If you’re in the market for a used vehicle, chances are it’s because you either don’t like the new vehicles you can afford, or you’re smart and are shopping for a deal. Depreciation is a double-edged sword. We hate it when the vehicle we own loses money with age, but we love it when we pick up a bargain after someone else “pays” for the loss.
With that in mind, we thought we’d shine the light on the “Depreciation Wonders,” the vehicles you would never consider new‚ whether it’s because of the original sky-high price or because another vehicle is a better value — but can’t ignore after a little time passes. We spoke with Josh Bailey, senior manager, client services for Canadian Black Book, the country’s only real guide to used-vehicle values, and asked him to provide information on the vehicles that lost the most money over a two-year period.
“I would like to provide the retained value for these vehicles, but it would create unrealistic expectations for buyers because of the way the numbers are calculated,” Bailey explained. “A better comparison is the MSRP to our average retail price — both values are included here. It should be noted that these current retail values do not account for equipment or mileage so should be considered a guide only.”
We’ve chosen the five, in alphabetical order, that we feel give you the best bang for your buck:
Starting from a sky-high $76,332, a nicely equipped V6-powered 2007 STS will run you $28,917, or about the price of a high-end Mazda3. For that price, you get a 300-hp, rear wheel drive sport sedan with a bucket-load of toys.
Dodge Grand Caravan:
Canadians love minivans, and the Grand Caravan has been a perennial hot seller in this segment. The 2007 version is the last of the jelly-bean years, but should have the excellent Stow ’n Go seating. The original price of $30,115 should now only cost $13,842, or a new Chevrolet Aveo. A bargain people mover.
Sure, Jaguar’s S-Type was never a head-turner, but by the end of its run, it had matured into a great driver’s car with solid reliability. And while the price difference isn’t quite as drastic as the Caddy, the Brit’s original $74,533 tag now rings up for $31,650.
More minivan action here with Kia’s second-generation Sedona. The powerful standard V6, huge size and numerous amenities mean it’s an excellent deal . Compare $30,995 to $13,838 two years later, which would barely buy a new Rio5 today.
When at its worst, General Motors was renowned for building four, five or even six versions of a vehicle to spread over its dozen brands, which is how Saab was forced to sell a seven-seat SUV. The 9-7x is the best of the bunch, offering great looks, a good ride and plenty of toys. $18,388 for a vehicle that originally cost $50,390.
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