The automotive research firm and car search engine iSeeCars studied which vehicles are best to buy new or buy used based on depreciation. To come up with its results, iSeeCars looked at the prices of 6,000,000 new and used cars that were sold between August 2019 and January 2020. On average, a used car that’s one-year-old costs 20.1 percent less than it did when new. That price decrease after one year varies, though, from 5.5 percent to 43.4 percent. iSeeCars found that the Chevy Traverse is the worst SUV to buy gently used and the best to buy new.
The best new vehicles
The Chevy Traverse is the SUV with the lowest percent price difference between a new and a one-year-old model. The difference in price was just 11.7 percent or $4,198. “Because of its segment-leading cargo room and abundance of family-friendly features, the Chevrolet Traverse has had a recent surge in popularity for those looking for a family hauler,” said iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly. “It was fully redesigned in 2018, and newly redesigned cars command more money in the used car market.”
Second on the list is the Subaru Crosstrek, with a price difference of 13.1 percent or $3,138. Behind the Chevy Traverse and Subaru Crosstrek is the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. This SUV has a price difference of 15.8 percent or $4,764.
While the Traverse is a midsize SUV, the other two in the top three are compact crossover SUVs. The Crosstrek is popular, plus its reliability and safety ratings help keep its value high. It was also redesigned in 2018, while the RAV4 Hybrid is popular and was redesigned in 2019.
On iSeeCars’ overall list of vehicles to buy new, the Chevrolet Traverse comes in No. 3. The top two vehicles are the Tesla Model 3 and the Ford Ranger. The Tesla Model 3 has a price difference of 5.5 percent or $2,529 (with the new car price estimated), while the Ford Ranger has a price difference of 11.4 percent or $3,716.
The best used vehicles
If you’re looking for a good deal, iSeeCars also made a list of SUVs that are best to buy used. This list is primarily luxury SUVs that are high-priced when new. The BMW X6 had the biggest value drop after one year. A used model had a price that was $31,655 lower than a new one, a 37.7 percent drop. The next two SUVs on the list of deals to buy after one year were the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, dropping $21,079 or 37.3 percent and the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, dropping $16,102 or 33.9 percent.
The list of vehicles that are best to buy used includes nine luxury vehicles along with the Chevrolet Camaro sports car. The three with the biggest savings between new and used are the BMW 7 Series, which dropped $47,447, or 43.4 percent; the Audi A6, which dropped $26,199 or 41.0 percent; and the Jaguar XE, which dropped $20,586 or 40.9 percent.
Buy the Chevy Traverse new or used?
There are some advantages that come with buying a new car rather than a used car, including a full warranty and dealer incentives. According to iSeeCars’s CEO, Phong Ly, “One advantage of new car buying is that there is no guesswork involved about how someone else drove and treated the vehicle. The dealership may also finance an auto loan at a lower interest rate for those with a desirable credit score, which will reduce the interest you have to pay over the duration of the new car loan.”
A gently used vehicle still offers buyers modern safety and technology features plus what remains of the original warranty. And, since vehicles depreciate the most in the first year, buyers of used vehicles lose less money when trading in later compared to new car buyers.
Buyers trying to decide between a new Chevrolet Traverse and a gently used one should feel fine heading for the new model. The extra money spent on a new model might be worth it.