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Here Are Some Excellent Deals on Gently Used Luxury Cars

Depreciation is a bad thing for new car buyers and a wonderful thing for used car buyers. It’s an especially good thing for used car buyers with an appetite for luxury — but maybe not the budget for an expensive new luxury car. Luckily for us cheapskates, luxury vehicles are generally the fastest depreciating kind of vehicles there are, a fact that’s been reinforced by a recent study from car research site iSeeCars.

The site has just come out with an updated list of the top 10 fastest depreciating cars over a 3-year span and all 10 of them are luxury sedans. Here they are with their average 3-year-old used price, and rate of depreciation. For reference, the average 3-year depreciation rate is 38.2%.

  1. Acura RLX — $28,259 — 55.8%

  2. Lincoln MKZ — $19,855 — $55.6%

  3. Mercedes-Benz E-Class — $31,051 — 55.4%

  4. Jaguar XF — $30,268 — 54.8%

  5. Cadillac XTS — $26,306 — 54.5%

  6. Lincoln MKZ Hybrid — $20,034 — 54.5%

  7. Kia K900 — $26,522 — 54.4%

  8. BMW 5 Series — $30,203 — 53.8%

  9. Cadillac CTS — $26,785 — 53.8%

  10. Audi A6 — $29,941 — 53.3%

That’s a whole lot of luxury cars. We see the American luxury brands of Cadillac and Lincoln taking up four out of the top 10, with the other six being from import brands. It’s also worth noting how many of these are front-wheel drive despite rear-wheel drive being the dominant preference of luxury automakers. The RLX, both variants of the MKZ, and the XTS are all front-drivers with optional all-wheel drive, which makes me wonder if something about being FWD makes luxury sedans depreciate faster.

Which car is the best value on the list is very debatable, but I’m inclined to say one of the full-size cars. Despite being Acura’s flagship, the RLX is a pretty unknown car being eclipsed by the likes of the Lexus LS, but the Acura is still a perfectly good big luxury sedan. We’ve told you repeatedly what a great used car value the Kia K900 is, especially with the muscular V8 option under the hood. The Cadillac XTS is a nice, comfy, roomy car, but I’d personally be more inclined to get the more exciting CTS for almost the exact same price.

As for the European luxury cars on the list, it’s interesting that a used midsize sedan from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and Audi is more affordable than a new example of their smaller counterparts like the 3 Series, the C-Class, the XE and the A4. If you’re shopping for a new compact luxury car, you should give lightly used examples of their midsize siblings a serious look.

So, if you’re looking for a classy way to get around or for a way to make your friends think you spent way more money than you did on your car, any of the examples on this list is a great way to do that. Turns out the steep decline in popularity of sedans has some positive side effects that are great for used luxury car shoppers.

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  1. Excellent article.  With gas prices so low, it’s hard to believe that these mid-sized models are cheaper than the smaller ones.  The car market is bizarre these days.

    • A lot of this is based on a 3 year old model which in the case of the A6, E-Class and 5 Series they were a generation behind new smaller A4/C-class and 3 Series. 

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Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt is an author specializing in Oversteer content, new car reviews, and finding the best car, truck, and SUV deals each month. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Eric can often be found exploring the north woods on his 1983 Honda Gold Wing when the weather allows it. Father of four, husband of one, and unapologetic minivan enthusiast. Eric mastered driving stick by having a 3-cylinder Chevy... Read More about Eric Brandt

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