The latest offerings from Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar offer boundless luxury and all of the advanced technological toys, from GPS navigation to built-in Internet connectivity. Some even offer concierge services that take care of dinner reservations, dry cleaning and much more.
For the price of a new mainstream sedan, you can get your hands on a three- to five-year old Benz or Audi with all of the swank trappings. The average new car instantly loses around 20 percent of its value the moment it rolls off the lot. By the time a luxury car hits the five-year mark, it’s lost up to 80 percent of its value. Buying used is a smart play for those who want a taste of luxury but don’t have the caviar budget to pull it off.
The A6 is the car to have if you want luxury and performance in a sleek and stylish package for under $25,000. In addition to leather seating, navigation and other standard luxury goodies, it’s also available with Audi’s “Quattro” all-wheel drive system and a choice between a smooth 3.2-liter 255-horsepower V6 and an authoritative 4.2-liter 350-horsepower V8. Both achieve 25 mpg and 23 mpg on the highway, although you’ll need premium fuel for the best performance.
Photo of 2008 Audi A6 by Matthias93 via Wikimedia Commons
With a price tag within the mid-$30,000 range, the 460 LS makes an amazing bargain. Unlike Mercedes-Benz and BMW, used luxury car buyers won’t have to worry as much about iffy reliability and the often-ruinous costs that come with repairs and maintenance. The amazingly smooth 380-horsepower V8 combined with heated leather seating, power sunroof and digital sound system provide a wonderful luxury experience.
Photo of 2008 Lexus LS 460 by Altair78 via Wikimedia Commons
The XJ8 offers a bold yet thoroughly British alternative to other luxury makes. For less than $30,000, the Jag’s classic styling and proportions simply shout bespoke luxury, while available supercharged variants of the 4.2-liter, 32-valve V8 help spice things up. With an EPA-estimated 25 mpg highway, you’ll get plenty of bang for your buck.
Photo of Jaguar XJ8 L via Wikimedia Commons. All Rights Released.
Thanks to its upscale image and the numerous creature comforts within, the Range Rover makes for a great luxury SUV. The Range Rover’s adjustable air suspension provides a cloud-like ride and plenty of off-roading capability. Four-wheel drive comes standard—always a nice addition for traversing difficult terrain. You can find well-cared for examples for $25,000 to $35,000.
Photo of 2008 Range Rover Sport by The Car Spy via Flickr
The DTS appeals to more traditional luxury sensibilities, exuding a quieter, more understated image. Not only do you get the traditional Cadillac exterior styling, you also get a spacious interior that offers plenty of nice features. Dual-zone climate control, standard leather seating and Bluetooth are just the tip of the amenities iceberg. The smooth ride combined with the equally smooth Northstar V8 engine is the epitome of leisurely feel. With most used prices around the $22,000 mark, it’s also a wonderful deal for those interested in affordable luxury.
Photo of 2010 Cadillac DTS Platinum by That Hartford Guy via FlickrLand
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