There two ways to think about cars that depreciate faster than you can say “Fiat.” On the one hand, the original buyer will feel major regret when trying to sell within a few years of a new-vehicle purchase.
However, for the savvy used car shopper, these models represent a real opportunity. Rather than spending $35,000 on a 2018 Nissan, you can pick up the 2017 edition for $23,000. For luxury car buyers, it could mean $20,000 off the cost of a lightly-used Benz.
Indeed, a February 2018 study from iSeeCars.com showed just how much a vehicle’s value can drop in a single year. In some cases, popular models were barely worth 60% of their purchase price 12 months down the line.
Here are eight cars that lost at least 30% of their value after just one year of ownership.
8. Kia Sedona
Minivan buyers might prefer things just so, but heading to the used market for a Kia Sedona is the way to go. According to the iSeeCars data, this model lost a full 30% of its value in one year’s time.
In dollar terms, that meant Sedona buyers who accepted used models saved an average of $9,682 in 2017. That’s a lot of fill-ups on the way home from soccer practice.
Next: Even America’s favorite car will see value drain following a redesign.
7. Toyota Camry
It might seem like headline news to see Camry losing an average of 30.7% value ($8,213) in a single year of ownership. After all, America’s favorite car also happens to be among the most reliable vehicles of the decade.
iSeeCars.com CEO Phong Ly explained what drove this phenomenon. “Camry’s inclusion on this list can be attributed to the 2018 redesign, which updated the powertrain, improved the handling, and added new exterior styling on top of new safety features,” Ly said.
“The improvements come at a premium, so compared to new models, one-year-old Camrys are much cheaper.”
Next: Luxury sedans traditionally mightily to retain value.
6. Infiniti Q50
In years past, luxury sedans made up the bulk of iSeeCars lists showing which cars are better off buying used. The 2018 data is no different, and Infiniti Q50 could be considered a usual suspect.
Over one year of ownership, lessees might only rack up 10,000 miles or so on their Q50. Once these gently used models went back on the market in 2017, the value dropped an average of 32.2%. That meant nearly $15,000 off the original price.
Next: Cadillac sedans are no strangers to these lists, either.
5. Cadillac CTS
Lease terms play a huge factor in luxury car depreciation. Phong Ly noted how common it is for a Cadillac or similar model to be leased by companies for use of management. With the quick turnaround, they see a considerable drop in price — even after just one year.
In the case of Cadillac CTS, this model dropped an average of 33.4% over 12 months’ time. It was like seeing $18,170 disappear, but without the optical illusion.
Next: Sedans by Ford’s luxury brand saw an even steeper decline in value.
4. Lincoln MKZ
While Lincoln MKZ shared the usual depreciation issues luxury models have, this sedan faced an even bigger challenge from one model year to the next. That would be MKZ’s new look unveiled for 2017.
Anyone caught with an edition from 2016 or earlier immediately had a less attractive MKZ, and the used market showed it. After one year, MKZ value plunged an average of 33.7% ($14,328).
Next: If you want a break on a Mercedes, just wait one year.
3. Mercedes-Benz E-Class
While purchasing a vehicle usually makes better financial sense than leasing, luxury sedans tell the other side of a story.
Take the Mercedes E-Class. This well-reviewed Benz has an average purchase price over $65,000. By late 2017, when one-year-old models hit the market, they’d lost an average of $22,919 (34.5%).
New E-Class buyers could see more than half the purchase price disappear when they went to sell in three years. Even paying a high-cost lease would get you more for your money.
Next: A mediocre, soon-to-be-discontinued Jeep is not a good buy.
2. Jeep Compass
In the last model year before a redesign, you’ll see the stock of any vehicle plummet. When you’re talking about one of the least reliable vehicles of the era, the sell-off will reach a frantic pitch.
That’s exactly what happened with Jeep Compass. As the new edition hit the market, the previous model downright plummeted on the used-car circuit. iSeeCars.com data showed Compass losing 34.8% ($9,652) on average in a single year.
Next: Only one used car managed to depreciate more than 35% over 12 months.
1. Cadillac ATS
Even assuming a hit after a short luxury lease, losing close to 40% of value in one year is astounding. That’s what happened with Cadillac ATS over the 12-month period that ended in early 2018.
Buyers who went to sell lost an average of 38.7%. Those who wanted a lightly used ATS scored big: They saved an average of $20,965 off the new-model price.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!