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Hooniverse Asks- Financially, What’s the Worst Car or Truck to Buy New Right Now?

Robert Emslie January 23, 2013 Hooniverse Asks 59 Comments

Bad Luck Brian

 Maybach is – once again – no more. But before Mercedes pulled the plug on the über luxury brand its gargantuan cars did have the distinction of suffering from the highest depreciation of any new car sold. How bad a hit did the 1 per-centers who bought the cars take? Well, according to statistics at the time, almost 40% of its half-mill price tag the first year. Sure, that may be tip money to a Dubai potentate, but it still must burn, especially to Daimler Benz who saw the competing Rolls Royce drop by a less precipitous 24% in its first year of being a used car.

The nice thing about all that is that it only affects the really stinkin’ rich, and who doesn’t like to see them get screwed every now and then? But what about the rest of us, how can we all avoid getting bent over when driving off the lot? Truth be told, there’s probably few among us who would buy a car new, as any form of depreciation is a taint that’s not easily Simonized off of your ride. Yep, used cars are where it’s at.

But as a public service for those without the means to buy used, or who just gotta’ have the latest Camustastovette, what cars do you think should  be avoided at all costs, because of the costs? What do you think are – financially speaking – the worst cars or trucks to buy new right now?

Image source: [quickmeme

  • http://www.automobile-catalog.com/ P161911

    Almost 47% in 19k miles and three years: http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehiclede
    http://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/vehicles/build/class-S/model-S400HV#exterior

    Mercedes S400 Hybrid. From $96k to $51k.

    Trucks are your best bet to buy new. I got my 2011 Silverado WT, after rebates and discounts, for about the same as a 2-3 year old model, with 50k less miles.

    • TurboBrick

      Not to mention they seem to take forever to sink below the $5000 threshold, at least down here in Texas.

      • kingcrowing

        Someone just paid $300k for some Texan's 2009 F150. Y'all are crazy!

    • http://grantlinderman.wordpress.com grantlinderman

      I agree totally. I priced out buying a Ranger last year and found that due to some rebates, you could actually buy a brand new truck for less than a used one in some cases. On the other hand, a few years ago I bought a 2004 Jaguar VDP for $10,000. Original sticker was in the trunk – $80,000. That's a helluva drop for 7 years. Heck, that body style was still current when I bought it (it was a few months before the debut of the new, hideously ugly big Jag).

      Anyone unconvinced of the low depreciation on (some) trucks should look at the used prices of Tacomas. It's pretty ridiculous.

      • dukeisduke

        I just bought a '13 Tacoma in October, and two-year-old ones with 20-30k were going for almost the same price as new ones.

    • SSurfer321

      Impreza's are a pretty good bet buying new also. Bought (in 09) our still brand new 08 2.5i for less than $15k. Any used models with less than 100k on the ODO were around $12k. We've had it for three years and put over 90k on it and it's still worth almost $10k.

    • danleym

      Wranglers keep their value, too. I don't know about the new 4 door JKs, I haven't looked at them, but just about any Wrangler in decent shape with anything in the neighborhood of 100,000 miles isn't going to be less than 10 grand, even if it's a ten year old model. And if you find one for less than $5k, it's probably going to be in project shape, or beat the hell out of it on the trail and don't care shape.

      • pj134

        Comparatively, they're dropping quite nicely. Unfortunately in most car terms that means not at all. You can get a first year JK Rubicon for ~20 with 50k on it.

      • jeepjeff

        The last time I saw a $4000 Wrangler 4.0, it was a white YJ with an astroturf interior and missing its front drive shaft. They hold their value awesome. (Too bad no CL Crapshoot then. That ad was great.)

        EDIT: That was in Nov 2010.

  • http://www.proofnpudding.com muthalovin

    Muthalovin's wife: All of them, or else.

  • smalleyxb122

    For a car that has historically seen better (less) than average depreciation, I’ll give the nod to the Corvette. While I still prefer the C6 to the forthcoming C7, it has assumed lame duck status for 2013, but, being a Corvette, almost assures that very few incentives are available to offset the inevitable value plummet when it becomes “the old model” in a year (or less).

    It will probably still be a better value proposition than a lot of other new cars, but this will be a rougher than normal year for C6 depreciation.

    I could also be way off, and there might be enough Corvette aficionados that dislike the C7 to cause a run on (and subsequent price hike of) the “last of the good looking Corvettes.”

    Time will tell.

    • fodder650

      GM has been running rebates on Corvette's for at least the last five years. Normally some very large ones as well. With the C6 going out I would expect to see some very heft rebates on them this month and on.

      • smalleyxb122

        I guess then that I’ve proven that I haven’t been paying attention to the market on new Corvettes. I just recall nearly every GM rebate being “not valid on Corvette”. Perhaps those days are no longer.

