set you back the same as a mid-size SUV would.
The Cadillac SRX is absolutely a good choice since it is a stylish SUV that boasts of quality, performance, and an ample interior room. Priced at around $40k, and with a 265 hp engine and luxury features, the SRX is pretty much a desirable model. It’s impressive that one can find an SRX that is well-maintained and preserved for only around $15k. This makes the Cadillac SRX a luxury SUV that is quite a bargain.
Even with a limited budget, you can still own an 8-seater with loads of features and good towing capacity if you choose the Chrysler Aspen. This multi-purpose rugged vehicle offers comfort and has decent styling but is unfortunately overlooked when stylish SUV models are considered. Back in 2009, the price of an Aspen was about $40k, yet you can now find one that is in decent shape and has the important features for $12-13k. In comparison with more recent models, it’s really cheap.
Among the Mercedes two-door models, the CL class is the most prestigious. Despite the SL being far sportier, the Mercedes CL is an actual GT car with powerful engines, best quality luxury features, and ample space for four people. With that prestige level, however, its price tag is quite hefty. When it started, it had a base price of over $100k. These days, a CL 500 which is in rather good condition will only cost you around $25k (roughly the same amount if you get an economy sedan).
The Dodge Magnum is pretty much the same as the Charger, however it does have a slightly different design and a sleeker profile. It has rear-wheel drive, a powerful engine and great build quality, making it very similar to the Charger or Chrysler 300C. Since the SUV market didn’t fully take to this vehicle, it can be bought for a very low price – close to $7k!
BMW 5 Series
Your first thought is probably that a BMW will surely cost a small fortune. After the first year, this car’s value actually plummets about 18%. The BMW 5 Series has a lot to boast, especially up against other models. It isn’t just luxurious, it is very powerful with its 248 hp engine too. After the first three years, its value can drop by 52.6%! You can pick one of these up for just over $30,000.
Nowadays you can buy a VW Passat for as little as $14,900. Part of the reason for this is because its value after three years will drop as much as 50.7%. This vehicle actually has excellent reviews and has become a favorite for families. Despite its value depreciation, people seem to continue buying this model.
Of course the Mercedes E-Class is a luxury series, but that doesn’t mean it’s out of the clutches of the depreciation factor. This model can lose up to 49.9% of its value, which causes many to question the value of buying it brand new. Even with its sleek look and extraordinary performance, it does have its shortfalls.
BMW 3 Series
Yet again we have another BMW on our list, and this time it is the BMW 3 Series. This model has actually been one of the best models in terms of sales and popularity. The facts however can not be ignored – 3 years after purchasing this vehicle, it will lose about 49.9% of its value. Ouch!
Ford offers an array of different types of vehicles, from trucks to sports cars and crossovers. The Ford Taurus is one of the more affordable models that Ford produces, but that doesn’t mean it is immune to the effects of depreciation. Within the first 3 years of after purchase the Taurus can be expected to lose 49.7% in value.
Chrysler generally has a steady reputation of selling affordable cars. Having said that, one might still want to consider the drop in value the Chrysler 200 will experience regardless of its affordability. The three-year depreciation value, which is something like a loss of 48.4%.
The famed German brand, Audi has been in the league of BMW and Mercedes-Benz for decades already. Its pride is rooted in its German engineering, beautiful designs and luxury features. The Audi A3 is one of the smaller models Audi produces, and its value can drop as much as 47.9% after the first three years.
“The Art of Performance” might be the tagline of one of Britain’s impressive vehicle brands, but performance isn’t the only factor one considers when purchasing a new vehicle. Checking the depreciation rate is greatly important too. The stunning Jaguar XJL, on average, loses 66.4% of its value just in the first three years. That is astounding!
BMW 6 Series
While there are many people who didn’t quite fall in love with the BMW 6 Series, others found the bold shape attractive. It came as a four-door sedan, a coupe, as well as a convertible. In comparison to the BMW 5 Series, the 6 Series loses a little more value at 68.3%.
