Depreciation? What's That?

Paul Niedermeyer
by Paul Niedermeyer
depreciation whats that

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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  • Wallstreet Wallstreet on Oct 18, 2010

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

  • Sam P Sam P on Oct 18, 2010

    Here's a nice 2006 xB for $10k. One owner, 31k miles. Private seller. 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.

    • Dr.Nick Dr.Nick on Oct 19, 2010

      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.

  • Ian Williams Ian Williams on Oct 18, 2010

    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.

  • Sam P Sam P on Oct 19, 2010

    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).