These are strange days for car dealers and consumers alike. On the one hand, a punishing economic climate has caused automakers to do away with incentives such as cash back and rock-bottom financing that drove crowds into showrooms for the past few years. On the other, buyers are showing that if a car is on their personal wish list, they’re willing to pay extra; in some cases, thousands of dollars extra. Those two factors are instrumental in these two groups of three cars: The first of which are less in-demand vehicles priced well above what people are willing to pay, and the second of which have consumers running for their checkbooks even when that means paying more than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.
1. Chevrolet Impala: Currently in its ninth generation, this legendary American nameplate isn’t moving consumers the way it did when it debuted in 1958
Base MSRP: $24,495
Average market value: $19,224
2. Ford Ranger: Despite decent gas mileage for a truck (22/27 mpg city/highway) pickup shoppers just aren’t willing to pay full sticker for the Ranger.
Base MSRP: $19,075
Average market value: $15,430
3. Chevrolet Colorado: Four doors and interior space rivaling some small sedans (the LT trim is available with six-passenger seating, thanks to an optional front bench) isn’t enough to entice buyers into a large and capable 4WD truck.
Base MSRP: $20,650
Average market value: $16,960
1. Kia Optima: The Korean automaker is coming into its own, as this white-hot sedan’s status proves. Although priced low the car scores high marks for both interior fit-and-finish as well as thoughtful exterior touches common to more expensive competitors
Base MSRP: $18,995
Average market price: $20,473
2. Nissan Versa: To be blunt, the Versa is a bit of a homely machine, but what it lacks in looks it clearly makes up for in sheer practicality and price.
Base MSRP: $11,240
Average market price: $11,924
3. Toyota Prius: The machine that made small but frugal machines cool is more desirable than ever, and several new models, including a nifty plug-in version, will soon debut.
Base MSRP: $21,650
Average market price: $22,901
- Ford Focus voted most popular car (autonetinsurance.co.uk)
- Official: 2012 Chevrolet Sonic checks in priced from $14,495 (autoblog.com)
- Last of the six-seat sedans on their way out? (autoblog.com)