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.
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Buying a car is tricky in today’s market, and even leasing can feel like three-dimensional chess these days. Although 2022 isn’t the best time in history to buy or lease a car, some shoppers don’t have a choice. It doesn’t help that the average new car payment is a bank-draining $650 a month in 2022. Fortunately, leasing provides a window of opportunity for those who don’t mind what is essentially a long-term rental. These are the best car lease deals in 2022. All examples assume a 5% down payment at signing.
The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the Mitsubishi Outlander sells for an average MSRP of $40,356 depending on the trim. If leasing is an option, you can get into this versatile SUV for $412 per month with an allowance of 12,000 miles a year. How does a plug-in hybrid work? The Outlander can drive 24 miles on pure electricity (which is much cheaper than gas), and then can drive another 300 miles as a regular hybrid system with the help of a combustion engine. It’s kind of the best of both worlds, especially for a lease.
2022 Hyundai Kona EV
The Kona EV made our YAA list of the five best electric cars you can get for under $50,000. The Hyundai Kona EV has an average MSRP of about $40,000, and you can lease one for just $401 a month. The Kona is a great alternative for those considering the Chevy Bolt. Plus, it comes with Hyundai’s unbeatable 10 year, 100,000 mile battery and electric powertrain warranty. This front-wheel drive subcompact crossover gets 258 miles on the charge, exceptional range for a budget EV. Some owners get over 275 miles on a single charge.
2022 Toyota Tundra 4WD
If you can find one that’s not marked up, the 2022 Toyota Tundra 4WD is $51,400 at MSRP. If you’re open to leasing, you can sign up for $525 a month for 36 months and 36,000 miles. That’s $125 less per month than today’s average monthly finance payment. The downside? The Tacoma gets 14 miles per gallon when gas prices are well over $4 per gallon.
2022 Toyota Tacoma
Last year, the Toyota Tacoma won Best Buy of the Year award from Kelly Blue Book in the mid-size truck category, and now you can lease a 2022 model for under $400 a month. If you buy, the 2022 Tacoma has an average MSRP of $36,300. If you lease, monthly payments are as low as $361.
2021 Honda Civic Type R
With an MSRP of $41,900, it’s a pleasant surprise that you can get into a Civic Type R lease for just $410 a month. Over 300 horsepower propels this budget racer to 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds. The challenge is finding one on a dealer lot.
2021 Chevrolet Bolt
Pre-facelift, the 2021 Chevy Bolt was the least ‘sexy’ electric vehicle on the market. It may look bland, have slow charging, and be subject to one of the most scrutinized recalls in recent memory, but you can lease one for cheap. The 2021 Chevrolet Bolt sells for $38,567 (average MSRP across trim levels), but you can lease one for $367.63 a month. Just make sure that you have proof from the dealer that your Bolt has already had the recall fix. Learn more about the Chevy Bolt recall and vehicle specs here.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt
The 2022 model year gets a refreshed, modernized front fascia and improved interior. Sadly, driving range figures for the 2022 year remain the same. At least it doesn’t look like a cheap appliance anymore. Here’s the great news: the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt has a lower MSRP than the 2021 model. GM electric vehicles no longer qualify for the federal EV tax credit, so GM must have felt compelled to keep pricing competitive. Whether you go for a 2021 or 2022 Bolt, ensure that the car has had all of the mandatory fire-related recall fixes completed.
The Bolt EUV is the slightly larger new sibling to the regular Chevy Bolt EV. The EUV sells for $36,245, but you can lease one for just $341 per month. Range is 247 miles, but charging isn’t that great. Learn more about the Bolt here.
2022 Kia Niro EV
The 2022 Kia Niro EV has an average MSRP of $43,500, but it can be all yours (for 36 months) for just $395 with a lease. There’s generous lease support for the Niro for a few reasons. The Kia Niro is about to receive a major upgrade in 2022, and it’s being overshadowed by the new Kia EV6 electric crossover. The Niro can make it 239 miles on a charge, and charging from 0-80% takes about one hour at a DC fast charger. However, if you plug it in at home, it should work just fine for those who drive less than 50 miles a day.
2021 BMW i3
Why is the 2021 BMW i3 such a phenomenal deal in 2022? It was recently discontinued, but it’s still a great option if you’re looking for an affordable, low-emissions way to get around town. Keep in mind that it’s no Tesla. The i3 gets 200 miles of range, 153 of which are on pure electricity. Not to be confused with the new BMW iX3, the 2021 i3 has an optional range extender (on the BMW i3 REX version). All trims considered, the 2021 BMW i3 has an average MSRP of $48,970 while supplies last.
If you’re looking for an all or mostly-electric bargain lease, you can lease the 2021 BMW i3 for $425/month. That’s well under the budget-friendly 10% threshold for a smart lease.
Have questions or comments about the best car lease deals in 2022? Or maybe you’d simply love to connect with fellow car buyers and auto enthusiasts? Check out the YAA Community at joinyaa.com!
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