Used Cars

10 best bargains you can get on lightly-used vehicles

The BMW 4 Series was good when it debuted, and it remains a respectable ride today.

Photo courtesy of BMW

Car shopping? If you want a good car but don't want to spend all the money that comes with purchasing a new car, a lightly-used car may be the way to go. What is lightly-used? Which vehicles fit the bill? analyzed more than 6.9 million car sales to identify models with the greatest loss in value after three years, when most leased cars enter the used car market.

Here are the results.

No. 10 - Audi A4

2017 Audi A4 Allroad

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Average 3-year old used price: $29,941
3-Year depreciation: 51.0%
Savings over new car price: $23,292

The Audi A4 is all about balance. It's not the smallest car in the Audi sedan lineup, but it is compact. The model was redesigned for 2016 and is available in a variety of body styles - sedan, wagon, and cabriolet. A three-year old Audi A4 will have a reasonably fresh infotainment system.

No. 9 - Infiniti QX60

2020 Infiniti QX60

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

Average 3-year old used price: $26,785
3-Year depreciation: 51.0%
Savings over new car price: $27,078

The Infiniti QX60 is the best-selling model in the company's lineup and it's easy to see why. It has three rows of seating with supremely comfortable first- and second-rows. The SUV is easy to drive and bridges the gap between mass market and luxury SUVs nicely.

No. 8 - BMW 4 Series

2017 BMW 4 Series

Photo courtesy of BMW

Average 3-year old used price: $30,203
3-Year depreciation: 51.7%
Savings over new car price: $28,893

The BMW 4 Series is a direct competitor of the Audi A4. They both deliver comfort and plenty of convenience features that will serve a buyer well. The BMW 4 Series was introduced in 2013 and just had its next-gen model introduced so the one coming off-lease is a little longer in the tooth than the Audi A4 compared to today's vehicles.

No. 7 - Infiniti Q50

2017 Infiniti Q50

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

Average 3-year old used price: $26,522
3-Year depreciation: 51.8%
Savings over new car price: $24,843

Like the BMW 4 Series, the Infiniti Q50 is stylish and comfortable. The Q50 received a good amount of updates in 2016 including a refresh of the trim levels offered, refined power plants, and handling upgrades.

No.6 - Lincoln MKZ

2017 Lincoln MKZ

Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company

Average 3-year old used price: $20,034
3-Year depreciation: 51.8%
Savings over new car price: $23,112

The second-generation Lincoln MKZ arrived in 2013. It delivered comfort and premium style for drivers at a lower price than a typical luxury car. Lincoln recently announced that they're not making anymore MKZs after 2020 but that's more about the sedan market than it is about the quality of the vehicle.

No. 5 - Mercedes-Benz E-Class

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Average 3-year old used price: $26,306
3-Year depreciation: 52.7%
Savings over new car price: $34,990

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class models coming off three-years leases this year are the first bunch of the newest generation. That's a good thing. The E-Class is a refined midsize sedan that delivers exactly what customers want from it and could be optioned with a good amount of safety features when purchased.

No. 4 - Volvo S60

2019 Volvo S60

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

Average 3-year old used price: $19,702
3-Year depreciation: 53.2%
Savings over new car price: $22,405

An off-lease Volvo S60 may be the best deal out there right now. The S60 has one of the best interiors in its class, it's power plants are competent, and the infotainment system is uniquely designed. Volvos are also known for the high level of safety engineering.

No. 3 - BMW 3 Series

2017 BMW 3 Series

Photo courtesy of BMW

Average 3-year old used price: $22,718
3-Year depreciation: 53.4%
Savings over new car price: $26,074

The BMW 3 Series began rolling out its latest generation in 2018 so the models coming off lease are likely ones that are form the tail end of the last-gen. Even so, the 3 Series delivers an engaging drive, takes to the road with ease, and is comfortable as a daily driver.

No. 2 - Ford Fusion Hybrid

2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid

​Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Average 3-year old used price: $13,565
3-Year depreciation: 54.9%
Savings over new car price: $16,480

Like the Lincoln MKZ, the Ford Fusion Hybrid has reached the end of its road. That doesn't mean that the Fusion is a bad car. It's a comfortable daily driver and it's hybrid powertrain makes it a little easier on the wallet when it comes to road trips.

