Status-seeking luxury-brand buyers and frugal environmentalists rarely find themselves lumped into the same category.
But both groups tend to see the value of the cars they prefer plunge dramatically, according to a new analysis by iSeeCars.
The automotive search engine and research website says luxury cars make up the vast majority of the 10 vehicles with the highest depreciation rates after five years, with most of them being luxury sedans.
Meanwhile, being friendly to the Earth can be hostile to your wallet, according to the rankings. Two electric vehicles — including a luxury electric vehicle — also had the dubious honor of taking the top two slots.
The vehicles with the worst depreciation rates are:
- Nissan LEAF: Loses 65.1% of its value after five years, on average
- BMW i3: 63.1%
- BMW 7 Series: 61.5%
- Maserati Ghibli: 61.3%
- BMW X5: 60.3%
- Jaguar XF: 59.5%
- BMW 5 Series: 59.1%
- Audi A6: 58.2%
- Lincoln Navigator L: 57.7%
- Volvo S60: 57.3%
Karl Brauer, executive analyst for iSeeCars, says luxury vehicles tend to have high operating costs and technology that quickly becomes outdated — qualities that used-car shoppers do not value. The waning popularity of sedans means such luxury models are even less desirable these days.
Several factors quickly zap the value of eco-friendly cars as well, Brauer says:
“Electric vehicles like the first-generation Nissan LEAF become outdated quickly due to the rapid advancements in range and battery life, as early LEAF batteries were only expected to last eight to ten years. Government incentives like the $7,500 federal tax credit also play a role in the LEAF’s steep depreciation, as its resale value is based on original MSRP, but real-world transaction prices when new are effectively $7,500 lower.”
At the other end of the spectrum, the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Wrangler Unlimited hold on to their value better than any other vehicles. They typically lose just 9.2% and 10.5% of their value after five years, respectively.
“Jeep Wranglers are known for retaining their value due to their enthusiastic fanbase, as well as their durability and performance across all terrains, especially off-road. Jeep Wranglers also have maintained their iconic design, so even older models don’t appear dated.”
The average depreciation rate for all cars included in the study was 40.1%.
In its analysis, iSeeCars looked at more than 8.2 million vehicles from model year 2016.