Popular Used Luxury Cars to Avoid and What to Buy Instead

These models deliver the reliability, comfort, and performance expected from a luxury sedan

2019 Chrysler 300 Limited driving through a city
2019 Chrysler 300
Photo: Stellantis

Advertisements make luxury cars look fantastic. But in reality, if you buy the wrong used model, it can mean an uncomfortable ride, maddening controls, a cramped interior, and a fortune spent on excessive out-of-warranty repairs.

To help you pick the one that won’t leave you fuming, Consumer Reports put all of the models listed below through our road-test evaluations when they were new, so we know how they perform.

Plus, we collect data from CR members in our Annual Auto Surveys so that we can tell you how many problems a model has had compared with the average problem rate for all vehicles of the same model year.

This allows us to present models that are popular in their category but aren’t good choices to buy. Then we present two alternatives:

  • A better choice: Another vehicle that’s widely available, is reliable, and has better owner satisfaction ratings.
  • An “under the radar” alternative: A reliable and satisfying model that didn’t sell as well, if you aren’t concerned with following the crowd.

The better choices and under-the-radar alternatives are vehicles recommended by Consumer Reports, meaning they scored well in our road tests when new, have good reliability, performed well in crash tests, and were available with key active safety features such as forward collision warning (FCW), automatic emergency braking (AEB), and blind spot warning (BSW).

If you’re a CR member, this article and the list below are already available to you. If you haven’t signed up, click below and become a member to access the list and all our exclusive ratings and reviews for each vehicle we buy and test. Joining also gives you full access to exclusive ratings for the other products our experts evaluate in several categories, including electronics and home appliances.

Sign up for CR’s Cars email newsletter to be notified when we post our latest road-test results. If you’re a used-car shopper, you can click through to model pages for information on these vehicles from older model years.

Consumer Reports members can also search our Used Car Marketplace for vehicles for sale in their area, sorting by the factors that matter most. The listings include CR reliability and owner satisfaction ratings, and most vehicles include a free Carfax report.

Become a member to read the full article and get access to digital ratings.

We investigate, research, and test so you can choose with confidence.