Buying a car and seeing it lose a huge chunk of value immediately is no fun. If you plan on keeping the vehicle for a long time, the loss of value may not be such a big deal. But, if you need to sell or trade it in, quick value depreciation can cause big money problems.
On the flip side, knowing what cars lose value the fastest can work to your advantage. So, we referenced U.S. News & World Report, CarBuzz and iSeeCars to compile this list. Instead of buying one of the following vehicles new, you could snag one that’s a few years old, letting someone else take the value hit. That way, you get a great car for a killer price.
With about a 46 percent devaluation within the first three years, the Buick Enclave drops in value like a rock with wheels. While luxury cars are notorious for quick depreciation, crossovers in general retain their value better thanks to strong market demand. In other words, the Enclave is a rarity in all the wrong ways.
It’s no longer being made, but the SRX is still a presence in the used vehicle market. Like the Buick Enclave, the SRX didn’t enjoy the kind of strong demand luxury crossovers usually command. After about three years, this Caddie loses about 47 percent of its original value. That means you can get a used model for pretty cheap. The SRX’s replacement, the Cadillac XT5, probably won’t lose its value quite as quickly, but we’ll see in a few years if that’s the case.
It’s no surprise to see a German luxury vehicle on a list like this. This little Audi sedan also loses about 47 percent of its original value after three years. That makes it a bad investment, if you’re focusing purely on the financials. Of course, this is the most affordable Audi car on the market, so some might not mind taking the value hit. Then again, that makes it just that much cheaper to buy used, which can be a great deal.
If you want a Jetta, you might want to go for a certified used model instead of one fresh off the assembly line. The car loses about 48 percent of its value in the first three years, which is pretty steep. While the Jetta isn’t exactly expensive brand new, that means a lightly used model is quite affordable.
Another vehicle that’s no longer being made, thanks to soft demand. The lack of shoppers lining up to buy the 200 has led to over 48 percent of the car’s value eroding within the first three years. Blessed with eye-candy styling, just remember that even Fiat Chrysler’s CEO criticized the poor headroom for rear passengers as they enter and exit the vehicle.
The big sedan from the Blue Oval takes a pummeling when it comes to devaluation in the first three years, dropping almost 50 percent. Like other vehicles on this list, the Taurus doesn’t exactly generate wait lists at dealerships, hence why its value suffers. That’s the reason why this model is on the chopping block as Ford looks to cut costs and boost profits.
BMW 3 Series
Like the Taurus, the 3 Series drops about half its value in the first three years. Of course, people often lease BMWs, thanks to the fear of paying for expensive repairs. Modern Bimmers have become notorious for problems that can run into the thousands of dollars to fix. If you’re brave and want to pick up a BMW 3 Series used, you’ll get a solid deal on the purchase.
Yet another German luxury sedan, and it too loses about half its overall value within three years. The E-Class isn’t exactly cheap, thanks to the many cutting-edge technologies included or available for the car. Like Bimmers, this sedan is often leased, thanks to the mortgage-payment-sized repair bills.
Tipping the scale at over 50 percent depreciation within the first three years, the Volkswagen Passat is a car you probably don’t want to buy new and then resell shortly after. The good news is if you want the largest sedan in VW’s lineup, snagging one used for a solid deal isn’t difficult at all.
BMW 5 Series
If you really want to see your money burn, buy a brand new BMW 5 Series. It loses about 53 percent of its initial value in the first three years, which almost matches the M5’s 0-60 time. Again, these cars are often leased out of the fear of humongous repair bills, so scooping up one for a steep discount could still come with a financial penalty on the backend.
Swedish luxury can cost you in the end, especially if you choose the Volvo S60 as your daily ride. The previous generation of the sedan loses about 59 percent of its value within five years. All that safety equipment doesn’t protect your hard-earned cash, unless you’ve waited and want to scoop up one of these used. While they drive alright, don’t expect a super performance-oriented experience like what you might get with some competitors.
Land Rover Range Rover
These ultra-luxurious SUVs are huge status symbols in certain circles, despite their notorious history for big repairs. Also, the retail price for one of these is pretty steep, but if you pick up one that’s about five years old, you’ll get about a 59 percent discount. That’s still not cheap, which probably explains why you don’t see many of these out on rugged trails.
Going all-electric can seem intimidating, but the Volt eases you into it. The car is powered by an electric motor, but a gasoline motor acts as a type of onboard generator, so you’re not left in the middle of nowhere without a place to recharge the battery. If you opt for one that’s about five years old, the Chevy Volt loses around 59 percent of its value by then. That way you’ll save on gas and vehicle costs.
On Saturday Night Live, Jim Carrey did a parody of the Matthew McConaughey Lincoln commercials, stating that nobody buys a Lincoln because it makes sense. That might be true, especially for people who snagged the old MKZ when it was brand new. The midsize luxury sedan loses close to 60 percent of its original value after five years.
BMW 7 Series
The biggest BMW sedan is also the biggest loser of value, with about 63 percent of it melting away in five years. There’s a price to be paid when getting all that cutting-edge tech in the 7 Series, like those systems breaking and costing your firstborn child to have them repaired. If you see someone driving a used 7 Series, just remember they might’ve paid a fraction of the original price for that privilege.
Not to be outdone by a Bimmer, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class takes almost a 64 percent price drop at five years. Just like the 7 Series, you can chalk a lot of that up to the envelope-pushing features that love to break and cost a small fortune to fix. While the one percent might take a bath on the purchase price for this car, you can enjoy champagne on a beer budget, as long as you can also cover future repairs.