No. 1 - Audi A6

2017 Audi A6

Photo courtesy of Audi. AG

Average 3-year old used price: $28,259
3-Year depreciation: 55.8%
Savings over new car price: $35,208

The current generation of the Audi A6 was introduced in 2018 so most off-lease A6s for sale now are likely from the previous generation. Though the latest technology and safety features are available in the new model, the last-gen still offers posh accommodations, engaging handling, and enough room for four adults.

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Nuts & Bolts


All-electric MINIs account for 10 percent of all MINI sales.

Photo courtesy of MINI

MINI is a tiny car company with big plans. The automaker is planning to realign their model range focusing on improving drivetrain technology, vehicle segments, and services of the future. Committing to the crossover and premium compact segments and strengthening the company's market position in China are also on the roster. The heart of those plans is a shift toward electromobility.

"MINI was always the answer to very special challenges relating to individual mobility. And the willingness to reinvent the status quo continues to shape the brand to this day," commented Bernd Körber, Head of MINI. "Alongside electromobility, harnessing new target groups and sales markets will be crucially important for the future of MINI."

1959 Morris Mini-Minor MINI's history goes back a long time. Here, the 1959 Morris Mini-Minor.Photo courtesy of MINI

In the 20 years since the brand was relaunched, around four million vehicles have been produced at MINI's plan in Oxford, England. and delivered to more than 100 countries across the world.

The MINI lineup is now broader than ever before. The roster has expanded include the MINI Countryman in a very competitive vehicle class. About 40 percent of all the brand's vehicles sold across the world, are in this class. John Cooper Works versions of the cars account for approximately five percent of the total sales of the MINI brand. Electrified models are steadily gaining in popularity, traditionally amounting to five percent of the brand's total sales. That number jumped to 10 percent following the launch of the MINI Electric.

MINI has hinted that more efficient combustion engines (diesel and petrol) and additional electric vehicles are in the future. A completely electrified model family is on the horizon.

"We are pursuing the Power of Choice approach followed by the BMW Group through our broad range of advanced petrol and diesel engines, the plug-in hybrid system and all-electric drive, in order to meet the needs and aspirations of our customers throughout the world," said Körber. "This enables us to create the conditions for further growth in global automobile markets."

The future core portfolio of all-electric vehicles will include the MINI 3-Door Hatch, a new crossover model in the small-car segment, and a compact crossover model. The brand's small-car models and a crossover model in the compact segment will be available with internal combustion engines.

The new crossover model will only be offered with an all-electric drivetrain. The next-generation Mini Countryman will be available with both combustion engines and an electrified drivetrain.

In light of the upcoming changes, MINI is promising that MINI models will not lose their identity.

"It is part of our responsibility to the brand and the community to preserve the unique character of MINI," says Bernd Körber. "That is why every new model from our brand in future will be unmistakably a MINI."

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The Bugatti Bolide is a concept car that pushes the limits of what is possible for the super luxury automaker.

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

What if Bugatti developed a track-focused hyper sports car? Lotus is doing it. So is McLaren. Ferrari and Lamborghini? Been there, done that.

The Bugatti Bolide concept car pushes the limits of what Bugatti is capable of. It's derived from production cars but doesn't stick to the formula. It has a weight-to-power ratio of only 0.67 kilograms per horsepower.

"Bugatti stands for the continuous quest for technological innovations – in alignment with the company's brand values of excellence, courage, dedication. And Bugatti never stands still. We are perpetually aiming for new and exciting goals, and the question that we always keep in mind is: what if?" said Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti.

Bugatti Bolide The car takes its design inspiration from historic planes.Photo courtesy of Bugatti

In the concept, Bugatti has used its 8.0-liter W16 engine, which delivers 1,850 PS (1,824 horsepower) and 1,805 nM (1,364 pound-feet) of torque to move the Bolide1's 1,240-kilogram (2,733-pound) body. Bugatti clocks the model's top speed as being almost on-par with that of Formula One cars, well above 500 kilometers per hour (310 mph) and confirms that the weight and speed do not impact the car's agility.

The Bolide takes 3:07.1 minutes to complete a lap of Le Mans and 5:23.1 minutes to get around the Nordschleife.

"We asked ourselves how we could realize the mighty W16 engine as a technical symbol of the brand in its purest form – with solely four wheels, engine, gearbox, steering wheel and, as the only luxury, two seats," said Winkelmann.

