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Searching for a used car in today’s market can be difficult, considering the low inventory and higher prices caused by the rippling effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

While luxury sedans offer plenty of features, they are often priced relatively lower than the newer versions and are worth purchasing as a used model. However, in-demand vehicles such as pickup trucks and SUVs can be hard to come by, driving high used car prices. So, depending on the make and model of the vehicle, you may be better off buying a new car instead of the older version.

In a recent study, 10 vehicles topped the list of best cars to buy new, with one Chevrolet model barely making the cut.

Best cars to buy new

Topping the list of best cars to buy new is the Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle, with a one-year-old lightly used model costing only 2.1% less than its newer counterpart by just $923. According to iSeeCars, “The Tesla Model 3 received a $2,000 new car price cut in 2020, which narrowed the gap between new and used car prices.” Additionally, “The Model 3 also commands a high used car price because it’s in relatively short supply in the used car marketplace.”

Other top brands on the list of best cars to buy new include Toyota, Kia, Ford, Jeep, GMC, and Honda.

The Chevrolet Colorado

A closeup shot of the grille emblem and Trail Boss badging of a red 2023 Chevy Colorado Trail Boss
2023 Chevy Colorado Trail Boss | Chevrolet

The Chevrolet Colorado has a price difference of 8.8%, equivalent to $3,051.

Now in its third generation, the all-new 2023 model year has a larger wheelbase and is considerably wider than previous versions. The standard turbocharged 2.7-liter inline-four engine, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, generates 237 hp. The high-end ZR2 trim generates an impressive 310 hp with 430 lb-ft of torque.

The interior of the 2023 Colorado has received a significant upgrade, now including a standard 11.3-inch infotainment system. According to Car and Driver, “The new Colorado makes leaps in terms of interior design.” There is a new center console, the shifter moves closer to the passenger seat, and a new gauge cluster completes the enhanced design. There are also upgraded powertrain options, although the Duramax and V6 diesel options are no longer available.

The starting MSRP on the 2023 Colorado is $30,695. With all the newly designed features and upgrades, the extra $3,000 for a new version is money well spent.

What vehicles have the lowest price difference?

Taking the No. 2 spot on the list of best cars to buy new, behind the Tesla Model 3, is the Toyota Tacoma, which has a 4.2% price difference, equating to $1,557, between the new and used models of the popular pickup truck.

According to iSeeCars, as demand for pickup trucks grew, the automotive industry could not keep up due to widespread plant closures and supply issues during the coronavirus pandemic. “This led to a shortage in the used car market as well because fewer people were trading in their trucks, while used truck demand remained high due in part to a surge in home improvement projects.”

Elsewhere, the three-row Kia Telluride SUV is one of the best-selling vehicles in its segment. There is only a 5.7% price difference (or $2,456) between the new and used models, making the more recent version of the Telluride a better option.

The Kia Telluride has undergone a mid-cycle refresh in the 2023 model year, with U.S. News saying the upgrades “has made one of the best midsize SUVs even better.” According to the auto reviewer, the family-focused SUV “impresses with its luxe and roomy interior, intuitive tech features, refined driving dynamics, and outstanding value proposition.”

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