The 21 most reliable luxury cars

Automotive

The Lexus IS 350 F Sport debuts at media previews for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

(iSeeCars) – Luxury cars attract buyers thanks to their high-end finishes, comfortable ride quality, and advanced technology. There’s also the prestige that comes with owning a car with a luxury nameplate. As a result, they come with a heftier price tag than their non-luxury counterparts. But is the extra price worth it? Or should you save money by buying a used luxury car? 

We determined the best luxury cars based on reliability to help you decide which premium vehicles are worth the extra cost. Because these vehicles are often leased, we also looked at the average price of 3-year-old luxury vehicles for buyers who want a luxury car without paying the expensive luxury new car prices.  

Most Reliable Luxury Cars

Not all luxury cars are created equal. To find the best luxury cars, iSeeCars analyzed over 11.8 million used vehicles to determine the cars with the best long-term reliability based on their ability to reach 200,000 miles. Of the longest-lasting cars, iSeeCars determined the 10 most reliable luxury passenger cars, most reliable luxury sports cars, most reliable luxury electric cars, and most reliable used cars that have recently been discontinued.

Top 10 Reliable Luxury Passenger Cars

Here are the top 10 most reliable passenger cars:

Top 10 Most Reliable Luxury Cars – iSeeCars
RankLuxury CariSeeCars Reliability ScoreAverage New Car PriceAverage 3-Year-Old Used Price
1Lexus IS 3508.0$42,900 – $44,900$36,115
2Mercedes-Benz S-Class8.0$109,800 – $116,300$71,319
3Volvo S608.0$37,750 – $48,000$23,742
4Mercedes-Benz E-Class8.0$54,250 – $107,500$42,081
5BMW 5 Series8.0$54,200 – $76,800 $37,802
6Lexus ES 3508.0$40,000-$49,000$30,292
7BMW 3 Series8.0$41,250 – $56,700$26,686
8Audi A47.9$39,100 – $49,800$28,418
9Audi S87.9$115,900 – $130,900$62,450
10BMW 7 Series7.9$86,800 – $157,800$54,189
  1. Lexus IS 350

iSeeCars Reliability Score: 8.0

The Lexus IS 350, which is the performance variant of the Lexus IS 300 small luxury sedan, ranks first and is among the best luxury small cars available. With refreshed styling for 2021, the Lexus IS 350 features a powerful 311-horsepower V6 engine and a suite of active safety features. It has a comfortable interior with high-end finishes and provides a smooth and comfortable ride. All-wheel drive is also available. A new Lexus IS 350 costs between $42,900 and $44,900, while a three-year-old used Lexus IS 350 costs an average of $36,115.

  1. Mercedes-Benz S-Class

iSeeCars Reliability Score: 8.0

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class super luxury car ranks second. It is one of the most opulent sedans on the market, as reflected by its six-figure starting price. The full-size S-Class has luxurious features, including 16-way power-adjustable front seats with an available message feature, a two-foot-long high-tech dashboard with a side-by-side digital instrument gauge and infotainment screen, along with park assist technology. The comfortable seating extends to the second row, which has features including footrests, message features, folding tables, and powered sunshades. Its driving dynamics are equally impressive thanks to comfortable ride quality and powerful engine choices. The S-Class’ base engine is a 362-horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6, and its most powerful engine is a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 with 603 horsepower. A new Mercedes-Benz S-Class costs between $103,563 and $175,011, while a three-year-old used Mercedes-Benz S-Class costs between $55,989 and $115,974.

  1. Volvo S60

iSeeCars Reliability Score 8.0

The compact Volvo S60 earns the third spot. It has a sophisticated cabin with soft-touch materials and comfortable seats. It comes with a suite of standard safety features typical of the Volvo brand, including road departure mitigation, lane-keeping assist, and traffic sign recognition to name a few. The S60 also includes standard infotainment features like Apple CarPlay and Android auto. It comes standard with a 250-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and two additional engines are available, including a 316-horsepower supercharged four-cylinder and a 400-horsepower plug-in hybrid variant. The plug-in-hybrid version gets 69 MPG-equivalent when using only electric power and 30 combined mpg when using electric and gasoline (hybrid) power. A new Volvo S60 costs between $37,750 and $48,000, while a three-year-old used Volvo S60 costs an average of ​​$23,742.

