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Best German Cars for 2023

The best used and new German cars, trucks, SUVs and more based on a data-driven analysis of each vehicle's reliability, resale value and safety.

Germany is the undisputed leader in the European auto industry, with the country responsible for some of the most iconic models in automotive history. These include the luxurious Mercedes-Benz SL roadster, the high-performance Porsche 911 Carrera, and the fuel-efficient Volkswagen Beetle.

Germany’s early success in, and strong support of, the automotive industry has contributed to its global dominance. For instance, Mercedes-Benz is generally credited with developing the first version of the modern, gas-powered automobile when it built its three-wheeled, single-cylinder engine car in 1886, dubbed the “Benz Patent-Motorwagen”.

Other German automotive firsts include the high-speed autobahn, which preceded the U.S. interstate highway system, and aerodynamic styling, as seen in the early Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing. In later years, the German car brand Audi pioneered advanced all-wheel-drive systems for their Audi Quattro models, which also featured a powerful turbocharged engine and proved highly successful in motorsports competition.

Germany’s advanced powertrain development efforts, high-speed autobahns, and dedicated vehicle test sites like the Hockenheimring and Nurburgring, contributed to the nation’s success in building world-beating performance cars. But those factors aren’t why it dominates Europe’s auto industry today.

German car manufacturers are known for their consistent high quality, durability, practicality, and engaging driving experience. BMW’s balance of comfort and performance has earned it the tagline “the ultimate driving machine” while Mercedes-Benz’ high-performance division, Mercedes-AMG, offers a range of new cars that successfully blend luxury and performance. Porsche’s sports car DNA has expanded beyond its iconic 911 Turbo and can now be experienced in the mid-engine Cayman, the family-friendly Cayenne and Macan SUVs, or even the all-electric, Tesla-rivaling Taycan. Constant innovation paired with engineering excellence have been the foundations of Germany’s success.

Below you will find the best German cars, ranging from top-speed-oriented supercars like the Audi R8 to practical family cars like the Volkswagen Atlas. These cars are ranked by their iSeeCars quality score across a number of categories, with pricing, fuel efficiency, and horsepower figures included for each model.

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How We Rank These Cars

iSeeCars Best German Cars 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 German Cars. (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).

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