3 Used Cars That Refuse to Get More Affordable
Used cars reached unprecedented prices over the last two years. However, after reaching a peak in January 2022, car prices have slowly dropped. That’s thanks to many factors, including consistent interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. This has led to a steep decline across all segments for used cars. Overall, if you’re buying a used car in 2023, you’ll likely see lower prices this year than you’ve seen in 2022 or 2021.
Still, that isn’t the case with all cars. There are a few models that, despite what’s happening across the market, refuse to get more affordable. Here are three that are bucking the trend, using price data from September 2022 compared to December:
1. Cadillac Escalade
According to iSeeCars, the used car seeing the most significant price increase comes from GM’s luxury brand Cadillac. The Escalade is both the largest and most expensive vehicle in Cadillac’s fleet. The average used price for an Escalade in September 2022 was $66,173, a relatively high price even for a used luxury SUV.
However, that average price tag went up even more by December. In a three-month span, the average used price went up to $76,040. That’s a 14.9% increase, the biggest observed in the iSeeCars study and different from the rest of the used car market. The Cadillac Escalade ESV, the extended stretch vehicle, saw a big jump of 12.6% to an average price of $73,093.
There are a few years to avoid if you’re looking for a used Escalade. CarComplaints data shows the 2016, 2015, and 2007 models have the most complaints, with the 2016 Escalade topping the list.
2. Porsche 911
Following the luxury brand standard set by the Escalade, the Porsche 911 is right behind Cadillac’s SUV in percentage increase but much more in dollar price change. A used Porsche 911 cost $172,499 in September 2022, one of the highest used car prices on the list. By December 2022, the average used car price for the Porsche 911 was up to $198,076. That’s a percentage increase of 14.8%, nearly as much as the Escalade.
Data from GoodCarBadCar shows that Porsche has sold 10,000 or more 911 models in the U.S. just three times in the last 15 years: 2013 (10,142), 2015 (12,904), and 2022 (10,172). That means there are likely not many models on the used car market to choose from. If you find one, it is a good choice; CarComplaints has just 11 complaints on record for the Porsche 911 for the last 15 model years.
3. Mercedes-Benz S-Class
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class maintains the luxury theme of this list in the sedan market. Mercedes’ full-size sedan is one of the most expensive used sedans on the market. In December 2022, iSeeCars data shows the average price for a used S-Class was $89,403. That’s an increase of $10,737 (or 13.6%) from September 2022, the second-biggest price increase in the top 10 of iSeeCars’ study.
Data from CarComplaints is incomplete, but RepairPal rates the Mercedes-Benz S550 as one of the market’s least reliable luxury full-size cars. It’s rated 25th out of 30, with an average annual repair cost of $1,249. So, unlike the Escalade and 911, it may not be a reliable choice for a used car.
Will these used car prices ever drop?
Across all segments, used car prices started to drop quickly to close 2022. Compared to 2021, December’s used car prices were down 3%. It seems luxury and hybrid cars are bucking the trend the most, per iSeeCars data. Used hybrid vehicles were 9.5% more expensive in December 2022 than in 2021. However, if the trend of lower used car prices holds, shoppers may start to see a change in 2023.