Every gearhead dreams of owning a luxury car at least once in their lifetime. Top luxury cars like the Rolls-Royce Phantom have eye-catching designs, ultra-luxurious interiors filled with the finest materials, and some of the most advanced technologies, which is why they typically don’t come cheap.
While luxury cars are undeniably awesome, there’s one big problem about them that many gearheads ignore — depreciation. Luxury cars have higher depreciation rates than other types of cars due to their high retail prices, costly maintenance, and the fact that their target markets typically prefer to buy the latest and greatest models. While this is bad news for gearheads buying new luxury cars, it’s great news for those shopping in the used cars market, as the bargains can be incredible. Let’s explore ten superb luxury cars that have depreciated so much that most gearheads can now afford them.
10 Volkswagen Phaeton – $12,000
In the early 2000s, Volkswagen thought it was a good idea to build a luxury sedan that could compete with anything built by its German rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz. After a few years of development, Volkswagen introduced the Phaeton. The Phaeton wasn’t as good-looking as its competitors, but it had tons of premium features and a massive W12 engine shared with the Bentley Continental GT.
Unfortunately, the Phaeton cost almost $100,000, which is a lot more than most gearheads were willing to spend on a Volkswagen. The Phaeton now costs around $12,000, making it one of the cheapest 12-cylinder cars you can buy today.
9 2005 Bentley Continental GT – $25,000
The Continental GT is one of the most important Bentleys ever made, as it was the first model the British marque built under Volkswagen’s ownership. The Bentley Continental GT’s imposing design, top-class interior, and massive twin-turbo W12 engine made it a huge hit, which is why it’s still in production to date.
The latest Continental GT costs more than $200,000, but if you don’t have that kind of money, you can find a good first-generation model for as low as $25,000.
8 Ferrari Mondial – $20,000
Ferrari is arguably the greatest sports car manufacturer, having built some of the most iconic Italian sports cars. However, even a great automaker like Ferrari has had its fair share of misses, one of which is the Mondial.
The Mondial is arguably the worst Ferrari ever made. The Mondial’s design wasn’t as appealing as anyone would have expected from the brand, and to make matters worse, it was quite slow. The Mondial is now worth around $20,000, making it one of the cheapest Ferraris you can buy.
7 2003–2012 Maserati Quattroporte – $20,000
The Quattroporte is one of Maserati’s most successful models, having been in production since 1963 to date. The fifth-generation Quattroporte debuted in the early 2000s with many improvements, particularly in the design department.
The 2003 Quattroporte also came with a new Ferrari-built V8, giving it superb performance. However, like many other cars built by Maserati, the Quattroporte is known to have many reliability issues. The worst part is that, since it uses a Ferrari engine, spare parts are expensive and hard to find.
6 2012 Range Rover HSE – $30,000
When asked to name the best luxury SUVs, most gearheads will include the Range Rover in their top three picks. That’s not by accident, as the Range Rover is credited for creating the luxury SUV space. Everyone loves the Range Rover’s combination of practicality, design, luxury, and off-road capability.
The only reason why many gearheads are reluctant to spend on the latest Range Rover is depreciation rates. High costs of repairs and maintenance are the main reason why the Range Rover loses value so quickly. Owners can expect issues with the wiring, air suspension system, among other key components.
5 2001 – 2008 BMW 7-Series – $15,000
The 7-Series is BMW’s flagship full-size luxury sedan, built to compete against the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The third-generation 7-Series debuted in 2001 with many changes — a new controversial design, diverse engine options that included a V12, and BMW’s then-new iDrive system.
Like many old BMW models, the third-generation 7-Series has developed a reputation for unreliability, which is why you can buy one for just $15,000. Buyers can also expect issues with the iDrive system, as it was still a new technology in the third-generation 7-Series.
4 Aston Martin DB9 – $35,000
After the huge sales success of the DB7, Aston Martin went back to the drawing board and built a worthy successor in the early 2000s – the DB9. Like the DB7, the DB9 was developed to be the most affordable car in Aston’s lineup in order to appeal to a wider market.
The DB9 had a beautiful design and tons of power coming from a 5.9-liter V12 engine. However, the DB9 now costs less than 25 percent of its original price. The main reason why it has lost so much value is high production numbers; Aston Martin built over 16,500 examples.
3 Mercedes-Benz S-Class W221 – $18,000
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the gold standard when it comes to full-size luxury sedans. After the awful W220 generation, Mercedes-Benz wanted to ensure that the next generation was a winner, and they didn’t disappoint. The W221 had many upgrades over the W220, including a brand-new design, advanced technologies, and improved reliability.
Unfortunately, not even the W221 could avoid the high depreciation rate that typically affects other S-Class generations. Thanks to high maintenance costs and the preference for newer S-Class versions, you can buy a W221 for less than $20,000 today.
2 2014 Jaguar F-Type – $30,000
We all know and love the legendary Jaguar E-Type. Although the British icon was built in the ’60s, it’s now worth a lot more than it cost new. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the E-Type’s spiritual successor, the F-Type.
The F-Type was introduced in 2013 and was based on the XK’s shortened platform. However, like many other Jags, the F-Type is known for having many reliability issues, and if you don’t get the high-performance SVR version, it’s not very exciting to drive. As such, you can buy early F-Type for less than half the original price.
1 2008 Maserati GranTurismo – $26,000
When the GranTurismo debuted in the late 2000s, Maserati fans had high expectations of it. The GranTurismo had a lot to offer; a beautiful design penned by Pininfarina, tons of luxury features, and a mighty Ferrari-sourced V8.
Despite all these cool features, the GranTurismo is still a Maserati. Like other models built by Maserati, the GranTurismo has terrible depreciation rates. Early models cost less than $30,000 today.
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