10 Popular Cars That Are Still Affordable

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Car sales
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Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on CoPilot.

Inflation has hit many sectors of the economy hard over the last year, but few categories can compare to the automotive industry.

Economic experts debate how much the current period of inflation has come from increased consumer demand and how much has been caused by constraints on supply. In the vehicle market, both forces are clearly at play. Low interest rates, federal stimulus payments, and better-than-expected economic conditions throughout the pandemic gave households more money to spend on big purchases like cars.

But due to difficulties sourcing materials and keeping plants staffed amid the pandemic, both automotive parts manufacturers and car factories themselves have frequently been forced to shut down or operate at reduced capacity. As a result of these issues, the new vehicle supply is down 59% compared with this time in 2021.

The scarcity of new vehicles has driven up prices for current models. But this has also had a major effect on prices in the market for pre-owned vehicles. With fewer new cars available, consumers have been competing for used models, which has sent used car prices increasing even faster.

To determine the most popular cars that are the most affordable, researchers at CoPilot calculated the difference between the current market price and the original price forecast for 100 of the most popular model year 2020 used vehicles on the market.

Here are the popular used cars that have gone up the least in price.

10. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Peter Gudella / Shutterstock.com
  • Current price premium (%): +29.0%
  • Current price premium ($): +$10,126
  • Current price: $45,052
  • Original price forecast: $34,926

9. Subaru Outback

Subaru Outback
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  • Current price premium (%): +28.9%
  • Current price premium ($): +$7,959
  • Current price: $35,480
  • Original price forecast: $27,521

8. Toyota Tundra

Toyota Tundra
Jack Skeens / Shutterstock
  • Current price premium (%): +28.1%
  • Current price premium ($): +$10,652
  • Current price: $48,524
  • Original price forecast: $37,872

7. Lexus RX

Lexus RX 450h
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  • Current price premium (%): +27.4%
  • Current price premium ($): +$10,773
  • Current price: $50,144
  • Original price forecast: $39,371

6. Lexus NX

Lexus NX 300h F-Sport crossover hybrid
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  • Current price premium (%): +26.2%
  • Current price premium ($): +$8,380
  • Current price: $40,346
  • Original price forecast: $31,966

5. BMW 5 Series

New BMW.
yakub88 / Shutterstock.com
  • Current price premium (%): +26.1%
  • Current price premium ($): +$10,788
  • Current price: $52,165
  • Original price forecast: $41,377

4. Toyota 4Runner

Toyota 4Runner
Nathan Pang / Shutterstock.com
  • Current price premium (%): +25.3%
  • Current price premium ($): +$8,864
  • Current price: $43,932
  • Original price forecast: $35,068

3. Honda Pilot

Art Konovalov / Shutterstock.com
  • Current price premium (%): +24.7%
  • Current price premium ($): +$7,860
  • Current price: $39,653
  • Original price forecast: $31,793

2. Subaru Crosstrek

Subaru Crosstek
Steve Lagreca / Shutterstock.com
  • Current price premium (%): +24.3%
  • Current price premium ($): +$5,994
  • Current price: $30,683
  • Original price forecast: $24,689

1. Acura MDX

Ivan Kurmyshov / Shutterstock.com
  • Current price premium (%): +22.8%
  • Current price premium ($): +$8,315
  • Current price: $44,777
  • Original price forecast: $36,462

Methodology

Financial analysts look at data
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The data used in this study is from Copilot’s Price Pulse tool. To determine the most popular cars that are still affordable, researchers calculated the difference between the current market price and the original pre-pandemic price forecast. Only the 100 most popular used vehicles with available data were included in the study. The data shown reflects pricing data for model year 2020 used vehicles that are currently for sale.

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