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Depressed by Depreciation? 5 Cars That Quickly Lost Value

Depreciation is a fact of life when it comes to buying and owning a car. It’s well known that the moment you drive your car off of the lot, your brand new car starts losing value. Some cars lose value quicker than others, for a variety of reasons, but it is generally tied to consumer perception regarding cost of ownership and overall quality. 

Here are five cars we found that have depreciated heavily from when they were new. Current values are based on Kelly Blue Book values, assuming only 25,000 miles on the odometer and excellent condition. 

1. 2005 Maserati Quattroporte

MSRP New: $101,700

Current KBB Value: $19,576

The 2005 Maserati Quattroporte was powered by a fantastic sounding 394 horsepower V8 developed by Ferrari and it was styled by the legendary Pininfarina design house. The Quattroporte has a nearly 50/50 weight distribution, and its interior is certainly luxurious.

Despite those luxury car features, if you bought a Maserati Quattroporte in the early 2000s, you would have lost a remarkable $82,124 in depreciation after only 25,000 miles of driving. 

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Why has the Maserati Quattroporte depreciated so heavily? Well, the Quattroporte is incredibly expensive to maintain and repair, and reliability isn’t the best. But, if you are willing to deal with the upkeep on a Maserati Quattroporte, you can get a powerful luxury car for bargain prices. 

2. 2004 Volkswagen Phaeton

MSRP New: $94,600 
Current KBB Value: $11,993

In the early 2000s the CEO of Volkswagen, Ferdinand Piech, wanted to compete with the other German luxury brand flagships like the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7 Series, and sought to build the ultimate luxury car. Famously, Piech demanded that this new Volkswagen would be capable of driving 186 mph all day in 122°F heat, while maintaining an internal cabin temperature of precisely 72 °F.

Volkswagen engineers were able to pull it off, and gave the world the Phaeton. Now, you can buy a Phaeton with very low mileage for less than the cost of a Nissan Versa, a loss in value of $82,607 over time.

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Unfortunately for Volkswagen, most people who wanted a luxury sedan that cost $94,600 did not want one that had the badge of the “People’s Car” adorning its hood. This lack of interest caused Phaetons to have minimal sales, and its visual similarity to an ordinary Passat meant that people wouldn’t look twice at it.

Furthermore, the Phaeton can only be serviced by certain dealers that have been vetted by VW to be capable of repairing a Phaeton.

This turns many people off to the idea of buying a used version of VW’s ultimate luxury car.

3. 2003 Porsche Cayenne Turbo

MSRP: $94,980

Current KBB Value: $12,105

The The 2003 Porsche Cayenne Turbo was the first non-sports car that Porsche made, and when it came out, many questioned if Porsche lost the plot completely. What was a sports car company doing selling an SUV? It turns out,however, that Porsche knew how to build an SUV. The Cayenne was a refined, fast, and well-built SUV, and it quickly started to sell like hotcakes.

The Cayenne Turbo was the top of the line version of the model, and it was particularly well-equipped with a twin turbo V8 that hustled the 5,724 pound SUV to 60 mph in just five seconds

That being said, while there were plenty of reasons for people to buy the Cayenne Turbo when it was new, depreciation was not one of them. You can now get a low-mileage Porsche Cayenne Turbo for $82,875 off its original price.

4. 2015 Smart fortwo passion

MSRP: $15,680

Current KBB Value:: $8,727

The 2015 Smart fortwo passion is certainly a polarizing car. It is designed for city driving, and is only as long as your average parallel parking spot is wide. While the 2015 Smart fortwo passion doesn’t quite fit in with the luxury cars on the list, it definitely fits the bill when it comes to depreciation.

In just one year and 25,000 miles of ownership, a Smart fortwo passion drops in value by $6,953, or about 44 percent of its original price. 

So what caused this huge and immediate drop in value? For one, the Smart fortwo isn’t exactly a green machine, getting only 36 mpg for a tiny car. It also doesn’t have the most rewarding driving experience, with a less than spacious interior and a two-speed automatic transmission.  

5. 2014 Chevrolet Impala LTZ    

MSRP: $35,540

Current KBB Value: $23,199

The Chevy Impala is a very good car, and it only gets better as you move up the trim package list. The top of the line LTZ model is very well-equipped, with a refined, luxurious-looking cabin, premium materials and a comfortable ride.

While the deprecation isn’t as stunning as others on this list, what is stunning is how much the Impala has depreciated when it has very little to apologize for.

The current KBB value sits at $23,199, or approximately 34 percetn of what it originally cost only a few years ago. 

This makes the Chevy Impala a remarkable value for what you get. The Impala’s depreciation is puzzling, but it makes sense once you look at the previous generations of the Impala. The newest generation of an Impala is a great car, but unfortunately, it just can’t shake its rental car reputation. 

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