Writing in the latest edition of Black Book, Senior Editor Tony Styles identifies Subaru Impreza and Ford Galaxy as examples where outgoing models' residual values outperformed the new. He said: "The new Subaru Impreza Turbo's unusual appearance was cited as a primary reason for buyers initially not taking to it in the same way as its predecessor. Even today there are fleet disposal managers continuing to see sizeable premiums for the old model.
“Taking a 2001 car, from when the models first co-existed in the used market, a Turbo 2000 01X at 30,000 miles has a CAP clean value of £11,750. A 2.0 WRX, at the same age and mileage, is valued at £11,000.
“A similar situation arose in 2000, when Ford Galaxy and Seat Alhambra run-out models were valued higher than their successors. In these cases the old model premiums now stand at £175 and £475 respectively.
“Often we will see an older car bounce back from well behind as the new example whips up fresh public interest in the model overall. If the old model falls away sufficiently, the price gap can become large enough to tempt buyers back to the predecessor and this extra demand then pushes values up for a time.
“Outgoing models are often also helped by higher levels of spec, which may be included to stimulate demand when the car is on run-out. The message for the used car professional, therefore, is that what at first seems common sense does not always stand up in the face of hard evidence.”