By on October 27, 2016

2014 Toyota Corolla

Is there a tiny pinpoint of light that can stir some meager hope in the heart of the compact and midsize passenger car segment? No, no there isn’t.

Even as sticker prices for these vehicles rise and as manufacturers endow them with enough technological goodies to make your mom’s car from yesterday look like a chuckwagon, retained value is dropping as fast as the segments’ market share.

Once a driving force, the segment has now become a red-headed stepchild at auction.

According to data from Kelley Blue Book, no one wants to pay more for the extra content on these vehicles and it’s dragging down the industry-wide retained value average.

The average price of all one- to three-year-old vehicles sold at auction remains static, but retained value continued its downward slide. Average retained value hit 56 percent of MSRP by the end of the quarter — a nearly four percent decrease from 2014’s average.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t hot segments stacked with vehicles that hold their values at auction. SUVs and pickups are sales leaders with high sticker prices that consumers are only too happy to pay and they top the retained value list. The best performer? The growing midsize pickup segment, which sees 2015 models retain 87 percent of their value.

Still, it’s compact and midsize passenger cars that serve as a high-volume boat anchor. Used compact cars saw a retained value decline of 9.7 percent, year to date, while midsizers declined 10.8 percent. That puts the average auction price of a one- to three-year-old compact at $9,931 and midsize cars at $11,645.

This is great news for those looking to buy a slightly used sedan. More content at no extra cost? Who can complain? Still, the value drop is indicative of the segments’ declining popularity — a market shift that was once unthinkable.  Now, America’s changing buying habits are Mexico’s manufacturing gain.

Crossovers and SUVs overtook passenger cars in new vehicle sales this past summer, and the trend continued last month. Sales of compact cars dropped 1 percent and midsize cars dropped 11 percent. The worst offender among one-year-old compact vehicles? The 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer, which kept only 47 percent of its value. The midsize segment’s worst offender, the soon-to-be-dead Chrysler 200, fared even worse with a retained value of only 46 percent.

Full-size cars are in trouble, too, and subcompacts share the same affliction. Still, none of these segments can claim the lowest rung on the retained value ladder. That infamy goes to hybrids and battery electric vehicles.

[Image: Toyota]

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121 Comments on “No One Wants Your Worthless Small Car, and Its Retained Value Shows It...”


  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Everything is driven by the monthly payment…. with the insane incentives and subsidized leases, used car pricing is competing with new car pricing in ways we haven’t seen before. Manufacturers have kicked on the afterburners in the race to the bottom.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Just say it.

    Nobody wants your used sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      :(

      Nobody wants my used sedan and now I can’t afford to get into an RX-8 or Prius.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      I have two friends that want my 2013 Impala LT after I’m done with it. Used sedans are still very popular in Upstate, NY. It’s the new ones that are a harder sell. We still sell many used sedans at my buddies used car dealership.

    • 0 avatar
      Noble713

      Depends on what your used sedan is. Those of us driving bulletproof Japanese sedans with RWD and turbocharged inline six engines have no problems finding buyers at reasonable prices.

  • avatar
    Verbal

    All your sedan are belong to us.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I would love to get my hands on a Sonic RS hatch with the 6-speed manual, LTE Wifi (think that is a 2014 model year), and the touch screen.

    Would love to be able to get one for auction money. Fun little practical urban runabout that I’m not really going to care about door dings, curb rash, or the slings and arrows of downtown Seattle driving in – but enough room to haul four normal sized adults, or carry a major haul home from Costco.

    No way I would pay new car money for it because…they depreciate like a rock…but would love to get one for auction money. Hell, I’d even do the required reconditioning on my nickel.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Got any friends or neighbors that are used car dealers? That’s what I use to access the auctions. Being able to do some occasional diag/repair on their existing stock doesn’t hurt either.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    It must be true (that no one wants it) ~

    I was in a favorite local Junk Yard Saturday last and all the Imported Sedans had the prices paid on them ~ everyone over 10 years old was under $500 .

    Mostly un dented Impounds .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    tonycd

    Stupid noob question for the B&B, Bark, whoever: I watch Cars.com lately, and I’m sure not seeing it. I see mid-line midsize sedans that are 4-5 years old with $12-13k asking prices. Is it simply because dealers inflate asking prices and only a sucker pays anything close to them? I honestly have no idea. Guidance?

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Can’t answer your question, but one of my techniques is to use Craigslist (assuming you’re near a large population area) and negotiate ruthlessly.

      There aren’t many newer cars on there, but occasionally you’ll hit an estate sale or similar and hit the jackpot. When the kids are eager to dispose of deceased grandma’s wheels, flashing a stack of Benjamins can really move the process along.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      Used car dealer prices are typically at least 25% higher than what I’d expect to pay in the end. I guess they can’t make the extra profit on those who don’t know any better if they don’t at least try.

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    Nobody EVER wanted your small car. They bought them because they had too because they couldn’t find a used car they trusted or they fit in parking spots they could find or whatever.

