By on October 18, 2010

Five years ago when it was new, this Scion xB cost $14,030 (no-haggle Scion pricing, fully equipped). Another ad for a similar ’06 xB touts: “Hard To Find”. I realize that dealers’ asking prices for used cars are negotiable. But as the owner of an identical low mileage ‘O5, this makes me wonder whether I’ve hit the depreciation lottery.

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35 Comments on “Depreciation? What’s That?...”


  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Well, I have an ’05 with about the same miles. If anyone wants to give me anything over $12k, it’s theirs :)

  • avatar

    Using my personal method for arriving at used car values, it’s actually worth about $10,000. Which is still much slower than average depreciation. These cars, like other small Toyotas, are extremely reliable, so they will hold their value well. Plus the “limited numbers.”
    Reliability stats:
    http://www.truedelta.com/car-reliability.php?stage=pt&bd=Scion&mc=249

  • avatar
    italianstallion

    In 2009, I had a very difficult time privately selling my ’04 silver Xb 5-speed.  Very good condition, with 70k miles.

    Listed locally for $8000 (well under book value), I had no calls.  Carmax offered me $4600 for the car.  Lowered the price and finally found a buyer for $6600 after three months.

    Needless to say, I was rather disappointed.  Hold on to your Xb, Paul.  I still miss mine!

  • avatar
    andyinsdca

    Isn’t 07 when Toyota (err…Scion) changed over from the completely boxy design (with great visibility and cargo space) of the XB to the new design with the gun-slit windows??

    • 0 avatar
      eggsalad

      Technically, there was no ’07 model. The early model went on into early (calendar year) ’07 as an “06.5″ model. The first G2 model based on the JDM Toyota Corolla Rumion wagon, was released as an ’08.

  • avatar
    alex_rashev

    This is what happens when you take a successful design that needs a bit of a refresh and upgrading just to keep sales from sagging, and take it in a completely different direciton. New sales are in the toilet and used values shoot up.

    They should have kept the chassis, revised the exterior a tiny bit, tune the engine to get maybe 3-5 more hp out of it, and add enough electronic goodie options to make Fiesta green with envy. I’m sure it would sell like hot cakes then.

  • avatar
    jeremie

    Try pricing a last gen Tacoma. Insane.

  • avatar
    Cammy Corrigan

    Curiously, enough, I think I’ve hit the car lottery, too.
     
    I was looking at http://www.autoebid.com and saw that a Lexus IS250 SE-I (with sat nav) was going to £21,572. That £8,658 off the RRP. If I bought one, then immediately sold it on as used, I could sell the thing for £25,000 (about market price) and still make £3,428.
     
    I’m still researching the matter.

  • avatar
    johnsonc

    I sold my 06 xB last year and found it disappointing.  44K in nearly excellent condition and had trouble getting people to even look at it despite heavy advertising.  Finally had to try Carmax as I knew they would be the bottom price.  They only offered $8K so I took it to a dealer in a college town nearby and they gave me $8900.  With the xB, you either love the look or want nothing to do with it, with most people, sadly, the latter.

  • avatar
    HoldenSSVSE

    Still a bit early to tell but the G8 GT is going for $25K now at auction (when they hit auction which is rare) and many are selling from $26K to $28K.  Factor in the fat rebates GM was giving during the, “we’re going bankrupt sale,” and patient G8 GT sellers have gotten a “free” ride for 12 to 18 months.
     
    Although I’ve seen a couple of GXPs down to $30K by desperate, “I’m going broke what was I thinking buying a $40,000 car please buy it now PLEASE price, most are selling in the $36K to $39K range; close to what most buyers paid for them.
     
    Some used car prices are insane.  We say a ’98 Honda CR-V stripper, FWD, 5-speed manual with 1/4 million miles for sale for $5K.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    Just because they are ASKING $14k doesnt mean they are going to get it.  Thats a Toyota/Scion dealer, he inflates his used car pricing to justify his inflated new car prices.  Then, when the buyer with crap credit comes in with his severely upside down trade-in, he can offer him $3k over book for it, and “put him in that ride”.  Most dealers market to the idiot car buyers, not the smart ones.  Smart ones dont even bother to look at the prices, we know what cars are worth before we even walk in the door.

  • avatar
    Runfromcheney

    Another car that seems to be immune to depreciation is the last gen Pontiac GTO (aka Holden Monaro). Despite being 5-6 years old, prices are around $24K and upwards.

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      Must be a local market trend.  You can buy them here all day long for under $15K.  We are considering getting one as a dedicated lapping car because they’re very inexpensive bang for the buck, with lots of very fun oversteer.

  • avatar
    Dr.Nick

    I’ve been in the market several months for a standard basic transportation type car.  The used market seems a little crazy right now, but I’m not sure if it’s always been the same way- if you look at popular Japanese offerings, like Subaru or Honda, one to three year old low mileage models are selling for maybe a few thousand less than what you can get a new one for.  The discounts on the new cars are bringing prices very close to used models (check out Civics, for instance). Also, if you bought a Saab when they were blown out the door at the end of GM times, you did pretty well as used car values seem to have recovered quite nicely from the bargain basement used prices.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      if you look at popular Japanese offerings, like Subaru or Honda, one to three year old low mileage models are selling for maybe a few thousand less than what you can get a new one for.

      That’s been the case for going on 20 years now hasn’t it?

      My car is almost three years old and has 20k miles and I got it $1000 under invoice after rebates.   The edmunds.com CPO price is 2k less than I paid brand new.

      I think many of these used car fanatics are basing their assumptions on data that’s 30 years out of date.

