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iSeeCars Study: New Cars Priced Over MSRP With Supply Chain Improving

An iSeeCars study sees that despite an easing of supply chain issues new-car pricing is still up an average of 8 percent.

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New cars continue to be priced well above MSRP, despite rising economic concerns that typically dampen consumer demand for large ticket items, even as the supply chain slowly improves.

A new iSeeCars study found that manufacturer pricing for new cars has increased 7.6 percent in the past year from an average MSRP of $38,707 in February 2022 to $42,608 in February 2023.

Despite this increase, the average dealer listing price for new cars has increased 6.5 percent in the past 12 months, from $42,551 to $45,996. This means today’s average new car price is 8.8 percent over MSRP, on top of the higher MSRPs compared to a year ago.

Monthly Average Dealer Price versus Average MSRP of New Cars – iSeeCars Study

Month Avg MSRP Avg Price Price - MSRP % Difference

Feb 2022 $38,707 $42,551 9.9%
Mar 2022 $38,716 $42,572 10.0%
Apr 2022 $38,992 $42,869 9.9%
May 2022 $39,336 $43,297 10.1%
Jun 2022 $39,712 $43,717 10.1%
Jul 2022 $40,239 $44,347 10.2%
Aug 2022 $40,352 $44,375 10.0%
Sep 2022 $40,077 $44,020 9.8%
Oct 2022 $40,448 $44,346 9.6%
Nov 2022 $40,434 $44,263 9.5%
Dec 2022 $41,608 $45,428 9.2%
Jan 2023 $41,771 $45,466 8.8%
Feb 2023 $41,637 $45,296 8.8%

“There’s no denying it – new cars are expensive!” Karl Brauer, executive analyst at iSeeCars, said. “The manufacturers keep raising their prices, and then the dealers raise them again, to the point where the average new car is priced above $45,000.”

There are two pieces of encouraging news for consumers. First, the average MSRP seems to have either peaked or plateaued in January 2023, coming down slightly in February. Second, the pricing increase over MSRP peaked back in July of 2022 at 10.2 percent over MSRP. Relative pricing has fallen ever since, with average new car prices now 8.8 percent above MSRP.

“The difference between dealer pricing and MSRP should continue to fall as the supply chain improves, though getting back to MSRP for most models may not happen this year," Brauer said.

10 Models To Stay Away From

Consumers looking to avoid price hikes will want to steer clear of these 10 models, which are priced between 20 and 27 percent above MSRP.

“All but two of these high-priced models are luxury vehicles, reflecting the ongoing confidence and willingness of luxury buyers to spend whatever it takes to get the vehicle they want,” Brauer said. The two non-luxury vehicles are the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, SUVs with consistently high demand and passionate buyers.

New Cars Priced Highest Over MSRP, February 2023 – iSeeCars Study

Rank Model Avg MSRP Avg Price Price - MSRP % Difference

1 Genesis GV70 $44,299 $56,476 27.5%
2 Jeep Wrangler $35,827 $44,396 23.9%
3 Mercedes-Benz GLB $41,061 $50,452 22.9%
4 Porsche Taycan $100,169 $122,940 22.7%
5 Jeep Wrangler Utld. $45,386 $55,347 21.9%
6 Cadillac CT4-V $57,737 $69,904 21.1%
7 Genesis GV80 $56,388 $68,240 21.0%
8 Porsche Macan $61,589 $74,275 20.6%
9 Cadillac CT5 $41,870 $50,383 20.3%
10 Lexus RX 350h $49,339 $59,347 20.3%
National Average $41,637 $45,296 8.8%

These 10 Cars Priced Closest to MSRP

While the average new car price remains 8.8 percent above MSRP, these 10 models are priced close to MSRP, with the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 actually priced below MSRP.

“Chevrolet recently halted production of the Silverado, suggesting supply for this full-size truck is in the unique post-pandemic status of outstripping demand,” Brauer said. Other models priced right at MSRP include the Volkswagen Arteon, Cadillac Lyriq, and the Infiniti QX80.

