The 10 New Cars That Lost the Most Value in 2010

KiaAlmost nothing loses its value faster after being bought than an automobile. In fact, the average American car purchased in 2008 lost a third of its value by 2010, according to data compiled by consumer information site The reasons for that vary, but interestingly, the reason most people would expect cars to drop in value -- poor reliability leading to broken parts and expensive repairs -- is almost never the reason they actually depreciate so much.

According to an Edmunds representative, there are four main reasons a car will lose value more quickly than average: A discontinuation of the model; a generational overhaul rendering the old version obsolete; a significant improvement within the current generation of the car; and declining retail sales. Each has a bigger impact on depreciation than the mechanical reliability of the vehicle.

Every four to six years, most car models receive a complete overhaul, where the design and many essential parts are improved. Following an overhaul, cars from the previous generation, even ones just a year old, lose significant resale value. The Chrysler 300, which was awarded Motor Trend's Car of the Year in 2005, slowly declined in sales over the next five years. However, it wasn't until 2011, when the new generation was introduced, that the previous year's value declined sharply, by 40% in one year.

A car model doesn't even need a complete overhaul to make earlier versions less desirable. The 2011 Dodge Charger LX included a more powerful engine and a more modern transmission, and the 2010 Charger lost more than 37% of its value in that year.

On occasion, a model's used value may plummet just because other models in the same market are gaining popularity, lowering sales volume and used car prices. The Kia Optima, while performing quite well in reviews, was simply pushed out of a major share of the midsize economy car market by the popularity of cars like the Ford Fusion, Honda Civic and Toyota Prius.

Finally, a car can rapidly decline in value because of a complete discontinuation of the model. If a car is selling particularly badly, the manufacturer often scraps the line altogether and introduces something new in its place. In 2010, Cadillac said that in 2012 it will begin selling the XTS to the full-size luxury market. Its former attempts at that market, the DTS and the STS, have been discontinued. Their resale value plummeted more than 30% in 2010.

In order to identify the cars that lost the most value in the last year, we asked Edmunds to provide us with a list of cars sold new in 2010, their average retail price then, and their average price when sold used in 2011. In our quest to understand why the top -- or bottom -- 10 models lost so much value, we looked at reviews from organizations like Consumer Reports and J.D. Power and Associates. Consistently, these models performed well in J.D. Power's Predicted Reliability category, meaning the actual quality of the vehicle was not the issue. Instead, it was a matter of perception among car buyers that these cars had become obsolete or were otherwise unattractive.

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haha glad I bought a PONTIAC G8 GT. Payed $28K two years ago, if I wanted to trade it today I could get $24K hahahaha

August 01 2011 at 4:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ive owned about every make. Ive owned Bmw which I liked. Mercedes benz are over rated. Ive owned their s series andits ok but just boring. Ive owned a toyota and honda and NEVER again will either company get my money. I dont care what you say toyota lied. End of story. People think they were cleared of wrong doing. What was cleared is the fact that their cars computers dont have a code for whats wrong so theres no code to throw. The problem is still there and even if they fix it they still LIED!! If you want to give your money to them knock yourself out. Im smarter than that! I have my favorite make now and I will always buy from them. Its a american company and you can down them all you want to but their cars go just as long as any foreign make! Its all about taking care of them. Keeping a car serviced! If you dont service it and put cheap gas in it what do you think will happen? Anything will break down if you dont care for it! Go buy your toyotas and give your money to a bunch of liars! To bad owners of those companies dont care about their families enough not to buy from liars who own our country as it is! And you can rant on and on about american companies. They are just as good now as anything foreign. Toyotas are ugly, boring, bland, nothing to offer cars! We have gotten several hundred thousand miles out of our american made cars. Ive seen tons of them with several hundred thousand miles and more and they were as original as the day they rolled off the assembly line and cost no more to service than a foreign car. If I were to buy foreign again maybe a bmw. But I doubt Ill do that! I know I sure wont get a pos toyota! Now you can whine bag about what IVe said. I dont care who suppports that company. You arent spiting me when you buy their sh%$. You are putting those in danger you claim to care about!

August 01 2011 at 4:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Matthew's comment

yoy probably abuse your cars. i've driven toyotas for thirty years an have never had any in the shop other than for routine maintenace.

August 01 2011 at 5:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Today I am driving a rented dodge charger. I can see why its on the list.

August 01 2011 at 3:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Personally, with my experience with cars, and I go back to 1959, so there has been a lot of variety, I'd take a Mercedes Benz over most anything else.

Reliability is the word.

Sure, the repairs, (if and when needed) might be just a bit more costly, but my experience is that in the long run, the repairs are so infrequent and the reliability rates a 10, there's no question in my mind as to where to buy either NEW or if you are super budget conscious, a two year old with the remainder of the new car warranty.

August 01 2011 at 2:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

where in the article is the list of the 10 cars, nowhere pure bullshit

August 01 2011 at 2:03 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

I wouldn't have bought any of these anyway. But I'm a Ford fan and am looking forward to the 2012 Explorer.

August 01 2011 at 11:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Toyota's are a great deal. They even drive themselves.

Buy American cars from GM, Ford or Chrysler where profits from your purchase stays in America, paying taxes here in America employing American's while improving our American society. And don't give me any of that "my Toyota was made in America" crap because all the benefits of your purchase goes to a foriegn country and does nothing to help the American economy or society.

August 01 2011 at 10:58 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to capenv's comment

I highly doubt that GM Ford and Chrysler are still built in America. I won't buy "american" until they can get a reliable car. Also If you buy a car anywhere in the states it supports that local economy. Maybe you should go back to high school to figure out trickle down economics.

August 01 2011 at 12:36 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to DJFJ's comment

mine was built in Australia, which is awesome, because like most GM cars, my dash won't be cracking in a few years due to the sun, since cars down under are built to handle heat like that. :)

August 04 2011 at 8:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

wrong. the factory workers are american,.

August 01 2011 at 5:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why is the Lexus 570 2008 models are still selling b/t use car prices of $64,000 to $74,000 vs New 2011 Lx570 models at $78,000.00 After 4 years SUV prices should lose value right? Lexus LX 570 lost less than 5%?

August 01 2011 at 9:49 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply