3 MIN READ

Want to Save Thousands on a New Car? Buy the Nearly Identical 2017 Model

cars parked in a parking lot aerial view


Buying a used car makes a lot of sense financially. But let’s face it — sometimes we just want something shiny and brand new.

But if you’re in the market for a new car, you may want to pause before you set your sights on a 2018 model vehicle. Online car retailer Vroom compared 2017 models against their 2018 counterparts and shared a few with us that are nearly identical but cost much less.

Scott Chesrown, Vroom's chief revenue officer, said the biggest advantage in choosing an older model car over the latest version is the price.

“New cars can lose up to 22 percent of their value in the first year, starting from the moment you drive it off the lot,” he said. “Majority of the time, there isn’t much of a difference between models from year to year. There might be some cosmetic differences, but not enough to warrant spending 22% more.”

Here are four vehicles Vroom found where the 2017 models will feel like brand new in 2018 — but with savings of nearly $1,000 or more.

Hyundai Sonata

The average 2017 Hyundai Sonata comes in at $15,820 on Vroom while the list price for the 2018 model is $22,050. Vroom states the newer model varies from the older one only in that it has stiffer suspension and a new front grille, taillights, LED headlights and wheel design.

“If you’re not into minor cosmetic changes, you’ll be just as happy in the 2017 model,” the online car retailer claims.

And you’ll see a savings of over $6,200.

Audi A4

The 2017 Audi A4 costs about $28,600 on average on Vroom while the 2018 model comes in at $36,000. Go with the older version, and you’ll save $7,400.

Vroom states, “The new Audi A4 has an updated wheel design and a premium package option that includes heated seats, lane and high beam assists and adaptive cruise control. If you live in a warmer climate or don’t plan on getting a premium package, you’re probably better off with the 2017 version.”

Subaru WRX

Vroom’s price for a 2017 Subaru WRX is $26,000 on average while the 2018 model retails for $26,995.

According to Vroom, the exteriors of the two models are the same, but the 2018 version includes a newer collision monitoring system and electronic all-wheel drive, as well as a premium upgrade option. The online retailer states that if you’re opting out of the premium upgrade, you can find significant savings by choosing the older model car.

That’s nearly $1,000 in savings, by the way.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

On Vroom, the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee averages around $27,050, while the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the 2018 model is $30,595. That adds up to a savings of over $3,500.

Vroom states, “There are no notable changes between the 2017 and 2018 Grand Cherokee models. Take advantage of the instant depreciation, and snag the 2017 version instead.”

If You’re Ready to Buy

If any of these savings piqued your interest, be sure to check out Carson Kohler’s post on buying a car from Vroom or other online car retailers. A set of new wheels doesn’t have to come with used car-lot haggling.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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