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Top 20 Best Cars To Buy NEW And Top 20 Best To Buy USED

Written By: CarPro | Apr 3, 2024 10:00:00 AM

The spring car-buying season is upon us as tax refunds arrive.  So should you spend your check on a new or a slightly used vehicle? For some advice on the subject, we turn to iSeeCars' list of the Top 20 Cars to Buy Used and the Top 20 Cars to Buy New.  The list shares the biggest savings available on slightly used (one-year old model) cars versus their new-model equivalents.  

Study Highlights

Here are some of the study's highlights:

  • The average lightly used car costs $5,778, or 12.8 percent, less than its new-car equivalent
  • The no. 1 vehicle to buy used over new is the Mercedes-Benz EQS, which loses 47 percent of its value, pricing it $65,000 below its new-car cost after just one year
  • The Nissan LEAF, Jaguar F-PACE, Alfa Romeo Guilia, and Kia EV6 all lost over 33 percent in value after one year, making them excellent lightly used car values
  • The no. 1 vehicle to buy new over used is the Land Rover Range Rover. The used version actually costs $4,000 more than a brand new model, making this a prime example of a better vehicle to buy new versus used
  • The Kia Rio, Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Ford Maverick, and Toyota Sequoia all lost less than 5 percent in cost after one year, making them better new car purchases 
  • Eight out of the 20 best cars to buy used are electric vehicles; six out of the 20 best cars to buy new are hybrids, with two Teslas also making the “buy new over used” list

iSeeCars says price can be a major factor in the decision whether to buy new or used. While the average new car costs $45,106 and loses 12.8 percent of its value after one year, some cars lose considerably more value a year after purchase, making them excellent “like new” value used cars. On the other hand, other cars retain their value very well and can maintain their near-new pricing even after 12 months and 10,000-plus miles of use. Researchers say used car shoppers considering one of these lightly used models are getting minimal savings and should probably buy a new model instead.

iSeeCars analyzed over 1.6 million new and lightly used cars to determine which used models offer the biggest savings versus new and which lightly used vehicles are so pricey that buyers should skip the used versions and buy new. Researchers say the rankings offer a starting point to help shoppers narrow down their choices or find more vehicles to consider, based on price.

Top 5 Best Lightly Used VS New

The top five models to buy lightly used (one-year old models) versus new according to iSeeCars are the Mercedes-Benz EQS, Nissan LEAF and Jaguar F-Pace, followed by the Alfa Romeo Guilia and Kia EV6.

Top 5 Best New VS Lightly Used

The top five models to buy new over slightly used are the Land Rover Range Rover, Kia Rio, Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Ford Maverick and Ford Maverick Hybrid.

To see this comprehensive and enlightening study,  along with complete top 20 lists, click here.