    If given an option, almost everyone would almost always buy something else other than some little car.

    The fullsize car thing makes me sad though. People want their station wagons, they’re just too vain to get real station wagons and buy the lie that is a CUV instead.

    • 0 avatar
      stevelyon

      Speak for yourself. I’d rather have a smaller car than a larger one, all other things being equal. I don’t like floating around in a big goddamn boat of a car.

      But I do realize I’m in the tiny, tiny minority. I’ve got one friend who just bought a Mustang GT350R, and another who bought a Focus RS. I’m the weirdo who prefers the RS.

      • 0 avatar
        Pete Zaitcev

        Even the Focus is too wide for me. FiST all the way.

        • 0 avatar
          focus-ed

          “Even the Focus is too wide for me. FiST all the way.” – this FiST is the size of my tired FoZX3. But’s it’s missing IRS and has 2 door too many (in the infinite wisdom Ford decided not to bring what they offered in EU). So they’ve lost the sale(s). OTOH they do have some nice color options. Can’t have it all (nowadays).

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      The older generation (Boomers) don’t want wagons because they were the cars that we were schlepped around in as kids (“family cars”). The younger generations might want wagons, but since so few of them are offered (again, because Boomers don’t want them), they buy SUVs. Wagons will make a comeback, but it will take several more years.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Nay, we Boomers don’t want wagons because SUVs are vastly better options in every way. You don’t know dingus.

        -Smack Dab Middle Boomer

        • 0 avatar
          jalop1991

          And minivans are vastly better options than SUVs in every way.

        • 0 avatar
          Wheatridger

          If you’ve forgotten what a good ride and handling are all about. With a taller ride height, my Tiguan has a miserable ride compared to my GTI, which hits the sweet spot perfectly. They’re built on the same chassis, with sports suspension, but it’s night and day. A taller vehicle always will cause more head toss on uneven pavement, it’s simple geometry.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “A taller vehicle always will cause more head toss on uneven pavement”

            One merely slows down, achieved by reducing foot pressure on the right-most pedal.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          In every way. Not quite. A car based station wagon is lighter and thus more efficient than a larger heavier SUV. SUV’s are higher off the ground in many cases make them harder for certain folks to enter/exit, cost way more, are costlier to insure due to there insane popularity and often have oversized more expensive massive tires to deal with.

          And I’m not even going to get into the ride height and handling thing with an SUV as it’s well know. Some of us just want to haul things around and not make a fashion statement and follow the herd. A minivan as said is also better at doing it’s job than many SUV’s too so your statement that we don’t know dingus is quite comical.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Everyone knows you sell Chevys so I think it’s wonderfully brave of you to keep showing up.

          • 0 avatar
            focus-ed

            I just can’t stand vehicle on stilts. It’s not just the ride handling or poor mpgs. It’s also the style – Chevy Trax (or Buick Encore) are the ugliest examples. Both look like turds.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m with stevelyon – As much as I like larger cars, they’re a pain to park and do not move through traffic like a smaller car. I know I’m in a minority these days, but it doesn’t matter how well they bling out a pickup or SUV, they remain clumsy trucks simply by virtue of their mass and height. The popularity of massive vehicles takes a hit when fuel prices inexorably rise, but it happens that cheap fuel, the illusion of “safety” and Section 179 deductions continue to propel these wheeled dinosaurs.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        SUV is a confusing term encompassing as it does everything from Escalades to CR-Vs. My comment above might more appropriately have used CUV but then that too may be misleading by including worthless little dweezils like the HR-V and Crosstrek but also Pilots and Highlanders.

        My point was that mid-sized S/CUVs trump any ground-hugging wagon for Boomers’ needs & preferences.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Ever notice how pickup trucks are most likely to roll in single-vehicle accidents? Had a rollover of one just this morning according to local EMT reports.

    • 0 avatar
      dividebytube

      I know I’m a weirdo – got two Mini’s in my driveway.

      But with a future adoption or two coming down the line, I’ll have to get a bigger car.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I have owned many small cars by choice. I also appreciate a large car.

      Its damned ignorant to say that “nobody wants x” because SOME do, or they wouldn’t build them. If people only drove small cars out of necessity, why does the Honda Civic Type R and Ford Focus RS and Subaru WRX exist?

      BMW driver says “nobody wants a clumsy, ill-handling truck” and the F-250 Platinum driver says “nobody wants a car because you feel like your @$$ is dragging the ground.” they’re both wrong.

      People like what they like. I am not stuck with an old Taurus because its a means to an end, I like the car, I like driving it. You can say “nobody would like to drive a 20+ year old Taurus” but you’d be sorely mistaken. And I’m not the only one.

      I for one appreciate all sizes and shapes of vehicles. Some more than others.

      But… It all depends on the car itself. 1991 Honda CRX Si or 1977 Ford Thunderbird? I’d take the Honda without thinking twice. Chevy Aveo or my Taurus? Well, I think you know the answer… Lol

  • avatar
    kwong

    I think there’s a few things at play here.

