These Are The Worst Vehicle Markups I Found In 2021

These Are The Worst Vehicle Markups I Found In 2021

2021 was likely the worst year to buy a vehicle in the history of car buying

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Image: Charles Krupa (AP)

Outside of this year not being much better than 2o20, it was an absolute dumpster fire of a year to buy a car. The pandemic sent unexpected shockwaves through the auto industry: From disrupting microchip production, which in turn resulted in vehicles either not being finished or not being built at all to dealers receiving less and less inventory. And with dealers in a “we know what we have so either pay it or walk,” mode, markups were suddenly everywhere and out of control.

Here are some of the worst markups I found this year. And as a word of caution: Try to avoid these dealers or places that markup these models.

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$6,000 On A Mitsubishi Mirage

$6,000 On A Mitsubishi Mirage

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Image: Mitsubishi

Throwing a markup on such a basic mode of transportation like a Mirage is peak bullshit. But Ole Ben Franklin Motors in Oak Ridge, Tennessee did just that, tacking $6,000 on the sticker of Mirages that, even loaded before the markup, still came in under $20,000. But with markups putting the prices of these more budget-friendly cars into base midsize sedan territory, I bet the dealer was definitely seeing a mirage of these things flying off their lot.

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$80,000 Kia Tellurides

$80,000 Kia Tellurides

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Image: Kia

The Telluride (and its Hyundai Palisade cousin) was one of the hottest vehicles on the market when it debuted. Kia couldn’t build them fast enough. Vehicles were arriving at dealers already paid for, while other customers were eager and willing to wait months for theirs to be built. Of course, dealers were seeing dollar signs in the demand and that’s how you end up with Tellurides going for Range Rover prices at Rimrock Auto Groups Kia dealer in Billings, Montana. They wanted $78,995 for their Tellurides. What’s worse is that they thought they could justify the markup for it.

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Six-Figure Ram TRXs

Six-Figure Ram TRXs

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Image: Stellantis

An off-road focused Ram with an engine from the Dodge Hellcat sounds like project car stuff. But Ram did it and bros everywhere went wild. And so did dealers. Ram TRXs were going for used supercar money in a lot of places. Launch editions, which pretty much play on people’s need to have the first of something were the worst. One local dealer wanted over $143,000 for their TRX. The MSRP for a loaded TRX at the time was just over $90,000.

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$30,000+ Honda Civic Sis

$30,000+ Honda Civic Sis

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Image: Honda

Dealers wasted no time in slapping markups on the 2022 Honda Civic Sis. Even as I write this, you can still find Civic Sis going for Civic Type-R money, above the $30k mark.

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Toyota 4Runners For Land Rover Money

Toyota 4Runners For Land Rover Money

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Image: Toyota

Toyota got in on the off-road action by offering three different trims of the 4Runner TRD Pro. With prices ranging from $40,000 to $50,000, there was something for everyone who wanted to attack the trails in a Toyota.

Dealers had other ideas. Like one Long Island dealer Millenium Toyota who was selling three TRD Pros. One had a $30,000 markup. The most egregious was one with a sticker of $135,763.

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Jeep Grand Wagoneers At Luxury Prices

Jeep Grand Wagoneers At Luxury Prices

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Screenshot: Shaver Auto (Other)

The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer brought Jeep into new pricing territory where Jeep can be found going up against the likes of established full-size luxury SUV players like the Lincoln Navigator, Cadillac Escalade, and Mercedes GLS. Grand Wagoneers in contrast, loaded with nearly every option should be just over $111,000.

Right now there are about 50 or so Grand Wagoneers across the country selling in the $130,000 to $140,000 range. The Grand Wagoneer is luxurious, but with a starting price already over six figures, I’d think twice.

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Ford Mavericks For F-150 Money

Ford Mavericks For F-150 Money

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Image: Ford

The Ford Maverick ranks up there as one of the most important vehicle debuts in the company’s history. And people were definitely excited, putting in over 100,000 reservations for the small pickup. It’s a cheap, compact pickup that’s fuel-efficient and doesn’t really exist on the market anymore: A win for everyone.

Unfortunately, dealers trying to capitalize on the hype have hit some Mavericks with markups.

In some places, Mavericks are going for F-150 XLT or Lariat prices. Keller Bros Ford in Lititz, PA is selling a Maverick for $48,660. Just don’t try to look at the window sticker as it suspiciously doesn’t load.

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$50,000 Subaru Outback Wilderness

$50,000 Subaru Outback Wilderness

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Image: Subaru

Subaru wanted in on that off-road action too and produced the Outback with Wilderness trim’s off-road “appearance.” Adding in some options, an Outback Wilderness should come in just under $40,000.

One Southern California Subaru dealer had other ideas. Irvine Subaru has 25 Outback Wilderness’ in its inventory—11 of them are over $50,000.

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Toyota Supra

Toyota Supra

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Image: Toyota

You would think pricing would cool off a bit some two years into a model’s life, but in this market, especially on special models like a sports car, they don’t. Supra’s are still getting marked up. And if you think you can get one on the cheap by going the four-cylinder route, you’re wrong.

Of the 229 Supras for sale as of this writing, 108 are listed for over $60,000. Koons Annapolis Toyota in Annapolis, MD is selling a 2022 Supra A91-CF Edition that retails for $65,500 for nearly $80,000.

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The $97,000 RAV4 Prime

The $97,000 RAV4 Prime

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Image: Toyota

The RAV4 and its variants are some of the hottest vehicles on the market. Trust me, I know. But it’s not hot enough to be asking almost $100,000 for the plug-in hybrid Prime trim. Well, except Downtown Toyota of Oakland tried to do just that with a RAV4 in its inventory. This pricey example has since disappeared from the dealer’s inventory, either because it sold or due to pressure from coverage on the markup.

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$50,000 Kia K5

$50,000 Kia K5

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Image: Kia

Yes, the Kia K5 GT really did beat the BMW 330i in instrumented testing. I don’t think that qualifies it to now be priced as a $50,000 sport sedan though. It is, however, relatively rare right now given market conditions.

There are just 11 for sale in the entire country as of writing this. Power Kia in Salem, OR tried to capitalize on the rare opportunity by asking $47,850 for one of its examples. It has since been removed from the site. I hope no one actually paid that price for a vehicle that stickers around $36,000 when loaded.

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The $65,000 Hyundai Veloster N

The $65,000 Hyundai Veloster N

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Image: Hyundai

Hyundai did slightly raise the price of the Veloster N for 2021. The new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission will cost you $33,750. But double that and you get the price for a new Veloster N at Russell Westbrook Hyundai of Anaheim.

The dealer’s example also includes mods no one asked to have installed, but definitely expects you to pay for. While the dealer has gotten some semblance of sense and slashed over $12,000 off the price, it’s still the one of the highest-priced new Veloster Ns in the country. That new price: $52,930.

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The $200,000 Dodge Demons

The $200,000 Dodge Demons

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Image: Stellantis

A dealer sits on 15 of the most powerful muscle cars ever built, then attempts to sell them for over double the original price. So begins the story of Huntington Beach Dodge and its 15 2018 Challenger SRT Demons. The dealer was asking a whopping $200,000 each. Then they disappeared.

Now they’ve popped back up for sale, again. You have to call for the prices this time, but I bet they’re still pricier than the Demon’s original $84,995 MSRP.

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