Autotrader's 'Toughest Twenty' Consistently Selling Over Sticker Price

Autotrader’s ‘Toughest Twenty’ Selling Over Sticker Price

Nationwide vehicle shortage impacts new-car transaction prices on many popular models.

Heading into the historically-hot-car-shopping Labor Day Weekend, buyers may be surprised to find themselves paying over sticker price for some of the most popular vehicles right now, according to a recent report from Autotrader. The laws of supply and demand are clearly at play in the current car-shopping environment, as the global microchip shortage and resulting automaker production delays continue to affect dealer inventories. Several popular, hard-to-find models currently have even harder to find deals, and buyers are paying well over MSRP as a result. After examining the latest data, Autotrader recently named the Toughest Twenty: 20 new vehicles consistently selling above full retail price.

“Many car shoppers are in for a surprise right now – if they can find the model they are looking for at the dealership, they may have to pay more for it than expected,” said Brian Moody, executive editor for Autotrader. “In these unusual times, Autotrader’s consistent advice for deal-hunting car shoppers is to look for a sedan, hatchback or wagon. On the flip side, SUVs, trucks and even minivans are very popular right now, and they are in low supply. Chances are high that shoppers will have to pay more for the exact vehicle they want.”

While some vehicles on Autotrader’s Toughest Twenty list hail from luxury automakers for which buyers may expect to pay a premium, most of the vehicles are from mainstream/non-luxury manufacturers. Retail prices on these vehicles can range from under $15,000 to well over $100,000, so the possibility of paying above sticker price is an equal opportunity regardless of budget or spending power. 

Autotrader’s Toughest Twenty:  20 New Vehicles Consistently Selling Above Full Retail Price

RankVehicleVehicle CategoryAverage Transaction Price
1Mercedes-Benz G-ClassLuxury SUV118% of MSRP
2Kia TellurideMidsize SUV108% of MSRP
3Kia CarnivalMinivan107% of MSRP
4Hyundai PalisadeMidsize SUV105% of MSRP
5Honda RidgelineMidsize Truck105% of MSRP
6Land Rover DefenderLuxury SUV105% of MSRP
7Honda CR-VCompact SUV105% of MSRP
8Cadillac EscaladeLuxury SUV104% of MSRP
9Nissan VersaSubcompact Car103% of MSRP
10Honda OdysseyMinivan103% of MSRP
11Land Rover Range Rover SportLuxury SUV103% of MSRP
12Nissan KicksSubcompact SUV103% of MSRP
13Subaru WRXCompact Car102% of MSRP
14Ford BroncoMidsize SUV102% of MSRP
15Chevrolet CorvetteSports Car102% of MSRP
16Toyota TacomaMidsize Truck102% of MSRP
17Toyota TundraFull-Size Truck101% of MSRP
18Jeep WranglerMidsize SUV101% of MSRP
19GMC Yukon XLFull-Size SUV101% of MSRP
20Chevrolet Bolt EUVElectric Crossover100.5% of MSRP

To create the list of the Toughest Twenty, Autotrader examined Average Transaction Prices (ATP) to measure the pricing increases. ATP is a measure of the selling price in a deal versus the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). The vehicles listed also have very low incentives, which usually is a sign that the vehicle is in high demand. In addition, nearly every vehicle listed has a low “days supply” – essentially, the number of days an average dealership could keep selling a given model without running out, assuming no new shipments are coming. Most vehicles on the list have less than a 30 days supply, except the Nissan Versa, Nissan Kicks, Ford Bronco, Jeep Wrangler and Chevrolet Bolt.  

For more information and advice from Autotrader on vehicle supply and related pricing, visit

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