Hybrids & Electrics

Avoid These 3 Brand-New Nissan’s if You Want to Save Money

With all of the recent improvements Nissan has made to various models, it is more tempting than ever to buy one. The Sentra, for example, offers tremendous value for its $19,410 base price. In terms of EVs, the LEAF is not only affordable but quite reliable as well. The Altima, on the other hand, remains one of the brand’s best-selling models. However, Motor1 recently published a list with data from CarEdge showing that these three Nissan models depreciate alarmingly quickly.

The Nissan LEAF is the quickest depreciating model

The Nissan LEAF is the brand's electric hatchback.
Nissan LEAF | Nissan

Aside from being the brand’s first electric vehicle, the Nissan LEAF offers an entry into the world of EVs for a reasonable price. Starting at $31,600, the LEAF costs significantly less than both the Tesla Model 3 and the Chevy Bolt EV. However, its 226 miles of electric range and 30 cubic-feet of cargo space make it an excellent daily driver. If you manage to add on the available federal tax credit, your brand-new Nissan LEAF could cost as little as $24,100.

However, the Nissan LEAF’s costs are more than just the entry price. According to Motor1, the LEAF was rated one of the quickest depreciating vehicles currently on sale. According to CarEdge, a LEAF with a $33,236 starting price will likely depreciate over 62 percent in the first five years. This turns the excellent EV into a $12,573 used car in just a few years. CarEdge’s analysis assumes an average of 13,500 miles covered per year.

The Nissan Altima is a close money-burning second

The Nissan Altima is one of the brand's best-selling sedans.
Nissan Altima | Nissan

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If you thought skipping the EV would save you money on depreciation, there’s bad news. The Nissan Altima also ranked quite highly in Motor1’s depreciation list. While the midsize sedan competes with the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, it often costs less. It isn’t like you’re skimping on features either, given that the Nissan Altima is excellently equipped. Although the Altima hasn’t always been the best-looking machine, a major refresh in 2018 brought along a much sleeker aesthetic.

However, small savings upfront could lead to major losses down the road. According to CarEdge, the Nissan Altima is expected to depreciate at least 59 percent in the first five years. This takes a vehicle with a purchase price of $26,453 and quickly turns it into a used car worth just $10,721. Like with the LEAF, this analysis by CarEdge assumes an average of 13,500 miles covered per year.

The cheap Sentra could prove quite expensive

The Nissan Sentra SR is shown at AutoMobility LA on November 21, 2019 in Los Angeles, California
The Nissan Sentra | David McNew/Getty Images

Rounding up Motor1’s list is one of Nissan’s newest vehicles, the Sentra. It’s been just over a year since the re-designed Sentra arrived during last year’s LA Auto Show. Aside from sharper looks, the Sentra provides excellent standard equipment for a base price that doesn’t cross the $20,000 mark.

As far as Nissan’s models go, the Sentra appears to be one of the least affected by depreciation. CarEdge predicts the small sedan will lose 52 percent of its value during the first five years. This will likely result in a vehicle with a purchase price of $20,380 being worth just $9,689.

While these depreciation ratings should definitely put you off from buying a brand-new Nissan, it does mean there are some sweet deals in the used market. If you can time your purchase just right, you could save thousands on a lightly used vehicle.