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Today's Luxury Cars = Tommorrow's Bargains?

Updated on June 13, 2010

Today's Luxury Cars Tommorrow's Bargains?

Everybody knows that the resale value of new cars fall off a cliff as soon as you drive them off the lot. This is especially true of luxury cars. Just because you can't afford a new BMW, let alone a new Kia, doesn't  mean you can't have luxury. Here are some of yesterday's luxury cars that can be had for a bargain today.

Audi A8
Audi A8
BMW 7 Series
BMW 7 Series

Affordable Luxury

These cars may have cost a small fortune 20 or 25 years ago, but they are really quite affordable today.


  • 7 Series 1995 and Older

A brand new 7 Series will set you back at least $80,000, who can afford that? You can get a really nice early 90's model for around $5,000 - $6,000, and a mid 80's for less than $5,000. If you'd rather have a fixer upper, I've seen these go for less than $500 when serious mechanical work is needed. Where else can you get a 12 cylinder German luxury car for this price.


  • XJ6 / XJ12 Series III 1979-1992

These cars were pretty sweet when they were new. Despite all of the talk you have probably heard about the quality of English cars, these are a good value. Most of the electrical problems have been fixed on any cars that are still on the road. A new XJ sedan will cost $72,000 for a base model and $150,000 for a top of the line before any options. These cars are a lot of fun to drive, especially the V12 models. You can find the 6 cylinders cars all day between $1,000 and $5,000, while the 12 cylinder cars are usually slightly more. Like the BMW's you can get these for a song when mechanical work is needed.

Mercedes Benz

  • 300E Sedan 1976-1985

These cars are built like tanks and are dirt cheap today. While leather interiors and wood grain accents have been standard features on this list, the quality in these cars is well beyond the others. $5,000 - $6,000 will bring home a near perfect example, and $1,000 will fetch you a reliable beater. A new Mercedes E350 will starts at $48,600. These cars routinely surpass 300k miles, even with the gas engines.


  • Seville 1992-1997

While I would probably not buy one of these for myself, I put it on the list because many people will prefer an American built car over an import. This is about the best America had to offer in the luxury segment in its day. The Northstar engine has it fans and its critics. A new DTS will cost you at least $46,280. You can get a Seville for well under $5,000. Just make sure you buy one that belonged to someone's grandparents, otherwhise it will probably have been driven into the ground.


  • LS400 First Generation 1989-1994

These cars are really great, they have good power and are unusually quiet to ride in. New Lexus LS sedans have a base price of $63,825. One of these first generation models will cast you between $4500 and $7500 for a really nice model. Lexus is built by Toyota so the quality and reliablity of these cars are excellent. They are the only Japanese entry on the list.


  • A8 1994-2000

These cars have a great ride and are a blast to drive. The interiors are really nice and roomy. Nice models with reasonably low miles tend to sell in the $5500-$7500 range, but there are deals out there. A new A8 will set you back a whopping $120,100 before adding any options.

Jaguar XJ Sedan

Jaguar XJ Sedan
Jaguar XJ Sedan


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    • mattdigiulio profile image

      mattdigiulio 6 years ago

      Well done.

    • profile image

      NhraiF 8 years ago

      Hi there Travis,

      I totally agree with your choices and appreciate the way you broke down the average price and condition of each bargain vehicle. I'd love to link your hub to my blog to show that bargain can not only be found in clothing and accessories, but in cars too. Great read.

    • profile image

      Baby Crib Bedding 8 years ago

      I like your ideas ablut fixer upers. I've picked a couple of good cars just that needed a little work. Thanks

    • profile image

      GAWjr 8 years ago

      Yes, I agree on your choices. I am especially sentimental about Cadillac, they would be a great buy for anyone who gets one with a great maintenance record and low miles. Most previously leased Cadillacs are usually a bargain, but more pricey than the one mentioned.