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From 'Scrap Heap' to 'Like New' condition

Automotive leasing has become an increasingly popular option for drivers in America who want to drive a late-model vehicle but don't want to spend too much of their hard-earned money on the full lump sum purchase price. But leasing has also helped flood the used-car market with a lot of newish vehicles with relatively low mileage.

To help buyers know which vehicles tend to be treated the best and worst by the people driving them under lease, the team from Carvana examined lease-turn-in cars and trucks on the vehicle marketplace where dealerships buy and sell automobiles. A third-party rates these vehicles on a scale of 0 to 5, with 0 being a 0 being a 'Scrap Heap' and 5 being 'Like New.'

Carvana examined the condition ratings of 271,866 vehicles from the 2015 model year between January 1, 2018 and June 17, 2018. Here are the vehicles with the lowest average lease-turn-in condition scores.

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BMW 3 Series

Average Condition Rating: 3.6

With a score of 3.6 out of 5 possible points, the 3 Series is the only BMW with a score low enough to make this list. That makes sense, since the 3 Series is in many cases an aspirational first step into premium vehicle ownership and is very popular model to lease instead of buy.

It's also worth noting that the BMW 3 Series' average mileage at lease turn-in is listed at 35,300. That's the highest number on the list, and more miles will generally mean more wear and tear.

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Volkswagen Passat

Average Condition Rating: 3.5

The Volkswagen Passat is the first large sedan on this list, but it's not the last family car you'll see represented. And it's not surprising. Cars like the Passat are often used as the primary mode of transportation for families with young kids, and that can easily lead to scuffs, scrapes and spills.

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Toyota Camry

Average Condition Rating: 3.5

It's no surprise that the Toyota Camry matched the VW Passat on this list with a score of 3.5 out of 5. That falls right in between 'Average' and 'Clean' on the condition scale, and it makes sense due to the Camry's primary role as a family sedan.

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Nissan Sentra

Average Condition Rating: 3.5

The Nissan Sentra is one size class smaller than the Toyota Camry and VW Passat that we've already seen on this list. Still, it wouldn't be unlikely to see kids in the back seat, and its low sticker price means it's probably owned and driven by a younger audience than pricier cars and trucks.

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Honda Civic

Average Condition Rating: 3.5

The Honda Civic is a perennial best seller in America, and it's a great option for anyone looking for a quick, nimble, and fully featured new car. Like the Sentra, we'd guess the Civic sees use both as a small family car and as a vehicle for first-time new-car buyers, which likely tips its condition rating downward a bit.

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Toyota Corolla

Average Condition Rating: 3.5

Rounding out the list of best-selling compact Japanese sedans is the Toyota Corolla. And its inclusion on the list is just as easy to understand as it was for the Nissan Sentra and Honda Civic.

It is interesting to note that, while the Sentra, Civic and Corolla all have identical 3.5 ratings, they do have different average odometer readings at lease turn-in. At 32,600 miles, the Civic has the highest average reading, followed by the Corolla and then the Sentra.

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Average Condition Rating: 3.4

On average, the Mazda3 has rating of 3.4 on the average condition scale at lease turn-in. While probably not statistically significant, it's still interesting that the Mazda comes in just a tiny bit lower than its Japanese compact competitors.

According to research firm J.D. Power, Mazda 3 buyers tend to skew younger than average, and they also tend to value performance. Perhaps those two variables help explain its spot on this list.

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Volkswagen Jetta

Average Condition Rating: 3.4

The Jetta is the second model from Volkswagen to make this list, and it does so with a score of 3.4 out of 5. That means it skews just slightly more toward 'Average' than 'Clean.' Like other sedans on this list, it's likely that the Jetta sees use primarily as a people mover, and probably with younger buyers at the wheel.

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Honda Accord

Average Condition Rating: 3.4

The Honda Accord is another vehicle that falls squarely into the family sedan club along with the VW Passat and Toyota Camry. Its ever-so-slightly lower average condition rating could be explained, at least in part, by its average mileage at lease turn-in.

At 34,100 miles, the average Accord racks up 1,700 more miles than the Camry and 1,900 more than the Passat.

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Honda Odyssey

Average Condition Rating: 3.2

With an average condition rating of 3.2 at lease turn-in, the Honda Odyssey holds the unenviable last-place spot on this list. But it makes perfect sense.

The Odyssey is designed specifically for families to haul people and their stuff regularly and often over long distances. That equals real-world wear and tear, especially since, at 35,000 miles on average, the Odyssey tends to rack up more miles than every vehicle on this list save the BMW 3 Series.

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