If you’re in the market for a modern, stylish, well-appointed sedan and you’re looking at new cars, I strongly urge you to reconsider. Depreciation is real, and it’s a terrible thing for folks who buy brand-new cars — and a wonderful thing for the people who buy them next. Depreciation is especially significant when applied to luxury cars like the Cadillac CTS and ATS.
Car research site iSeeCars has just come out with their list of the 11 best bargains on almost-new cars. They measure depreciation by looking at what 3-year-old cars are selling for now versus what they sold for when brand-new. Every car on the list is three years old because these cars are coming off lease and entering dealers’ used inventories — waiting for some brilliant consumer like yourself to come get them on the cheap.
Well, my friends, right now we’re in a sweet spot for newish Cadillac sedans and coupes. The top two vehicles on the list of cars that have depreciated the most over the past three years are the midsize Cadillac CTS and entry-level Cadillac ATS, both of which have lost a little over half their value since they were new.
Let me save you a Google search and tell you that 2014 was the first model year for the current-generation CTS. That slick, high-tech luxury sedan can be yours for less than the price of a brand-new Chevy Malibu. The average price for a 3-year-old CTS is $27,537 — and, as of this writing, there are roughly 900 different 2014 CTS sedans on Autotrader for that price or less.
Want something smaller, cheaper and more efficient? Perhaps even a sporty coupe? If the CTS is a little too much car for you, check out the ATS. This is a much more stylish and luxurious alternative to some milquetoast sedan from a boring volume brand. Not only that, but it’s possible to get one cheaper than a new Chevy Sonic. The average price for a 3-year-old ATS is just $21,100 — and as of this writing, there are around 800 different 2014 ATS coupes and sedans on Autotrader for that price or less.
So why should you care about these two cars in particular? Cadillac has been experiencing a renaissance since the first CTS came out in 2003. That was the beginning of a move away from being "old-people cars" and toward becoming a more modern luxury brand with a new emphasis on performance in order to more seriously compete with European rivals. Fast-forward to today and the transition period is over. Cadillac has arrived at their destination of being a serious global player in the luxury-car game.
The CTS is now in its third generation, and it’s better than ever. Along with the smaller ATS, these are among the best-looking (in the past 40 years, at least), best-driving cars Cadillac has ever built. These cars are well-designed inside and out, and well engineered to achieve the satisfying blend of performance and luxury their competitors all strive for.
Also, the CTS has a motorized cupholder lid. Do you really want to live your life without a motorized cupholder lid?
Okay, so maybe Cadillac isn’t for you. But let’s say you know someone who’s in the market for a car and unsure of what they want. If you really care about that person, you’ll reveal this nugget of used-car wisdom to them. Surely they’ll take your sage advice and thank you profusely and not just go with a lease deal for some dull crossover they saw in a commercial.
I’m not saying nobody should ever buy a new car, but I also wonder why more people don’t take advantage of the car buyer’s joy of depreciation. It’s especially confusing when cheap, almost-new cars are so good. If you’re trying to decide whether you should buy a used ATS or spend a little more and get a new Kia Forte, it’s a no-brainer to me. Not that the new cars are bad — but the Cadillacs are just significant upgrades for the same price or less. This is a rare opportunity to treat yourself to something better while simultaneously saving money. Consider a used Cadillac. Find a used Cadillac for sale