Even though cars are often owned for years, a quick change in gas prices tends to have an immediate impact on vehicle demand, especially when it comes to fuel-efficient cars.
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Nationally, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas was $2.38 on Sept. 9, according to AAA, which is $1.05 less than it was a year ago and 21 cents less than a month ago. Of the top 10 used cars with the biggest price drops in August, all but one were small, fuel-efficient or hybrid cars. Three of the top five models with the biggest price drops were hybrids.
At the same time, prices for larger used vehicles such as vans, SUVs and pickup trucks strengthened in August. The Chevrolet Express 1500 full-size van and Honda Pilot and Nissan Armada SUVs saw price gains of 3.1, 0.7 and 0.6 percent, respectively. Only one car — the Mercedes-Benz E-Class — had a price increase that was large enough to make the top 10 list.
After falling for four straight months, overall late-model used-car prices were up slightly in August, increasing 0.11 percent ($24) to an average of $22,531.
Editor’s note: The charts detail used cars from the 2012 to 2014 model years with the biggest price drops and increases. To be eligible for the lists, a model must have at least 250 cars in Cars.com’s national search listings.