Black Book: Small Cars Hold Their Own in March
April 19, 2018
Compact cars such as the Nissan Sentra finished March with an industry-leading value-retention rate of 2.5%, according to the latest numbers from Black Book. Photo courtesy Nissan USA
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — According to Black Book data, the average price of a used vehicle for model years 2012–’16 depreciated in value by 0.4%, an improvement from February’s level of -1.1% due to a continued stronger-than-expected spring selling season. Cars increased in value by 0.6%, while trucks decreased by 1.1%. All vehicles are averaging a 12-month change of -15.0%.
For the second-straight month, subcompact luxury CUVs showed the largest depreciation in March at -2.6% following a -2.8% in February. Vehicles in subcompact luxury CUV segment include the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, and the Mini Cooper Countryman. Vehicles in this segment finished March with an average price of $14,727, a 21.0% drop from year-ago levels.
Including subcompact luxury CUVs, trucks represented the top five largest depreciating segments: compact luxury CUV/SUVs (-2.5%), full-size crossover/SUV (-2.3%), full-size luxury CUV/SUVs (-1.8%), and mid-size luxury CUV/SUVs (-1.6%).
Compact cars finished the month with the strongest retention at 2.5%. Vehicles in the compact segment include the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Volkswagen Jetta, Nissan Sentra and the Hyundai Elantra. Vehicles in this segment finished the month with an average price of $8,012, a -14.3% change from a year ago. Subcompact cars (1.3%) and “sporty” cars (1.0%) also increased by at least 1.0% on the month.
The only truck segment to show an increase during March was compact CUV/SUVs at 0.1%. Vehicles in this segment finished March with an average price of $11,758, a -14.0% change from a year ago.
“Spring continues to show a strong quarter for many smaller car segments, mostly because these vehicles are being offered at a great value at auction,” said Anil Goyal, Black Book’s executive vice president of operations. “This level of activity is expected to last just a few more weeks before depreciation trends return to a more normal pattern, particularly for cars.”