Used Luxury SUVs to Avoid and What to Buy Instead

You can get upscale accommodations and space while avoiding the headaches from an unreliable model

A used luxury SUV can be a great deal. Luxury models usually depreciate rapidly, so you'll be able to get the comfort, technology, and safety features in an upscale package for less than the cost of a mainstream new SUV.

But be careful not to buy the wrong model or you'll likely deal with a very unluxury-like experience: an uncomfortable ride, maddening controls, a cramped interior, and expensive out-of-warranty repairs. There's no need to give up on your desire to own a luxury SUV; you just need to pick the one that won't leave you fuming.

That's where Consumer Reports' auto experts come in. We put all of these models 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 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 and has better reliability and owner satisfaction ratings.

  • An “under the radar” alternative: A model that didn't sell as well—in case you aren't concerned with following the crowd—but is still reliable and satisfying.

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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, were available with key advanced safety equipment, and performed well in crash tests.

If you’re a CR member, this article and the list below are already available to you. But if you haven’t signed up, click below and become a member to access the list and all of 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 the model pages for information on these vehicles from older model years.

Consumer Reports members also can 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.

Popular Luxury SUV to Avoid

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