If you asked people how long they expected to own a vehicle, many will say around five years. That’s enough time to put a big chunk of mileage on a car and generally be ready for a change. But then comes the hard part: getting decent money back on a used vehicle.
For those unlucky enough to have one of the cars with high depreciation, that means accepting much less than you paid for it — after factoring in age and use. Whether you trade it in or sell a car on your own, you could end up with just 30% of what you paid five years later.
While that might sting with a compact car, it hurts even more with a pricey SUV. Looking at an iSeeCars study on used utility vehicles sold through September 2018, you can see which models lost the most value after five years in an owner’s hands. Here are the 10 SUVs with the highest depreciation over that time.
10. Cadillac Escalade
- Depreciation over 5 years: 59.7%
While three-row SUVs like the Toyota Highlander and Dodge Durango showed lower-than-average depreciation, the Cadillac Escalade sat at the other end of the spectrum. After five years, this model dropped about 60% in value, the data showed.
As we’ve seen from studies in the past, luxury models tend to have much higher depreciation that non-luxury vehicles. Escalade was not an exception.
9. Volvo XC60
- Depreciation over 5 years: 60.3%
Whether you call it a wagon, a crossover, or an SUV, the Volvo XC60 was among the utility vehicles with the highest depreciation in recent years. Compared to the average SUV (52%), the XC60’s drop in value was about one sixth higher.
In this case, the redesign year also played a factor. Since the XC60 got overhauled in 2014, any models from the earlier generation immediately became less valuable.
8. GMC Yukon XL
- Depreciation over 5 years: 61.3%
Whether you consider the GMC Yukon to be a luxury vehicle or more of an upscale trim, iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly said it didn’t matter as far as value was concerned.
“A new Yukon XL is priced like a luxury vehicle with an average price of $67,000, so it is no surprise that it drastically depreciates as a luxury vehicle would,” Ly said. After five years, buyers were getting about $26,000 back on average.
7. Lincoln MKX
- Depreciation over 5 years: 61.9%
While the Lincoln MKX gets high marks for its comfortable cabin and capable powertrain, this crossover doesn’t hold its value well. After five years, owners watched an average of 62% disappear from the MKX’s original price.
With Lincoln bringing out the Nautilus to replace the MKX, used-car shoppers will see even lower prices (i.e., better deals) on this model in 2019.
6. BMW X6
- Depreciation over 5 years: 62.7%
Several BMW crossovers ended up among the highest-depreciating models in the iSeeCar study. In the commentary accompanying the data, Phong Ly noted the danger of keeping a luxury model past the five-year mark.
“The high repair cost of German vehicles like BMWs is another factor in the high depreciation of these vehicles,” he said. That was enough for owners to accept 37% of what they paid for their X6.
5. Cadillac Escalade ESV
- Depreciation over 5 years: 62.9%
The stretch version of the Escalade (ESV) depreciated even faster than the standard model. After five years, this model had lost 63% on average when owners went to sell. We’re not quite sure what the market is for a dated XL Escalade might be, but if one interests you we have some advice: Lowball the seller.
4. BMW X1
- Depreciation over 5 years: 62.9%
Smaller BMW crossovers shed value even faster than the X6. In the case of the X1, owners were left with an average of 63% of what they originally paid after five years. Compared to the depreciation of a model like the Toyota RAV4 (43% over the same time), you start to see what you pay for luxury models on both ends of the deal.
3. Lincoln Navigator
- Depreciation over 5 years: 63%
Lincoln’s largest SUV depreciated the fastest of any American vehicle after five years. When owners went to sell, they saw about 37% back in return. In the case of the Navigator, you’re also looking at the effect of an all-new (2018) model taking over the previous generation. The update for 2015 also had an impact on this model’s depreciation.
2. BMW X3
- Depreciation over 5 years: 64%
The BMW X3 of the previous generation (2011-17) was mostly a hit with consumers and critics, but that didn’t keep it from losing value. Over five years, owners were finding about 36% of the original price on the used market. Looking at the SUV with the lowest depreciation (Jeep Wrangler), the X3 lost about double the value over this time.
1. BMW X5
- Depreciation over 5 years: 65.6%
With the BMW X5, you’re looking at a perfect storm for high depreciation. For starters, imported luxury models are bound to lose value at a rapid pace. In the BMW X5’s case, you’re also looking at a redesign for 2019. That means models from 2014-18 are slipping in value by the day (and will into 2019).
Finally, the iSeeCars study looked at 2013 models (from the previous generation) sold this year. By the time it went to press, consumers had two more generations of the X5 to consider. Needless to say, the market for 2007-13 models favors bargain hunters from here on out.