    1) Truck, SUVs, and larger car sales growth generally coincides with a growing economy. and economy car sales decline.

    2) Low interest rates and financial products makes owner a car less costly per month (but it probably costs you more in the low run).

    3) Over the last 10 years, fuel economy advances in SUVs, trucks, CUVs, and mid-full sized cars have seen larger proportional improvements compared to their economy car counterparts. Don’t think auto-manufacturers haven’t been marketing this…GM’s bragging their new Vette can do 30mpg on the hwy.

    Typically, economy cars are great for urban driving where parking is tight and vehicle-vehicle contact is common. They also make great fleet vehicles as well as livery cars for Uber/Lyft. Other than that, most consumers will opt for another vehicle class because financing and social trends are far too compelling.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Low gas prices have certainly fueled growth in these segments too. If gas were to soar back up to 4.50-5 bucks a gallon I think you would see a decline in the larger SUV and truck sales and a shift to smaller cars and CUV’s

      • 0 avatar
        focus-ed

        “Over the last 10 years, fuel economy advances in SUVs, trucks, CUVs, and mid-full sized cars have seen larger proportional improvements compared to their economy car counterparts.” – no difficult feat when you start from such a meager level. Yet the end results are still poor and event worse in real driving. Considering that 80% of these oversized vehicles will rarely see anyone in rear passenger seats it’s hard to image why so many American like to tax themselves for nothing. Even at 2$/g it does add up. I can hear fools crying once producers came up with next excuse to jack up gas prices.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        “If gas were to soar back up…”

        “IF”? In between the current glut of stored oil and the frackers’ sneaky use of technology to lower their costs and stay in business, the market isn’t going to raise prices to that level for a few years.

        What WILL raise prices is Congress’ desire to spend highway trust fund money it doesn’t have, unless it kicks up the federal gas tax. Once the feds do it, the states will hike theirs, and as the accountants say, it adds up.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Attention fellow Oldsmobile sickos, er, aficionados.

    http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/ctd/5832940388.html

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I do love me an Oldsmobile but what would be really sweet would be a Century wagon with either the 3300 or the 3800 V6. That is the pinnacle of A-body wagon goodness.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Me too but not for 7 dimes. Here’s another one… a C3 Audi!!!

        http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/cto/5849209512.html

      • 0 avatar
        Syke

        Had one, an ’86. Forced on my as part of my inheritance from my late mother (always called it her last chance to embarrass me). The full zoot, wood sides, red velour interior, wire wheel covers, etc.

        The real disgusting part is that, at the time, it was the best and more reliable car I had ever owned. Even though I was embarrassed to be seen in it at 37 years old.

      • 0 avatar
        Grant404

        I had a ’92 Olds Ciera station wagon in Maple Red with the 3300 V6 that I bought in 2000, one owner, with only 42,000 pampered miles on it. It was the higher optioned/trimmed model and it looked and drove like a new car (an older couple had owned it since new). I’m pretty meticulous about my cars and I kept it that way. Twice while parked in public someone left their phone number on the windshield wiper saying that if I ever wanted to sell it to please give them a call. Finally in 2005 (@70k miles) I let someone talk me into selling it to them and I still regret it. When the subject of past cars comes up, my sons (now 20 and 17) still sometimes mention how much they remember and liked the “little red wagon”.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      No matter how period correct I just can’t get on board with wire wheel covers.

      These also came with some alloys that were inoffensive and would be fine.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I don’t care for them either, it needs some nice final year 98 alum wheels (or 98 touring wheels).

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Wire wheel covers symbolized elegance. They recalled the day of the old Rolls Royce and Cadillac of the 1920s and ’30s. They recalled the durability of the Stutz Bearcat and other “sports” cars of the time. Aluminum–or rather machined magnesium wheels–of the ’60s were the trademark of customized performance cars… cars meant for light weight and strength so they could hold up to the massive torque of those big V8 engines. Those luxo-barges I mentioned earlier had a bad habit of splitting the standard steel wheels and quite often up near the tire bead where the only fix was to replace, not repair, them. But those mag wheels were brittle and even today’s machined and cast aluminum wheels are brittle, often fracturing if with these low-profile tires you hit a pothole going just a little bit too fast and that rim itself hits concrete or asphalt.

          • 0 avatar
            indi500fan

            Correct on the alloy wheels.
            Most all the Policia use steelies for curb jumping ability.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            In my years working at a tire store and as a mechanic I never saw a single steel wheel that split anywhere let alone near the bead the strongest part of the wheel. Lots of early cast Aluminum wheels from the Japanese manufactures were very brittle and would fracture with an impact but they switched the alloy long ago and cracked aluminum wheels are not common at all they bend and there is a pretty good business of bending them back.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            My ’65 Buick Elektra 225 split several rims, all on the rear and always near the bead. That was also one VERY heavy sedan with a huge (at the time) 455 c.i.d. V8 under the hood.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Wire wheels may have symbolized elegance at the time.