  1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class 

iSeeCars Reliability Score 8.0

Earning the fourth spot is the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The E-Class is available as a four-door sedan, coupe, convertible, or wagon. The E-Class is known for its luxurious interior featuring top-notch materials and its smooth ride quality. It has four powerful engine choices ranging from its 2.0-liter four-cylinder base model engine with 255 horsepower to its twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 with 603 horsepower in its top AMG trim. As a wagon, the E-Class is among the most spacious in its class, with 35 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, which grows to 64 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down. A new Mercedes-Benz E-Class costs between $73,262 and $131,242, while a three-year-old used Mercedes E-Class costs an average of $42,081.  

  1. BMW 5 Series

iSeeCars Reliability Score: 8.0

Another midsize car earns the fifth spot: the BMW 5 Series. The 5-Series is among the best luxury midsize cars in its class thanks to its powerful engine, impressive fuel economy, and near-ideal balance of smooth ride and confident handling. It also comes loaded with standard safety and entertainment features, including a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Engine choices start with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 248 horsepower and continue with five additional powertrain options. The most powerful is a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine with 617 horsepower. A new BMW 5 Series costs between $54,200 and $76,800 and a three-year-old used BMW 5 Series costs an average of $37,802.

  1. Lexus ES 350

iSeeCars Reliability Score: 8.0

The Lexus ES 350 luxury midsize car ranks sixth. As Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus has a reputation for being the most reliable brand among luxury automakers. The ES has a spacious and luxurious interior as well as a long list of standard safety features, including forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, road sign detection, and automatic high-beam headlights. It comes with two engine options: a four-cylinder that offers all-wheel drive (AWD), which is new for the 2021 model year, and a front-wheel-drive V6. A new Lexus ES 350 costs between $40,000 and $49,000 and a three-year-old used Lexus ES 350 costs an average of $30,292.

  1. BMW 3 Series

iSeeCars Reliability Score: 8.0

The seventh-ranked BMW 3-Series is among the top-performing cars in its luxury small car class, and its sporty handling and comfortable seating make it a popular choice for those entering the luxury car market. The sports sedan also comes with three powertrain options, including the standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a turbocharged six-cylinder, and a plug-in hybrid that combines a turbo 2.0-liter engine and an electric motor. A new BMW 3 Series costs between $41,250 and $56,700, while a three-year-old BMW 3 Series for sale costs an average of $26,686.

  1. Audi A4

iSeeCars Reliability Score: 7.9

The compact Audi A4 ranks eighth. It offers a comfortable ride and a sophisticated interior with high-end materials. The A4 comes standard with a 2.0-liter supercharged four-cylinder engine and earns a respectable EPA-rated 25 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway to make it one of the more fuel-efficient vehicles in its class. Standard safety features include forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and automatic high-beam headlights. A new Audi A4 costs between $39,100 and $49,800, while a three-year-old used Audi A4 costs an average of $28,418.

  1. Audi S8

iSeeCars Reliability Score: 7.9

Ranked ninth is the Audi S8, which earns the super-luxury distinction as the performance variant of the Audi A8 large sedan. It comes with a twin-turbo V8 with 563-horsepower and convenience features including standard wireless charging, a head-up display, and massaging front sport seats. Performance and opulence don’t come cheap, as shown by the Audi S8’s average new car price of $115,900 to $130,900. The car’s steep depreciation makes it a relative bargain for used car buyers. You can find a 3-year-old used Audi S8 for sale for half of its new car price at $62,450. 

  1. BMW 7 Series

iSeeCars Reliability Score: 7.9

The BMW 7 Series super luxury car rounds out the list. It comes standard with a 335-horsepower turbocharged six-cylinder, and middle trims have a twin-turbocharged V8. The top-trim M760i has a 600-horsepower V12. It comes with a full list of standard safety features including driver drowsiness monitoring, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and lane departure warning. A new BMW 7 Series costs between $86,800 and $157,800, and a three-year-old used BMW 7 Series costs an average of $54,189.

