Useful Car Tips

5 Brands with the Worst Resale Value in the US

May 28, 2020
The vast majority of cars start losing their value as soon as they’re driven off the dealer’s lot; those that don’t are the rare exception. However, there are certain vehicles which lose their value significantly faster than others, perhaps making them questionable long-term buys So why is that? Well, the average new car in the US loses almost 50% of its value—49.6% in fact—over five years. While this statistic may be hard to digest on its own, the 10 vehicles in the US that depreciate the most lose over 68% of their value in that same five-year timeframe. For new car buyers or those looking to buy out their vehicle after the lease expires, this can be a sobering and eye-opening statistic to encounter. If you’re in the market for a new car, it’s wise to research the depreciation rate you may encounter with the vehicles you’re shopping. Fortunately for consumers, iSeeCars compiled a list of the highest and lowest depreciating cars in the US, accurate as of 2019. 10 were chosen from each category, but we’ll focus on just the top five: a combination of electric vehicles and luxury sedans.

5. BMW 5 SERIES - 69.2%

Since 1972, the BMW 5 Series has been one of the most recognizable luxury sedans in the world. Unfortunately, sales success and longevity has not translated to good resale value, as the average 5 Series posts an abysmal depreciation of 69.2% of its original value over five years. While a 5 Series bimmer won’t top any list regarding resale value, it makes up for this shortcoming in other ways. The modern 5 Series is a family of big, comfortable sedans with a suite of the latest safety and driver-assistance tech, making them excellent daily drivers.

4. BMW i3 - 70.9%

Another BMW follows closely behind its 5 Series (distant) cousin in the form of the i3 electric hatchback. This diminutive subcompact loses 70.9% of its value over five years, a hard hit for any long-term i3 owner as its starting price is about $44,450 in the US. So what do you get for almost $45,000? Since a battery update in 2019, the i3’s electric range has grown to an EPA-rated 153 miles, plus front and rear parking sensors are now standard. Unfortunately, the i3 suffers from slow charging and a cramped interior and cargo area.

3. NISSAN LEAF - 71.0%

Although one of the highest-selling electric vehicles in the world, the Nissan Leaf is not without resale value woes of its own: depreciating 71% over five years. This is the highest depreciation of any EV on sale in the US. However, its depreciation doesn’t tell the whole story. The Leaf is a capable car, with an EPA-rated 226 miles of range, quick charging ability, and a roomy interior. Although quite lacking in terms of resale value, the Nissan Leaf is still a great value EV for those on a tighter budget.

2. BMW 7 SERIES - 71.3%

The BMW 7 Series continues the trend of bimmers experiencing strong depreciation, with the average 7 Series losing 71.3% of its value over five years. In fact, BMW vehicles account for four spots in the top 10 list, with the now-discontinued 6 Series coming in at number eight. Despite such poor depreciation, the 7 Series has cemented itself as one of the preeminent full-size luxury sedans on the market. If you’re looking for resale value, check out the 1996 E38 750iL rapper Tupac Shakur was shot inon sale for a whopping $1,750,000.


Not to be outdone by its German rival, the Maserati Quattroporte full-size luxury sedan posts an abysmal resale value of 72.2%, slightly edging out the 7 Series. No car currently on sale in the US depreciates more than the average Quattroporte over a five-year period. This large and heavy luxury cruiser may lose value like no other vehicle on the market, but its Italian flair in both styling and sound may win buyers over. In particular, the range-topping GTS trim features a variant of the thunderous 3.8-liter V8 shared with the 488 supercar.


That is the question every long-term owner looking to buy any of these vehicles must ask themselves: is it worth it? It’s a difficult question to answer, with many complicating factors such as one’s financial stability, long-term goals, and intended usage. While their steep depreciation may turn some buyers away, all these vehicles are still worth your consideration. Between the comfort of the 5 Series, the electric characteristics of the Leaf, and the distinctive Italian flair of the Quattroporte, you may just fall in love with your next new car.
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