Highlights:

  • The average lightly-used car is 1.0 percent less expensive than its new version
  • Mercedes-Benz G-Class as a used vehicle is the most expensive over its new version
  • The list of vehicles that are more expensive used than new is a mix of two extremes: gas-guzzling expensive SUVs and economical small cars
  • Nissan is the most represented automaker for lightly-used cars that provide the greatest savings over their new versions
Used car prices have been slowly declining since February, but according to the latest study by car search engine iSeeCars.com , many lightly-used cars are more expensive than their new versions.

iSeeCars.com analyzed asking prices from over 1.5 million new and used cars sold in April 2022 and found the average 1- to 5-year-old used car costs just 1.0 percent less than its new version. It identified the top 15 lightly-used cars that have the greatest price difference compared to their new versions, as well as the new cars that are more expensive than their used versions. 

“Used car prices have improved since January, when the average used car was actually more expensive than its new version,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “The average lightly used car is currently just 1.0 percent or $454 less than its new version, and when you compare that to prices before the microchip shortage when the average lightly-used car cost 17 percent less, you see that used car prices are still well above normal.”

The average price of a 1-5-year-old used car was $34,392 in April, which is a 23.9 percent increase over the previous year. This is down from $34,449 in March, which was a 30.4 percent increase year-over-year. “Used car prices began to rise in April 2021 due to the microchip shortage,” said Brauer, adding, “so as the year-over-year elevation in price is dropping, we see used car prices stabilizing at these record highs, with only a tiny drop in recent months.”

Best Cars to Buy New: Used Cars with The Highest Increases Over New Versions 

iSeeCars has identified 15 used cars that are more expensive than their new car equivalent. The list of cars that have the greatest differences includes a mix of vehicle types led by SUVs as well as a wide range of price points. 
Top 15 Used Cars More Expensive than New - iSeeCars
Rank (By Percentage) Model % Used Price More than New $ Used Price More than New
1 Mercedes Benz G-Class 21.5% $40,958
2 Chevrolet Corvette 16.4% $13,594
3 Chevrolet Trailblazer 14.4% $3,856
4 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid 13.5% $5,002
5 Porsche Taycan 11.2% $14,009
6 Chevrolet Suburban 11.2% $7,881
7 Hyundai Accent 10.3% $1,886
8 GMC Yukon 10.0% $7,233
9 Kia Rio 9.7% $1,824
10 Toyota Tacoma 9.3% $3,405
11 Kia Seltos 9.2% $2,441
12 Toyota Sienna 8.9% $4,065
13 Toyota Corolla Hybrid 8.0% $2,138
14 Ford Mustang Mach-E 8.0% $4,292
15 Toyota Prius Prime 7.9% $2,508
Overall Average -1.0% -$454
The lightly-used vehicle that has the biggest price difference over its new version is the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, with an average 21.5 percent more amounting to $40,958. “The Mercedes-Benz G-Class opulent off-roader is a status symbol that had record sales numbers in 2021,” said Brauer. “Its success led to a shortage of new versions, with wait times exceeding a year, forcing dealers to halt orders in January and leading well-funded buyers to the used car marketplace.”

Two electric vehicles, the Porsche Taycan luxury electric sedan and the Ford Mustang Mach-E also make the list. “The in-demand Taycan commands a six-month waiting list for its new versions, and with an average used car price of $138,714, well-heeled buyers are willing to pay more than they would for a new version,” said Brauer. “The new for 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E has also been a hot seller since its debut, with Ford shutting down new orders and the current wait time for a new model exceeding 32 weeks.” 

The Chevrolet Corvette ranks fourth, with lightly-used versions costing an average of 16.4 percent more than its new version. “The mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette is one of the most highly-anticipated American sports cars ever made, and demand for the car has exceeded supply since its launch for the 2020 model year,” said Brauer. “Dealers have a backlog of orders for the 2022 model, and long waitlists have formed for the high-performance Z06 version coming for the 2023 model year, elevating demand for lightly-used versions.”

Two new-for-2021 subcompact SUVs make the list: the Chevrolet Trailblazer and the Kia Seltos. “The Chevrolet Trailblazer has been in high demand since its debut, and had a 65.6 percent decrease in new car sales in the first quarter of 2022 due to supply constraints,” said Brauer. “Similarly, the Kia Seltos decreased in sales by 33.8 percent over the same period, meaning a lack of inventory combined with a surge in gas prices has boosted demand for used versions of these small SUVs.”

Five Toyotas make the list including the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid compact SUV, the Toyota Tacoma midsize pickup truck, the Toyota Sienna minivan, the Toyota Corolla Hybrid, and the Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid. “Toyota is one of the automakers with the lowest inventories, and demand for the RAV4 Hybrid, Corolla Hybrid, the hybrid Sienna minivan, and Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid exceeds supply, especially amid high gas prices,” said Brauer. “The Toyota Tacoma continues to dominate the midsize pickup truck market as used versions command a premium amid inventory constraints.”

