Best used cars to buy in 2020 instead of new models

Chances are this isn’t the first time you will hear that buying a used vehicle could make more financial sense than buying a new model for some shoppers.

Especially if purchasing a year-old “gently used” car offers great value compared to its newer version.

An obvious way to figure out which are the best used cars to buy in 2020 instead of new models is by comparing the difference in prices between new version of the vehicles you are considering and the price of gently used vehicles, according to iSeeCars.com, a research and shopping website.

Nissan Altima
Credit: Nissan via NewspressUSA
Would you buy a gently used 2019 Nissan Altima instead of a new model?

But looking at price and price differences of used versus new isn’t as cut and dried as you might think. Some used vehicles may deliver greater value than comparable used models, based on iSeeCars’ analysis of more than 6 million car sales between August 2019 and January 2020.

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For example, not only could it make more financial sense to buy a used Nissan Altima sedan compared to a new version of the same model, saving the buyer about $7,700, or 30 percent. It might make more sense to buy a used Altima than a comparably priced used Hyundai Sonata, which will save just $5,400, or about 23.4 percent, compared to a new version of the same model.

Following are the non-luxury and luxury cars that deliver the most bang for your buck buying used, followed by the average sales price of a used model, the amount of savings compared to a new model, and the percentage savings of used compared to new:

Top 20 used cars

(Above average savings)

  1. Chevrolet Camaro (sport convertible) – $27,663 sales price – $16,829 savings – 37.8 percent savings
  2. Ford Mustang (sport convertible) – $27,874 – $15,051 – 35.1 percent
  3. Volkswagen Golf (hatchback) – $16,210 – $7,871 – 32.7 percent
  4. Ford Fusion Hybrid (sedan) – $19,466 – $8,939 – 31.5 percent
  5. Chevrolet Impala (sedan) – $22,231 – $10,063 – 31.2 percent
  6. Nissan Altima (sedan) – $17,876 – $7,682 – 30.1 percent
  7. Nissan Versa (sedan) – $12,128 – $4,814 – 28.4 percent
  8. Mitsubishi Mirage G4 (sedan) – $11,741 – $4,612 – 28.2 percent
  9. Kia Optima (sedan) – $16,948 – $6,602 – 28 percent
  10. Nissan Maxima (sedan) – $26,311 – $9,705 – 26.9 percent
  11. Ford Mustang (sport coupe) – $28,660 – $10,127 – 26.1 percent
  12. Toyota Corolla (sedan) – $16,756 – $5,849 – 25.9 percent
  13. Kia Soul (wagon) – $15,888 – $5,273 – 24.9 percent
  14. Mitsubishi Mirage (hatchback) – $11,529 – $3,809 – 24.8 percent
  15. Toyota Avalon (sedan) – $29,965 – $9,851 – 24.7 percent
  16. Volkswagen Jetta (sedan) – $16,746 – $5,471 – 24.6 percent
  17. Subaru Legacy (sedan) – $22,637 – $7,384 – 24.6 percent
  18. Kia Forte (sedan) – $15,398 – $4,971 – 24.4 percent
  19. Hyundai Sonata (sedan) – $17,717 – $5,402 – 23.4 percent
  20. Volkswagen Passat (sedan) – $19,675 – $5,992 – 23.3 percent

Top 10 used cars (including luxury)

  1. BMW 7 Series (sedan) – $61,784 sales price – $47,447 savings – 43.4 percent savings
  2. Audi A6 (sedan) – $37,732 – $26,199 – 41 percent
  3. Jaguar XE (sedan) – $29,786 – $20,586 – 40.9 percent
  4. Volvo S90 (sedan) – $35,399 – $23,631 – 40.1 percent
  5. BMW 3 Series (sedan) – $31,128 – $19,241 – 38.2 percent
  6. Chevrolet Camaro (sport convertible) – $27,663 – $16,829 – 37.8 percent
  7. Mercedes-Benz CLA (sedan) – $26,955 – $15,838 – 37 percent
  8. BMW 4 Series (sedan) – $33,991 – $18,960 – 35.8 percent
  9. Volvo S60 (sedan) – $30,007 – $16,666 – 35.7 percent
  10. Infiniti Q50 (sedan) – $29,083 – $15,974 – 35.5 percent

Following are the non-luxury and luxury SUVs, pickups and minivans that deliver the most bang for your buck buying used compared to new:

Top 20 used SUVs/pickups/minivans

(Above average savings)

  1. GMC Sierra 1500 (pickup) – $33,998 sales price – $18,590 savings – 35.4 percent savings
  2. Kia Sportage (SUV) – $19,072 – $7,124 – 27.2 percent
  3. Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (SUV) – $18,848 – $6,871 – 26.7 percent
  4. Ford Explorer (SUV) – $35,864 – $12,836 – 26.4 percent
  5. Ram 1500 (pickup) – $34,454 – $12,258 – 26.2 percent
  6. Mitsubishi Outlander (SUV) – $19,682 – $6,770 – 25.6 percent
  7. Nissan Titan XD (pickup) – $37,850 – $12,809 – 25.3 percent
  8. Toyota Sienna (minivan) – $28,965 – $9,477 – 24.7 percent
  9. Mitsubishi Outlander Sport (SUV) – $16,572 – $5,349 – 24.4 percent
  10. Nissan Rogue (SUV) – $21,586 – $6,934 – 24.3 percent
  11. Chrysler Pacifica (minivan) – $28,378 – $8,969 – 24 percent
  12. Hyundai Santa Fe (SUV) – $24,484 – $7,679 – 23.9 percent
  13. Nissan Pathfinder (SUV) – $26,824 – $8,235 – 23.5 percent
  14. Kia Sorento (SUV) – $23,890 – $7,302 – 23.4 percent
  15. Nissan Murano (SUV) – $27,185 – $8,187 – 23.1 percent
  16. Nissan Armada (SUV) – $41,298 – $12,396 – 23.1 percent
  17. GMC Yukon XL (SUV) – $53,491 – $15,803 – 22.8 percent
  18. Hyundai Tucson (SUV) – $20,269 – $5,962 – 22.7 percent
  19. Jeep Cherokee (SUV) – $24,133 – $6,899 – 22.2 percent
  20. Ford Edge (SUV) – $29,179 – $8,315 – 22.2 percent

Top 10 used SUVs/pickups/minivans (including luxury)

  1. BMW X6 (SUV) – $52,387 – $31,655 – 37.7 percent
  2. Land Rover Range Rover Evoque (SUV) – $35,427 – $21,079 – 37.3 percent
  3. Alfa Romeo Stelvio (SUV) – $31,416 – $16,102 – 33.9 percent
  4. Mercedes-Benz GLE (SUV) – $45,293 – $21,572 – 32.2 percent
  5. Infiniti QX60 (SUV) – $34,278 – $16,015 – 31.8 percent
  6. Jaguar F-Pace (SUV) – $42,446 – $19,830 – 31.8 percent
  7. Audi Q3 (SUV) – $28,155 – $12,652 – 31 percent
  8. Infiniti QX80 (SUV) – $52,841 – $22,822 – 30.2 percent
  9. BMW X2 (SUV) – $31,193 – $13,148 – 29.7 percent
  10. Mercedes-Benz GLA (SUV) – $28,768 – $11,755 – 29 percent

“While buying used always amounts to cost savings compared to the new sticker price, some used models only offer minimal savings on the car payments [and] are often offset by warranty coverage and other incentives such as free roadside assistance,” explained Phong Li of iSeeCars.com.

“It’s important to understand that it is a good financial decision to purchase some models new, while there are some that should be purchased used,” Li said.

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