Luxury cars attract buyers thanks to their high-end finishes, comfortable ride quality, and advanced technology. There’s also the prestige that comes with owning a car with a luxury nameplate. As a result, they come with a heftier price tag than their non-luxury counterparts. But is the extra price worth it? Or should you save money by buying a used luxury car?
We determined the best luxury cars based on reliability to help you decide which premium vehicles are worth the extra cost. Because these vehicles are often leased, we also looked at the average price of 3-year-old luxury vehicles for buyers who want a luxury car without paying the expensive luxury new car prices.
Most Reliable Luxury CarsNot all luxury cars are created equal. To find the best luxury cars, iSeeCars analyzed over 11.8 million used vehicles to determine the cars with the best long-term reliability based on their ability to reach 200,000 miles. Of the longest-lasting cars, these are the 10 most reliable luxury passenger cars.
|Most Reliable Luxury Cars - iSeeCars|
|Rank||Luxury Car||% 200,000 Miles||Average New Car Price||Average 3-Year-Old Used Price|
|2||Lexus ES 350||0.6%||$41,271-$53,071||$24,998-$34,950|
|3||BMW 5 Series||0.5%||$57,389-$85,274||$29,979-$55,905|
|7||Lexus IS 350||0.4%||$41,477-$55,438||$31,894-$40,952|
|8||BMW 3 Series||0.4%||$44,045-$64,634||$19,995-$37,401|
|9||Audi A8 L||0.4%||$86,539-$115,351||$37,540-$52,276|
|Luxury Car Average||0.2%|
1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class (Wagon)
Earning the top spot is the Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon. The E-Class is also available as a sedan, coupe, or convertible, but it’s the wagon body style that’s proven to have the most long-term reliability. As a wagon, the E-Class is among the most spacious in its class, with 35 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, which grows to 64 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down. The wagon also comes with a rear-facing jump seat to increase seating capacity to seven passengers, making it a solid contender as a family vehicle for those who want an SUV alternative.
The E-Class is known for its luxurious interior featuring top-notch materials and its smooth ride quality. It has four powerful engine choices ranging from its 2.0-liter four-cylinder base engine with 255 horsepower to its twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 with 603 horsepower in its top AMG trim.
A new Mercedes-Benz E-Class costs between $73,262 and $131,242, while a 2018 used Mercedes E-Class costs between $45,163 and $95,768.
2. Lexus ES 350
The Lexus ES 350 luxury midsize car ranks second. As Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus has a reputation for being the most reliable brand among luxury automakers. The ES 350 proves its dependability by being three times as likely as other vehicles in its class to reach 200,000 miles. The ES has a spacious and luxurious interior as well as a long list of standard safety features, including forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, road sign detection, and automatic high-beam headlights. It comes with two engine options: a four-cylinder that offers all-wheel drive (AWD) and a front-wheel drive V6. A new Lexus ES 350 costs between $41,271 and $53,071 and a used Lexus ES 350 costs between $24,998 and $34,950.
3. BMW 5 Series
Another midsize car earns the third spot: the BMW 5 Series. The 5-Series is among the best cars in its class thanks to its powerful engine, impressive fuel economy, and near-ideal balance of smooth ride and confident handling. It also comes loaded with standard safety and entertainment features, including a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Engine choices start with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 248 horsepower and continue with five additional powertrain options. The most powerful is a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine with 617 horsepower. A new BMW 5 Series costs between $57,389 to $85,274, and a three-year-old used BMW 5 Series costs between $29,979 and $55,905.
4. Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Ranked fourth is the sedan version of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. It comes with the same features and engine options as the first-ranked wagon, it just doesn’t have as much cargo room and only seats five. A new Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan costs between $76,184 and $92,087, while a three-year-old used Mercedes E-Class costs between $47,475 and $64,990.
5. Volvo S60
The compact Volvo S60 earns the fifth spot. It has a sophisticated cabin with soft-touch materials and comfortable seats. It comes with a suite of standard safety features typical of the Volvo brand, including road departure mitigation, lane keep assist, and traffic sign recognition to name a few. It comes standard with a 250-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and two additional engines are available, including a 316-horsepower supercharged four-cylinder and a 400-horsepower plug-in hybrid variant. The plug-in-hybrid version gets 69 MPG-equivalent when using only electric power and 30 combined mpg when using electric and gasoline (hybrid) power. A new Volvo S60 costs between $35,966 and $51,605, while a three-year-old used Volvo S60 costs between $47,475 and $64,990.