“The Lyriq is a brand-new electric SUV, so it’s surprising to see it priced right at MSRP. Of course, it was recently caught up in the government’s recategorization of which models earn the $7,500 federal tax credit, which likely impacted how dealers priced it,” Brauer said.

New Cars Priced Below/Closest to MSRP, February 2023 – iSeeCars Study

Rank Model Avg MSRP Avg Price Price - MSRP % Difference
1 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 $51,103 $50,116 -1.9%
2 Volkswagen Arteon $45,827 $45,648 -0.4%
3 Cadillac LYRIQ $61,795 $61,575 -0.4%
4 INFINITI QX8 $81,656 $81,666 0.0%
5 GMC Sierra 1500 $61,644 $62,175 0.9%
6 Chevrolet Malibu $27,597 $27,887 1.1%
7 Ford F-150 (hybrid) $84,400 $85,791 1.6%
8 Chevrolet Traverse $43,832 $44,697 2.0%
9 Buick Envision $38,658 $39,487 2.1%
10 Mazda CX-9 $42,288 $43,248 2.3%
National Average $41,637 $45,296 8.8%

Coupes, Convertibles, Trucks See Large Early Hikes

Coupes, convertibles, and trucks were the first vehicles to see large price hikes when the pandemic began. Almost 3 years later, coupes, convertibles, and trucks remain the most expensive vehicles relative to MSRP. This is true for these categories overall, even with the Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, and Ford F-150 Hybrid priced close to MSRP (as reflected in the previous table).

A more recent shift has occurred with hatchbacks, which are seeing much higher prices relative to MSRP this past month versus a year ago.

“The rise in gas prices has driven demand for smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles over the past year, as seen in the bump in hatchback pricing,” Brauer said. He continued, “Every other category is priced closer to MSRP compared to a year ago, but hatchbacks are 50 percent higher. Sedans, another relatively fuel-efficient vehicle category, are also up slightly.”

Year-over-Year Changes in Pricing vs. MSRP by Body Style, February 2022 - 2023 – iSeeCars Study
Body Style Yr-Over-Yr Change Price - MSRP % Diff, Feb 2023 Price - MSRP % Diff, Feb 2022 Avg. Feb 23

Hatchback 3.2% 9.7% 6.5% $31,170
Sedan 0.2% 9.7% 9.5% $38,137
Minivan -0.1% 5.9% 6.1% $47,016
Wagon -1.3% 9.4% 10.7% $25,412 SUV -1.3% 8.2% 9.6% $45,694
Coupe -1.9% 13.1% 14.9% $54,519
Truck -1.9% 10.2% 12.0% $52,753
Convertible -2.0% 12.4% 14.4% $66,931
National Average -1.1% 8.8% 9.9% $45,296

“With everything from interest rates to inflation working against vehicle demand, it seems inevitable that car prices will drop,” Karl Brauer said. “And we’re clearly off last summer’s peak pricing. But, overall, consumers are still buying more cars than automakers can produce, which means dealers can still aggressively price their new models and find buyers willing to snap them up,” he continued.

iSeeCars Methodology

iSeeCars.com analyzed over 12 million new car sales from February 2022 through February 2023. The average list prices of new cars, as well as the average of their MSRPs, were aggregated by month, as well as by body style and model.

Heavy-duty vehicles and low-volume models were excluded from further analysis. The differences between average prices and average MSRP were expressed as percentage differences.

About iSeeCars

iSeeCars.com is a data-driven car search and research company that helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, like the iSeeCars Vin Check report and iSeeCars.com Best Cars rankings. iSeeCars.com has saved users over $372 million so far by applying big data analytics powered by over 25 billion (and growing) data points and using proprietary algorithms to objectively analyze, score and rank millions of new cars and used cars.

Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971 when an otherwise normal news editor said, "You're our new car editor," and dumped about 27 pounds of auto stuff on my desk. I was in heaven as I have been a gearhead from my early days. As a teen, I spent many misspent hours hanging out at gas stations (a big thing in my youth) and working on cars. From there on, it was a straight line to my first column for the paper "You Auto Know," an enterprise I handled faithfully for 32 years. Not many people know I also handled computer documentation for most of my earnings while writing YAN. My best writing, though, was always in cars. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, etc. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook.

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