Two full-size SUVs from General Motors also make the list: the Chevrolet Suburban and the GMC Yukon. “Demand for full-size SUVs continues to grow as both of these vehicles saw increases in sales for the first quarter of 2022 over 2021,” said Brauer. “With the low inventory of these popular models, buyers are willing to pay extra for lightly-used models.”

Two subcompact cars round out the list: the Kia Rio and the Hyundai Accent. “These vehicles are among the most affordable cars on the market, and the surge in used car prices have made economical cars like these the only affordable options for many consumers,” said Brauer. “It’s likely buyers see their used car price tags of under $20,000 and don’t comparison shop against new prices for the same models, which cost about $2,000 less – assuming you can find one on a dealer lot.”

Top 15 New Cars More Expensive Than Used

The list of cars that offer the greatest savings when purchased used over new includes a mix of vehicles led by SUVs.

“Used cars are not seeing the dramatic drop in prices they have historically due to the unique market conditions we're experiencing related to new car shortages,” said Brauer.  “Used car shoppers can still save money buying a lightly-used car instead of a new car, but the savings are 25 to 30 percent lower than what we saw pre-pandemic.”

iSeeCars Top 15 New Cars More Expensive Than Used
Rank (By Percentage) Model % Savings Used Over New $ Savings Used Over New
1 INFINITI QX60 23.7% $12,979
2 Acura MDX 23.0% $13,075
3 Mitsubishi Outlander 20.7% $6,853
4 Nissan Pathfinder 20.3% $8,735
5 Ford Mustang 20.2% $10,160
6 BMW 7 Series 18.9% $19,883
7 Jeep Cherokee 18.3% $7,038
8 Alfa Romeo Giulia 18.2% $9,139
9 INFINITI Q50 16.0% $8,050
10 Nissan Maxima 15.3% $6,648
11 Lincoln Navigator L 15.1% $15,636
12 Nissan Murano 14.9% $6,238
13 Jeep Compass 14.7% $5,104
14 Audi A6 14.4% $9,471
15 Hyundai Tucson 14.2% $4,723
Overall Average 1.0% $454
Nissan and its luxury brand INFINITI account for five vehicles on the list including the INFINITI QX60 midsize SUV, the Pathfinder midsize SUV, the INFINITI Q50 luxury small car, the Nissan Maxima full-size sedan, and the Nissan Murano midsize SUV. “Nissan Maxima sales have steadily decreased in recent years, leading to rumors of its cancellation, the Nissan Murano is one of the lowest volume sellers in the competitive midsize SUV segment, and the INFINITI Q50 sedan has also declined in popularity and fails to stand out amongst its competition,” said Brauer. “The INFINITI QX60 and the Nissan Pathfinder’s steep price decreases for their used versions are likely due to the much-needed redesigns of the 2022 models,” said Brauer. “

Three additional luxury sedans join the INFINITI Q50 to make the list, including the BMW 7 Series, the Alfa Romeo Giulia, and the Audi A6. Buyers who opt for a one-year-old version of these sedans can enjoy significant savings, ranging from $9,139 for the Alfa Romeo Giulia to $19,883 for the BMW 7 Series. “These price drops reflect the declining popularity of sedans, especially among luxury buyers that have switched to SUVs in recent years,” said Brauer. 

The Acura MDX midsize luxury SUV ranks second. “The popular Acura MDX was completely redesigned for 2022 after taking a production hiatus for the 2021 model year, reducing the appeal of lightly used models,” said Brauer. 

The convertible version of the popular sports car, the Ford Mustang, ranks fifth. “The Ford Mustang saw price increases across all trims in 2021 and the debut of the Mach-1 trim that replaced the less-expensive Bullitt trim,” said Brauer. “Appearance packages were also added to the 2022 model, which could lead to savings on lightly-used versions coupled with the fact that performance cars are in less demand due to high gas price.”

Four non-luxury compact SUVs make the list including the Mitsubishi Outlander, the Jeep Cherokee, the Jeep Compass, and the Hyundai Tucson. “Similar to the Acura MDX, the Mitsubishi Outlander skipped production for the 2021 model year, with the exception of plug-in hybrid models, and was completely redesigned for 2022,” said Brauer. “The Jeep Cherokee and the Jeep Compass are off-road capable crossover SUVs that don’t match the competition’s refinement, and the Hyundai Tucson was redesigned for 2022.”