        • fodder650

          $2000 off plus 1.9% loans on most Corvette models right now. http://www.chevrolet.com/tools/currentoffers/resu

          • mnm4ever

            Admittedly, I haven't actually attempted to buy one. But the local Chevy dealer ads are chock full of Corvettes for $10-12k off MSRP, and in some cases even more. And those are legit prices, not the ones with the small print where that is the price after you put own $5k or something silly. And my buddy at work who is a Corvette fanatic backs up those prices, he is in a club and has told of several club members getting Grand Sports for the advertised price, he even has considered trading his Z06 for a new GS convertible due to the amazing deals.

  • Number_Six

    New Range Rover Autobiography Edition: starts at $144kCAD today, will be worth maybe $50k next week.

  • OA5599

    Maybach used to auction off the first car of each model for charity, usually resulting in some fat cat bidding well over MSRP to make headlines. With so few cars sold to amortize the charity overpayment, the numbers might skew even more than what is indicated.

    At any rate, I have no idea what they sell for on the used market, but a Chevy Volt is built like a $25K car but costs $40K. Expose the expensive batteries to a year's worth of wear and tear, and subtract out the various tax credits and incentives that apply only to the original owner, and you're back with a car that's likely a lot harder to sell than the new one that's glutting the market.

    • XRSevin

      Probably true financially, but I sure don't feel like I'm driving a $25,000 car. Very few have come up yet for sale used. It'll be messy when the Volts start coming off lease. If Chevy is smart they'll recondition them and sell them as Certified Pre-Owned to keep them at a premium.

  • scroggzilla
    • Number_Six

      Is the AWD version of this going to become the next new Saab 9-5 (it's nearly free, I should buy it!) ?

    • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

      I was going to mention how painful my 1999 Suzuki Grand Vitara did.

      It stickered for just a bit under $20K in 1999, when I purchased it (for about $18.3K, which was decent), but in 2001, when, due to left leg damage, I could not drive a manual for an extended period (a couple of years), I could not get $10K for it.

      Sold it in 2007 or 2008 for about $4K, I think.

    • http://hooniverse.com/ Tanshanomi

      Yet, I want.

      • scroggzilla

        Me too

  • TurboBrick

    Mitsubishi, all models. Because if you ended up buying one, chances are your finances are on pretty shaky ground to begin with.

    • OA5599

      A friend used to work for a race shop. One of their customers road raced Mitsubishi Starions back when that was a current production model.

      I happened to be in the shop one day when the customer was there. He was talking about his new purchase of a year-old Starion he was in the process of prepping for the track. He paid $7K for the car, out of the local classifieds. I knew the original MSRP was around $19K.

      "What was wrong with it for you to buy it that cheap?", I asked.

      "It's a Mitsubishi."

    • https://www.facebook.com/alex.w.wise tiberiusẅisë

      I would imagine there are very few Mitsubishis for private sale as most owners got into them with little money down and are at the state max for interest rate. Most get repo'd further depreciating them.

  • DemonXanth

    A cheap Porsche. No car is ever more expensive than a cheap Porsche.

    • JayP2112

      Werd.

    • salguod

      I was going to say a Porsche with thousands in custom optional color keyed air vents, door sills & what not. No way you're going to get that money back later.

  • http://www.flowerpowerkc.com Alff

    <img src="http://wot.motortrend.com/files/2010/12/31561777.jpeg"&gt;

    This. A lot of people are dying to get into one but they're all stiffs.

    • Number_Six

      What a fabulous addition to the Lincoln corpus of work. With the Ecoboost six, it simply buries the competition.

      • Target29

        Dig the body work. Someone must be coffin' up a lot of dough to get this done.

        • danleym

          I dunno, I'd certainly stay away from one. No bones about it, anyone trying to get out of one of these is downright rotten.

          • fodder650

            The hard part is getting the formaldehyde smell out out of the interior.

            • Devin

              That's why I don't want her. Someone else cadaver.

    • OA5599

      I'm not so sure that car is a bad investment. You hardly ever hear of someone being upside-down in a hearse.

    • Vavon

      I wouldn't want to be seen dead in one of those…

  • JayP2112

    I was thinking Volvo- had a shaky go at it, now owned by Geely.
    Same with MG-Reoverwerer and Nanjing.

    • Jay_Ramey

      Yeah, the S80 seems to lose 50% of its value in what, like 3 years or something. 2010 S80s are going for like $18K.

      The S40s, however, do not, which is why I often see S40s and S80s of identical vintage and mileage with identical sticker prices.

