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Buyer's remorse: Which new cars do owners regret purchasing?

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Posted at 11:14 AM, May 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-21 11:14:33-04

Most people have experienced buyer's remorse — that feeling of regret that sets in after spending money on something. That disappointment can especially sting after signing to buy a $30,000 car.

Roughly one in 40 cars purchased new are sold as used just one year later, according to sales data from iSeeCars.com, a leading automotive research website. But for some models, that number increases significantly.

A recent study conducted by iSeeCars of over 5 million vehicles from model year 2014 found the models that apparently created the most buyer's remorse in drivers. The study examined new cars purchased between September 2013 and March 2014, then checked back after a year to see how many were sold as used with between 10,000 and 15,000 miles on the odometer.

According to its research, the firm found seven 2014 models that had a "significantly larger percentage of new cars sold as used after one year when compared with the average of 2.7 percent." The offending cars were sold at a clip of 7 to 11 percent after just a year.

Listed below are the seven most regretted new car purchases of 2014, according to iSeeCars.com:

  1. Buick Regal
  2. Chevrolet Sonic
  3. BMW X1
  4. Dodge Charger
  5. Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  6. Chevrolet Cruze
  7. Nissan Frontier

 

Four of the models came from American automakers, including three from General Motors. A pair of the regretted purchases were from German luxury brands and one model was from Japan.

The perceived disappointment with buyers of these models was likely due to issues "that may not be apparent in the test drive," said Phong Ly, CEO of iSeeCars.com. Ly cited complaints about cut-rate interior quality and uncomfortable seats as common reasons for buyer's remorse associated with the Buick Regal, Nissan Frontier and both Chevrolet models on the list.

Ly pointed out that the two luxury vehicles on the list were not top-of-the-line models from the automakers behind them. "A new owner that has purchased a more entry-level model from a luxury automaker, such as the BMW X1 or the Mercedes C-Class, is going to find a difference between that car and the top-of-the-line model from that brand," Ly said.

Clint Davis is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.