Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Our relationship with cars has become volatile.
Once, SUV’s were thought to be the devil’s work.
Now, every infernal neighbor seems to own one.
Which might make the saner business type wonder about how quickly their cars depreciate in value.
To guide you along the way, I’ve just received the results of a fascinating survey that looked at the cars that depreciate from 60-0 in record time. And the ones that don’t.
The nerdy types at iSeeCars.com performed an analysis of 7.7 million car purchases and discovered bracing findings.
Perhaps we should get the bad news out of the way.
There seem to be two categories of cars that lose their value very quickly: electric vehicles and luxury cars.
The Maserati Quattroporte allegedly loses 72.2 percent of its value in 5 years.
Perhaps this is an especially acquired taste in cars.
However, just behind it is the BMW 7-series which loses 71.3 percent.
It’s closely followed by the Nissan Leaf (71.0 percent) and the BMW i3 (70.9 percent.)
The presence of BMW in the Top (or, depending on your perspective, Bottom) 10 is quite chilling.
You see, the BMW 5 Series and the 6 Series also appear. That makes BMW home to 4 out of the Top 10 depreciating champions.
There seems no obvious explanation. iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly offered:
Luxury cars have steep depreciation because owners likely trade them in when they become outdated and used car buyers don’t want to pay a high premium on a dated model. Additionally, they are expensive to maintain and the high cost of ownership impacts resale value.
This may well be.
But while the Acura RLX and the Jaguar XJL make up the final two, why doesn’t Audi, Mercedes or Lexus appear in the Top Ten? (Oh, but they’ll make an appearance later.)
And how does Ly explain the presence of the green Leaf, the Ford Fusion Energi and the Chevrolet Volt in this list? He said:
Previous government incentives contribute to the steep depreciation of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles because their resale value is based off their lower post-incentive sticker price. Outdated technology also contributes to their dramatic depreciation as well as range anxiety.
If this is all a touch surprising, the list of cars that keep their value longest is a touch more predictable. A touch.
There are three Toyotas, two Nissans and a Honda.
Somehow, these cars have a reputation for reliability which surely makes them attractive to second-hand buyers.
Yet three cars on the list of lowest depreciators gave me pause for thought.
At the top are two Jeeps — the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and the more limited Jeep Wrangler.
These are the very cars that Porsche itself admits buyers turn to when they turn in their Porsche Caymans and Boxsters.
Why are these Jeeps at the top? Ly again:
Because of Jeep’s loyal following, their demand outstrips supply in the used car marketplace leading to high resale values.
Yet all is not lost in Porsche World.
For at number 6 in the list of very slow depreciators is the very fast Porsche 911. Indeed, the 911 Coupe is the sports car with the best resale value.
Now remember we mentioned Mercedes, Audi and friends?
Well, iSeeCars separated out the highest depreciating sports cars.
There, we find the Mercedes Benz S-Class at number 5, the SL Class at number 7, the Audi S5 convertible at number 8 and the Audi S5 Coupe at number 10.
I was beginning to worry.
The whole analysis is worth reading as it delves into the deeper aspects of our lust and our despair.
Perhaps it all comes down to what you truly enjoy and what you can truly afford.
I said truly afford.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.