Best Used Luxury Cars for 2023
These are the best used luxury cars by price and budget based on a data-driven analysis of each vehicle's reliability, resale value and safety.
Luxury sedans are among the most expensive new cars on the market. However, luxury sedans also drop in value faster than most vehicles, making them a strong value in the used market. Buyers seeking the premium badges, high-end interior materials, advanced safety features, and high-tech infotainment systems found on luxury vehicles, but at a substantially reduced cost, should strongly consider a used luxury sedan, sports sedan or premium coupe.
Familiar German brands like Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche have established reputations for engineering excellence and engaging driving experiences. These traits are particularly evident in performance models from BMW’s M division, Mercedes’ AMG line, and Porsche’s sports cars. But used car shoppers should know that while these high horsepower models can be extremely fun to drive, they are more expensive to buy and service, and they will return relatively poor fuel economy.
Shoppers seeking low-cost, reliable used luxury cars should consider models from Japanese automakers like Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti, These are the premium divisions of Honda, Toyota, and Nissan, and as such they benefit from the same focus on build quality and reliable components seen in their associated high-volume, lower-cost brands. Genesis is another premium Asian automaker, though it comes from Korea instead of Japan and is the luxury division of the Hyundai/Kia motor group. Genesis has a short history in the automotive industry, relative to the Japanese automakers, but all indications suggest these vehicles will offer similarly high reliability and mpg ratings. And like its Hyundai and Kia counterparts, the Genesis brand offers one of the longest warranties in the luxury car market.
Additional premium brand options include Jaguar from England, Volvo from Sweden, and American nameplates Cadillac and Lincoln. None of these brands have the reputation for driving enjoyment offered by used BMWs, nor the quality and reliability reputation that comes with a used Lexus. However, within the luxury car market these American and European (non-German) models are often the lowest-cost option, allowing buyers to purchase more recent model year vehicles with more equipment and lower mileage for the same or less money.
With regard to equipment, all of these models will include more standard features than a comparably-sized mainstream vehicle. Items like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, smart cruise control and various driver assist features will be more commonly found on used luxury cars, even older models when these advanced technologies were just starting to appear on mainstream brands. Advanced features like adaptive suspensions and larger touchscreen displays will also be more common.
Speaking of mainstream, the best-selling, and thus most common, used luxury cars come from either the compact or midsize sedan category. In the compact category you’ll find the Acura ILX, Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Lexus IS, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Midsize models include the Acura TLX, Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Lexus GS, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Both categories feature cars with four-cylinder turbocharged or V6 engines, along with standard or optional all-wheel-drive (AWD) powertrains, resulting in strong acceleration and improved confidence in foul-weather driving conditions.
Identifying the best luxury cars within a given price range is easy using the price-based categories listed below. Within each category, used luxury cars are ranked by their iSeeCars quality score, which is made up of a safety, value, and reliability rating combined into a single number.
How We Rank These Cars
iSeeCars Best Used Car Rankings are calculated based on the latest research by our data science team and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
We analyze data from over 12 million new and used vehicles in our Longest-Lasting Cars and 5-Year Depreciation Studies, combined with the NHTSA's Safety Ratings to give you an unbiased guide to the best vehicles in each segment.
After being evaluated, vehicles with the highest average scores earn a spot in the iSeeCars Best Car Rankings. (No final score is given to vehicles missing a score in any of the categories, but scores for other categories are still shown.)
Vehicles are scored in three categories:
Reliability | 33.3%
The reliability score represents an analysis of iSeeCars' proprietary research on the longest-lasting vehicles.
Value Retention | 33.3%
The value retention score is based on our data science team's statistical analysis and prediction of 5-year depreciation from MSRP to determine which cars hold their value best, using US Bureau of Labor Statistics data to adjust for inflation.
Safety | 33.3%
The safety score is calculated based on the last five years of crash test ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and incorporates the latest Top Safety Pick information from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).