Ford Fusion Energi
Many different car brands are getting on board with eco-friendly cars, and Ford didn’t want to get left behind. The CEO of iSeeCars, Phong Ly made an important comment: “Government incentives play a role in the steep depreciation of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles as their resale value is based on their lower effective post-incentive sticker price.” However good for the environment it is, Ford’s plug-in car has a depreciation rate of 96.4%.
Buying the Mercedes S-Class new is definitely going to leave a dent in your wallet, but you do have to consider that you’ll be getting Mercedes-Benz’s signature vehicle. This one comes with all the latest technological features and an elegant exoskeleton. You might want to know that this car is the fastest depreciating of Mercedes – 69.9%.
BMW 7 Series
The biggest sedan BMW has produced is the 7 Series, and along with its large size is its hefty depreciation rate. In comparison to other vehicles like it, the 7 Series loses 71.1% of its value over the course of five years, which is significantly higher.
When Chevrolet first revealed their Volt model, it was a bold move in a still-budding market. The car was electric, but also used gasoline to drive. In addition it could charge the batteries of the vehicle while driving – a concept that seemed out of this world back then. Today however its value drops pretty fast, 71.2%.
Ford has earned itself a good reputation as a provider of dependable and affordable vehicles. The Ford Focus serves the needs of many people with different lifestyles. Withing three years of purchase, the Ford Focus will lose close to 45% of its value.
Infiniti has worked hard to build a strong name in the motor vehicle industry. Many know this brand for its sporty flair, and that can be attributed to its powerful engines, sleekness and Nissan engineering. Unfortunately the combination of sedan and coupe has its price – a depreciation rate of 46.9%.
When it comes to advanced motor vehicle features, the Cadillac ATS can teach other car brands a thing or two. To name a couple of features, it has remote start which can be activated via a smartphone, as well as 4G WiFi. Despite having these very cool features, the Cadillac ATS loses up to 50.4% value.
Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2.0
The Italian’s are famous for producing some of the most impressive cars of all time. Putting aside the Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2.0’s beautiful look, there is what to be said about its value depreciation which is a lot higher than most of the cars on this list – 73.9% after three years.
Fiat Panda 0.9 Twinair
This compact hatchback was originally intended to offer 4×4 convenience with affordability. While the car does sell for a lot cheaper than other cars on this list, it still has a high depreciation value – a rate of 73.3%!
Fiat Punto 1.4
It’s no surprise that Fiat is in the minds of many when talking about compact cars. The Fiat Punto 1.4 is pretty much all that compact cars are about. This vehicle is actually only available in certain countries, and after seeing its depreciation rate of 73.8%, we can actually be grateful for that.
There has definitely been a shift in the way that Buick have produced their vehicles. They’ve progressed from just being an affordable car brand, to one that manufactures luxury cars too. Even though the Buick Enclave is a winner in the eyes of buyers, it still has a depreciation of 46.8%.
It’s up for debate that the Toyota Camry is the best-selling sedan in the United States. This car has been improving ever since its creation in 1982 when it was actually a compact car. Today however it is a sedan and has since moved out of Japan’s assembly line.
The Mercedes-Benz C250 is absolutely gorgeous. It truly stands out as a luxury vehicle and competitors have for a long time been jealous of this model. What they might not be envious about is the depreciation rate which it brings – 34.4% in the first year, which is the equivalent of about $15,247.
If you’re looking to buy this Swedish car firsthand, you’ll have to be willing to dish out something between $34,150-$59,300. In it’s first year off the showroom floor, it loses about $14,200 which is approximately 34.4% of its original value.
The VW Jetta has a strong resemblance to the VW Passat, and not just because they’re both on this list. Even though they share many positive traits, the Jetta is prone to lose just over 48% of its value. Most car reviews simply refer to this vehicle as a good car with bad resale value.