"Important aspects of our considerations were fine-tuning our iconic powertrain without any limitations as regards the weight-to-power ratio. These considerations resulted in the Bugatti Bolide. An uncompromising experiment, a thoroughbred, a Pur Sang that, in its brute exclusivity, impresses above all with high performance, low weight, and a driving experience in a whole new dimension. Driving the Bolide is like riding on a cannonball."

Bugatti Bolide The front of the car is very familiar to Bugatti fans.Photo courtesy of Bugatti

Importantly, the car meets FIA's safety requirements. These include HANS device compatibility, an automatic fire extinguishing system, a towing device, pressure refuelling with fuel bladder, central locks for the wheels, lightweight polycarbonate windows, and a six-point harness system.

"All of Bugatti's expertise has been condensed into the Bugatti Bolide. It is therefore an innovative information source for future technologies. The Bolide is thus more than just an intellectual exercise," said Stefan Ellrott, member of the Board of Management of Bugatti and Head of Technical Development.

"In terms of technology and organization, the Bolide was one of the most ambitious projects of my career," says Frank Götzke, head of new technologies at Bugatti. Before working to develop the Bolide1, Götzke played an integral role in the development of the Veyron 16.4 and the Chiron5. It took Götzke just eight months to create the new model.

Modifications to existing equipment include a de-throttling of the intake and exhaust system to allow for faster response. The engine features four newly developed turbochargers that have optimized blades that are designed to build up boost pressure and power while the engine is running at a higher speed. The oil circuit, oil pressure, check valves, baffles, oil tanks, oil reservoirs, and pump design of the dry sump lubrication have been optimized.

Bugatti Bolide The interior of the car is relatively bare bones to assist with lightweighting.Photo courtesy of Bugatti

The Bolide features air-to-air cooling rather than a water-to-air setup. Water is then pre-cooled for optimal performance. Newly developed and hybrid carbon titanium turbofan radial compressors ventilate and cool the high-performance racing brake system.

The engine is a big part of the equation, but not all. In order to achieve such a low power-to-weight ratio, Bugatti had to look for weight savings wherever possible. All screen and fastening elements are made of titanium. Hollow, thin-walled functional components made of an aerospace titanium alloy are used in many places, having been constructed using a 3D printer, which enabled their 0.5 millimeter thickness.

One of the most interesting parts of the Bolide is its roof. Its outer layer is morphable. Bugatti explains: "If the vehicle is driven at a slow speed, the surface of the scoop remains smooth. In contrast, a field of bubbles bulges out when driven at fast speeds. This reduces the aerodynamic drag of the scoop by 10 percent and ensures a 17 percent reduction in lift forces."

The Bolide uses racing brakes with ceramic discs and coatings. The calipers weigh just 2.4 kilograms (5.2 pounds) each. Bugatti has given the model front forged magnesium rims with central lock that weigh in at 7.4 kilograms (15.4 pounds) while the rear rims weigh inn at 8.4 kilograms (18.5 pounds). It rides on very wide tires - 340 millimeters on the front axle and 400 millimeters on the rear.

Bugatti Bolide

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

The car's light monococque is made of carbon while the front end flange is made of the same. The strength of the carbon fibers is akin to what is used in the aerospace industry and is significantly stronger than what can be found in cars on the road today.

Bugatti's speedster is just 995 millimeters (39.1 inches) high, the same height as the historic Bugatti Type 35.

The Bolide is one of the most aerodynamic and challenging models that Achim Anscheidt, director of design at Bugatti, has taken on. His design for the car was inspired by the so-called X-planes of aviation history. This is most apparent at the tail end of the model. It is indirectly reminiscent of the Bell X-1 jet aircraft which was flown by Captain Charles "Chuck" Yeager 1947, the first person to break the sound barrier at Mach 1.06.

Only around 40 percent of the surfaces of the model are painted, coated in a re-interpretation of the historic French Racing Blue.

"Fifteen years ago, Bugatti succeeded in creating a new segment with the Veyron 16.4: that of the superior hyper sports car. With the Chiron launched in 2016, we systematically developed this segment further. The models bear witness to power and elegance, uniquely combining technology, design, luxury, and quality in a hitherto unknown combination," explains Anscheidt. "In contrast, the Bugatti Bolide is an absolute rebel. It is clear to see that its only aim is to convey the pure power of the W16 engine in a visually and technically unadulterated form. Reduced, raw, and authentic – like freshly-caught sashimi".

Whether the Bugatti Bolide will go into series production, has not been decided yet.

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