            Wire wheel *covers* just symbolized gauche fakery. And stuck out way too far, and got caught on stuff and fell off a lot. They never looked good, not even at the time (and I was around then).

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Never had one fall off but they were annoying because of how difficult they were to pop off when you needed to change a tire. You also needed to carry a heavy rubber mallet to hammer them back on after the tire change.

          • 0 avatar
            raph

            I’ve seen plenty of bent steel rims and occasionally steel rims that would leak where the center is either riveted or welded to the barrel of the wheel but never really any cracks propagated in the barrel.

            Cracks seem to show up on aluminum wheels and it especially seems to be a problem with BMW and Mercedes wheels. My guess is since they are fairly light compared to other manufacturer’s offerings that is where the problem lies. There just isn’t a lot of metal to cope with poor pavement.

            On the plus side the is a pretty good network for aluminum wheel repair be it cracked or bent.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Nice car but A-bodies no matter how nice just don’t fetch that kind of dough. The owner also has the number of transmission gears wrong. All 3100 engines from 1994-1996 came exclusively with the 4T60 4 speed automatic.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      As an ex-resident of Johnstown, I’m familiar with the seller, Jim Babish Auto. A reasonably straight selling outfit. And I’m willing to bet, if you spend a day in town, you’ll find a few others like it, all the great American 80’s brands.

      Little matter of the local economy. Also, given the local economy, I bet you could do some serious negotiating.

      By the way, Eisenhower Boulevard is located just off US219 and PA56 – if you need to ask directions, just ask how to get to Zepka’s Harley-Davidson. They’re on the same road and about a mile from the lot.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Everyone, it seems, in the US wants bigger. Bigger is better, to them. Even the new Jeep Renegade, clearly advertised as a “sub compact” SUV is bigger by far than the average compact SUV of 15 years ago. And heavier. I expect there’s at least three different reasons for this.

    1) Fuel economy — In yesteryear, meaning 15 years ago, if you wanted a 30mpg car or SUV it needed to be small and light. Why? Because the economical engines just didn’t have the horsepower to move anything bigger with the kind of performance the average American enjoys. Today, a little 101hp engine offers enough horses and torque to move a similarly-sized vehicle with surprising performance and agility. As such, 135-160hp engines that could offer that 30mpg capability now also provide 200hp-level acceleration even in a vehicle 500-1000 pounds heavier.
    2) Capacity — Americans don’t seem to like tiny cars and never have. Small cars have always carried the stigma of cheap quality and cheap construction, even when they were solidly reliable. They still do. People want to have the ability to crowd 5-6 people into their car with big-car comfort and smaller cars simply can’t offer that. Worse, with all the safety gear now required in new cars, what interior space you had has been cannibalized by extra thick padding in seats and door frames which in themselves are really packed-away airbags waiting to pop out in the event of a crash. Small cars now tend to be lucky to carry four with any comfort and five is like a college stunt to see how many you could stuff into a phone booth.
    3) Appearances — Our economy has recovered greatly from the mid-’00s. People bought small because they couldn’t afford bigger. Pickup trucks grew because they offered a sense of “power” and “status” that small cars simply cannot give you, even when they’re able to run circles around those big road whales while avoiding the stigma of a minivan which basically said, “uninteresting family car.”

    In a way, we have returned to the ’60s, when big was in and anything else meant you were too poor to buy anything bigger. Hippies bought imports because they were ‘different’ and ‘individual’ while corporate types bought the biggest luxo-barge they could find. Even family cars tended to be over 20 feet long and weighed in at over two tons… before the gas crunch which set everything back 50 years and we had to resort to Model T performance and Japanese import size. We’re back to “bigger is better” and the status symbol today is the biggest, meanest-looking pickup truck or SUV you can find while, to paraphrase Henry Ford, “You can have any color you want, as long as it’s Black (or white, or silver, or if you’re really lucky red or blue.)

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      Your last paragraph says it all. People in the US equate large vehicle size with life success. Driving a small car means that you’re either A) young and can’t afford much, or B) simply can’t afford much. And being to afford much includes the fuel to go in your vehicle. And with gasoline at ~$1.97/gallon in my area, a small vehicle means the EVERYONE should be driving a big vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Family cars were never over 20′ long. The Electra 225 got its name because it was nominally 225″ long, which is under 19′. Yes there were longer Cadillacs but the Deuce and a Quarter was the biggest non luxury car from GM, the common everyday family car the full size Chevrolet was shorter riding on its B body chassis instead of the C body used by the top of the line Olds, Buick and bottom of the line Caddy. I’m not sure that even the Fleetwood 75 topped 20′ and if it did it was just barely.

      • 0 avatar
        Paul Alexander

        I was just reading about the Fleetwood 75. I checked on the dimensions of the 1975 model and it was 252 inches, or 21 feet long. Not trying to undermine your argument, I’m just fascinated by the size of the damn thing. So imposing.

