These are the best cars to buy used, rather than new

Luxury vehicles are the best buys, while a Tesla Model 3? Not so much.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
2019 BMW 5 Series
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2019 BMW 5 Series

Great deals to be had on the BMW 5 Series.

Chris Tedesco/BMW

As new car prices continue to hover around a price far out of reach for many Americans, the used car market continues to become the source for many shoppers. If you're eager to get your hands on a gently used luxury car, they remain the downright best deals. According to new data from iSeeCars released on Wednesday, seven of the 15 used cars that are best to buy used, rather than new, are luxury vehicles.

The data combs through 2.6 million vehicle sales that took place in between August 2020 and March 2021, and the website defined a "gently used vehicle" as a 2019 or 2020 vehicle. Keep in mind, these cars aren't necessarily the cheapest used cars around, but the depreciation factor hits them hardest, making them far less expensive than buying a brand new version.

At the top of the list is the BMW 5 Series lost 36.4% of its value on average. Translation: The luxury sedan is typically $24,000 cheaper than a new model after just one or two years. However, a far more reasonable car also comes in towards the top in the Hyundai Sonata. The mass-market sedan is 36.1% cheaper, which lops nearly $10,000 off the price compared to a freshly built Sonata. Aside from an eighth place showing from the and 11th place finish for the , it's the only other mass-market sedan to feature such a steep discount. And the other two are much smaller cars.

Back to the luxury cars, the Infiniti Q50 boasts a substantial discount with over $16,000 knocked off its price after a couple years, and if you're looking for a , the smaller GLA SUV is roughly $13,500 cheaper used. A CLA sedan? $13,400 cheaper.

Only two luxury SUVs make the list, which underscores how valuable utility vehicles remain to automakers with demand so high. The Cadillac XT5 lands in 12th place with $14,800 shaved off the new price and the GMC Yukon Denali XL sees almost $23,000 stripped away if you seek out a used version.

Some used cars are best avoided, though. The Tesla Model 3 is a prime example since a used version typically only costs $923 less than a new one. In this case, you're better off nabbing a new one.

Check out the full list below and maybe don't brush off the used car lot the next time you're in the market for a car. There are deals to be had.

Top 15 cars to buy used over new

Rank (By percentage saved over MSRP)Make and model% price difference from newDifference in dollars
1 BMW 5 Series36.40%$24,207
2 Hyundai Sonata36.10%$9,898
3 Infiniti Q5034.90%$16,322
4 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross31.60%$8,041
5 Ford Mustang31%$13,422
6 Mercedes-Benz GLA30.90%$13,562
7 Infiniti Q6030.90%$16,944
8 Nissan Sentra30.20%$6,209
9 BMW 3 Series29.70%$15,266
10 Mercedes-Benz CLA29.50%$13,420
11 Mitsubishi Mirage G429.20%$4,781
12 Cadillac XT528.70%$14,851
13 Hyundai Santa Fe28.70%$9,061
14 GMC Yukon XL27.80%$22,639
15 Kia Sorento27.30%$8,489

The best cars to buy used rather than new

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