20 Cars That Will Be Worthless After 5 Years Of Ownership

20 Cars That Will Be Worthless After 5 Years Of Ownership
Ⓒ Provided by HotCars

By Alexandar Gordon, HotCars

There's very fascinating science behind understanding the depreciation of cars. When a new car is bought, its tendency, almost always, is to decrease in value over time. This is called depreciation, and different cars depreciate at different rates, depending on any number of factors, things as simple as quality, brand, and model, to things as complex as the economy, the market, how many cars sold, its vogue popularity, how many were made, and so on. There are a lot of variables that go into the depreciation rate of a car. These variables are so vastly different that it's possible for a car to not only never actually depreciate, but instead escalate in value, sometimes drastically, over the years. These are collectible cars, the kind that age, and can be sold at auction for millions.

While some new cars may seem like they offer great features, performance, and overall value for the money, their depreciation rates often tell a much different story. We've updated this list with even more models proven to have some of the highest five-year depreciation rates.

It's a mystery, though, because, on the other hand, some cars will lose almost all their value over the course of many years, then with the flip of a switch they rise in value, becoming collector cars. This is why investment in cars can be a risky game to play, but a very rewarding one as well. Some cars hit a baseline and will hold value at that baseline for decades, but some cars seem to have absolutely no bottom at all, plummeting in value year after year. That subject is what this article is all about. The kinds of cars that won't hold any value, prices crashing drastically.

Here's a look at 20 cars that will probably be worthless in 5 years.

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Cadillac ATS

The Cadillac brand of cars, from their SUVs to their sedans to their performance cars and sports cars, are all subject to depreciation, the kind of depreciation that makes these cars worthless after 5 years. Of all the cars on this list, Cadillac is one of the ones that face the steepest depreciation values in regard to American cars. They aren't bad cars, either, so if you're looking for a good second-hand car, you'll be able to find an older Cadillac in good shape at quite a good steal, especially compared to their price new.

Volkswagen Passat

The Volkswagen Passat is one of the most common and prolific Volkswagen models you can buy. It's marketed for the average car buyer, family, or single person. Naturally, that lends to its tendency to depreciate a lot - very steeply, actually, even though it's a great, mid-class sedan. It's safe, it's reliable, it's practical, and it's reasonably priced, even new. You can buy them second-hand for quite cheap, and they'll still have a lot of longevity for the price.

Buick Enclave

The Buick Enclave is a car that you should probably never buy new. It's not a very good car, to begin with, sold new with any number of price increases to cover not only the cost of manufacturing, but also the costs to cover the other facets of the Buick company and give them profit, plus the costs to cover the dealerships and all the car salesmen who sell them. But as soon as you buy one used, all that is stripped away, leaving you with the actual value of the car. Which isn't a lot, considering they aren't good SUVs.

Chrysler 200

Chrysler, while attempting to be a luxury line of cars, really isn't quite up to par. The company can't quite get the gumption to actually build their cars with genuine quality, so while they may have features, and look modern, nice, and luxurious, the fact of the matter is that they aren't built to last, therefore they don't hold their value.

They don't hold it at all, depreciating as fast as drivers are able to pay it down. Buying them used may seem like a steal, but beware of the maintenance costs...

Volkswagen Jetta

The Volkswagen Jetta is basically the twin sister of the Passat. It's a little smaller and starts at a little lower of a price point than the Passat, but it's one of VW's most popular models. This, of course, means that they don't resell for very much money at all. The depreciation is just as steep as the Passat, so after a few years, you can buy them for a lot less than the selling point new.

BMW 3-Series

A 3-Series BMW is a great car to buy. It really is. It's sporty, fast, has a great engine, great handling, it's also practical, and somewhat of a reliable car, too. So you'll be safe buying one new because it's a really solid car. But, due to depreciation, you can buy one aftermarket second-hand for significantly less. Yet, you won't get significantly less quality, because of how well they're made, and due to the steep depreciation rates. It just makes sense to buy one of these used.

Tesla Model X

The great new frontier in the car industry is electric. Governments are trying to eliminate combustion engines entirely, even trying to outlaw them, which means that the era of gasoline is quickly coming to an end. For better or worse. But that means that the electric industry is going to begin advancing in leaps and bounds, leaving behind the pioneers in the dust. Soon enough, Tesla cars will seem like dinosaurs, and they won't hold any of their value. They will depreciate, and who knows if they'll even have a floor, but there's no denying the new Model X Plaid is blisteringly fast!

Audi A3

Almost all cars made and manufactured in Germany are subject to some of the steepest depreciation rates of all cars. The best thing about the German cars, though, is that they are made with integrity, no corners cut, and they aren't cheaply manufactured, unlike some American models that depreciate only because they immediately become unreliable. So if you want to buy an Audi, it's pretty easy to find one for less than half its selling value. If you find a well-maintained one, that's good, but if not, you'll be paying a lot in repairs.

BMW 5-Series

Buying a BMW new means that you make a lot of money each year, and can afford a pretty expensive car payment each month, and you only care about having the nicest thing possible, no matter how good of a value it is (or isn't). Buying a BMW used means that you're a pretty smart person because you can have a model that's only a couple of years older, almost the same quality, yet less than half the price of the new one. This means you can have that suave, luxurious, powerful, German-engineered sedan for a lot smaller monthly payment than the new one.