  • avatar
    koreancowboy

    The only two exceptions are the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla.

    But that’s how it’s always been.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      The choice of photo for this story seems intentionally misleading. If there is any car in the class that isn’t sold as a Titanium disposable diaper for 50% more than any sane person would spend, it is the Corolla. They’re still just solid transportation sought by people who need to get where they’re going. Anyone reading this story and salivating at the prospect of a dead reliable quality car with engineering that makes a Bentley look like a Lada for four figures will be disappointed.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    So, what’s the screaming mid size 3 year old deal of the day??

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Probably the Chyco 200 (both Mitsu sourced and Fiat sourced iterations) or W-Impala.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        LOL on the 200, 28…as they used to say in college, I wouldn’t (blank) that with *your dick.*

        ONLY way I’d buy a 200 is on a ridiculously cheap lease. Good luck with that mission. You could probably pick up a BMW with a cheaper payment.

    • 0 avatar

      ’13MY+ Impala or Impala Limited in LTZ trim with leather and a roof.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Depends whether you care at all about refinement.

      If not, the W-Impala, like everyone is saying. But that thing was engineered by people trying to go home early. The leather feels like ’60s vinyl, the plastic is worse, the seats are uncomfortable, and the suspension is terrible. But it’s big, cheap, and pretty reliable.

      If so, a Malibu (they’re unloved, but decent at a cheap price) or base-trim Fusion.

      FreedMike expressed my feelings about the 200 better than I possibly could have…

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        The W-body is basically sound, but a lot of stupid things break on them that should have been ironed out a LONG time ago. Stuff like door lock actuators, HVAC controls. And unfortunately the 3.6L sounds like it’s not immune to timing chain stretch issues (Zackman on here got his preemptively replaced along with a water pump that was leaking). At least most of the body stuff that goes bad or anything in the suspension should be cheap to replace.

        I like that they can totally muffle out a lot of the road, much better than even the Epsilon Impala that replaced it, at a cost of fairly sloppy soft handling if you care about those kinds of things. The other bummer is that the transmission is geared so freaking tall. The heavier Epsilon Impala with the same motor feels much more brisk owing simply to gearing/programming changes.

        Finally, the issue with buying a cheap used one is sorting through all the smoked in ones with cigarette burns on the mouse fur interior to find an ex-fleet unit (or ideally a non-fleet car) that hasn’t been put through the ringer.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        The seats are one of the better features of my 2013 LT Impala. Ditto my best friends 2013 LTZ and moms 2008 LS. I wouldn’t call the suspension terrible. it mostly depends on the tires fitted to it. My friends LTZ rode a little harshly due to the 18″ tires and firmer suspension settings but a change to less aggressive new tires made a big difference. Mine is now riding Goodyear Assurance tires and rides better than any current Taurus or even my parents friend’s Avalon which crashed and bangs over every pot hole. Toyota even admitted to going overboard on suspension firmness and softened the current generation considerably.

        With nearly 60K miles racked up and I have not had any issues with the 2013 and have only replaced brakes, tires and filters. have not heard of anybody with timing chain issues on the LFX motors so that must have been a one off on Zackman’s car. My mom’s 2008 has 78K miles and no issues and my friend’s 2013 LTZ is nearing 120K miles and he has had no issues other than maintenance items.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        Oh… those things… Yeah the W-body seems to soldier on like some sort of automotive zombie. The most disturbing thing I see happening with them are the front sub-frame bushing failures.

        It can be bad enough that turning the steering wheel will cause the whole sub-frame to shift.

        Its not a common problem but its the only car I’ve ever seen where those bushings wear out and allow that kind of movement.

        • 0 avatar
          -Nate

          “Its not a common problem but its the only car I’ve ever seen where those bushings wear out and allow that kind of movement.”

          MGB, Mercedes 107 Chassis are two I’ve had this issue with .

          Unsettling to drive to say the very least .

          -Nate

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Find a legal way to export them to Quebec, Southern Ontario or the lower mainland part of British Columbia. Canadians in urban areas still buy small cars although we do prefer hatches and can still buy small people movers like the Mazda 5 and Kia Rondo.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      No with the current exchange rates that will never work. In fact you find a lot of cars being imported from Canada because of that exchange rate. Not that far from me there is a large wholesaler who’s business if importing cars from Canada and selling them to local dealers. The business name is something like Cross-boarder exchange but the flow is one way from BC to WA.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Yes but resale prices on used cars are much higher in Canada. And the exchange rates do fluctuate.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          And the reason those prices are higher in Canada? Because they can get more selling them to a US wholesaler thus limiting the supply and further driving up the cost of a used car in Canada.

          Yes the rates do vary, sometimes day to day, but it has been quite a while that the Canadian dollar has been under 80% of the value of the US dollar.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            From AutoTrader. February 2016:

            Most recently, the Canadian dollar traded at close to par with the US dollar for a brief but (for many consumers) truly enjoyable four years (2010-2013). It was during that period that Canadians were actually wooed by American retailers building monster malls in small towns at border crossings.

