Cars, like any commodity, can lose or gain value for numerous reasons. Sometimes those reasons are simple; perhaps the specific model just didn't sell well. Other times, it's because of changing trends in consumer purchasing patterns, or it could also be due to an over-abundance of a model that now exceeds consumer demand.
Whatever the reason, some cars deprecate faster than others, leaving owners in a bit of a pickle when it comes time to sell their old wheels. It's just another thing to be aware of. Here are ten examples of cars that are notorious for losing their value the fastest.
10 Land Rover Range Rover
While many car enthusiasts scoff at SUVs, Land Rover has been the exception. Their legacy of off-roading made their line-up of trucks some of the most desirable on the road. Their top-of-the-line Range Rover frequently ranks as one of the most luxurious SUVs on the market today.
However, despite the brand's pedigree, the Range Rover doesn't have the best reputation in terms of reliability. Since the early 80s, the Range Rover has been prone to electrical problems, mostly due to its shift from an off-roader to a luxury people carrier. As a result, the Range Rover depreciates at a steep rate, though this doesn't seem to affect their overall sales figures.
9 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Luxury cars often depreciate in value faster than regular models, for a multitude of reasons. Many luxury makes are so expensive that most drivers choose to lease them rather than buy them. This is probably the case with the S-Class, Mercedes-Benz's top-of-the-line luxury sedan.
The car IS extremely pricey, and most would probably rather rent it from the dealer for a number of years than give it back at the end of the lease. This means that an over-abundance of luxury cars sit around, bringing everyone's value down.
8 BMW 7 Series
The main rival to the S-Class, the 7 Series is also prone to fast deprecation. In fact, studies have shown that a BMW, on average, depreciates faster than a Mercedes-Benz. Nobody can really put their finger on why this is the case, except to chalk it up to issues that plague luxury cars.
Cost of ownership, expensive repairs, and high insurance are all common factors as to why luxury cars loose their value at such a quick rate. Then there's the aforementioned issue of leasing, all of which can cut luxury cars off at the knees.
7 Hyundai Equis
Sometimes, a car depreciates because no-one bought it when it was new. This is the case with the Equis, Hyundai's luxury sedan, which they attempted to market alongside the old Genesis.
While people did buy the Equis, their sales numbers weren't as high as Hyundai would've liked. This was probably one of the reasons why Hyundai decided to spin their luxury line off into a separate division known as Genesis. The good news is that you can now get a fully-loaded Equis for a fraction of what it cost when it was new.
6 Maybach 57S
Mercedes-Benz's relaunch of the Maybach brand was nothing short of a disaster. After buying the dead marquis in the late 90s, Mercedes had the bright idea of reviving it as a German alternative to Rolls-Royce.
However, the new Maybachs never caught on and Mercedes decided to ax the brand, turning the name into a trim level for their upper echelon S-Class sedan. This means that, as in the case of the Equis, Maybachs have deprecIated considerably, but at a much steeper drop in overall price. It's now possible to buy what was once a nearly half-a-million dollar car for the same price as a Toyota Avalon.
5 Cadillac Escalade
Depending on who you talk to, the Escalade is either an awesome display of wealth and power or just plain bad. GM's premium luxury SUV has polarized critics and drivers since its release, but it has remained a constant presence in the American automotive world. However, it just isn't able to hold its value.
Reliability problems, coupled with the truck's notoriously bad MPG, have caused used Escalades to plummet in value. Considering how expensive many luxury cars are to fix, it's not suprising that few would line up to buy them used. The Escalade's main rival, the Lincoln Navigator, also depreciates considerably, even though critics tend to like it more.
4 Chevy Impala
Of all the cars on this list, the Impala seems to stick out like a sore thumb. Why on earth would it be here? It's not a luxury car, it sells well, and it doesn't have the worst reliability in the world. Despite all of this, the Impala depreciates more than any full-sized sedan in its class.
One of the reasons for this is Impala's heavy use as a fleet car, as well as its position as a favorite among rental car agencies. Cars that are utilized by companies in large numbers tend to lose their value, due to the large amount of leftover cars that are clogging up used car dealers. At least this means that, when GM kills the Impala, there will be lots left over for drivers to pick up on the cheep.
3 Ford Fusion Hybrid
Another American sedan that is about to get axed, the basic Fusion doesn't depreciate as much as its hybrid counterpart, sometimes called the Energi. To be fair, hybrid and electric cars are subject to fast depreciation, mostly because constant advancements in green technology leaves older variants obsolete.
The Fusion, however, seems to have gotten the short end of the stick, as its numbers don't always compare favorably to those of rival hybrids.
2 Chevy Volt
American hybrids just can't catch a break, can they? In the case of the Volt, it's a little easier to see why. A huge deal at the time of its release, the Volt left many car critics optimistic that GM could finally ditch their gas-guzzling ways for good. Then the rumors of the Volt's hybrid-electric engine catching fire spread online, and sales stalled.
While the fires may not have been as big of an issue as they were made out to be, it still hurt the Volt in the long run. The car didn't sell well, and GM killed it after the 2019 model year.
1 Nissan Leaf
Hybrid cars may be prone to volatile depreciation, but fully electric cars are in a completely different ballpark. As electric cars continue to innovate, older models become obsolete almost immediately after leaving the car park. They're almost like smartphones or PCs in the 1990s, where innovations came at a fever pitch.
The Leaf also suffers from bad press surrounding its range, with some claiming that Nissan exaggerated the miles between charges. This hurt the Leaf's value, but at least now you can get one for less than $10k at your nearest used car lot.