While usually thought of as extravagances, luxury cars typically represent the safest, most technologically advanced choices on the affordable used car market.
Manufacturers tend to introduce their new features on flagship models before trickling them down through their lineups. Thus, many innovations in mainstream cars today — such a voice control, back up cameras and even the electric starter — debuted on luxury cars.
With this in mind, a used luxury car can be a smart purchase if you get into it right. Here’s a list of some of the best-used luxury cars to buy on a budget, as determined by the automotive editors at U.S. News & World Report.
Believe it or not, you really can be driving a nice Mercedes for less than $10,000. This can be a real boon if you need to get a car loan with bad credit, as you can get more car for less money.
Let’s take a look.
2008 Acura RL
Honda’s luxury brand is known for cutting edge technology as well as outstanding reliability and admirable driving characteristics. The Acura flagship boasts all-wheel drive, a smooth and powerful V6 engine, reasonable fuel economy and exceptional levels of comfort and sophistication.
2008 Audi A5
Sleek, stylish and sporty, Audi’s luxury coupe looks just as good today as it did when it debuted back in 2007. Audi’s cars have long been hailed as having the nicest interior treatments on the road and the A5 certainly lives up to this reputation. Further, it offers engaging dynamics, all-wheel drive and a respected pedigree.
2007 Cadillac STS
Cadillac’s answer to the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the STS is a competent luxury sport sedan with outstanding handling and near hedonistic accommodations. Offered with a choice of V6 or V8 engines, power is plentiful in the handsome Caddy four-door. Meanwhile, even with its elevated performance potential, you’ll enjoy the hallmark quiet and smoothness Cadillac’s sedans have long claimed as their birthrights.
2007 Infiniti FX
One of the first road-oriented luxury SUVs, the Infiniti FX shares its platform with Nissan’s 350Z sports car. This endowed the FX with so much agility Infiniti touted it as the “Bionic Cheetah” in company advertising. Indeed, the FX is one of the best-handling SUVs ever offered. It’s also outfitted with a remarkable array of luxury features, powerful engines, a beautiful interior treatment and handsome exterior styling.
2009 Lexus RX 350
Lauded for its safety, refinement and practicality, the Lexus RX crossover was one of the first luxury models in its category. Comfort focused, the RX 350 gives up outright handling prowess in favor of cosseting its passengers with a smooth and quiet ride and palatial interior amenities. What’s more, Toyota’s luxury brand has a very strong reputation for reliability. You can enjoy peace of mind right along with your cash savings.
2009 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Arguably one of the most attractive iterations of the mid-size Mercedes luxury sedan ever offered, the E-Class is a paragon of style, quality and comfort. Exceptionally stable at highway speeds, the Mercedes E-Class is also the best long-distance tourer on this list. Here though, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that even though you can get this Benz at economy car prices, you’ll pay luxury car money for parts and servicing. The good news is the 2009 Mercedes-Benz E-Class also has an excellent reputation for reliability.
Still, as with any of the cars on this list, you should always take a used car you’re seriously considering to a qualified mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection. Even the best used luxury cars to buy on a budget can be compromised by shoddy maintenance from a neglectful previous owner.