            Naturally, Canadians bought US used cars in droves then turned their attention to new cars. Canadian car manufacturers quickly parried by implementing programs to stop us returning from a trip to the US with a shiny new Honda Accord, or a shiny new anything on wheels, for that matter.

            Now the shoe is on the other foot

            Nonetheless, while the 200,000 used cars imported by US buyers represents only 0.5 percent of the nearly 40,000,000 used cars sold in that country each year, the same number represents 7.4 percent of the 2.7 million used cars (2014) sold here.

            http://www.autotrader.ca/newsfeatures/20160202/sinking-loonie-attracts-american-car-buyers/#2heHUSyLl6dytXiA.99

            The following vehicles are free of duty:
            •All Chevrolet Corvettes and Ford Taurus SHOs
            •All 1979 and older passenger vehicles and light duty trucks with a VIN beginning with either 1 or 4
            •All passenger vehicles model year 1996 or newer with a VIN beginning with either a 1 or 4
            •All passenger vehicles, regardless of model year, with a VIN beginning with either 2 or 3, and
            •All light duty trucks with a VIN beginning with 2.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    This article makes a good point, however the facts depend on the individual car. I recently traded my one-year-old performance hatchback and was genuinely surprised by the dealer’s trade-in offer. I traded it in on a new vehicle to the same dealer from which it was purchased, which may have had something to do with the trade value. And that trade value may also have been affected by it being a performance version of a regular economy car.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    When speaking of the higher retained value of pickups and SUVs the author mentions sticker prices which can be vastly different than transaction prices especially in the pick-up space.

    Is there a somewhat reliable source for actual transaction prices or is that information not released?

    Edited to add that I like small cars so this is a plus for me. I also like trucks and can see why some view them as more appealing than full and mid size cars.

    I’d buy a Raptor over a GS-F on most days of the week. Not all. Most.

  • avatar
    e30gator

    Could it be time to take the leap on that 2 year old CPO 3 Series down the street? I’d take that over a brodozer any day of the week.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Try a Kia Rio sedan, automatic with wheel covers.

      At least it wouldn’t be some knuckle-dragger’s comfortable, capable and roomy crew cab half ton.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Resale values only matter when the owner chooses to sell.

    [sigh]

    I guess I’m stuck with my ’13 Sonic until it’s worth less than the change in the console.

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    Is there any serious export business for used US cars going on? This all just seems so ridiculous. Europe could use a couple of shiploads of carefully used compacts every now and then.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Well the problem with exporting to Europe is that the US cars often need wholesale lighting changes, which sometimes require major electrical changes to meet their standards.

      But there is a big business in exporting vehicles from the US because they are so cheap relatively speaking. There is a reason that plumber’s truck showed up in the ISIS fleet because it was worth more abroad that it was in the US even after factoring in shipping it.

      • 0 avatar
        claytori

        Here in Toronto and other Canadian cities plenty of used cars (SUV’s) are exported. Those who do this are more inclined not to pay for them. They simply find a way to remove them from your driveway when you aren’t looking. Then straight into a container and have disappeared forever, only to reappear in Africa or eastern Europe, or …

    • 0 avatar
      Onus

      Latin America and Caribbean are Middle East are probably the biggest destinations these days.

      Non-EU European countries used to be huge destination since most do not enforce UN ECE technical specifications as the EU does. You be surprised at the amount of American spec cars floating around the Baltics that were imported before they joined the EU.

      Russia used to be a big import destination but the tariffs on used cars were drastically increased around the financial crisis. Still seems to be a big destination for used SEMI trucks though. All the old Volvo and Freightliners go here to die. They have a more generous length laws than EU countries that allows the use of a standard European trailer with an american semi truck.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Right on Onus. My cousin’s family owns both a 1g Highlander and 2nd gen Sequoia in Novosibirsk, both used American cars.

        And yes American big rigs are well liked, Definitely a lot of long-nosed Volvos and Freightliners, but also Peterbilts (joking called “Petrovich”). They hold up really well to the roads, better than many of the pug-nosed Europeans with their robotized transmissions and auto-bahn tuned suspensions.

        • 0 avatar
          Onus

          Very nice! Hope they are getting good service out of both!

          I imagine the roads out on Siberia are much worse than old Vologda. Most are paved out here but the winter and climate does them no favor. Turns into horrible washboard.

          Though they seem to have been a on a building spree the last couple years and have upgraded roads by adding passing lanes, exits, and paving.

          I will keep an eye out of Peterbuilts the next time I go. Only seen Volvo’s and Freightliners so far. These trucks have been the hell and back and they keep on going! Do not see much old European iron rolling around. It is either Domestic or American. Even seen a few old cab over Internationals.

          • 0 avatar
            Sjalabais

            I used to be surprised about American rigs in Russian dashcam videos. But when I was in Piter, I ony saw European and Russian trucks. Probably because it is Russia’s most Western city?

