If you want to see a car that depreciates quickly, look at one-year-old luxury sedans. Research from iSeeCars.com showed models Cadillac ATS and Mercedes-Benz E-Class losing 35% of their value after a single year in an owner’s hands.
Overall, SUVs do a better job at holding their value over such a time period. In fact, iSeeCars sales data showed utility vehicles losing 35% of their value after three years (as opposed to one).
Yet premium crossovers, which often hit the road with a two- or three-year lease, tend to depreciate faster than, say, a Ford Expedition (a model based on the F-150 platform). Here are the five SUVs that showed the most drastic drop in value after three years in an owner’s hands.
5. BMW X5
- Depreciation after 3 years: 44.1%
A brand-new BMW X5 (made in South Carolina) cost buyers close to $70,000 on average once they added options to the base model. Three years later, 44% of that value disappeared when they sold them back on the used market in 2018.
That returned a resale price of $39,000, iSeeCars research showed. For bargain hunters, that is an easy path to acquiring a BMW crossover.
4. Lincoln MKC
- Depreciation after 3 years: 44.3%
In 2015, Lincoln introduced the MKC crossover based on the Ford Escape, and early buyers spent an average of $40,000 for the new model. Three years later, MKC was selling for 44.3% less on the secondhand market.
That’s the equivalent of over $15,000 less for buyers who didn’t mind buying used. With the 2019 MKC sporting the sharp new Lincoln grille, expect prior editions to take the same depreciation hit.
3. Mercedes-Benz M-Class
- Depreciation after 3 years: 46.2%
There is no longer a Mercedes-Benz M-Class. After the 2015 model year, the luxury automaker began calling redesigned models the G-Class. For those who bought the final editions, their value has dropped significantly over three years.
By early 2018, the last M-Class crossovers were selling for 46% less than buyers originally paid. As of July, used car buyers could find models priced as low as $30,000.
2. Buick Enclave
- Depreciation after 3 years: 46.8%
By now, you probably noticed that the vehicles on this list were crossovers (as opposed to truck-based SUVs). Models like the GMC Yukon, Toyota Sequoia, and Expedition tend to hold resale value much better than unibody vehicles.
In the case of Buick Enclave from the 2015-16 model years, this crossover lost close to half (46.8%) of its value by the time owners went to sell in 2018. Again, that value loss doubles as an opportunity for consumers looking for a premium utility vehicle on the cheap.
1. Cadillac SRX
- Depreciation after 3 years: 47.2%
The 2016 Cadillac SRX also bowed out of the market after the 2016 model year. In its place came the XT5, which got pricier (starting near $43,000) for the 2019 model year.
As for the SRX you’ll find on the used market, these models have dropped from close to $50,000 (new with options) to about $25,000 for 2015-16 editions. With over 47% lost since the original sale, SRX has been the fastest depreciating SUV in recent years.
In general, compact and midsize luxury crossovers tend to see the most value drain after a few years in an owner’s hands. For the value-conscious buyer, the used market is the place to go.