Most Reliable Luxury Electric Car

Tesla Model S

iSeeCars Reliability Score: 8.3

The Tesla Model S is worth mentioning as the most reliable electric luxury car. While it may not have the high-end cabin of its luxury counterparts, it makes up for it by having the rapid acceleration and performance of a sports car as well as a long list of advanced tech features. Standard advanced safety features include forward and side collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, and lane departure warning. It also has an all-electric range of up to 400 miles.

A new Tesla Model S costs between $69,420 and $91,990, and a three-year-old used Tesla Model S costs an average of $61,101.

Most Reliable Luxury Sports Cars

Seven vehicles earn the distinction as the most reliable luxury sports cars.

Most Reliable Luxury Sports Cars – iSeeCars
RankLuxury CariSeeCars Reliability ScoreAverage New Car PriceAverage 3-Year-Old Used Price
1Audi TT8.6$53,900$41,704
2BMW Z48.5$49,700-$63,700$54,509
3Audi S58.5$52,500-$60,600$41,986
4Mercedes-Benz SL-Class8.5$91,000-$114,700$75,899
5Porsche 9118.1$113,362-$244,196$180,226
6Audi TTS8.1$59,500$43,604
7Porsche Cayman8.1$54,250 – $107,500$42,081
  1. Audi TT

iSeeCars Reliability Score: 8.6

Earning the top spot as the most reliable luxury sports car is the Audi TT. The all-wheel-drive Audi TT is an elegant, usable sports car: it has a hardtop, it has refined road manners, it is relatively quiet and comfortable and gets above-average fuel economy for the sports car class. It even has a back seat, small as it is. Standard safety features include ​​a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, and blind-spot monitoring. The Audi TT has a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine with 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.

A new Audi TT has an MSRP of $53,900, and a used Audi TT from the 2018 model year costs an average of $41,704.

  1. BMW Z4

iSeeCars Reliability Score: 8.5

The BMW Z4 earns second place. It’s a two-seat convertible that serves as a comfortable daily driver for those who never need to haul more than one passenger. It also has a trunk that is above-average size for the small convertible class. The Z4 offers two available powertrains: a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 255 horsepower and an upgraded 3.0-liter six-cylinder with 382 horsepower.

A new BMW Z4 costs between $49,700 and $63,700, and a two-year-old used BMW Z4 costs an average of $54,509. The BMW Z4 skipped the 2017 and 2018 model years, so three-year-old used versions are unavailable.

3. Audi S5

iSeeCars Reliability Score: 8.5

The Audi S5 is the performance version of the Audi A5 small luxury car. The Audi S5 has a sophisticated interior with a lot of high-end materials and comes standard with leather upholstery and 12-way power-adjustable heated front seats. The Audi S5 has a 349-horsepower turbocharged V6 engine that can reach 155 mph.   

A new Audi S5 costs between $52,500 and $60,600 and a three-year-old used Audi S5 costs an average of $41,986.

4. Mercedes-Benz SL-Class 

iSeeCars Reliability Score: 8.5

The Mercedes SL is a luxury two-door convertible, a sports car for those who care less about low weight or raw power and more about solid build quality and refinement. The SL features a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine with 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. An upgraded twin-turbocharged 4.7-liter V8 with 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque is also available.

A new Mercedes-Benz SL-Class costs between $91,000 and $114,700, while a three-year-old used Mercedes-Benz SL-Class costs an average of $75,899.

5. Porsche 911

iSeeCars Reliability Score: 8.1

The iconic German sports car, the Porsche 911, ranks fifth. It has an upscale interior with a 10.9-inch touch screen infotainment system. Its base engine is a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six with 379 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque. Three additional engines are available, topping out with a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six with 640 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. A new Porsche 911 costs between $113,362 and $244,196, and a three-year-old used Porsche 911 costs an average of $180,226.

