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

12toyota_prius_plug-in_es.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.

End_of_year_deals_FINAL.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

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