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?

iSeeCars.com 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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2021 Honda Ridgeline
Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The used car market is a tough place to be right now, as new vehicle shortages have driven big demand and big price increases across the board. Finding deals is harder than ever, and many models are being sold for nearly what it'd cost to buy them new. Certified pre-owned (CPO) cars can be a good alternative to new cars, and may be worth paying the price if you're desperate. Honda is looking to sweeten the deal by extending its CPO programto older vehicles. Called HondaTrue Used and Acura Precision Used, the program should attract younger buyers and people with stricter budgets.

Honda CPONo. 18 - Honda Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co. Inc.

It's important to note that Honda isn't slapping a 100,000-mile warranty onto a ten-year old car. The updated program includes coverage for 100 days or 5,000 miles on cars up to ten years old. That's a drop in the bucket compared to Honda's and Acura's traditional CPO vehicles, which get a seven-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. That said, the older cars still get a 112-point inspection. Parts are replaced or repaired as necessary before the sale.

Honda CPO2015 Honda Civic Sedan & Coupe Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The move looks like a great one for buyers, who will get the opportunity to shop for older cars that still offer some degree of warranty coverage. Older models are less expensive but can be less reliable, so the addition of a manufacturer's backing makes buyers more comfortable and opens up more options to ease inventory shortages.

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This 2020 Ford GT drew over $1 million at the auction.

Mecum

The world may be going through some tough times right now, but you'd never know it looking at auto auction results. One of the largest, Mecum, just reported sales from the auctions it held in Arizona last week, and the results are astonishing. Mecum says it took in $66.3 million in sales, which is a big increase over the previous year's auctions. Attendance was also up, and the event was packed with high-dollar, desirable vehicles.

Mecum Arizona AuctionHow about a 1967 Ferrari for a little over $3 million?Mecum

Mecum says that private collection sales generated $20 million of the $66.3 million, as some brought dozens of vehicles to participate in the auction. The Hooked on Vettes Collection, for example, brought 13 cars and sold every one of them. It even sold a load of neon signs for well over a million dollars.

The top ten vehicles sold at auction drew big dollars. A few include:

  • 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4: $3,025,000
  • 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Convertible Coupe: $2,365,000
  • 2005 Porsche Carrera GT: $2,200,000
  • 2020 Ford GT: $1,100,000
  • 2017 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Roadster: $698,500

Mecum Arizona AuctionThere was even a Duesenberg, which sold for almost $2.4 million.Mecum

If you've got money to burn and you're sad to have missed out on the Arizona auction, your next shot will be at the end of this month when Mecum hits Houston with 1,100 vehicles. The flagship Mecum auction in Indianapolis takes place in mid-May, and will feature 3,000 cars.

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