30 Cars That Are Plummeting in Value
That sweet-smelling new car starts losing value the moment you drive it off the dealer's lot. According to AutoTrader.com, "the average car depreciates in value by 35 percent in three years." Here are 30 cars that take the steepest plunge.
BMW 5 Series
This handsome ride loses a staggering 52.6 percent of its value after three years, making it the worst car for depreciation over that period, according to Auto Trader’s reporting on a 2018 study of more than four million car sales to determine which cars depreciate the fastest over three years (the average lease term). Find out if the 5 Series ranks as one of the best used cars to buy.
This stately, sleek Benz drops in value by half over three years mostly because of the bulk of E-Class purchases are actually three-year leases, so there is always a supply of pre-owned Mercedes-Benz on dealer lots. Also, a factor in why many people only want to drive luxury cars for three years at a time is the high cost of maintaining them as they get older. Dare to keep an E-Class for five years and see your fancy ride shed $35,000 in value!
According to Auto Remarketing, “The Passat underwent a significant redesign in 2016, its first overhaul since it was introduced to the American market in 2011, to include upgrades in its safety features and infotainment technology.” The predictable result of the remodel has been a reduced demand for older Passats and that has lead to high depreciation. There are secrets to buying new and used cars—here are car buying tips for used cars to read before driving to the dealer.
BMW 3 Series
What is it about BMWs? The Series 3 loses nearly half of its value after only three years! Here’s one of the main reasons why the BMW Series 3, like other luxury cars, lose so much value so quickly: leases. The majority of high-end vehicles are leased and the three-year lease is the most popular, meaning there is a flood of pre-owned BMWs and Mercedes-Benz sedans on lots making this a supply and demand issue more than a long-standing quality one.
This electric vehicle was once an auto industry disrupter but with the EV range expanding, the first generation Leaf’s 107-mile range is closer to a dinosaur of the past than a vision of the future. As a result, the Nissan Leaf is depreciating at a rapid rate, the highest of any car on the road over a five-year period per iSeeCars.com, losing nearly three-quarters of its value not long after you’d have spent the generous tax credits awarded for the initial purchase.
A massive remodel of a popular automotive nameplate is another cause of quick depreciation in cars. According to The Drive, the Impala was overhauled in 2014 which put downward pressure on previous models that suddenly weren’t as sexy to drive. Whether you want an affordable used Impala or a new Toyota, here are simple tricks for outsmarting car salespeople.
The Korean manufacturer’s luxury brand loses over a third of its value after just 12 months which isn’t good for your resale or trade-in prospects but is a boon for those shopping in the pre-owned car market. In fact, according to a new iSeeCars.com study, the Genesis G90 is one of the fastest selling used cars sitting on the market for only, on average, 56 days.
Gas prices can have a dramatic impact on long term car value. As prices at the pump rise, hulking SUVs like the Yukon depreciate in value because buyers start doing the math to see how much it will cost to fill up the tank and how little MPG they will be getting in exchange for the thrill of being at the helm of this V8 beast.
While the brand has proven to consumers that it represents true class on the road, the Cadenza is a model that hasn’t quite caught on. This unfamiliarity leads to a rapid depreciation of value as consumers looking for a used car will not be rushing out to buy a vehicle they’ve likely never heard of. Conversely, this means there is value for used car shoppers who’ve done their research and know that Cadenza is a very fine ride indeed. The Kia brand is racking up dependability awards; find out which other cars will last you 250,000 miles.
BMW X1, X3, X5, X6
In a five-year period, these luxurious BMW SUVs plummeted in value at a rate of more than 60 percent, according to a 2018 study of depreciation. Compare that to Toyota models like the Rav4, 4Runner, and Highlander, all of which have a lower sticker price and retain on average 17 percent more of their original cost. If you must own a BMW, don’t count on resale or trade-in value down the road—such is the price of luxury.
Luxury cars already depreciate at a staggeringly high rate. When you add in the discontinuation of a model, you are left with a vehicle that may have lost more than half of its original value before your lease is finished. This Lincoln is no longer being produced and its no longer worth nearly what the sticker price read while on the dealer’s lot.
Thanks to rapidly evolving technology, high cost of replacing the EV battery, and range anxiety among its drivers, the Volt sees over a 70 percent drop in value after five years of ownership. You’ll feel great rarely having to stop at a gas station, but that smile may turn to a frown when trying to trade-in or sell a Volt. A reliable car will hold on to more of its value; here are the most reliable cars on the road today.
BMW 6 Series
Yet another BMW makes the list—and for similar reasons: High turnover after three-year leases expiring and no shortage of supply on BMW dealer’s pre-owned lots. This model BMW depreciates at a rate of 68 percent over five years.
Of course, this car looks amazing, but expect to lose nearly two-thirds of the value of your luxury Jaguar over a three-year period. If you’re looking for a ride that will retain the most value, check out the premium trim of a Subaru Impreza, the sports car that depreciates the least, according to iSeeCars.com.
Once again a high-tech, eco-friendly ride lands on the list of fast-depreciating cars because of the year-over-year advancements in fuel efficiency and technology. The Prius and the Prius C have an average five-year depreciation of more than 50 percent. Want to keep more of your car’s value? Get rid of the smoke smell inside!
Ford Fusion Energi
In the world of hybrids, this model isn’t nearly as well known. But like others of its kind, the Fusion Energi depreciates rapidly; add to that the lack of familiarity among consumers, and you have a car that loses more than 69 percent of its value over five years, according to iSeeCars.com.
Audi S4, S5, S6, S7
These four Audi luxury sports cars rank with the worst vehicles when it comes to plummeting values. Maintaining an Audi can get expensive, and that leads to depreciation as consumers looking for pre-owned cars are hoping to avoid large repair bills. As Consumer Reports once said, “Audis are a sinkhole of service problems.”
Kia’s second car on this list of plummeting resale values is nothing short of glamorous; even Lebron James got behind the wheel as the pitchman for Kia’s first and finest high-end sedan. But to this day not many car consumers have ever heard of it, meaning you can find a two-year-old K900 for about half its original sticker price.
Phong Ly, the CEO of iSeeCars.com, attributes the Maxima’s 34 percent drop in value to a recent makeover. “The 2014 Maxima was the last model of its generation, and the redesign had been delayed a full model year. As a result, the 2014 model lagged beyond the competition in terms of technology and styling, decreasing consumer interest.”
After just a single year of ownership, this luxury sedan from Chrysler loses nearly 32 percent of its value, reports Forbes. In real terms, that’s a whopping average net loss of $13,351. If you want a 300, there may be supreme value in the pre-owned market on Chrysler dealer lots. Find out what happens to your car after you trade it in.
While luxury cars typically take a hit, smaller sporty cars aren’t immune to depreciation: The Fiat 500 gives back almost a third of its value thanks to an eye-popping depreciation rate after only one year. Turns out the Fiat’s size, as well as its long-term value, are equally tiny.
The S-Class is “one of the best new luxury cars you can buy, but that hasn’t stopped it from depreciating 69.9 percent on average,” reports Road and Track. That staggeringly high percentage of depreciation equates to roughly $62,840 of original value lost over a five-year period. A luxury car may be one of the things you should never pay full price for.
BMW 7 Series
The flagship of BMW’s impressive sedan has no shortage of luxurious appointments—and it raises (lowers?) the bar on depreciation rate. You can expect your 7 Series to lose 71 percent of its original value which amounts to just under $60,000. Of course, that’s good news if you want a pre-owned BMW—but bad news if you have designs on selling or trading in after a half-decade of ownership. Next, learn 100 car maintenance tasks you can do yourself.