According to U.S. News, the average depreciation over five years for all types of vehicles is 49.1%. Part of the reason for the large price drop relates to the original MSRP. A customized high-end car with all the option boxes checked becomes a used car with expensive maintenance costs. The cars on U.S. News’s list have a much worse depreciation rate than 49%. The majority of these vehicles are European luxury cars, and at the top of this list is the 2015 BMW 7 Series.
2015 BMW 7 Series Specs
The 2015 BMW 7 Series has an average five-year depreciation of 72.6%. That means if the average price for a new 7 Series in 2015 was $110,000, it’s worth about $29,000 today. It’s not that the 7 Series is a bad car. In fact, U.S. News gave it a positive review as a used car in 2019, saying, “It boasts poised handling and a comfortable ride.” The magazine summarized its review saying it fares well in the luxury car segment with its “expansive cabin, potent engine lineup, and balanced handling.”
Good car or not, several factors led to the 7 Series ascension to the top of this list. First, the 2016 BMW 7 Series was totally redesigned. It came with more standard features in addition to new interior and exterior styling. A new 8 Series replaced the 7 Series as BMW’s flagship car in 2019. The 2015 BMW 7 Series still holds up today styling-wise and is a lot of car for the money. But buyers looking for prestige in the used car market are willing to spend a bit more to get a newer 7 Series or step into a used 8 Series.
Other cars with the fastest depreciation
The 2015 BMW 7 Series isn’t the only car on this list with serious depreciation. Here are three other cars that made the top five, with depreciation levels of 69 – 70%.
2015 BMW 5 Series – 70.1% Depreciation
The 2015 BMW has a lot going for it, including good safety scores and good predicted reliability. U.S. News called it a good option in the midsize luxury car market. It offers a smooth ride and a roomy, comfortable interior with plenty of tech features. It’s also engaging and fun to drive, unlike some models in that class.
2015 Audi A6 – 69.0% Depreciation
The 2015 Audi A6 combined luxury with high performance and all-wheel drive. The interior is well-appointed with leather, wood trim, and metal accents. The controls are thoughtfully laid out and included Audi’s MMI infotainment system. The A6 received average reliability scores, and its average cost of ownership over five years was on par with other luxury cars.
Maserati Ghibli – 69.0% Depreciation
In 2015, the Ghibli upheld Maserati’s reputation for offering beautiful cars with high levels of luxury. The interior could be upgraded and personalized to the buyer’s preference. A powerful V8 launches the car from 0 to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds. However, Maserati’s reliability and ownership costs are typically higher than average for this segment, and the car lacks the features of cars like the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6.
Should you buy a 2015 BMW 7 Series?
You can get a used 2015 BMW 7 Series for roughly the price of a Toyota Camry. But don’t expect it to have the Camry’s reliability or have the same low operating costs. With a BMW, you’re rolling the dice on expensive repair bills. RepairPal estimates the annual maintenance on a BMW 750iL is $1,035. Oil changes cost over $200, and if anything goes wrong, the repair cost will be $1,000 or more.
But owning a used BMW 7 Series, like any premium luxury car, can be a very satisfying experience. You can find one for about a third of the cost of a new model while getting most of a new luxury car’s benefits. Just hang on to some of the money you saved for repairs.