The great thing about rich people is that they buy new cars like mad and let the old ones go for pennies. Jalopnik readers know these ten most-depreciated cars of the past ten years.
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We are not recommending you buy any of these cars. Well, you should definitely buy an E39 M5 and a VW Phaeton, but that's about it. Consider finding yourself a Yakuza-spec Infiniti M45, or a C5 Z06 Corvette if you want a great used bargain. These cars are quite a different matter. Let's just say there's a good reason why they depreciated so much.
Matt Farah of The Smoking Tire has plenty of experience dealing with high-mileage luxury cars in exotic car rentals. He described what it's like to use a Maserati Quattroporte with 70,000 miles on the odo. It should give you an idea of what it's like to drive one of these cars.
I know what a 70,000 mile QP feels like. It feels like trash. There's a reason a 5 year old QP sells for $25,000 at a wholesale auction. The leather may feel nice, the engine may sound good, it may be pretty and it may be fast, but I have loads of experience with exotic cars and these cars do not age well at all in terms of fit, finish, and quality. They are unreliable, crazy expensive to repair and maintain, and, in my experience, bits literally fall off them.
So don't go out and think that an old Maser or a ten-year-old Mercedes AMG makes a good used buy. Maybe check our ten fastest cars for $10,000 list for some more sensible advice.
Photo Credit: Maybach
10.) 2003 BMW M5 — Down $54,000
The legendary E39 M5, a member of the Jalopnik Fantasy Garage, has lost a total of $54,000, falling from around $71,000 to just $17,000. That figure counts more when you consider that the E39 is, in fact, a priceless work of automotive art.
Suggested By: Troll Is English For Troll, Photo Credit: BMW
9.) 2004 Maybach 57 — Down $200,000
You can buy one of these early Rolls-Royce competitors for just over $100,000. It stickered for $305,500 almost a decade ago. Despite the massive $200,000 drop, an old Maybach 57 has only lost two thirds of its value. That's chump change in this group.
Suggested By: vpatel216, Photo Credit: Maybach
8.) 2005 Audi A8 W12 — Down $80,000
A mid-2000s long-wheelbase A8 with the six-liter W12 used to start at $118,190. Now you can get one for $35,950.
Suggested By: Jimal, Photo Credit: Audi
7.) 2006 Cadillac STS-V — Down $57,000
The STS-V is a reasonably handsome, rear-wheel-drive V8 luxo-sedan that is quiet and happy to smoke its rears all day. That's not why it's on this list though. It fell from a list price of $77,090 to around $20,000.
6.) 2006 Jaguar XJ Super — Down $65,000
Even Cadillacs don't depreciate like big Jags. A top-of-the-line ‘Super' started at $90,330 half a decade ago and now you can get one for around $25K.
Suggested By: BigHarv, Photo Credit: Jaguar
5.) 2005 Maserati Quattroporte — Down $70,000
The Quattroporte has the distinction of depreciating the fastest out of any car here, with some 2012 models already losing $35,000 off their original MSRP. First-generation cars, which would likely fall apart in your hands, went from around $95,500 originally to $25,000 now.
Suggested By: 900Turbo, Photo Credit: Maserati
4.) 2003 Porsche Cayenne Turbo — Down $70,000
We're surprised that the 450 horsepower Cayenne Turbo has dropped from around $90,000 to about $20,000. It was such a good looking car, and so many people need supersports SUVs in their day-to-day lives. /sarcasm
Suggested By: DerrickD, Photo Credit: Porsche
3.) VW Phaeton W12 — Down $75,000
We were actually hoping that the 444 horsepower W12 Phaeton would get the number one spot on this list. Their base MSRP was $94,600 and now you can get one for around $18,000. We love Phaetons. They are among the most rigorously precise vehicles engineered in recent decades.
However, they aren't exactly appreciated by the common man, nor are they cheap to run.
Suggested By: racewheels, Photo Credit: Volkswagen
2.) 2005 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG — Down $140,000
The twin-turbo V12 SL65 AMG started at $185,000 back in 2005. Now you can get one for $45,000. Now that's depreciation.
Suggested By: Dr_Watson and keithlinco, Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz
1.) 2003 Mercedes-Benz CL55 AMG — Down $99,000
AMG Mercedes-Benzes are the undoubted kings of depreciation, with ruinously expensive (and frequent) trips to the mechanic, and a disposable quality that makes last year's model worthless to any self-respecting plutocrat.
We found one of these pretty S-Class coupes that had lost 86% of its value, dropping from $114,600 to $15,500. Damn.
Suggested By: Vaxile, Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz