Over the past two years, the median household income in the United States has nudged upward from $67,500 to $75,500 as of March 2022. Meanwhile, new cars have risen from an average transaction price of $37,000 in early 2020 to $46,000 today, a 24% increase. The cost of transportation in our very car-dependent country has climbed above what’s possible for most driver’s budgets. Now, more than ever, price matters. These are the most marked up cars in 2022.
Consumer Reports recently released eye-opening data on the price disparities between automakers as dealer markups amplify the madness of the auto industry in 2022. Kia is overwhelmingly the winner of the award for most ridiculous new car pricing in 2022.
The 2022 Kia Soul is a subcompact SUV that car buyers are eager to get their hands on. In fact, demand is so high that Kia dealers keep pushing the limits of Kia Soul pricing ever higher. In 2022, Consumer Reports finds that the average price for a Kia Soul in the US is 21% over MSRP.
When we take a look at YAA Car Search, we see that there are just over 1,000 new Kia Souls for sale in America right now. The Soul is in short supply. Shockingly, some go for nearly $40,000! Sure enough, YAA Car Dealer Reviews shows that buyers are having a hard time finding a good deal on the Soul in 2022.
Kia’s hot-selling mid-size SUV is also listed for 21% over MSRP on average. Kia has been able to keep a higher supply of Sorentos on dealer lots, with nearly 3,000 available nationwide. I just about dropped my coffee when I saw that Kia Sorento plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) are listed for over $60,000 in some parts of the country. See the Sorento listings near you here.
The third Kia model with a 21% average markup in 2022 is the Forte budget sedan. The consensus among reviewers of the Forte is that it’s simply an ‘okay’ car. Is it worth $34,000? Some dealers seem to think so.
With a 19% average markup, this typically affordable compact SUV is no longer cheap. The Sportage has a starting MSRP of $24,090, but it’s very hard to find one under $35,000, and some approach $50,000. Would you pay that much for a Kia compact SUV?
The Niro is popular, having sold well over 20,000 units annually in the U.S. before the chip shortage slashed production. Does its popularity justify the 19% average markup on the Niro? The electric version of the Niro has seen the most ludicrous price increases. Although the MSRP for a 2022 Niro EV EX Premium is $44,650, dealer prices reach up to $52,000 before taxes and fees.
It’s not just new car prices that are out of control. At YAA, we’ve been tracking used car price trends, and it’s hardly any better at the auction house. Seasonal price trends have gone out the window, and supply chain disruptions continue to put a damper on any semblance of normalcy. We’ve seen new car inventory plummet and struggle to climb back at all.
What will it take for the car price bubble to burst? Supply will have to catch up to demand. Until that happens, dealers (and automakers) have the upperhand when it comes to pricing. Be sure to join the YAA Community to stay up to date with the very latest car price and inventory news.