  • avatar
    sco

    As a 2006 Xb owner who recently had my car totalled and bought another used Xb on the west coast, I think i can provide some insight here.  My insurance company, after much haggling, thought my impeccable 2006 Xb RS4 with 66K and auto tranny was “worth” 13K (they let me keep the Modellista grill in case anyone is interested).  I could have purchased exactly the same car for around $12-13K based on internet ads in Oregon (one from Lithia I believe) but instead bought a 2006 Xb manual 79K with otherwise the same features (and nice two tone paint) for $7500.  Is yours worth $14?  maybe in a few years when Xb1′s start disappearing and if yours is an automatic with low miles and great shape.  Manual tranny, >75,000 miles, today, I’d say <$8000

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Judging by Toyota’s recent travails, their reliabilty seemingly no longer bullet-proof, plus the lousy economy, I’m very surprised these things are being advertised for so much.

    Me, I buy a car and run the wheels off the thing, maintain it and keep it forever. That being said, one gets tired of their ride when one is younger and wants a change. When you get older, you look at overall value and are weaseling every last penny out of your car as long as it has been a good one, as mine has thus far.

    I can’t understand what is so valuable about an Xb, anyway. Never liked them, personally.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      I can’t understand what is so valuable about an Xb, anyway.
       
      My 05 xB offers 46″ of headroom for my 6’7″ frame, 5-passenger seating, and real 30 mpg in city driving.  It doesn’t break down, nor does it eat consumables inordinately.  It’s great in the snow, easy to park, and keeps up with traffic.  It wasn’t overpriced with electronic bling or bloat.  And my kids still think it’s cool.
       
      It still has decent resale value at 53k miles, although the example PN cited is crazy high.  I think my KBB trade-in is around $7800, so I could see retail around $10k, not $15k.  I only paid $15k new anyway.

  • avatar
    Disaster

    Sometimes I swear dealers price used cars high to make the new ones look more attractive.  I saw this when I shopped for a new Civic.  The used ones on the lot, made the new ones look like an incredible deal.  I ended up buying a car from a private party, which was an even better deal.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      <i>Sometimes I swear dealers price used cars high to make the new ones look more attractive. </i>

      The actual transaction prices are also high. Really, I don’t know who these people are who are buying 2 or 3 year old Accord and Civics for about the same price as you can buy new if you include the rebates.

      I think it’s people who look at MRSP rather than the invoice – $1200 cash back that marks the true transaction price of a new car.

      I ended up buying a car from a private party, which was an even better deal.

      There is no free lunch.  The car was cheaper because you assumed a fair bit of risk.

    • 0 avatar
      aspade

      The car was cheaper because he wasn’t paying a dealer’s rent, taxes, payroll and profit.
       
      Dealers sell lemons too.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      “There is no free lunch.  The car was cheaper because you assumed a fair bit of risk.”
       
      Yeah, it’s way less risky to buy a trade-in with who-knows-what history and previous owner from a random salesman than to buy through a private sale where you get to meet the previous owner and have a real conversation with him, usually at his home and in front of his family!

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      To quote from a BMW board I participate in:
      “OK….with your *left* thumb & forefinger, make a small circle….then, with your *right* thumb & forefinger, make a MUCH bigger circle (are ya with me?)

      Now, look at the left circle, and say “This was my a**hole BEFORE the dealer….””

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Anybody that pays $14995 for this 2006 box on wheels with a lawnmower engine and lawn mower wheels has to be litterally out of there minds. It’s so obvious what is going on here. This dealer is either trying to capitalise on blind Toyota owner loyalty or trying to push buyers into buying new.

  • avatar

    I can’t understand what is so valuable about an Xb, anyway.

    I’ve driven 115,000 trouble free miles on my 06 getting 31 miles per gallon. I’ve carried a 48 inch fully assembled vanity in there with no problems and I just carried 5 80 inch doors just this week. I plan to go another 5 years. I absolutely swear by this car and love it.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Used car prices in general seem to have absolutely skyrocketed lately.
     
    Currently, the Diplomat is the only member of my fleet that I don’t think I could sell for what I originally paid.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr.Nick

      Yeah.  Going by Kelley, Edmunds and NADA, the used car market is really out of whack compared to what people tell you are the historical percentages cars should depreciate after 1,3 and 5 years.

  • avatar
    wallstreet

    I wonder if this is the beginning of the dollar devaluation.

  • avatar
    Sam P

    Here’s a nice 2006 xB for $10k. One owner, 31k miles. Private seller.
     
    http://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/cto/2001122519.html
     
    The dealer can dream about someone paying CPO price, but no reasonably informed consumer will end up paying nearly 15k for a four-year old Scion that listed for less than 15k new.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr.Nick

      Even with this guy, he’s paid what, $850-$1000 a year in depreciation for the privilege of driving a new car for 5 years.  It’s 5 years old and still worth about 60% of what he paid for it.  The Scion Xb was definitely a car to buy new, like Hondas and Subarus seem to be as well.
       

  • avatar

    A few years ago I encountered a near new AWD Matrix sitting on the lot of with a sticker ABOVE MSRP for the new model. The best part was that while the salesman was going to get the key I came across paperwork in the glove box that indicated it was a REPO.  As the exclusive store here in Reno the ‘Yota dealer been running amok like the Vikings in the “Capital One” ads for as long as I’ve lived here.
    Certain Cult cars are have a unnatural immunity to depreciation. A 97-06 Wrangler sells for $3-5k more than a Cherokee or Grand Cherokee comparably equipped. In sports car lands Miatas, ‘Vettes and Turbo Imprezas all hold up well.  You can often find a Legacy with the same engine and mileage for less than a WRX.

  • avatar
    Sam P

    The only argument for buying an xB new is the low initial price which keeps one’s depreciation expense low. They aren’t maintenance intensive cars that will be horrid on the pocketbook to own out of warranty (read: most modern Volkswagens & Audis).


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