Cars that depreciate the most in three years
Top 10 Fastest Depreciating Cars
It's a sinking feeling many new car buyers are well aware of: the knowledge that your brand-new car just lost a bunch of money, just because you drove it off the lot.
According to iSeeCars.com, the average vehicle loses just over 39 percent of its value after three years of ownership. Some models, though, depreciate at a far faster rate.
While that's bad news for owners who paid full asking price for a brand-new car, it does mean deals can be found on the second-hand market. According to iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly, “Three years is a popular age for used car buyers because the cars have taken a major depreciation hit, but likely have many of the latest modern safety and technology features,” said iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly. “Some of these bargains provide good opportunities for car shoppers as reliable vehicles that are discounted because they simply aren’t as popular in their vehicle segments.”
Find out which models depreciate fastest by clicking on the image above.
10. Audi A4
Avg. 3-Year-Old Used Price: $22,413
% Depreciation: 51%
The Audi A4 kicks this list off in 10th position, and in the process it starts a couple of trends. First, nearly every vehicle on this list boasts four (or more) doors, all but two in a traditional sedan format. Second, all but one vehicle in the top 10 come from luxury marques — including one more Audi.
Audi A4 Information
9. Infiniti QX60
Avg. 3-Year-Old Used Price: $25,967
% Depreciation: 51%
The Infiniti QX60 is the lone crossover on this list of the top 10 biggest depreciators after three years of ownership. It matches the Audi A4's 51% rate of depreciation, but since the three-row CUV's sticker price is a bit higher than the A4's, that 51% equals a loss of $27,078 over that three-year span.
Infiniti QX60 Information
8. BMW 4 Series
Avg. 3-Year-Old Used Price: $26,998
% Depreciation: 51.7%
The BMW 4 Series lands in eighth spot on the biggest-depreciators list, losing 51.7% of its value after three years of ownership. The 4 Series is available in coupe, convertible and fastback-hatchback Grand Coupe styles. There's one more model from BMW on the list, and you'll see it a few spots deeper into the red zone.
BMW 4 Series Information
7. Infiniti Q50
Avg. 3-Year-Old Used Price: $23,140
% Depreciation: 51.8%
The second Infiniti on the list is the Q50 sedan, landing in seventh with a 51.8% depreciation score after three years of ownership. It's the premium Japanese brand's answer to the Audi A4 and segment-defining BMW 3 Series (Are we foreshadowing here? Maybe!), and like other compact luxury sedans, it's a big depreciator.
Infiniti Q50 Information
6. Lincoln MKZ
Avg. 3-Year-Old Used Price: $21,517
% Depreciation: 51.8%
Lincoln's midsize luxury sedan comes in to flavors. This list includes the standard gasoline-fueled MKZ, though the hybrid alternative is also a big depreciator, losing 49.7% of its value after three years of ownership. Either way, the MKZ's expansive collection of luxurious options may make it especially attractive to bargain shoppers looking for a high-end car with an affordable upfront price.
Lincoln MKZ Information
5. Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Avg. 3-Year-Old Used Price: $31,454
% Depreciation: 55.4%
In fifth place with 55.4% depreciation after three years is the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. It may not be the biggest depreciator, but with an average price of $31,454, it does hold the distinction of being the most expensive used vehicle in the top 10 list.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Information
4. Volvo S60
Avg. 3-Year-Old Used Price: $19,702
% Depreciation: 53.2%
We didn't call it out when we mentioned the sedan and luxury marque trends, but it's worth noting that half of the vehicles on the depreciation list are German. Two are American, two are Japanese (both from Infiniti, as we've already seen), and one, the Volvo S60 you see here in fourth position, is Swedish. If you're looking for a deal on a luxury sedan, you may want to consider the S60 as it is the only one in the top 10 biggest depreciators list that's under $20,000.
Volvo S60 Information
3. BMW 3 Series
Avg. 3-Year-Old Used Price: $22,718
% Depreciation: 53.4%
Surely you saw this one coming. We already saw the BMW 4 Series on this list, along with several competitors for the 3 Series you see here, so it's no surprise to see BMW's bread-and-butter luxury sedan in third position on the depreciation list.
BMW 3 Series Information
2. Ford Fusion Hybrid
Avg. 3-Year-Old Used Price: $13,565
% Depreciation: 54.9%
If you're in the market for a relatively recent used vehicle that ought to prove safe, reliable and equipped with all the modern conveniences, the Ford Fusion should probably be on your list. At $13,565 after three years of ownership, the hybrid version of Ford's midsize sedan is easily the least expensive vehicle on this list of depreciators. It's a pretty nice car at that price, with reasonably good driving manners and a fuel efficient powertrain.
iSeeCars.com points out that, when sold new, the Hybrid costs about $3,500 more than the non-hybrid Fusion. On the used market, it's actually around a thousand dollars cheaper, making it a very attractive deal.
Ford Fusion Information
1. Audi A6
Avg. 3-Year-Old Used Price: $27,890
% Depreciation: 55.8%
And now we come to the biggest loser of all. With a loss of 55.8% of its initial value after three years of ownership, the Audi A6 depreciates faster than any other vehicle in America (with the exception of a couple of low-volume electric cars).
What's behind all the premium sedans on the depreciation list?
“Luxury vehicles are frequently leased, which creates a surplus of these 3-year-old luxury vehicles in the used car marketplace,” said iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly. “Given the heightened demand for SUVs, luxury sedans are less popular and have to come down significantly in price to attract used car buyers.”