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The 15 Most Overpriced Cars … and The 20 Best Auto Bargains (Plus, Why to Act Now if You’re in the Market for a New Car)


One of the benefits to the weak economy is that right now you can get some really great deals on a new car. If you’re in the market, costs for new vehicles are at their lowest levels since 2001, according to the Comerica index.

There are deals to be had in the new car market … but be sure to do your homework before buying.

Further, as Newsweek reported you can still take advantage of novel money-saving scenarios that are on the table right now, including:

  • Federal tax deductions and credits for car buyers
  • Low-interest financing
  • Generous manufacturers' incentives because of slow sales
  • Summer sales
  • Dealers willing to sell cars even at a loss to make room for the 2010 models coming soon

“It’s a buyer’s market,” Dana Johnson, the chief economist at Comerica Bank in Dallas, told

That said, it's easy to get taken for a ride when you decide to purchase a car, and that’s true in any economy, even today’s. So although there are deals to be had, you still need to do your homework … for instance possibly avoiding the following most overpriced cars in America.

The 15 Most Overpriced Cars …

It’s a great time to buy a car, but not every car on the market is a bargain. In fact, reported on America’s most overpriced cars and according to Vincentric, which tracks vehicle ownership costs for the auto industry, certain cars on sale now have market values that are well below their manufacturer’s suggested retail price.

For instance, Jeep Liberty, Dodge Ram 2500 and the Chevrolet Traiblazer have true market values that are 20.9 percent, 26 percent, and 16.4 percent lower than their MSRP, respectively.

Forbes took the data one step further. Using market price figures supplied by Vincentric and customer-satisfaction information from J.D. Power’s 2008 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) and Consumer Reports' Owner Satisfaction survey results, they ranked the most overpriced cars as:

Once you enter a car sales lot, it's easy to get sucked into "special deals" and drive away with an impulse purchase. Do a little research first (online, at car shows, by talking with friends) to determine what kind of car you're after -- and their going rate.

  1. Dodge Ram pickup (market value is 26 percent lower than MSRP)
  2. Mercury Grand Marquis (21.4 percent less)
  3. Jeep Liberty (20.9 percent less)
  4. Dodge Nitro (20.6 percent less)
  5. Dodge Durango (19.5 percent less)
  6. Dodge Caliber (18.7 percent less)
  7. Chevrolet Trailblazer (16.4 percent less)
  8. GMC Envoy (16.1 percent less)
  9. Jeep Wrangler (14.9 percent less)
  10. GMC Canyon (11.9 percent less)
  11. Ford Ranger 2WD (11.5 percent less)
  12. Pontiac G6 Sedan (11.3 percent less)
  13. Ford Ranger Supercab (11.1 percent less)
  14. Chevrolet Colorado (11.1 percent less
  15. Pontiac G6 Coupe (10.8 percent less)

The 20 Best Cars for the Money …

As for the best value for the money, Vincentric released a study that evaluates the cost of cars while accounting for depreciation, fuel, insurance, opportunity costs, financing, maintenance, taxes and state fees and repairs.

The report revealed the best cars for the money in the United States to be:

  1. Acura TSX (premium compact sedan): MSRP $29,160
  2. BMW 5-Series (mid-size sedan): MSRP $45,800
  3. BMW 5-Series (premium wagon): MSRP $55,800
  4. BMW M3 (premium compact coupe): MSRP $54,850
  5. BMW X6 (premium mid-size crossover): MSRP $55,900
  6. Buick Enclave (premium large crossover): MSRP $35,845
  7. Chevrolet Malibu (hybrid car): $26,225
  8. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (full-size pickup): $20,350
  9. Chevrolet Tahoe (Hybrid SUV/Crossover): $51,405
  10. Honda Accord (compact coupe): MSRP $20,905
  11. Honda Civic (compact sedan): MSRP $15,305
  12. Infiniti M35 (premium large sedan): MSRP $45,800
  13. MINI Cooper (subcompact): MSRP $22,600
  14. Nissan GT-R (sport car): $80,790
  15. Saab 9-3 (premium convertible): $42,905
  16. Subaru Outback (wagon): MSRP $22,295
  17. Toyota 4Runner (mid-size SUV): MSRP $28,640
  18. Toyota Camry (entry level mid-size sedan): MSRP $19,145
  19. Toyota Land Cruiser (premium large SUV): MSRP $64,755
  20. Volkswagen Tiguan (mid-level compact crossover): MSRP $23,200

If you decide that you want to give one of these great values a test drive, be sure you’re a savvy car shopper first. The Recommended Article below has 11 key steps you’ll need to drive off the lot a very happy camper, or in this case happy driver!

Recommended Reading

What NOT to Do When Shopping for a Car: 11 Key Steps

The Top 23 Gas-Saving Cars

Sources July 31, 2009 June 24, 2008 March 20, 2009

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