A lot of people want to buy a used luxury car, but 6 months after purchasing, those luxury cars don’t seem so cheap once things inevitably need replacing.
Those of us who are wise simply choose to avoid the headache that comes with most cheap luxury cars. After all, there are many reasons why these vehicles are listed for cheap to begin with. They come with a lot of expensive problems and they depreciate fast.
Luckily for us luxury car enthusiasts, there are some used luxury cars that are not only affordable to buy, but also cheap to own and maintain.
1. Lexus LS
For a long time, the Lexus LS has been the brands flagship luxury sedan. The LS dates back to the brands initial debut in the 1990s. You’ll often find the Lexus LS on lists of luxury bargains because it’s such a good luxury car to own as it’s cheap to maintain.
You can’t go wrong with choosing any generation of the Lexus LS since even the early models tend to be both luxurious and reliable.
If you’re looking for the cheapest Lexus LS option, then the second-gen or third-gen Lexus LS are your best bets. However, because these generations are getting up there in age, finding good condition and low mileage second or third-gen Lexus LS are becoming harder to find.
You'll often find the most pristine examples of the Lexus LS second and third-generation on websites such as Bring A Trailer, here's what they're going for:
Since the second and third-gen are becoming somewhat dated, what you should really be looking for is a fourth-gen Lexus LS. They’re going to offer more modern features, updated styling and that continued reliability.
The fourth-gen Lexus LS had a production run from 2007-2017, so it should not be an issue finding one in good condition. As a matter of fact, you can pick one of these up for a bargain price of $25k. Here's one I found on Cars.com:
Although $25k is not cheap, what you’re getting is a flagship sedan with a V8 and luxury features—all for the price of a new Toyota Corolla.
2. Lexus LX
If you’re more of an SUV person, then the alternative to the Lexus LS on this list is the Lexus LX.
The Lexus LX was initially released in 1995 and although that one is luxurious and affordable, the one you’re going to want to go after is the second-gen, otherwise known as the LX470.
This LX model was in production from 1998-2007 and there are an abundance of clean examples still available today.
Unfortunately, the overlanding bug has hit the LX470 hard, meaning that it is becoming very desirable and causing prices to slowly creep up for very nice examples.
With that being said, $25k-$30k still gets you a near-pristine example.
3. Hyundai Equus
The Hyundai Equus was Hyundai’s first foray into the luxury car market prior to branching off their luxury segment with the Genesis brand.
The Equus has been a nameplate in Hyundai’s lineup dating back to 1999, however, The US only received the second-gen version that debuted in 2009.
If you’re familiar with the Genesis model lineup today, the Equus is most comparable to the Genesis G90, which is their full-size luxury sedan.
It's also the most comparable to the Lexus LS earlier on in this list.
Unfortunately, the Hyundai nameplate is what holds this one back, but if you’re in the market for a luxury sedan that is cheap to maintain and purchase, then you shouldn’t overlook the Hyundai Equus.
4. Volkswagen Touareg
The Volkswagen Touareg is another luxurious and surprisingly cheap-to-maintain SUV on this list.
However, when you’re looking for one of these, whatever you do—Do not get a first-generation Touareg. Those were known to be an unreliable mess, partly due to the V10 engine and new technology that VW was rolling out on this new model.
The second-gen Touareg is the one you’re going to want to go after. It received a smaller engine that still packed a good punch all while maintaining it’s luxurious interior (for the time).
It had a small production run, so finding one of these is going to be a lot harder than the others on the list. But when you do find one, you won’t be disappointed for what it delivers in the price range.
It has since been replaced by the VW Atlas, which is another good vehicle to add to this list, however, being that it was recently released, prices have not gone down as much as the Touareg.
5. Mercedes-Benz G-Class
Characterized by its boxy styling and body-on-frame construction, the G-Class (or G-Wagon) was never meant for luxury, but instead for military off-road use. Nowadays, the G-Wagon is known as the pinnacle for SUV luxury.
So, you may be asking yourself, “why is it on this list”?
Well, early 2000’s G-Class with the M113 V8 engine are one of the most reliable cars on the road today (engine-wise). If something engine-related ever happens, parts are easy to find and relatively cheap since Mercedes-Benz used this engine on a lot of vehicles of this era.
While these early G-Class models do carry some minor gremlins that may be somewhat costly to repair (when compared to a simple oil service), they’re not going to break the bank.
It also has that timeless design, making the early 2000’s models hard to distinguish from a late 2020 model—meaning that people will think you’re ballin’ (even though you're on a budget).
6. Toyota Century
Now if none of these vehicles appealed to you, then you might be on the market for a REALLY out-of-the-box car—and that’s where the Toyota Century comes in.
Meant for the political elite of Japan, this car was designed to be a chauffeur-driven vehicle and you can bet that it’s ultra-luxurious.
While it’s only produced in Japan, you’re now able to import these into the US and can actually buy one of these for yourself off of sites like Bring A Trailer and Cars and Bids.
Unfortunately, the newest Toyota Century you can legally own in the US is a 1997, but as the years pass, you can be on the lookout for some of the newer models that are being imported.
The Toyota Century comes with a V12, large amount of leg room, but best of all—Toyota reliability.
To add on to it’s greatness, they’re also relatively cheap to buy.
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