By Aaron Turpen
When car models get replaced by a new-generation upgrade, the last of the previous-generation tends to suddenly find itself deeply discounted. This happens as manufacturers begin pushing their new model years, as they are now, and give heavy incentives to dealerships to unload the old model year off their lots to make room for the new. When the new model year is a newly-revamped version of the car, with a new body style and interior, this becomes especially urgent.
This push to get the new cars from the old generation off dealership lots means they can be had at low cost to the buyer. This, in turn, means that those of that old generation that are on used car lots and classifieds also drop in value. For the buyer, this is good news all around because not only can a great car be had (new or lightly used) for a great price, but the value drop is temporary and usually recovers within a year or so. So if you’re looking toward buying a new or slightly used car this fall and winter, there are a few short months where some great vehicles can be snapped up at bargain prices.
In alphabetical order by manufacturer, here are some 2014 models that we think will make awesome used car buys in 2015.
The fourth-generation of the M-tuned BMW M3 was shown in 2007 and entered the market in 2008 as the newest in the M variants of the 3-Series. Powered by a four liter V8 (the S65 engine), the BMW M3 can be had in a four-door sedan or in two-door coupe versions, one of which is a convertible.
Introduced in 1969, the Challenger is one of the most storied of American muscle cars. Although every year marks changes for this popular sports car, the Challenger will see big changes in 2015 to include very different engine, transmission, and exterior design cues. This could make the 2014 and previous models less desirable.
Mazda MX-5 Miata
The Miata is the world’s best-selling roadster and has been a fan favorite for generations. The 2014 model year marks the last of the MX-5 generation before the new Alfa Romeo/Mazda design is unveiled to replace it. Many Miata fans see the outgoing 2014 MX-5 as possibly the last of the great Miatas.
A major redesign coming for the 2015 model means that the 2014 WRX is going to become highly prized. For many enthusiasts of this popular sport rally car, the Impreza WRX in its present hatchback shape is the only way the WRX should be. The 2015 model, however, will be a sedan-style model, irking many fans.
The 200 was introduced in 2010 as a new, smaller Chrysler sedan in the midsize segment. Taking over from the lackluster Sebring, the Chrysler 200 with a V6 Pentastar engine is a prized purchase for used car buyers.
One of the first cars introduced by Hyundai, the Sonata is now entering its seventh-generation for 2015, marking a lot of changes from the current 2014 Sonata. Often on best-seller lists during its career, the Sonata is a popular sedan that will likely see many trade-ins when the new-generation enters the market.
Well-loved and respected by Subaru fans everywhere, the Legacy is the company’s midsize sedan crossover. The boxer-style opposed piston engine provides smooth driving while the legendary all-wheel drive every Subaru sports always lives up to its reputation. With the 2015 model entering the market with many upgrades and technology changes, many Legacy owners are sure to trade up.
Although globally, the Golf changed last year, in the United States, most of those changes will not be seen until the 2015 model year. This means that many Golf owners are likely to see this as an opportunity to trade in their current vehicle for an update.
The 2014 Cadillac Escalade is the last of the third-generation in this full-sized luxury SUV. Available as both a five-door sport utility and a four-door sport utility truck, the Escalade features a well-tuned V8 engine as one of the last of the pushrod-style designs. The Escalade Hybrid proved popular for a few years as well.
Chevrolet Tahoe / GMC Yukon
The Tahoe/Yukon sport utilities are full-sized SUVs made by General Motors. Similar to the Escalade, the Tahoe and Yukon are marked by well-refined passenger ergonomics and a strong engine.
The Murano is Nissan’s midsize SUV and as such, it is one of the most popular vehicles the company makes. Introduced in 2009, the current-generation is on the way out with a new-generation coming for 2015. Because this is a popular family utility vehicle, expect many to be found on dealer lots this fall, mixed with their 2015 replacements.
The Outback is the larger, station-wagon-styled Legacy in the Subaru lineup. As with its sedan brother, the Outback will update for 2015 and likely see many people looking to upgrade with it.
One of the longest-running pickup truck models in the world, the F-150 is also the best-selling model of vehicle, bar none, in the United States. The twelfth-generation F-150 ends this year and is being replaced with a radically new 2015 model featuring multiple engine options and an all-aluminum body. Many enthusiasts will be waiting to buy their truck in order to get the new one, making for competitive pricing on the current model.
The 2014 Nissan Frontier is not yet the last of this generation of the popular midsize pickup truck, but the introduction of a 2015 model for other markets (where it’s called the Nevara) and the hint that its larger sibling, the Titan, will unveil as all-new in January means that the Frontier is going to update very soon as well. That will likely mean slower sales this fall and early next year as anticipation for a new Frontier mounts. Slow sales mean dealer incentives will follow.
The second-generation of the Kia Sedona has been well-received among minivan buyers thanks to its value proposition. Marked as extremely reliable, the Sedona is also famed for its high crash test ratings. With a new, stylish update coming for 2015, though, we can expect that dealerships will find themselves scrambling to unload the current-generation in favor of the new.
Although the Sienna isn’t undergoing a complete update for 2015, the changes will be noticeable and thus will prompt many buyers to head for the new version in lieu of the old. That, in turn, will likely mean lower prices on the lot for the outgoing 2014 model.
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Featured image by Daniel Oines