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Sjalabais, you’re definitely right. I think one of the coolest things about Russia is that given it’s massive size, regional car fleets vary wildly. Close proximity to Europe does in fact yield more Euro Scanians, DAFs, Mercedes, etc. Work your way into the Central regions and more into Siberia, there’s still Europeans but more and more used American rigs and a lot of Russian (KamAZ) trucks in more rural areas, as well as Belorussian MAZ. Go even further East and you start seeing Japanese RHD trucks (Isuzu, Hino, Nissan UD) The unusual ones with two forward axles, you name it. They’ve definitely proven themselves on local roads:

            https://youtu.be/LUxe4M-gCFQ?t=3244

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Selling them in places like Russia, China and South America would be easier and just as profitable. They can have all the Versas, 200s and Impala Limiteds they want lol.

  • avatar
    matt3319

    I just traded my 3 week old Honda Accord Sport SE( i should have never ever. Ought that damn CVT) which I paid $23K with discount and no money out of pocket, traded it for $22K. Not bad. I never saw the exact ACV paperwork, but I’m sure there was some dealer cash in there. But I didn’t complain one bit. Got my second new VW Passat R-Line in Urano Gray. It’s my second Urano color last being my old ’12 CC. Now that’s a car that has super tanked in value.

  • avatar
    islander800

    Never underestimate the knuckle-dragging stupidity of the vehicle consumer.

    It’s just astounding that people think it’s “cool”, or whatever the current expression is, to drive a Ford F150-250-350 as daily transportation, with no real need whatsoever for the wasting bulk of the thing, forking over huge sums to the oil companies, when subcompacts and compacts would serve their needs quite nicely.

    The last thing I need to hear is people whining about how “poor” they are, while driving around in their honking gas guzzlers, when they have the power to divert some of that gas cash into other needed items by downsizing their rides. I call it a “dumb tax”, on after-tax income no less, for those who can’t figure it out.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      @islander800,

      Let me let you in on a fact: many people view their vehicle as more than just A to B transportation. People will also get more than they minimally need if they can afford it. You do this all the time yourself if you think about it. Do you have an iPhone or a $50 blu phone with ads? Do you live in a 400sqft studio? Who gets to define what someone’s “needs” are anyhow? Do you like to throw shade at those who drive say Mustang GT or 550i daily?

      I daily drive a Silverado CCSB and I’m not ashamed of it. Even if I didn’t use it for road trips, towing, home depot runs, etc there’s a chance I’d still own it. There’s a much bigger chance I’d own a Camaro SS but still. So as a daily commuting vehicle lets compare my Silverado to say a Corolla or Fit. My truck is vastly more comfortable with a much nicer interior. It’s also faster, quieter, easier to see out of, rides better, handles inclement weather better, doesn’t torque steer, and perhaps most importantly is safer. There’s a few side benefits of a truck in traffic; you don’t get cut off nearly as often, railroad tracks and potholes are “meh” rather than slam on the brakes, etc. There are plenty of valid reasons to daily drive a half ton over a compact sedan if you can afford to do so. Nobody’s arguing its the most financially prudent things to do; but who cares? It ain’t your money.

      Oh and for what it’s worth my truck guzzles very little gas… it has an affinity for E85. That’s a renewable fuel that the aforementioned compact sedans can’t burn.

  • avatar
    theonewhogotaway

    Data of September 2016 sales from the Wall Street Journal contradicts this.

    http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3022-autosales.html

    Small cars sales dropped less in a year than small SUV, small Van, minivan, and luxury cars, among others. And it is getting closer, but still people are buying more cars than Crossovers + SUVs

    Just sayin’

  • avatar
    thelastdriver

    This is what makes me wonder why anybody suffers from car payments they can’t afford.

    For the past year I’ve been driving a 1998 Corolla purchased for $350. After title, tags, and insurance it cost roughly $600. Nothing pretty but it drives alright, has A/C, dual airbags, and IT’S A CAR THAT’S MINE!

    With only 120k miles and fresh brakes I figure it’s about half used up.

    • 0 avatar
      Pete Zaitcev

      This testimonial speaks well about your life smarts, but securing a deal like that is not as easy as you make it out. BTW, when I sold by 1997 car, it had 168k miles, and I sold it for $800. It was in 2006 – 10 years ago by now. Yet you somehow managed to get a car of a similar vintage with 120k miles? I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s mostly impossible for regular people, especially poor. Most of them are poor precisely because they can’t pull deals like yours.

  • avatar

    Word to the author – try buying a Corolla at the sale. Good luck paying anything that one would consider a ‘deal.’

    Other than that aberration…

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Which I don’t get because Corollas suck ROYALLY to drive.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        They have a reputation for reliability and are roomier than anything else in the class. That’s good enough.

        • 0 avatar
          TonyJZX

          Yep, there’s a lot of small cars I would never look at as the resale is just too high for what you get…

          Generally, automatic Corollas, Civics have a great resale.