Top Used Cars More Expensive Than New By City:

iSeeCars also examined the vehicle in the most populous metropolitan areas to see which lightly-used vehicles are the most expensive compared to their new versions.
Top Used Cars More Expensive Than New By City
City Vehicle % Used Price More than New $ Used Price More than New
Albuquerque-Santa Fe, NM Toyota Tacoma 14.9% $5,998
Atlanta, GA Toyota Sienna 18.0% $8,144
Austin, TX Toyota Corolla 14.6% $3,351
Baltimore, MD Toyota Tacoma 11.3% $4,177
Birmingham, AL Toyota RAV4 10.1% $3,275
Boston, MA-Manchester, NH Chevrolet Colorado 11.2% $4,354
Charlotte, NC Toyota Tacoma 11.1% $4,096
Chicago, IL Toyota RAV4 Hybrid 14.8% $5,166
Cincinnati, OH Toyota Camry 7.9% $2,334
Cleveland-Akron (Canton), OH Chevrolet TrailBlazer 13.3% $3,625
Columbus, OH Toyota Tacoma 11.3% $4,279
Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX Chevrolet TrailBlazer 22.2% $5,607
Denver, CO Subaru Crosstrek 10.6% $3,129
Detroit, MI Ford Bronco Sport 6.9% $2,230
Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo, MI Chevrolet Equinox 0.7% $221
Greensboro-Winston Salem, NC Toyota Tacoma 13.1% $5,060
Greenville-Spartanburg, SC Honda CR-V 8.6% $2,842
Harrisburg-Lancaster-York, PA Toyota Tacoma 13.5% $4,993
Hartford & New Haven, CT Toyota RAV4 6.5% $2,092
Houston, TX Chevrolet TrailBlazer 19.8% $5,228
Indianapolis, IN Chevrolet TrailBlazer 12.5% $3,471
Jacksonville, FL Chevrolet Camaro 24.7% $9,481
Kansas City, MO Toyota Camry 11.7% $3,573
Las Vegas, NV Dodge Charger 16.8% $6,205
Los Angeles, CA Mercedes-Benz G-Class 24.3% $44,999
Louisville, KY Toyota Tacoma 14.0% $5,451
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL Cadillac Escalade ESV 13.2% $13,260
Milwaukee, WI Chevrolet TrailBlazer 10.5% $2,795
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN Kia Telluride 15.8% $7,308
Nashville, TN Toyota Tacoma 15.6% $5,629
New Orleans, LA Toyota RAV4 11.9% $3,649
New York, NY Mercedes-Benz G-Class 25.7% $44,877
Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News,VA Toyota Tacoma 11.0% $3,902
Oklahoma City, OK Toyota Tacoma 9.7% $3,697
Orlando-Daytona Beach, FL Dodge Charger 24.4% $9,363
Philadelphia, PA Toyota RAV4 Hybrid 12.9% $4,629
Phoenix, AZ Honda Odyssey 27.6% $11,800
Pittsburgh, PA Chevrolet Tahoe 8.8% $5,877
Portland, OR Toyota Tacoma 20.0% $7,432
Raleigh-Durham (Fayetteville), NC Dodge Charger 18.5% $7,067
Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, CA Toyota RAV4 Hybrid 16.1% $6,029
Salt Lake City, UT Chevrolet Suburban 18.0% $12,458
San Antonio, TX Toyota Corolla 17.8% $4,107
San Diego, CA Toyota Corolla 9.7% $2,292
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA Toyota 4Runner 11.5% $5,463
Seattle-Tacoma, WA Toyota Tacoma 20.9% $7,857
St. Louis, MO Chevrolet Equinox 4.0% $1,186
Tampa-St Petersburg (Sarasota), FL Chevrolet TrailBlazer 17.2% $4,402
Washington, DC (Hagerstown, MD) Chevrolet Camaro 16.9% $7,377
The Toyota Tacoma is the used vehicle that is the most expensive over its new version in the most metro areas with 12.

When deciding between a new and a lightly-used version of the same vehicle, there are important things to consider. “While buying lightly-used typically provides upfront cost savings compared to buying new, this is no longer the norm in today’s market,” said Brauer. “Shoppers looking for lightly-used cars should always compare the prices to new cars, and buyers who are unable to find the new car they want should avoid vehicles with the highest used-car price increases if they decide to go used instead.

More from iSeeCars.com:

Methodology

iSeeCars.com analyzed over 1.5 million cars sold between April 1, 2022 and April 30, 2022.  New cars included in the analysis were from model years 2021 and 2022, while lightly-used cars were defined as used vehicles from model years 2020 and 2021. Low-volume models were excluded from the analysis, as were cars with outlier mileages and models discontinued as of the 2021 model year. The average asking prices of the lightly-used cars were compared to those of new cars from the same model. The difference in price for each car was expressed as a percentage of the new average prices and ranked by this difference.

About iSeeCars.com

iSeeCars.com is a car search engine that helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, like the iSeeCars VIN check reports and Best Cars rankings. iSeeCars.com has saved users over $337 million so far by applying big data analytics powered by over 25 billion (and growing) data points and using proprietary algorithms to objectively analyze, score and rank millions of new cars and used cars.