Because of all the fancy extras that they include, luxury cars are often thought to be less reliable than other more pedestrian vehicles on the market. And while that is all too often true, there are some dependable models out there that are the exceptions to the rule. To help you get a quality vehicle, the expert editors at Autobytel have come up with a list of ten of the least expensive luxury cars to maintain, with a wide selection of models ranging from compact to full-size.
Read on to discover some of the best options out there. Some might be immediately obvious, but a few of the entries on our list could be a bit of a surprise.
2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
While a few decades ago, Mercedes-Benz was known as one of the most reliable automakers (and still is on some of the other continents), it’s been years since many of the brand’s vehicles have stacked up to the competition in terms of reliability. The one exception is the E-Class, which remains a favorite around the world and is now back to offering a reasonable level of Mercedes quality.
Like most other luxury manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz provides a four-year/50,000 mile warranty just in case something goes wrong in the first few years. However, the downside to a German luxury car is that when repairs are necessary both the parts and work can get quite expensive quite quickly.
2018 BMW 3 Series
The BMW 3 Series has long been a favorite amongst automotive connoisseurs (it is, after all, the “Ultimate Driving Machine”) because of its combination of luxury comfort, fun handling, and practicality, and the latest version continues the trend. Unlike most of the other models in the BMW range, the newest 3 Series also offers surprisingly good reliability — no matter whether you go for a sedan or a wagon, or a diesel, gasoline, or even a hybrid powertrain.
Unfortunately, when repairs are needed, both the parts and labor can get quite expensive. BMW does offer a four-year/50,000-mile warranty to help keep your 3 Series maintained, and like most manufacturers, it offers extended warranties at an additional cost.
2018 Audi A8
The A8 is one of the few cars on the market made largely out of aluminum, which not only helps keep weight down but also means that corrosion shouldn’t be an issue even years down the road. Combined with its above-average reliability, that means that you should be able to keep your A8 in service for a long time to come without too many costly repairs, even if you live in the car-eating Rust Belt.
If you do need a repair, parts costs are more expensive than average, but lower than the rest of its German luxury rivals. Audi’s warranty is simple: four years or 50,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage, whichever occurs first.
2018 Infiniti Q70
When it comes to reliability, the Q70 is the shining star in the Infiniti lineup. It might not be able to quite match its rivals’ engine power, handling, or tech (which might actually help its reliability score). But if you’re looking for an affordable old-school luxury car with a smooth and comfortable ride, then the Q70 should do the trick.
Aside from the reliability, Infiniti is a division of Nissan and the two makes share a number of parts, so when repairs are needed, they can be quite reasonably priced. Infiniti’s four-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper and 6-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranties also help keep the Q70 on the road.
2018 Audi A4
If you’re looking for a reliable compact luxury car, then the Audi A4 is one of your best bets — even though it offers traditionally trouble-prone options such as turbocharged engines, all-wheel drive, and tons of tech, including an amazing dashboard that completes one of the best interiors in the segment. Those are all things Audi has tons of experience with, and it shows in both the way the latest A4 rides and drives and in its reliability scores.
Audi parts and service are more expensive than the average, but quite affordable compared to the other high-end German automakers. And like all Audis, you get four years or 50,000 miles of bumper to bumper warranty coverage and four years of roadside assistance.
2018 Buick Regal
While you might not think of Buick as a luxury brand, its vehicles are a step above a regular Chevrolet. The Regal is a great example of this, offering a comfortable interior, well laid-out controls, available all-wheel drive, and up to 310 horsepower. And because it is a General Motors vehicle, the parts are fairly reasonable, and you shouldn’t have any problems finding someone who can fix it at an affordable rate if you’re outside the four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper and six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranties).
The downside is interior materials that aren’t up to the standard set by its peers. But on the other hand, the Regal is priced lower than most of its competitors.
2018 Lexus IS
Lexus is Toyota’s premium brand, and Lexus models are just as reliable (if not more so) than its parent company’s. And when repairs are necessary, they are quite reasonably priced. In fact, it would have been easy to include every Lexus model on our list of 10 of the least expensive luxury cars to maintain, but in order to give other manufacturers a chance, we’ve limited our list to three models from the make.
The first Lexus model to make our list is the Lexus IS, a compact rear-wheel drive sedan without any real trouble spots that should run for years without any major issues. And in case there are, Lexus offers a four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.
2018 Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S is a reliable car, but what really makes it stand out in terms of affordable operating costs is the low amount of routine maintenance that it requires. Because there’s no internal combustion engine, it has no oil or spark plugs to change. And thanks to the electric motors’ regenerative braking, regular brake jobs should be few and far between.
The only real concern is the battery life, as the cost to replace a battery pack in an electric car can seem exorbitant. But thankfully Tesla offers an eight-year/unlimited-mile battery warranty in addition to the usual four-year/50,000-mile new vehicle warranty, so you shouldn’t have to worry about any major repairs for a while.
2018 Lexus LS
The Lexus LS might not be the most reliable car on the market — but it comes close, and it’s one of the few full-size luxury cars that you can buy used and keep running on a tight budget. When you consider that the LS features nearly all the same ultra-luxury features and tech as its more trouble-prone competitors, that’s a testament to the brand’s reliability.
And if you do need to have a repair done, parts and service costs are reasonable. And though repairs are more expensive than what you’d pay for a Toyota, unless it’s warranty work you can have your Lexus serviced at a Toyota dealership. The Lexus LS is definitely a contender for the most luxurious and dependable car money can buy.
2018 Lexus GS
Unlike some Lexus models, the mid-size GS sedan offers appealing sporting qualities. As such, it offers a rear-wheel drive layout and up to 467 horsepower in GS F trim. It can’t quite equal the best the Germans have to offer when it comes to handling, but it does match them when it comes to tech, ride comfort, and interior quality — and easily beats when it comes to reliability.
Parts and service costs are reasonable and your Lexus can be serviced at a Toyota dealership in a pinch. If the GS is a little bit too sporty for you, the similarly sized front-wheel drive ES is another excellent and equally reliable option from the Lexus brand.