          Mazda 3s are generally ok but I would lump them with Suburus, they are popular with enthusiasts who want that USP. The Koreans are getting better but still not there.

          What isnt too good is the Focus and especially, the Cruze. The reliability just sunk them and the fact they arent Asian. The French? Non non.

          With Subcompacts again the Japanese have it EXCEPT Suzuki which IMO represents great buying. You can buy Swift for about the same as a really good laptop or 65″ TV and the car hasnt changed for a decade and its a great car.

          Some bargains out there if you’re ‘unconventional’.

          CUVs are a wash… too many people want them.

          Sedans are a buyers market except for the performance ones.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          There are rows of used 2014-2015 Corolla’s for less than 13K at several dealers so they apparently aren’t going for any big money at certain Auctions.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Soon it will be the happy time and everything will be on clearance.

  • avatar
    prj3ctm4yh3m

    Theres no premium small car segment here, but there will be. Polo gti, Audi A2, etc.

    Millenials are both self conscious enough about their “footprint” but narcissitic enough about their image.

    They will come. Small cars heretofore, excepting the enthusiast segment, have been torture chambers. But it needn’t be that way.

  • avatar
    StarAZ

    I’m alright with it. So that uninterested people can go buy their SUVs/crossovers and no coworkers would come to me and say “hey, I bought an Accord sport. It’s pretty fast.”

  • avatar

    “Still, the value drop is indicative of the segments’ declining popularity — a market shift that was once unthinkable.”

    How, exactly, was it once unthinkable? We’ve been through this song and dance over and over. Fuel prices go down, large vehicle sales go up. Fuel prices go up, large vehicle sales go down.

    Just like you couldn’t pay people to take the gas-guzzling large sedans of the malaise era when the fuel crisis hit. Just like when gas prices savaged used SUV values in the early 2000’s.

    Let’s not pretend this isn’t just another case of the American consumer’s short memory.

  • avatar
    chiefmonkey

    I could see the same thing happening to many cars: Even, say an off-lease BMW 328i. Does anyone really want that nasty turbo engine with 40,000 miles on it?

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      Hopefully someone does, because I’m handing them the keys at the end of my lease. I’ve enjoyed the car, and glad I did it, but I’m going to do a 180 on my next ride and go from “brand new BMW” to “fully depreciated something.” It’s nice living close to work.

      • 0 avatar
        chiefmonkey

        When the lease on my 328i ended, I leased a Sonata SE and I didn’t miss BMW much at all. Throttle response apparently is an optional feature on BMW’s. Sad what the sport sedan has been reduced to in the name of fuel economy…

  • avatar
    -Nate

    ” I don’t like floating around in a big goddamn boat of a car. But I do realize I’m in the tiny, tiny minority.” .

    That’s not necessarily true ~

    Most of the folks of any age group I know prefer smaller vehicles because they’re much more fun to actually _drive_ .

    I’m an outlier because I grew up in the 1950’s and 1960’s squeezed into tiny little crap imported boxes but I see lots and lots of people of all ages out driving small two door Coupes every day, every where I go .

    It depends on what you want to do : I only had one child to raise and we never carried the Metric crap load of unnecessary junk most Parents think they need these days so a 1948 VW Beetle or a ‘1962 Renault Dauphine Sedan were just fine and dandy if slow .

    The same with pickup trucks ~ if a Motocycle will fit in the bed (1969 Chevy C/10 stepside) that’s enough ~ most of the time I’ll only carrying a tool box or engines/trannies so no actual need for a 3/4 ton behemoth that’s not fun to drive in the canyons, thirsty at the fuel pump and unpleasant to parallel park .

    Small vehicles rock ! .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      AJ

      What I don’t like about small cars is how everything else tends to drive more aggressive around me, which is with my daily driver Civic coupe. I never have that issue with my wife’s much larger SUV.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        So very this!

        Any doubters, contrive to drive something ≤ C-segment through busy roundabouts. Gather critical data while browning your shorts.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Real? Or perception? I saw next to no difference between driving my Fiat 500 and my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (JKU), with one exception. Big pickup trucks like to tailgate me in the Fiat. I think I rattled them more than they rattled me because I was running on cruise control and they couldn’t force me to speed up or slow down for anything. And if they passed me and hit the brakes in front of me? I shot past them so quick they hardly realized I’d moved. It could out accelerate even the biggest engines at normal highway speeds in those big road whales of theirs. Even running at 65 on the Interstate (legal speed limit for I-95) if they tried to play games with me, I’d be at 80-85 by the time my nose was past theirs and pulling away rapidly. They usually didn’t try it more than once.

  • avatar
    Proflig8tor

    How about the resale on used luxury sedans? Enjoying the heck out of a 2013 E Class for less than new Camry money. The E350 really goes with the new engine and (to me) it handles like my 84 Porshe 944. It is a little too stiffly sprung and under-damped, but still fun.

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