KBB Names Best Deals on ‘New-ish’ Used Vehicles

April 11, 2012 | IRVINE, Calif.
Alec Gutierrez, Kelley Blue Book

Used-vehicle values have soared recently, even to the point where for some one- and two-year-old vehicles, a new car presents a better deal. But despite the escalation in used prices, Kelley Blue Book contends that there are still some used vehicles out there that are still in a relatively manageable price range.

As such, KBB shared Tuesday what it considers to be the most affordable “new-ish” used cars on the market, listing 10 models it has found to cost less than $12,000 and have less than 40,000 miles on the odometer.

“Consumers looking for cheap transportation are finding it more and more difficult to locate a used vehicle at an affordable price. Late-model vehicles with low miles are becoming increasingly hard to find, especially as used-vehicle values continue to aggressively increase,” explained Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kbb.com.

He also emphasized that gas-price hikes have pushed up the used values for fuel-friendly rides between 6 and 10 percent in the last four weeks. The coming months may see another 10-percent (or stronger) hike in the prices of these vehicles.

“For many popular models, values have risen so high that it actually makes more sense to buy new rather than to pay top dollar for a one- to two-year-old used vehicle,” Gutierrez noted. “Although good deals are becoming tougher to find, there remain a handful of used vehicles that are available for a fair price.”

KBB offered the following table of “new-ish” used vehicles available for less than $12,000. Each of the units on this list is from model-year 2009, with the assumption they have 39,500 miles.


10 ‘New-ish’ Used Vehicles Available for less than $12,000
Change Since Mar 2nd
Make Model Trim MSRP KBB Retail $ %
Suzuki SX4 Sedan 4D 13959 10020 185 0.019
Chevrolet Aveo LT Sedan 4D 14255 10100 300 0.031
Chrysler PT Cruiser Sport Wagon 4D 17920 10335 335 0.034
Hyundai Accent GLS Sedan 4D 13595 10600 435 0.043
Kia Rio LX Sedan 4D 13875 10600 485 0.048
Pontiac G3 Hatchback 4D 14995 10685 50 0.005
Smart fortwo Passion Hatchback 2D 14635 11315 100 0.009
Kia Spectra EX Sedan 4D 15850 11400 335 0.03
Pontiac G5 Coupe 2D 16935 11720 150 0.013
Nissan Versa S Hatchback 4D 13650 12000 535 0.047
Note: All vehicles shown are MY2009 and are assumed to have 39,500 miles


Sharing some commentary on these vehicles, Gutierrez noted: “Most of the vehicles on this list either have just been replaced by a new generation or have ceased production entirely. The Chevrolet Aveo currently is available for $10,100, significantly cheaper than the $15,000 Chevrolet Sonic which replaced it this year.”

He added: “The Chevrolet Sonic is a far superior subcompact in nearly every way; however, it is difficult to argue with $5,000 in savings for a shopper on a tight budget. The Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent are two other vehicles that appear on this list and recently have been replaced by an improved redesigned model.

“Again, both are available for significantly less than their newly redesigned counterpart. Although the Chrysler PT Cruiser no longer is being produced and the Pontiac G3 and G5 went away with the rest of the brand, these remain a great value for consumers looking to save some money,” Gutierrez continued.

Leave a Reply