These Are the Top 20 Cars to Buy Used Over New: Study

Buyers looking for value are best looking at a slightly used car — and some represent huge savings

(Image: Stellantis | Dodge)

If you don’t want to take the gut-punch of depreciation, consider a slightly used car over a new one.

Even with some prices “coming back down to earth”, the average new car still costs over $45,000, and who knows where they’ll go from here. Inflated MSRPs, along with some egregious cases of dealer markup, had ripple effects on the used market as even folks looking to save a few bucks faced higher barrier to entries than they did several years ago. On the whole, though, you can still save some cash looking at a lightly used example of whichever car you’re shopping. In some cases, according to a new iSeeCars study, you can save far more than that, even.

The firm’s latest study looks at 1.6 million new and one-year-old used car sales to determine the biggest savings. Some cars hold their value remarkably well — and some even go for more money used than they cost to buy new, while “tanking” hardly begins to describe how others depreciate. In fact, one car loses so much value after a trifling twelve months that you’re pretty much better off just burning $65,000 in an open fire. Or you could do the smart thing and, you know, put it in an interest-bearing account.

While there are a couple surprises on the list of the top 20 cars to buy used over new, one predictable theme stands out. If you buy an EV — any EV — prepare to lose a ton of value in the first year of ownership.

Top 20 Cars to Buy Used Over New

RankMake/ModelUsed Price (Average)$$$ Difference vs. New% Difference vs. New
1Mercedes-Benz EQS$71,231-$65,143-47.8%
2Nissan Leaf$18,756-$15,786-45.7%
3Jaguar F-Pace$52,010-$28,555-35.4%
4Alfa Romeo Giulia$32,467-$16,297-33.4%
5Kia EV6$36,243-$18,081-33.3%
6Hyundai Ioniq 5$34,303-$16,805-32.9%
7Volkswagen ID.4$31,870-$15,609-32.9%
8Alfa Romeo Stelvio$36,630-$17,495-32.3%
9Nissan Murano$29,458-$13,842-32.0%
10Mercedes-Benz S-Class$99,598-$45,781-31.5%
11Dodge Durango$43,407-$19,335-30.8%
12BMW 7 Series$84,990-$36,126-29.8%
13Dodge Challenger$36,496-$15,498-29.8%
14Ford Mustang Mach-E$38,543-$16,364-29.8%
15Ram 1500 Classic$31,969-$13,176-29.2%
16Infiniti QX80$59,618-$24,084-28.8%
17Audi A3$29,587-$11,911-28.7%
18Chevrolet Bolt EUV$23,320-$9,151-28.2%
19Chevrolet Bolt EV$22,229-$8,633-28.0%
20Audi A4$35,667-$13,836-27.9%
Industry Average$39,328-$5,778-12.8%

The trend of massive EV price drops rings painfully clear in iSeeCars’ study, though you can save yourself some grief if you manage to buy a one or two-year-old example for a steep discount. So too does the story go for cars that are aging compared to the competition, like the current Nissan Murano and Dodge Durango. It seems these don’t hold the same retail value as some newer and fresher designs, but that can work in your favor if you’re looking to save some cash on a new-to-you car.