A new study conducted by iSeeCars analyzing the prices of used vehicles in America over the past year has some very interesting conclusions. Most notably, the Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle had the single largest increase in value. It has gone up by 22.5%. Among the top ten vehicles with valuation gains, the Toyota brand is clearly the leader, and every one of the four Toyota models on the top ten list is a hybrid or plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle. The used Tesla Model 3, by contrast, is ranked among the vehicles with the single largest one-year decline in value at -11.6%. Over the past three months, that trend has accelerated.
“The overall used car market is down, but hybrids, electrics, and performance cars remain hot, with the imbalance between supply and demand keeping their prices high,” said Karl Brauer, Executive Analyst at iSeeCars.com. He went on to add, “The pricing shifts since September show which models have taken the biggest hit in recent months, such as the Tesla Model 3 losing nearly 17 percent of its value.”
The study scrutinized nearly 2 million one to five-year-old used car sales in December 2021 and 2022. The average listing prices of each car model were then compared between the two time periods, and the differences were expressed as a percentage difference from the 2021 price as well as a dollar difference. Excluded from the analysis were heavy-duty vehicles, low-volume vehicles, vehicles discontinued as of the 2022 model year, and vehicles with fewer than 4 of the 5 model years for each period.
As a class, hybrids were the only segment of vehicles that saw an increase in used vehicle value over the one-year period. Hybrids went up 9.5%, and battery-electric vehicles declined by 3% on average.
The Toyota Prius Prime had the largest increase in used vehicle valuation overall during the past year, the Camry hybrid ranked sixth, the Prius Hybrid (the one with no plug) ranked 8th, and the RAV4 Hybrid ranked ninth. Other green vehicles that retained their value very well during the past year include the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt.
What we find most interesting about this trend is not that Toyotas are holding their value. They always rank high on residual value, and the hybrids are among the brand’s most reliable models. It is the Tesla Model 3’s rapid drop in valuation over the past twelve months and its acceleration in the past three that is most remarkable. We reported in August of 2021 that the Tesla Model 3 was, at that time, the single fastest-selling used car in America.
You can view the full study summary at iSeeCars here. Top of page Prius Prime image courtesy of Toyota media support.
John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. John's interest in EVs goes back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an EV battery as part of an academic team. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotech. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American news outlets and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin
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