With car dealers’ lots being flooded with a tsunami of off-lease vehicles returning to the market following the big post-recession new-car sales surge, used car shoppers are finding some sweet deals being offered on three-year-old like-new models.
As always, the best buys among pre-owned vehicles are usually those which, perhaps because of slow sales and/or hefty incentives required to move the metal, tend to suffer the lowest resale values. Of course, depreciation is a two-way street when it comes to automobiles. A too-rapid loss of value is the bane of new-car buyers as it means getting less money at trade-in time, but it favors a used car shopper looking for a great car at a bargain price.
To that end, the statisticians at the used-vehicle website iSeeCars.com have compiled a list of 11 cars from the 2014 model year that have already lost the highest percentages of their original sticker prices in the industry, based on an analysis of 5.8 million car sales.
11. 2014 Ford Focus
The 2014 Focus is one of the best deals among late-model used cars, having lost 45.0% of its original cost. It sells for an average $11,853, according to iSeeCars.com, which is about a third of the cost of a typical new vehicle these days.
10. 2014 Ford Fusion
Having received a major makeover for 2013, a three-year-old version of the midsize Fusion sedan remains handsomely styled, and you’ll find one with either of three gasoline engines in addition to separate hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. A standard 2014 model has already lost 45.1% of its sticker price on a used-car lot, where it’s going for an average $15,140.
9. 2014 Volkswagen Jetta
The compact Jetta sedan got an engine upgrade for 2014 among other improvements. Still, it’s already lost 46.4% of its initial sticker price in the used market, where it sells for a bargain-priced average $13,033.
8. 2014 Infiniti Q50
The midsize Q50 was new for 2014, and despite myriad improvements over the G37 it replaced, it tended to be overshadowed by the European competition. The 2014 has already lost 46.9% of its original worth, and sells for an average $24,956.
7. 2014 BMW 3 Series
This is the compact sports sedan to which all competitors aspire, and it’s arguably one of the best-handling cars for the money. That’s especially true as a three-year-old used car, where a preponderance of off-lease models has dropped a 3 Series’ value by 46.9%, with an average 2014 model going for $24,821.
6. 2014 Nissan Maxima
You certainly do get the Maxima for the minimum as a 2014 model-year used car. Nissan’s modestly sporty midsize sedan loses 47.9% of its value after three years and sells for an average $18,867.
5. 2014 BMW 5 Series
Like its main rival, the Mercedes E-Class, a large number of BMW’s midsize 5-Series sport sedans are leased, with the law of supply and demand working in favor of used-car buyers; a 2014 model has already lost 48.0% of its initial value and sell for a national average of $33,474.
4. 2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
The same holds true for Mercedes’ compact sedan as it does for the larger E-Class; a steep 48.3% drop in value after three years makes the C-Class a second-hand bargain at an average $23,212.
3. 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Mercedes’ midsize sedan was refreshed for 2014, though it received a full redesign for 2017. Still, there’s a lot to like here, especially in that a three-year old version has already lost 48.4% of its original value and sells at an average $33,727.
2. 2014 Cadillac ATS
Caddy’s answer to the BMW 3 Series comes in coupe and sedan models; it’s quick and nimble, but sells in far less numbers than the European entries, and usually requires big incentives at that. It loses 50.4% of its original value as a used 2014 model, selling for an average $21,173.
1. 2014 Cadillac CTS
The midsize Cadillac CTS luxury sedan suffers the highest rate of depreciation among vehicles from the 2014 model year, according to the used-vehicle website iSeeCars.com. Otherwise a capable and competent ride, It’s already lost 51.4% of its original sticker price and sells for an average $27,537 (check local used-car listings for vehicle prices specific to your area).
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