Study: The 5 Best Cars to Buy New

When it comes to shopping for a vehicle, money expert Clark Howard usually recommends buying used cars, but there are some instances where buying new makes financial sense.

The evidence comes from a recent report from automotive research firm iSeeCars.com, which shows that the average difference in price between some one-year-old used cars and a new version on the same model is as low as 5%.

Report: Here Are the 5 Best Cars to Buy New

The site analyzed prices on more than 6 million new and used cars sold from August 2019 to January 2020 to come up with the list.

Here are some key findings from the report:

  • The difference between new vs. gently used car prices can range from around $2,100 to more than $47,000
  • The smallest differences in price between new and used cars can be found in a mix of vehicle types
  • The best car to buy new is a Tesla Model 3

Here’s a rundown of the top five cars to buy new:

RankModel% Difference

Over Used
Dollar Difference
1.Tesla Model 35.5%$2,529
2.Ford Ranger11.4%$3,716
3.Chevrolet Traverse11.7%$4,198
4.Honda Civic (hatchback)
11.9%$2,704
5.Honda Fit12.5%$2,111
Average For All Cars25.2%

The full study can be found here.

iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly says the analysis shows that buying new can pay off in the long run.

“Instead of buying a car that’s already been driven for one year, consumers can buy the new version of select vehicles with a purchase price of just a few thousand dollars more to avoid the uncertainties that come with purchasing a used vehicle,” says Phong. “When spread out over the length of the average car loan at 5.5 years, the slightly higher monthly payment can be offset by the car warranty and dealer incentives such as rebates.”

Are you in the market for a vehicle? Clark recommends as a first step that you find out how much car you can afford. Here are his steps to buying a new car.