You'd be crazy to buy one of these new
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You'd be crazy to buy one of these new

Buying a new car can be an amazing experience, but it isn't without its faults. Perhaps the worst part of buying a car is the depreciation immediately following the purchase. As soon as you sign on the dotted line, your car immediately loses a big chunk of value. So it makes a lot of sense to buy a late-model used car. The loss from depreciation won't be as bad as on a new car, and you could save money thanks to the reduced value. And it turns out that if you pick the right model, that savings could be huge.

The car shopping site iSeeCars looked at the value of late-model used cars after three years, the period of time after which many leased vehicles are returned and go for sale as used cars. The company then compared those values with the price of the cars when new to find which ones depreciated the most, and were thus the best deals on the market. This gallery features the 11 most depreciated cars, and surprisingly, they're all pretty good.

Ford Focus
  • Image Credit: Ford

11. Ford Focus: 45% Depreciation, $11,853 Average Price

Starting out our list is an already affordable compact, the Ford Focus. Of course it becomes extraordinarily affordable when it loses 45-percent of its value. With an average price of $11,853, the Focus is also the cheapest car on this list. And you get lots of car for that money. We really enjoy the Focus's agile handling, comfortable ride, and plenty of tech amenities found on higher trim levels.
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Ford Fusion
  • Image Credit: Ford

10. Ford Fusion: 45.1% Depreciation, $15,140 Average Price

The Ford Fusion experiences ever-so-slightly worse depreciation than its smaller sibling, the Focus. And like the Focus, you get a lot for the money. This larger, more practical sedan wraps Aston Martin-esque looks around a willing chassis. It was also offered with naturally aspirated and turbocharged four-cylinder engines, the former of which could be had with an impressively good manual transmission.
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Volkswagen Jetta
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen

9. Volkswagen Jetta: 46.4% Depreciation, $13,033 Average Price

The Volkswagen Jetta is one of five German cars on this list, and it also happens to be the second cheapest. It's attractive average price of just over $13,000 also nets one of the best versions of the Jetta yet. For 2014, VW finally discontinued its ancient 2.5-liter 5-cylinder in favor of a new turbocharged 4-cylinder that we found to be world's better than its predecessor. On top of that, multi-link rear suspension once again became standard for all models, and the car retained the expansive interior it received with the 2011 redesign.
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Infiniti Q50
  • Image Credit: Infiniti

8. Infiniti Q50: 46.9% Depreciation, $24,956 Average Price

The Infiniti Q50 represents both the first luxury sedan on this list and the first car from Japan. Though not always the first word in compact luxury sedans, it's not one to overlook. Our experience revealed that it blended sharp handling with a perky engine without sacrificing comfort or refinement. However, we would recommend avoiding the hybrid and any models equipped with the steer-by-wire system.
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BMW 3 Series
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7. BMW 3 Series: 46.9% Depreciation, $24,821 Average Price

The BMW 3 Series, unlike the Q50, often is the first word in compact luxury cars. And with good reason. The 3er has consistently been one of the most fun and engaging sport sedans in the segment. This generation, launched for 2012, maintained the 3 Series sedan's sporty reputation, both with the classic straight-six as well as its new turbocharged four-cylinder variants.
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Nissan Maxima
  • Image Credit: Nissan

6. Nissan Maxima: 47.9% Depreciation, $18,867 Average Price

The only other Japanese car on this list is another Nissan product. This generation of Nissan Maxima features a VQ-series V6 just like the previously mentioned Infiniti Q50. But unlike the Infiniti, the Maxima's VQ sent power to the front, and we found that it could make steering... interesting. Still this Maxima is comfortable, fast, and features a gorgeous body.
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BMW 5 Series
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5. BMW 5 Series: 48% Depreciation, $33,474 Average Price

Our second BMW is the 5 Series, and with its increased size over the 3 Series is a bigger price tag, but also bigger depreciation. What you'll get for the money is a quiet, comfortable luxury sedan with the excellent steering BMW is known for. This generation also featured a wide array of engines from a torquey diesel up to a big V8.
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Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Image Credit: Mercedes-Benz

4. Mercedes-Benz C-Class: 48.3% Depreciation, $23,212 Average Price

Taking the fourth position is a direct competitor to the BMW 3 Series, the Mercedes C-Class. Greater depreciation means that this compact Merc is slightly more affordable than the Bavarian alternative. It also offers a good amount of interior space and solid driving dynamics.
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Mercedes-Benz E-Class
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3. Mercedes-Benz E-Class: 48.4% Depreciation, $33,727 Average Price

The C-Class's bigger brother E-Class also has a slightly worse depreciation rate. At its three-year-old heavily discounted price, you'll be able to pick up this midsize Benz with its buckets of technology. It also has some sweet turbocharged engines.
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Cadillac ATS
  • Image Credit: Cadillac

2. Cadillac ATS: 50.4% Depreciation, $21,173 Average Price

Breaking the 50-percent mark for depreciation is the Cadillac ATS. This compact luxury sedan comes in at a lower average price than its two German competitors on this list. In our experience, it is just as fun to drive and just as luxurious as those competitors, despite a few minor flaws. That makes it a great used-car bargain.
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Cadillac CTS
  • Image Credit: Cadillac

1. Cadillac CTS: 51.4% Depreciation, $27,537 Average Price

Topping the charts with a whopping 51.4-percent depreciation is the Cadillac CTS. As with the ATS, the CTS offers just as much luxury and performance as its German rivals, but at an even bigger discount. All of the powertrains are pretty solid, too, but our favorite is the CTS V-Sport with a twin-turbocharged, 420-horsepower V6.
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  List

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