All cars depreciate, but some are worse than others
The average vehicle in the United States loses about half of its value after five years, according to a new study by iSeeCars.com. Some automobiles, though, lose value at a much faster pace.
This data was compiled from more than 3.6 million new car sales from model year 2013, and more than 750,000 used cars from that year that were sold between January and September 2018.
While rapidly declining value can be a terrible thing for the car's original owner, it's worth mentioning that depreciation like what you're about to see on this list often means that a nice car can be bought for cheap on the used market.
Click on the image above to see the 10 vehicles that lose the most value after five years on the road.
10. Chevrolet Impala
Chevy Impala: 66.2%
We're not shocked to see the Chevy Impala on this list. But, as you'll soon see, this fullsize sedan is a bit of an outlier on the depreciation list.
“The Impala underwent a major redesign in 2014, which lowers the demand for the 2013 model,” said iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly. “Additionally, they are often used as rental vehicles, and the oversupply of these vehicles coming out of fleets lowers their demand and results in steep depreciation.”
Chevrolet Impala Information
9. Jaguar XJL
Jaguar XJL: 66.4%
The Jaguar XJL is the long-wheelbase version of the British automaker's largest sedan. It's a beautiful car that's great to drive, but, like other luxurious models, it depreciates much faster than average.
“Luxury vehicles depreciate at a higher rate because they are often leased, which leads to a surplus of three-year-old off-lease versions of these vehicles that lowers the demand for the older models,” said Ly. “While these luxury models quickly lose a lot of their value, they still don’t drop in price enough to attract used car shoppers who may be reluctant to pay the premium for high-end trims and technological features.”
Jaguar XJ Information
8. Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Mercedes-Benz E-Class: 67.2%
Like the Jaguar that we just saw, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a very nice car. But, also like the Jag, it was expensive when new and remains expensive to maintain over time.
But the E-Class isn't the worst vehicle in its class, or even the worst vehicle from Mercedes-Benz when it comes to overall depreciation.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Information
7. BMW 5 Series
BMW 5 Series: 67.3%
Coming in just one tenth of a percentage point higher in overall depreciation after five years than the E-Class is the BMW 5 Series. And that makes sense. The 5er and the E-Class are bitter rivals competing for the same buyers year after year.
Like the Benz, BMW's mid-level sedan loses value at a much faster rate than average in the United States.
6. BMW 6 Series
BMW 6 Series: 68.3%
The BMW 6 Series is a bit of an oddball in the luxury landscape. For years it was available as a coupe, a convertible, or as a four-door sedan with a rakish roofline that BMW calls a coupe (but isn't).
Even if it's hard to categorize, the BMW 6 Series loses value just a wee bit worse than the automaker's slightly lower-grade 5 Series.
5. Ford Fusion Energi
Ford Fusion Energi: 69.4%
The electrified Ford Fusion midsize sedan interrupts one trend – luxury sedans – and kicks off another. The plug-in Ford is the first eco-friendly vehicle on this list, but it won't be the last.
“Government incentives play a role in the steep depreciation of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles as their resale value is based off their lower effective post-incentive sticker price,” said Ly.
Ford Fusion Information
4. Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Mercedes-Benz S-Class: 69.9%
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the German automaker's flagship sedan. It's loaded to the gills with technology, and as such, it was expensive when new. And if the history of the S-Class is any indication, all those advanced systems will be very expensive to fix.
But, like the E-Class that we saw earlier on this list, the S-Class isn't the fastest-depreciating vehicle in its segment.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Information
3. BMW 7 Series
BMW 7 Series: 71.1%
The first vehicle to break the 70-percent depreciation barrier after five years of ownership is the BMW 7 Series sedan. It's interesting that both the 5 Series and the 7 Series depreciate at a slightly quicker pace than their rivals from Mercedes-Benz.
Just two vehicles remain, and they are neck-and-neck in the rankings.
2. Chevrolet Volt
Chevrolet Volt: 71.2%
The Chevy Volt made big waves in the automotive industry when it was first announced. It's an electric car with a gasoline-powered engine that's capable of charging the batteries while you drive.
It was a revolutionary concept when new, but now that it's getting older, values are dropping fast. But there's one green vehicle that depreciates even more after five years of ownership.
Chevrolet Volt Information
1. Nissan Leaf
Nissan Leaf: 71.7%
And the biggest loser of them all is ... the Nissan Leaf. At an EPA-estimated 73 miles of range, this all-electric hatchback offers enough juice for the vast majority of commuters in the United States to run everywhere they need to go without stopping for a charge. But it's starting to show its age, and newer versions of the Leaf and its competitors offer more range for a reasonable price.
Says Ly, “Since the technology of EVs changes at a rapid pace, outdated technology also contributes to their dramatic depreciation as well as range anxiety and lack of public charging infrastructure.”