Aside from having four wheels, one thing most vehicles have in common is that they're worse less than you paid for them the minute you drive off of the lot.
(OK, that might not apply to limited-edition luxury and supercars that sometimes do the opposite, but those usually get trailered off the lot if they were ever even parked in one.)
Some lose their value more quickly than others, however, and a new report from iseecars.com illustrates how dramatic the difference can be.
The online marketplace looked at over 2.6 million transactions from last August through March and found that the average drop in price for a one-year-old used vehicle was 17%.
The residual value for several models was much worse than that, however, with the BMW 5 Series seeing a reduction of 38.4%, or roughly $24,000 after a year of ownership. It was followed by the Hyundai Sonata (36.1%), Infiniti Q50 (34.9%), MItsubishi Eclipse Cross (31.6%) and Ford Mustang (31.0%), which were among the vehicles you might be better off buying slightly used than new to avoid this kind of loss.
At the other end of the list, The Tesla Model 3 looks like it's nearly as good of an investment as the automaker's bonds. The in-demand model lost an average of just 2.1% of its original sale price, making a strong argument for spending extra to get that new-car smell.
The Toyota Tacoma, which is often at or near the top of the residual value lists, was second at 4.2% and followed by the Kia Telluride (5.7%), which was the 2020 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year. The Jeep Gladiator and Ford Ranger tied for fourth at 7.1%, which represented losses of $3,373 and $2,416, respectively.