When shopping for a luxury car, one of the biggest factors gearheads have to consider is price. Price not only determines whether or not they can afford it, but it also gives them an idea of what to expect in terms of quality. As a general rule, the higher the price of a car, the higher the quality.
However, this rule doesn’t apply all the time. There are many luxury cars that come with expensive price tags but lack the build quality, reliability, driving feel, technology, or other features that would justify the high price. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are many luxury cars that are dirt cheap but offer so much value. This article explores five expensive luxury cars that should be avoided versus five cheap alternatives that every gearhead should own.
10 Uber-Expensive Car We Wouldn’t Touch: Tesla Model X
The Tesla Model X needs no introduction, as it’s one of the most popular electric SUVs today. The Model X caused a huge wave of excitement when it debuted in 2015, largely because of its unique design featuring rear falcon-wing doors.
While the Model X is an excellent electric SUV option for large families, it has various faults that make us believe it’s not worth the $114,000 buyers have to pay. For starters, the Model X is one of the least dependable vehicles on the market and is known to develop problems in the braking system, all-wheel drivetrain, and rear doors. Many have also complained that the Model X’s ride is too firm and choppy for such an expensive car.
9 Cheap Luxury Car Worth Every Penny: Mercedes-Benz S-Class W140
When it comes to classic Mercedes-Benz S-Class models, it doesn’t get better than the W140. The W140 debuted in the ’90s and quickly showed gearheads why Mercedes-Benz is the king of engineering.
The W140 had everything one could need in a luxury sedan – an eye-catching design, luxurious interior, excellent driving dynamics, and some of the most advanced technologies. Buyers had several engine options, including a V12, all of which were praised for their bulletproof reliability.
8 Uber-Expensive Car We Wouldn’t Touch: Maserati Ghibli
In 2013, Maserati introduced the Ghibli to take on top European luxury sedans like the BMW 5-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Audi A7. As anyone would expect from Maserati, the Ghibli is a stunner. This car arguably looks better than all its competitors, which is why people didn’t mind paying $80,000 for it at first.
Sadly, it didn’t take long for Ghibli owners to realize its biggest problem – reliability. Like many Maserati models, the Ghibli is extremely unreliable and has been recalled in the past for faulty wiring shorts and fuel leaks.
7 Cheap Luxury Car Worth Every Penny: Aston Martin DB7
When Ford took over Aston Martin in the ’90s, its first order of business was building a slightly more affordable sports car that could compete with the best sports cars at the time. After several years of development, the DB7 was born.
The DB7 was a huge hit. Everyone loved its design, high-quality interior, and mighty 5.9-liter V12 under the hood pushing out 420 hp. The DB7 costs less than $30,000 today, making it one of the cheapest Aston Martin models you can buy.
6 Uber-Expensive Car We Wouldn’t Touch: 2021 Nissan GT-R
The Nissan GT-R is widely considered to be one of the greatest Japanese sports cars ever. The GT-R has earned fans all over the globe over the last decade thanks to its design, power, all-wheel-drive system, and the fact that it costs a lot less than comparable European sports cars.
We adore the GT-R, but we wouldn’t recommend getting the 2021 version. The 2021 GT-R may have reliability issues, as it was among the Nissan models recalled due to front steering knuckle problems. There’s also not much difference between buying the 2021 GT-R and an older, less expensive model year, and the car is long overdue for a replacement.
5 Cheap Luxury Car Worth Every Penny: 1997 Toyota Century
The first brands that come to most gearheads’ minds when talking about luxury sedans include Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW, and Rolls-Royce. Toyota is the last automaker people expect to build a good full-size sedan, but the Century shows that the Japanese marque can.
We particularly love the second-generation Century, which debuted in 1997 and is now eligible for import into the US. This awesome car has an elegant design and the power to match, thanks to a massive V12 engine. Interestingly, this is the only Japanese car to ever have a V12 engine.
4 Uber-Expensive Car We Wouldn’t Touch: Maserati GranTurismo
In 2007, Maserati decided to build the ultimate sports car that could compete with Ferrari and other top European sports car manufacturers. The result was the GranTurismo. The GranTurismo was a match for other top European sports cars in looks, power, and even price – it cost $150,000.
However, the GranTurismo was plagued by Maserati’s usual reliability issues, making it a bad purchase. If you’re interested in buying a GranTurismo, we recommend getting a used one, as prices have depreciated drastically.
3 Cheap Luxury Car Worth Every Penny: 2008 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
When the Mercedes-Benz E-Class W211 generation debuted in the early 2000s, many automotive experts and journalists hated it as it had many reliability issues. Thankfully, Mercedes-Benz gave the W211 a face-lift in 2007, fixing all the issues and turning it into one of the best compact luxury sedans.
W211s built after the face-lift make excellent purchases today since they’re solidly built, great to drive, reliable, and affordable. The base models have decent engines, but gearheads who need more power can get the AMG version.
2 Uber-Expensive Car We Wouldn’t Touch: Range Rover Vogue
The Range Rover Vogue has been one of the most popular full-size luxury SUVs for many years now. Everyone loves the car as it offers more versatility than almost every vehicle on sale – it’s a luxurious limousine, practical family SUV, and sophisticated off-roader all rolled into one.
Unfortunately, the Range Rover Vogue doesn’t meet the standards set by its high price, as it’s ranked low in terms of reliability and customer satisfaction. Air suspension failures, crankshaft seizures, and electronic park brake failures are some of the problems you can expect from the Vogue and other Range Rover models.
1 Cheap Luxury Car Worth Every Penny: Porsche 968
When cheap Japanese sports cars started flooding the market in the ’70s, Porsche decided that the only way to compete was by building a series of cheap front-engine sports cars. The 968 was the final car in the series.
Introduced in 1991, the 968 was loved for its 944-inspired design, excellent driving dynamics, and exciting 3.0-liter inline-four engine with 237 hp. The 968 is still among the most affordable Porsches you can buy today, but you better hurry since prices are going up.
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