Inflation Nightmares: 5 Car Values That Shot up Like Rockets in 2022

It’s certainly no secret that the market for used cars is crazy right now. With supply-chain issues and shortages all around, new cars on lots are almost nonexistent in some locations. As a result, inflation has struck used cars with a vengeance. This, combined with record gas prices, crafted the perfect storm for massive inflation as folks look to switch to more fuel-efficient vehicles. Here are the top five most appreciated used cars compared to this time last year, courtesy of Motor1.

No. 5 – Mercedes-Benz G-Class – 48%

Least satisfying used SUVs worth avoiding
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV off-roading | Mercedes-Benz

Contrary to the concept that folks are shopping for fuel-efficient vehicles, the fifth most appreciated vehicle is the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Or, as some might know it, the “G-wagon.”

Apart from the fuel economy standpoint, though, it makes a lot of sense. The G-wagon is subject to supply-chain issues, just like most other vehicles. However, the typical buyer of a G-wagon has the money to pay a little extra to get one sooner rather than later.

Well, “a little extra” is a bit of an understatement. The G-wagon saw an inflation rate of 48 percent since March 2021. Considering the 2022 average cost of a used G-wagon was $220,846, the inflation outcome is an average price increase of $71,586.

No. 4 – Chevrolet Spark – 48%

From this point forward, you’ll see a recurring theme on this list. The cars hit most by this massive inflation are primarily aimed at high fuel efficiency.

The Chevrolet Spark is a compact car that’s known for being both affordable and fuel-efficient. However, considering those two traits are an extremely hot commodity, the affordable side of things took a bit of a turn.

The March 2022 average price for a used Chevrolet Spark comes in at $17,039, reflecting a price increase of $5,526 since the same time last year.

No. 3 – Nissan LEAF – 49.2%

Rear angle view of the new 2023 Nissan LEAF EV, one of the cheapest new electric vehicle you can buy
2023 Nissan LEAF | Nissan News

Unsurprisingly, the all-electric Nissan Leaf is in the top three vehicles for inflation. It only makes sense. The best way to lower your gasoline expenses is to rule them out entirely, right?

Electric vehicles can get quite expensive, so getting your hands on a cheap one can be challenging. Fortunately, the Nissan Leaf fills that niche quite nicely. It doesn’t have the remarkable range of a Tesla, but it doesn’t have the price tag, either. However, with this average price, it’s getting a little close for comfort.

The March 2022 average price of a used Nissan Leaf was $25,123. That’s an $8,288 increase over last year.

No. 2 – Kia Rio – 49.4%

2022 Kia Rio subcompact sedan in silver gray
2022 Kia Rio | Kia America

The Rio fills a similar niche to that of the Chevrolet Spark. It’s an affordable compact car that is trustworthy and gets good fuel economy. As a result, it’s the target of a lot of car shoppers looking to get better fuel economy.

The Rio’s March 2022 average used price was $17,970, reflecting a price increase of $5,942 since March 2021.

No. 1 – Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – 63.9%

2022 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid in red
2022 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid | Hyundai

Taking first place by a country mile is the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. With an inflation rate of 63.9% since March 2021, it’s almost offensive at this point to consider buying one. However, the market dictates what it dictates. So, if people are willing to pay it, let it ride!

The Sonata Hybrid’s appeal is quite easy to see. Newer models fetch north of 50 miles per gallon in the city. Additionally, it’s a roomy sedan that doesn’t sacrifice all kinds of space as a compact hatch does. All around, it’s the perfect daily driver with killer fuel economy.

Because of that, though, the average cost of a used Sonata Hybrid in March 2022 was $25,620. That’s a mind-blowing increase of $9,991 over last year. Furthermore, for less than $2,000 more, one could purchase a base Sonata Hybrid brand new. That is, assuming you could find one.

Don’t buy a new car unless you really need to

The new car experience is beautiful: the smell, the buying experience, and the honeymoon phase of driving it for the first few days. However, giving in to this market will only feed the fire more. Though the market just saw a slight dip in pricing, it’s still subject to massive inflation relative to last year.

As supply chains get caught up, used and new car prices should slowly start working their way down. If you can wait it out, you should! After all, you don’t want to be the person that paid $10,000 too much for a Hyundai, right?

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