6. Mercedes-Benz S-Class
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class super luxury car ranks sixth. It is one of the most opulent sedans on the market, as reflected by its six-figure starting price. The S-Class has luxurious features, including 16-way power-adjustable front seats with an available message feature, a two-foot long high-tech dashboard with a side-by-side digital instrument gauge and infotainment screen, along with park assist technology. The comfortable seating extends to the second row, which has features including footrests, message features, folding tables, and powered sunshades. It’s driving dynamics are equally impressive thanks to a comfortable ride quality and powerful engine choices. The S-Class’ base engine is a 362-horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6, and its most powerful engine is a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 with 603 horsepower. A new Mercedes-Benz S-Class costs between $103,563 and $175,011, while a three-year-old used Mercedes Benz S-Class costs between $55,989 and $115,974.
7. Lexus IS 350
The Lexus IS 350, which is the performance variant of the Lexus IS 300 small luxury sedan, ranks seventh. With refreshed styling for 2021, the Lexus IS 350 features a powerful 311-horsepower V6 engine and a suite of active safety features. It has a comfortable interior with high-end finishes and provides a smooth and comfortable ride. All-wheel drive is also available. A new Lexus IS 350 costs between $41,477 and $55,438, while a three-year-old used Lexus IS 350 costs between $31,894 and $40,952.
8. BMW 3 Series
The eighth-ranked BMW 3-Series is among the top-performing cars in its luxury small car class, and its sporty handling and comfortable seating make it a popular choice for those entering the luxury car market. The sports sedan also comes with three powertrain options, including the standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a turbocharged six-cylinder, and a plug-in hybrid that combines a turbo 2.0-liter engine and an electric motor. A new BMW 3 Series costs between $44,045 and $64,634, while a three-year-old BMW 3 Series for sale costs between $19,995 and $37,401.
9. Audi A8
The Audi A8 premium luxury car ranks ninth. It features a high-end cabin with materials that include real wood and soft leather. The A8 comes with a long list of standard features, including 22-way power-adjustable and ventilated front seats and wireless device charging capability. It features a base V6 engine, though two twin-turbocharged V8 options are available. A new Audi A8 costs between $86,539 and $115,351 and a three-year-old used Audi A8 costs between $37,540 and $52,276.
10. Audi A6
The midsize Audi A6 rounds out the list in the tenth position. It offers a comfortable ride and sophisticated interior with high-end materials. Like its Audi siblings, it comes with powerful engine choices including a 2.0-liter supercharged four-cylinder, a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6, a 2.9-liter twin turbocharged V6, and a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 in its high-performance RS trim. A new Audi A6 costs between $55,938 and $73,060, while a three-year-old used Audi A6 costs between $24,987 and $39,242.
Tesla Model SThe Tesla Model S has not been around long enough to display long-term reliability, but it deserves recognition based on its performance. While it may not have the high-end cabin of its luxury counterparts, it makes up for it with its rapid acceleration and advanced tech. Used models were once scarce, but you can now commonly find a deal on a three-year-old used Tesla Model S for $50,041 to $58,770.
Cadillac CTSCadillac CTS midsize sedan is the second honorable mention. It’s known for its comfortable-yet-sporty ride quality, spacious front and rear seats, powerful engine options and standard equipment like its CUE infotainment system, an 8-inch touch screen, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and a Teen Driver safety setting. Like the other American luxury cars on the list, it was discontinued after the 2019 model year. A 3-year-old used Cadillac CTS can be found for $24,388 to $29,161.
Used Luxury Cars for SaleLuxury cars have many selling points, but they are not known as cars that hold their value. As such, they depreciate about as quickly as they accelerate. We outlined the used car price of three-year-old versions of these vehicles, but even older models, from five-years-old to ten-years-old, can present bigger bargains.
Best Used Luxury Cars Under $15,000
|Used Luxury Cars Under $15,000|
|Luxury Car||Average Used Car Price|
|2014 Volvo S60||$12,574|
|2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class||$13,645|
|2012 BMW 3 Series||$12,223|
Best Used Luxury Cars Under $20,000
|Used Luxury Cars Under $20,000|
|Luxury Car||Average Used Car Price|
|2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class||$15,576|
|2012 Audi S8||$16,390|
|2014 Lexus ES 350||$18,419|
|2016 BMW 5 Series||$17,852|
|2014 Audi A6||$17,647|
Bottom LineIf you enjoy the finer things in life, you may be willing to pay the extra price for the comforts and performance of a new model luxury vehicle. Or, you can consider a more budget-friendly used luxury car that can provide nearly all the features and comfort at a fraction of the price. You can even get a CPO version that comes with a manufacturer-backed warranty to ease the burden of the often costly luxury car repairs. Whichever you choose, a luxury vehicle with a solid reliability rating will allow you to get the most value out of your used car purchase.
If you’re interested in a new or used luxury car, be sure to check out iSeeCars’ award-winning car search engine. It uses advanced algorithms to help shoppers find the best new and used car pricing and provides key insights and valuable resources, like the iSeeCars free VIN check report. Filter by make, model, and special features to find your next luxury vehicle.