Cadillac CTS, Mercedes-Benz E-Class Rank Among Best Values in Modern Used Cars, Study Says

These three-year-old cars are worth about half of their original price.

Richard Prince/Cadillac

Car research site iSeeCars has come out with a new study showing the most-depreciated modern cars on the market today. With off-lease cars constantly entering the used vehicle market, you can get a newish car for close to half of what the MSRP was when the car was new. 

The values for all 11 of the cars on the list are measured for when the vehicles are three years old—which means several of them are from the current generation of their respective model. 

Here’s the list with the percentage their values have gone down. 

  1. Cadillac CTS - 51.4 percent depreciation
  2. Cadillac ATS - 50.4 percent depreciation
  3. Mercedes-Benz E-Class - 48.4 percent depreciation
  4. Mercedes-Benz C-Class - 48.3 percent depreciation
  5. BMW 5 Series - 48.0 percent depreciation
  6. Nissan Maxima - 47.9 percent depreciation
  7. BMW 3 Series - 46.9 percent depreciation
  8. Infiniti Q50 - 46.9 percent depreciation
  9. Volkswagen Jetta - 46.4 percent depreciation
  10. Ford Fusion - 45.1 percent depreciation
  11. Ford Focus - 45.0 percent depreciation

For reference, the average depreciation rate over three years is 34.5 percent.

Not surprisingly, most of the cars on the list are luxury cars. Luxury cars are known to depreciate faster than any other automotive segment. Also not surprising is the abundance of sedans on the list. All 11 cars are either exclusively sedans or have a sedan variant. Crossovers are taking over the market and show no sign of slowing down; as a result, crossovers are holding their value fairly well compared to sedans.

Sitting at the top of the list is the Cadillac CTS. 2014 was the first model year for the current generation of the sedan; at an average three-year-old used price of just $27,537, paying just under half what a similarly appointed new one is worth is a hard deal to pass up if you’re in the market for a gently-used luxury sedan.

The other car just barely breaking 50 percent depreciation is the little brother of the CTS, the entry-level Cadillac ATS. This is another luxury car that’s easy to recommend—and it’s available as a coupe if you want a sportier look. The ATS has an average three-year-old used price of $21,173.

Much like the Bloomberg report that came out on Monday illustrating the plummeting value of used cars, this is great news for buyers and bad news for sellers. For more details and data, you can check out the full iSeeCars study here.