5 of the Best Cheap, Used, Luxury Cars

Used luxury cars can be bought cheap if you aim for value and long-term reliability.

Gray 2019 Lexus ES 300hLexus

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Luxury isn’t supposed to be cheap. But certain used luxury cars can be surprisingly affordable right now thanks to record-high gas prices that make some big, fuel-guzzling cars sell for less money.

How much less? Many used luxury cars now cost less than some of today’s newest, most popular, gas-sippers, such as a Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic.

Based on the Manheim Market Report, here are five of the best cheap, used luxury cars.

Chic German Luxury/$30,000 to $40,000: 2016 to 2018 Audi A6

Audi’s mid-size knockout can be as fun to drive as a modern-day Tesla, yet it can cost up to $15,000 less.

The A6’s interior design is top-notch compared to the barebone electric vehicle models from Elon Musk, and unlike Tesla, the Audi A6 reliability has been well above average for nearly a decade.

With all-wheel drive and a driver-focused experience that routinely makes Audi among the best-regarded premium brands worldwide, the A6 can be an excellent buy.

Classic American Luxury/$20,000 to $30,000: 2016 Cadillac XTS

Base models of the big XTS can be cheaper to buy than compact cars such as the Civic and Corolla. The last of the old school Cadillac cars embody the best of what the British call “Grace, pace, and space!”

For a highway driver, the fuel economy is impressive at 28 miles per gallon. This Cadillac also has verifiable Lexus levels of long-term reliability, which is a big deal when spending more than $20,000 on your next luxury car.

Full-Featured Luxury/$20,000 to $40,000: 2016 to 2019 Kia K900

The Kia K900 is a killer deal for those looking for an under-the-radar, full-size, used luxury car with all the goodies.

Comfort is the theme with Kia’s flagship sedan offering class-leading front legroom and a driver’s seat that provides 20-way adjustability and brilliant lumbar support that makes the hours fly right by. The 365hp, 3.3L V6 is ferocious with a 0-60mph time of just five seconds.

Gas-Sipping Luxury/$30,000 to $40,000: 2016 to 2019 Lexus ES 300h

Lexus parent Toyota has sold more than 10 million hybrids. The Lexus ES 300h combines Lexus luxury with the Toyota Hybrid System and the closely-related Toyota Avalon spacious interior.

Where else can you get fuel economy that approaches 40 mpg with an interior good enough for a Lexus? Best of all, its reliability is exceptional. If you keep your car for a decade or more, the Lexus ES 300h is as good as it gets, with a nearly perfect reliability score.

Safe Swedish Luxury/$20,000 to $30,000: 2011 to 2017 Volvo S60

The best cheap, used luxury car you can own is the one you keep, and Volvo has a decades-long reputation for making safe and durable vehicles.

The S60 is among the safest and most luxurious compact cars out there, with 2011 through 2017 models receiving continuous Top Safety Picks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It’s also surprisingly affordable.

While Corollas are known for gas-sipping and basic interiors, the Volvo nearly matches the Toyota’s parsimony with a combined city/highway fuel economy of 29 mpg for front-wheel drive models. Base 2017 S60s also cost around $1,500 less than a new Toyota Corolla SE.

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Steven Lang
Steven Lang is a special contributor to Capital One with nearly two decades of experience as an auto auctioneer, car dealer, and part owner of an auto auction. Some of the best-known auto publications turn to him for his expert insight. He is also the co-developer of the Long-Term Quality Index, a survey of vehicle reliability featuring over two million vehicles that have been inspected by professional mechanics.