Every gearhead dreams of having at least one luxury car in their collection. Some of the top luxury cars like the Rolls-Royce Phantom and Mercedes-Benz S-Class offer an experience like no other, especially if you’re in the rear seating area. Unfortunately, new luxury cars command hefty prices that most gearheads will never afford.
Not to worry, though, as the used cars The market exists and is full of dirt-cheap luxury cars that offer many of the conveniences found in brand-new options at a much lower price. However, before you rush to the nearest used car lot to get yourself a cheap luxury car, keep in mind that the reason many of them are cheap is that they can be incredibly expensive to maintain. With that said, let’s explore ten cheap luxury cars that must be avoided at all costs due to their costly repairs.
10 Volkswagen Phaeton GP1 W12 – $16,500
Let’s kick off with one of the greatest 12-cylinder cars that most gearheads have never heard of – the Phaeton. The Phaeton is a luxury sedan that Volkswagen built in the early 2000s. Despite its sedate styling, the Phaeton had an ultra-luxurious interior, some of the most advanced technologies, and a monstrous W12 engine under the hood.
Sadly, the Phaeton never really caught on. For one, it cost almost $100,000, which was too much for most gearheads. Its 20-year-old W12 engine is prone to many issues that are costly to repair, and that’s if you can find parts for it.
9 Maserati BiTurbo – $12,000
The BiTurbo is undoubtedly one of Maserati’s most important models. Although it wasn’t a good-looking car, the BiTurbo was a vital car for Maserati and the automotive industry as a whole since it was the first twin-turbocharged production car ever.
This technology was a key selling point for the BiTurbo, but it ended up being its biggest problem as well. Since the technology was still new, the BiTurbo’s twin-turbocharged drivetrain would constantly develop problems. In fact, the BiTurbo is one of the reasons why Maserati is widely regarded as an unreliable brand.
8 BMW 7 Series (E65) – $16,000
The fourth-generation BMW 7-Series was quite controversial when it debuted in the early 2000s. It had a new design that many gearheads disliked and had the then-new iDrive infotainment system that many found too complicated at the time.
The E65 had many engine options, including the world’s first direct-injected V12. While it was superb to drive, the E65 was known to have many reliability issues, especially models built before the face-lift.
7 Range Rover (L322) – $18,000
When it comes to luxury SUVs, it doesn’t get better than the iconic Range Rover. For decades, the Range Rover has been the SUV of choice for buyers looking for superb on- and off-road performance with prestige levels found in first-class plane seats.
However, having been in production for so long, there are bound to be a few bad Range Rover generations and model years. The L322 generation of the early 2000s is one of them. Buyers can expect problems in the electrical system, power train, and suspension.
6 Jaguar S-Type – $13,000
When Ford bought Jaguar in the late ’80s, its first order of business was to build a mid-sized luxury sedan that could face off against German options. Drawing inspiration from the 1960s S-Type, Jaguar rolled up its sleeves and built a new S-Type in 1999.
Gearheads initially loved the S-Type thanks to its stylish design, upscale interior, and technology. Sadly, it was based on Ford’s terrible DEW platform, which is why it gained a reputation for poor reliability.
5 Maserati Quattroporte V – $15,000
The Quattroporte is a full-size luxury sedan that has been Maserati’s pride and joy for many years. The Quattroporte is undoubtedly one of the most important Maserati models, having been in continuous production since 1963.
The fifth-generation Quattroporte makes a great purchase for anyone looking for an affordable Italian luxury car. It had an updated design, a luxurious cabin with the finest leather, and best of all, a Ferrari-sourced V8 engine making almost 400 h0. Unfortunately, this powerful engine is also why you should avoid the Quattroporte. It’s prone to damage and can be incredibly expensive to repair.
4 2002–2006 Cadillac Escalade – $23,000
The Escalade has been a huge success for Cadillac since its debut in the ’90s. The Escalade has always been one of the best luxury SUVs, which is why it’s still going strong today.
If you want a cheap Escalade, you’ll have to settle for the second-generation model. Although the second-generation Escalade is considered to be the most important one, it’s too old right now and will only give you headaches.
3 BMW X6 E71 – $25,000
In the late 2000s, BMW caused a stir in the auto market when they launched the X6 – a luxury crossover SUV that looked like a large sedan. The X6’s design was the subject of a huge debate among enthusiasts, with some praising its commanding presence while others thought it was among the ugliest German cars.
The X6 has been a success for BMW and is still in production to date. If you’re interested in one, it’s best to avoid the first-generation models since they are known to suffer from overheating, electrical faults, and other issues.
2 2014 Maserati Ghibli – $20,000
Maserati has used the Ghibli nameplate several times over the years, but for this article, we’ll focus on the modern Ghibli sedan, which debuted in 2014. Maserati introduced this super sedan to take on the likes of the BMW 5-Series, and while it looked the part, everything else was not up to scratch.
For one the Ghibli’s interior is cramped up and full of low-quality materials you wouldn’t expect to find in an Italian luxury car. It’s also plagued by the myriad of issues that commonly affect Maseratis.
1 2003-2009 Volkswagen Touareg – $18,000
In the early 2000s, Volkswagen noticed a sharp rise in the demand for SUVs, prompting them to introduce the Touareg. The Touareg was a joint venture between Porsche and Volkswagen and used the Volkswagen Group PL71 platform.
The first-generation Touareg was quite a hit, loved for its upscale cabin and powerful engines, including a V10. While the Touareg was a superb luxury SUV with superior off-road capabilities, it had many luxury features that made maintenance a nightmare, including air suspension with multiple ride height settings, locking differential, headlight squirters, among others. The V10-Powered models are the worst of the bunch.