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Green, Luxury Cars Among Top 10 Used-Car Deals of 2015

1711978326 1433436270297 jpg 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in; | Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

CARS.COM — It’s been a year marked by declining gas prices — the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded is $2.01, according to AAA, which is 54 cents less than it was a year ago — and green cars are bearing the brunt of it; three of the top 10 used cars with the biggest decreases in value this year have alternative-fuel powertrains.

Related: Value of Fuel-Efficient Cars Tank Amid Low Gas Prices

The Toyota Prius Plug-in’s value dropped the most of any used car, falling 25.6 percent ($6,224). The Prius Plug-in is based on the previous-generation Prius hybrid and has a larger battery pack that provides up to 11 miles of all-electric driving range before reverting to regular hybrid operation. The Prius Plug-in didn’t make the top 10 in the middle of this year, but its decline in value accelerated during the second half of 2015.

The all-electric Nissan Leaf was a close second; its average listing price fell 25.2 percent ($4,250). Leaf values, however, have stabilized in recent months; they’re down just 3.5 percent ($464) since the end of June.

Luxury cars saw values slide, too, dropping around 20 percent for the BMW 5 Series, Audi A8, Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, BMW 3 Series and Audi A6. The $18,498 drop in the SL-Class’ average price was nearly as much as we spent for our long-term 2015 Honda Fit. Overall, late-model used-car prices are down 3.1 percent ($717) for the year, settling at $22,192.

img 1391770509 1450214902613 jpg Cars.com chart by Paul Dolan

Editor’s note: The chart shows used cars from the 2012 to 2014 model years with the biggest decreases in seller-set prices from Jan. 1, 2015 to Dec. 1, 2015. To be eligible for the list, a model must have at least 250 cars listed for sale on Cars.com.

Source: Cars.com used-car listings, 2012 to 2014 model years

Photo of Mike Hanley
Mike Hanley has more than 20 years of experience reporting on the auto industry. His primary focus is new vehicles, and he's currently a Senior Road Test Editor overseeing expert car reviews and comparison tests. He previously managed Editorial content in the Cars.com Research section. Email Mike Hanley

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