Fiat 500L

The biggest factor leading to the depreciation rates of the Fiat 500L is more than likely due to the fact that it isn't desirable. It's ugly, lumpy, has no track record for being reliable (yet, at least) and it's a bad sign when it doesn't sell well new because it's so ugly. Within the first year, it depreciated significantly. Now, at some point in the far future, we could see this car maybe spiking back up again, being a funky, retro, vintage car. But, then again, it seems like the kind of car that may need to just be forgotten in the annals of time.

Cadillac CTS

The Cadillac CTS is a car that will plummet in value over the next five years, and it's almost guaranteed that this car will be worth well below half its selling price very, very soon.

All Cadillacs are subject to very steep depreciation rates, due to the fact that they don't really have longevity, or much allure once they're no longer new. A CTS is a pretty fast car, especially the CTS-V, and it's possible for it to be yours on a budget, as long as you do the shopping right and pick a good one.

Kia Sedona

Minivans never do all that well in the used car market, not when it comes to retaining their value, anyway. The Kia Sedona has been on a trend of pretty steep depreciation for all of its past models, so it's fairly safe to say that the newest models will be subject to the same thing. The Sedona will however be replaced by the Kia Carnival, and only time will tell if they both face the same demise.

There are just so many different minivans in the market, once they're second hand they just don't sell for much. If you're looking for a minivan, and you've got a big family with not-so-big of a budget, second-hand is the way to go.

Range Rover Evoque

One aspect that drastically influences a car's depreciation rate is reliability, and unfortunately, all Land Rover products are prone to break way too often, so it's no surprise to see the Evoque end up on this list. The Evoque is a compact SUV meant for those who crave parking on sidewalks more than conquering rough terrain - a pavement princess if you will. Buying one of these gorgeous SUVs today isn't cheap either coming in at a base price of $44,000, and that's excluding any options.

Audi A8

As we move through this list, you'll see a common pattern start to form: German luxury cars. While they may be exquisite to be the passenger or even the driver, they're prone to losing value fast over a short period. These large Audi-built limousines are seriously underrated, especially if you have your hands on an S8, but buying a new one is as good as flushing money down the drain. Well, that's of course assuming you like spending your wisely, but if you're really rolling in the cash, go ahead and buy this one, we'll take it off the used lot in a few years

Read More: How to care for your car if you’re not driving it very often

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

There's nothing quite like realizing you can have a six-figure car for the price of a Toyota Corolla. It has an electrically satisfying, palpable excitement. Or, it's the dreaded, twisting, dark knot of anxiety in your stomach knowing that your car is depreciating faster than you can even pay it down. Which, if you buy a Mercedes new, that is a serious concern and worry.

Mercedes sedans will be virtually worthless within five years of their being manufactured, especially compared to their selling price. Unless it's a unique model, then it might increase in value, like the E63 Wagon.

BMW 7-Series

It's an unfortunate sight to see such amazing cars as the BMW 7-Series subject to such precipitous depreciation values. These cars are extraordinarily well-made, they are quite reliable, they are luxurious, good to drive, and powerful.

Yet, they fall prey to depreciation like few others. While it's unfortunate for some, for others, it's their key to owning one of the greatest second-hand cars that money can buy. With the right knowledge, it's easy to buy a reliable, well-maintained, almost new BMW for a mere fraction of the selling price.

Nissan Leaf

Electric cars have aggressive depreciation values, worse than a lot of gasoline cars on the market right now. The Nissan Leaf is just one of these electric cars, and while it's one of the most beloved electric car models out there, it doesn't insulate it from depreciation. The market for second-hand electric vehicles isn't very high, which means that you'll find these cheap.

The issues of battery life and battery longevity are really something that becomes a big problem fairly soon after manufacture. Pair that with the soon-to-come advancements in the industry, and you've got two nails in the coffin.

Lincoln MKZ

You'll find a lot of cars pretty similar to this one in this list. There's just nothing that really is valuable about a Lincoln MKZ because there's nothing special about it. Even if it's made nicely, and even if it's reliable and safe, that doesn't mean it's safe from depreciation. There are a lot of cars like this in the market, and so as soon as they're not new anymore they lose any scraps of value they had new. Things only get worse if the MKZ proves to be unreliable or poorly made.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Mercedes-Benz, one of the leading car manufacturers in the world, makes and sells some of the greatest, best performing, and most luxurious sedans, sports cars, and SUVs that you can buy, especially if they have an AMG badge. Since they are a luxury brand, they can get away with selling their cars for high prices new. High quality = high price. But they won't keep that high price for long, as Mercedes by and large falls prey to some of the worst depreciation rates a car can face. If you're dreaming of a Merc, just wait a couple of years and that dream will be within reach.

Maserati Quattroporte

To end off this list, we have the worst of the bunch, a superfast, striking, Italian sedan produced by Maserati, the Quattroporte. If you happen to find one of these on the used market with relatively low mileage and clean service history, it might not be a bad idea to pick one up, especially considering it had a screeching Ferrari-derived V8 under its hood. But ownership is where the problems begin as Maserati couldn't fully figure out what to do with the electronics, and if something were to go wrong with your Ferrari engine... that'd be a costly matter to attend to.

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Autos Magazine: 20 Cars That Will Be Worthless After 5 Years Of Ownership
20 Cars That Will Be Worthless After 5 Years Of Ownership
A Poor resale value can turn even the most attractive new car into a huge financial mistake.
Autos Magazine
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