In theory, things are getting better when it comes to buying new cars. There’s more inventory than we’ve seen in the recent past, and some cars are selling close to and sometimes even below MSRP. Unfortunately for consumers, some popular models are in such high demand that they’re still selling for significantly more than sticker.
Recently, Consumer Reports sorted through data from TrueCar and put together a list of 10 cars with the highest markups. If you’re on the hunt for one of the vehicles that made the list, though, don’t lose hope. We asked Tom McParland, our resident car-buying expert, what he thought of the list, and there are a few that he actually think you might be able to find a deal on even if Consumer Reports’ data suggests otherwise.
Consumer Reports found that if you want a Ford Maverick Hybrid SuperCrew XL AWD, you can expect to spend $2,394 over MSRP, bringing the price from $22,595 to $24,989. That’s an 11-percent markup.
Kia Sportage Hybrid
Like with the Ranger, you can expect to pay about 11 percent over MSRP. On a Kia Sportage Hybrid SX-Prestige AWD, that works out to a $3,863 markup, pushing the price from $36,390 to $40,253.
There aren’t a whole lot of Nissan Zs to go around, so good luck finding one selling at the Z Sport’s $40,990 MSRP. Consumer Reports says to expect to pay $4,978 extra, which works out to $45,968 or a 12-percent markup.
You’d think a truck as old as the Ford Ranger would be selling at a big discount, but that is not the case. Expect to pay $4,005 or 13 percent over MSRP on a Ford Ranger XLT SuperCab, bringing the price up to $35,465.
Despite accusations that the Toyota Supra isn’t a real Supra, as it turns out, there’s enough demand that getting a Toyota Supra A91-MT Edition for only $58,345 is essentially a pipe dream. Dealer markups average $8,773, pushing the total price to $67,118 or 15 percent over MSRP. However, if you want a less-special Supra, you can probably get away with only paying about six percent extra.
The Toyota GR86 is a hoot to drive, but the 10th Anniversary Special Edition is in high demand. Expect to pay $5,868 over its $35,860 MSRP, which works out to $41,728 or 16 percent over sticker. Like the Supra, though, if you’re open to a regular GR86, you should only have to pay about six percent over MSRP.
The Kia Rio LX should cost a surprisingly affordable $16,750, but Consumer Reports found buyers were paying an average of $1,620 over MSRP, which brings the total for a Rio LX to $18,370.
Tom says: While the Rio will soon be discontinued, according to Autotrader there are well over 1600 units still for sale nationwide. Many of these are being advertised with discounts upwards of $2,000. Of course, with Kia dealers what is advertised and what is reality are often two different things, but the fact that some stores seem motivated to move these cars is a good thing.
If you want a rear-wheel-drive Kia Stinger GT-Line, it should cost you $36,690. Consumer Reports found, however, that dealers are still looking for an extra $4,036, bringing the cost to buy one up to $40,726.
Tom says: Another discontinued model from Kia but on the opposite end of the market. With an MSRP topping out around $55,000, the Stinger was a tough sell for some buyers despite being a pretty excellent car to drive. Autotrader indicates there are only about 60 brand-new Stingers still on the market, about half of these cars are advertised with discounts upwards of $4,000. Depending on where you are shopping it certainly seems possible to score one of these performance cars at a competitive price.
Instead of paying $40,760 for a 2WD Ford F-150 XLT Reg Cab, Consumer Reports says you can expect to spend $46,012. That’s a $5,252 or 13-percent markup.
Tom says: The ongoing UAW strike will likely impact inventory, but currently there are about 80,000 brand-new F-150s on dealer lots. While you are probably going to pay way over MSRP for something like a Raptor R, most of the more modest trims have advertised discounts from $3,000 - $6,000.
If you want to get your hydrogen game on, you should be able to buy a Toyota Mirai Limited for $66,000. Consumer Reports found dealers are actually charging $75,762, which works out to a whopping $9,762 or 15 percent over MSRP.
Tom says: The Mirai is a hydrogen-electric model exclusively sold on the West Coast, and there are fewer than 90 units advertised for sale. However, the bulk of these look to have some serious cash on the hood, and while there are a number of dealers who list their cars with a “call for price” ad, it’s hard to imagine any buyer paying over sticker on this super niche car.
Other Cars To Be Wary Of
Tom says: While models like the Maverick and Sportage Hybrid are still in short supply and therefore will command higher premiums, the Consumer Reports data has some serious omissions on certain models. For example, anything Toyota plus hybrid or PHEV is going to be a challenge. Most folks are waiting upwards of nine months or more for a chance to get a Sienna or Highlander Grand Hybrid anywhere near MSRP.
While Honda’s hybrid inventory looks a little better and dealers don’t advertise markups a lot of dealers will sell cars with thousands of dollars worth of added accessories, making the total cost way over the sticker price. Also, the large GM SUVs like the Suburban, Tahoe, Yukon, and Escalade are seeing prices crank up due to the factory shutdowns.
And if you find the prices on the Supra to be a bit high, don’t even bother looking at the Porsche 911 market where even a base car has over a year wait time and an expected price over the MSRP.
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