  • optixtruf

    Pretty clearly, its going to be the 2013 cadillac escalade hybrid. Im going to explain this in terms of the target market for this vehicle, the california polititian. So, you're going to dump 85k on a behemoth with a badge that appeases your "green" political image and but also fits in at the capital parking lot. See, after you've sent off dickpics to some intern and your face is all iver the news, it'll be hard afford the huge payments after losing your office and your wife leaves with half your money and belongings, not to mention the 21 mpg with expensive california gas. And that first year 24 percent depreciation is killer! What a financially irresponsible choice, and clearly the 2013 cadillac escalade hybrid is a huge contributor to your life as a homeless despot after your failure of a political career.

  • Devin

    I'm going to go with the Cadillac XTS. Cue has been getting abysmal reviews – worse than MyFord Touch reviews, and nobody liked that. The XTS, let's be honest, is marketed towards an older demographic. Old people are confused by even the best, most user-friendly computers, and Cue isn't that. Old people are going to get angry with their stupid Cadillac with its stupid stereo you need to be "a computer genius" to operate, and sell them. It's going to flood the used market and resale will tank. This prediction is based on my parents and their friends, who are right in the XTS' likely demographic – old retired people with money.

    A second option is the current Impala. Not sure how the new one is going to go, but the current version of that thing loses all of its value in 3 years.

    • pj134

      I'm would bet your right, but the CUE is well done. The demographic is the issue I think.

    • TurboBrick

      But, but, but, the XTS commercial showed successful people in their 30's having fun and doing spontaneous things with their XTS! Oh, aspirational marketing…

    • http://www.automobile-catalog.com/ P161911

      My mother had a first gen SRX that she got used. It has the built in navigation. My parents can't figure out how to operate it and use my Dad's Garmin instead.

  • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

    It's not new, but I was looking for a 2006 Jaaaaaag XJ Super V8 Portfolio a few years back.

    New? Low six digits.

    After 4 years they were around $30K.

    A poor reliability history can be rather difficult to shake once things get better.

    • JayP2112

      I went around and around with the Jags.
      Bought a used S-Type V6 for my wife. Dunno the original sticker but we paid about $20k for a car with low, but out of OEM warranty miles on it. The aftermarket warranty was crap and the car deteriorated into a pile. She got the car in the settlement and I don't know the maintenance that was done. Can't give it away now.

      I'd seen the S-Type R with high mileage for $19k, I looked into one before I realized the mistake of the first one.
      My gut said to run.

  • SSurfer321

    Cadillac CTS Sportwagon (Not V) new price $44-50k
    2010 CTS Sportwagon used price $22-30k

    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3a/2010_Cadillac_CTS_Sport_Wagon.jpg&quot;, width=500>

    Upwards of 50% in two years? OUCH! But great for me as I'm currently considering one. And I'm sure it's only going to get worse with rumors Cadillac is killing the wagon.

    IMG from Wikipedia

    • pj134

      The 2010 base MSRP is about 6k less than your numbers. The 2013 base is still about 4k less. Not insignificant.

    • salguod

      According to the WSJ [1], retaining 50% of MSRP after 3 years is above average.

      Bottom of their chart? (not so) Smart

      [1] – http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324

    • http://www.hooniverse.com Mad_Science

      That's…problematic for my vehicular plans. Didn't think they were getting that cheap.

  • MVEilenstein

    I will always let some other dope take the depreciation on a new car.

  • pj134

    A new Equus was high 60's for the ultimate package a couple MY's back, kbb (which is usually a couple thousand high) puts it at 44 now. Kind of a testament to how far Hyundai has come. My Sonata was nearly half the MSRP the day I drove it off the lot. The 2010 Genesis 4.6 started around 39 and is down to low 20's.

    Can't wait until Geely sends one over. We'll see an instant 90% value loss.

  • hwyengr

    Call me a sucker, but my last 4 cars have been bought new. With performance cars, you just really have to hope that the previous owner was a responsible person, and I don't like to take that chance often. That, and I like to keep a complete logbook from mile "0".

    Surprisingly, smallest loss was on the RX-8. Not counting taxes, I only lost 17% over 2 years, but that's because it was a leftover model that the dealer was very willing to move, on top of otherwise generous Mazda rebates, and for some reason Carmax really wanted it for a price that was about $4k more than the online valuation sites were giving.

    But to answer the question at hand, the Mustang is certainly up there. With the 2015 on the horizon, if they knock it out of the park the S197 is going to be toast, especially if the 5.0 gets a big fuel economy bump from direct injection. Though maybe all the DI 5.0s will burn to the ground, leaving the old 5.0s to hold their value.

    Didn't stop me from buying a '13, though. Hopefully I'll just run it into the ground and resale won't be an issue.

  • Sjalabais

    A 2010 Suburban LT for a sloppy 170,956.76$? That's possible in Norway, where taxes are partly defined by displacement and gas consumption, and will forever define a given car's value. Unfortunately, I can't really say what the new price would be – the few who sell all-American dinosaurs don't show their prices online.

  • mallthus
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