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Deal Alert: Prices Drop On Used Compact Crossovers Like CR-V, RAV4

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2012 Honda CR-V

2012 Honda CR-V

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Compact crossover vehicles such as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, and Subaru Forester have, increasingly, been drafted into primary family-vehicle duty, replacing mid-size sedans in many households.

And if you’re in the market for one of these in late-model used form, the next month or two will be a great time to grab a good deal.

The reason? According to Black Book, supply has caught up with demand in the used lot, as more people trade in their late-model compact crossovers for new ones—especially as the latest, completely redesigned versions of the Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, and Subaru Forester have hit the market just in the past year.

Industry-wide, sales of small crossover models rose by 36 percent year over year—more than double the 17-percent jump for the industry as a whole, according to an Automotive News assessment of August sales. They accounted for one of every four new vehicles sold last month.

August sales of new Toyota RAV4 models were up 50 percent versus year-ago levels, while the CR-V had its strongest sales month ever. And that's leading to a lot of trade-ins.

In following, that flood of trade-ins is already leading to a price adjustment. Compact crossover vehicles in model years 2008-2012 dropped 2.4 percent of their value during August. Among the 24 segments that Black Book tracks, that's the highest depreciation in the past month.

Factor in the greater depreciation of used cars every September, as the newest model year hits the new-car lot, and it’s likely that prices will trend further downward this fall.

2012 Toyota RAV4

2012 Toyota RAV4

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