>Affordable Luxury Cars: The Cheapest Luxury Cars to Buy and Maintain
Affordable Luxury Cars: The Cheapest Luxury Cars to Buy and Maintain
Luxury can come in many different forms, from luxury holidays to luxury fashion, but anything that is genuinely luxurious is usually very expensive to boot. Thankfully, if you know where to look, luxury cars can be surprisingly affordable.
In this article, we’ll talk all about what makes a car luxurious, and what the cheapest ones to buy and maintain are.
What Car Brands Make Luxury Cars?
Unlike fashion, car brands tend to spread their products across many market segments, with only a select handful making luxury cars. However, the brands most commonly seen as luxury brands are generally Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Range Rover and BMW.
One of the oldest car makers in the world, Rolls Royce split their business ventures between building jet engines and arguably the most luxurious cars in the world. They are famed for their exquisite quality, attention to detail and paint finish.
Another British classic, although it has been owned by Volkswagen since 1998, Bentley has focussed on the sports-luxury market in the last 20 years or so, with one of their most popular models being the Continental GT.
One of the big three high-end German manufacturers, Mercedes was one of the first to make a car back in 1886, producing a single-cylinder tricycle of sorts, using wooden wheels and a tiller to steer. Their modern vehicles are much more well-equipped. In fact, they are some of the most premium cars on the market.
Another German Giant, BMW targets the premium-luxury market across the world, with a large market share in their home country as well as the rest of Europe and the US. Whilst still producing executive and luxury cars, BMW is also big in the sports car market, linking to its large motorsport history.
Whilst Audi has been a subsidiary of the Volkswagen group since the late 1960s, Audi cars are generally distinguished from their VW counterparts by higher quality and more stylised design.
Originally created as a vehicle for wealthy land owners and farmers to use instead of the utilitarian Land Rover, in 1969 the Range Rover offered off-road capability but in comfort and luxury, it was an immediate success.
Nowadays it’s still super popular, and one of the most well-known SUV and luxury brands in the world, and it still comes equipped with great off-road ability.
What are the Cheapest Luxury Cars to Buy?
New cars are super expensive, but if you want a new luxury car you can expect to pay even more! Thankfully the secondhand market is full of bargains!
Range Rover 2001 - 2011 - £5,000
Made from 2001 to 2011, the L322 is one of the most iconic shaped Range Rovers, known for being the first to use a monocoque design instead of the old Land Rover-esque body on chassis, it was sublimely comfortable and refined, whilst still being more than capable off-road. These can be bought for as little as £5,000 with less than 100,000 miles on. Make sure to look out for a good service history, as these complex cars can be finicky if not looked after.
BMW 7 Series 2001 - 2008 - £6,500
BMW’s flagship executive saloon has been around for many years now, but as with many premium models, the older generations quickly lose value. The best generation to buy for great value is the E65, made from 2001 to 2008.
As it has not yet become a classic, but sports completely different styling to the newer and current generations, a model in good condition can be had for less than £6,500. We’d suggest the 3.0 Diesel engine, legendary for its reliability and torque.
Mercedes S-Class 2006 - 2013 - £4,400
The S-Class has always been a staple in the high-end luxury/executive saloon market, competing with the BMW 7 series and Audi A8. Along with oodles of tech and ultra-luxurious cabin space, the S-class came equipped with some great engines, from the 3.0-litre economical diesel to the 6.0-litre V12.
For practicality and cost of running, we’d advise either the S320 or S350 versions with economical but powerful Diesel engines. For around £4,400 you can get a 130,000 mile Mercedes S-Class with plenty of kit and options from circa 2007.
What Luxury Cars are the Cheapest to Maintain?
The secondhand market is rarely kind to expensive and luxurious vehicles, mainly due to the high costs associated with keeping them on the road. From high tax bands to even the tyres being two or three times the price of those fitted to a basic hatchback, almost everything costs more.
These three luxury cars have been picked with their cost of running in mind:
Lexus GS450H 2006 - 2010
As luxury cars go, Lexus is pretty high up in the rankings, famous for producing some of the best-made saloon cars in the world, but for some luxury that won't break the bank, the GS450H is perfect.
It uses a 3.5 litre petrol hybrid engine, a system similar to that of the Toyota Prius, and is extremely reliable and effective at producing great economy figures, the GS450H, despite being a full-size luxury saloon with over 350 horsepower, can easily achieve in excess of 45 MPG.
Cars from around 2006/2007 offer the best combination of low miles (under 100,000) and great value.
Honda Legend 2006 - 2011
Another Japanese giant, the Honda Legend is a much less common sight on the roads than others on this list, with its 3.5 litre V6 engine and ample creature comforts, it definitely falls under the category of a luxury car.
Whilst you won't see as impressive MPG figures as the Lexus, as the NA 3.5L engine is not assisted by a hybrid system, you can rely on it being ultra-reliable and well-built, as with all Honda products. This means you shouldn’t end up in the garage too often for repairs.
Volvo S90 2003 - 2011
Volvo is well known for its comfortable cruisers, and the S80 takes passenger comfort to a new level, with plush seats and loads of creature comforts. Double-glazed windows are an option to look for for unrivalled interior quietness too!
We’d suggest the dependable D5 engine, with plenty of torque and reasonable fuel consumption, this 2.4 Diesel is used in all of the Volvo range. £3,000 would net you a tidy Volvo S90 from 2003-2011 with reasonable miles; around 120,000.
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