6. Audi TTS

iSeeCars Reliability Score: 8.1

The sixth-ranked Audi TTS is the performance version of the first-ranked Audi TT. It has a more powerful engine with 288 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. The TTS can go from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and can reach a top speed of 155 mph. A new Audi TTS costs an average of $59,500, and a three-year-old used Audi TTS costs an average of $43,604.

7. Porsche Cayman

iSeeCars Reliability Score: 8.1

The Porsche Cayman ranks seventh. The Cayman is a fun-to-drive two-seater that has a powerful engine and a refined interior. Its base engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer layout with 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, with 4.0-liter six-cylinder engines available on higher trims. A new Porsche Cayman costs between $54,250 and $42,081, and a three-year-old used Porsche Cayman costs an average of $42,081.

Honorable Mentions: Most Reliable Used Luxury Cars

Four reliable recently discontinued luxury cars earn honorable mentions:

Lexus GS 350

iSeeCars Reliability Score: 9.1

The Lexus GS 350 midsize sedan was discontinued after the 2020 model year. ​​The GS comes with two powerful engine options, which include a 311-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine for the GS 350 and GS 350 F Sport, and a more potent 467-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 engine available in the top-trim Lexus GS F.  A three-year-old used Lexus GS costs $37,829.

Cadillac CTS 

iSeeCars Reliability Score: 8.0

The discontinued Cadillac CTS midsize sedan earns an honorable mention. It’s known for its comfortable-yet-sporty ride quality, spacious front and rear seats, powerful engine options and standard equipment like its CUE infotainment system, an 8-inch touch screen, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and a Teen Driver safety setting. The Cadillac CTS was discontinued after the 2019 model year, so late-model used versions are still available. A 3-year-old used Cadillac CTS can be found for $24,388 to $29,161.

Buick LaCrosse

iSeeCars Reliability Score: 8.0

The Buick LaCrosse was discontinued after the 2019 model year, so it is only available for drivers who want a used reliable luxury car. One of the best luxury large cars available, it has a perfect crash test safety rating, spacious seating and above-average fuel economy, though it lacks the sophistication and luxury feel that is offered by its competitors. You can find a three-year-old used Buick LaCrosse for sale for an average of  $24,438.

Lincoln MKS

iSeeCars Reliability Score: 8.0

The Lincoln MKS, which is the luxury version of the Ford Fusion midsize sedan, also deserves an honorable mention. A livery stable, the MKS demonstrates long-term reliability as one of the longest-lasting luxury sedans. The Lincoln MKS was discontinued after the 2020 model year.

Used Luxury Cars for Sale 

Luxury cars have many selling points, but they are not known as cars that hold their value. As such, they depreciate about as quickly as they accelerate. We outlined the used car price of three-year-old versions of these vehicles, but even older models, from five years old to ten years old, can present bigger bargains.

Best Used Luxury Cars Under $15,000

Used Luxury Cars Under $15,000
Luxury CarAverage Used Car Price 
2014 Volvo S60$12,574
2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class$13,645
2012 BMW 3 Series$12,223

Best Used Luxury Cars Under $20,000

Used Luxury Cars Under $20,000
Luxury CarAverage Used Car Price 
2014 Lexus ES 350$19,798
2014 BMW 5 Series$18,879
2014 Audi A6$19,061
2014 Audi TTS$19,958
2014 BMW 3 Series$18,129

Bottom Line

If you enjoy the finer things in life, you may be willing to pay the extra price for the comforts and performance of a new model luxury vehicle. Or, you can consider a more budget-friendly used luxury car that can provide nearly all the features and comfort at a fraction of the price. You can even get a CPO version that comes with a manufacturer-backed warranty to ease the burden of the often costly luxury car repairs. Whichever you choose, a luxury vehicle with a solid reliability rating will allow you to get the most value out of your used car purchase.

More from iSeeCars.com:

If you’re interested in a new or used luxury car, be sure to check out iSeeCars’ award-winning car search engine. It uses advanced algorithms to help shoppers find the best new and used car pricing and provides key insights and valuable resources, like the iSeeCars VIN check report and Best Cars rankings. Filter by make, model, and special features to find your next luxury vehicle.

This article, the 21 Most Reliable Luxury Cars, originally appeared on iSeeCars.com. 

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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