This is a great time to buy a luxury used car. Stop laughing, it really is. Look back a few years to 2005 and 2006 model years and you will find strong bargains. Let’s face it. These luxury used cars, pickups and SUVs are often second or third vehicles; in effect, disposable sources of income for people who are struggling.
With reduced credit availability, people with good credit (or cash) can move up to a luxury used car.
2006 Audi S4 – This is one of the best combinations of sport and sedan on the used car market, but it’s also still a bit of a toy. In other words, it’s the kind of car you absolutely love, but when it comes time to tighten the belt economically, you’ll put the S4 up for sale. That’s why this is good time to get a good deal on a used 2006 Audi S4. Absolute purists will shudder at this next statement: go for the automatic transmission. This is a car where people will pay a premium for a manual transmission. You’re honestly not going to miss much by opting for the automatic. Honest.
Private Seller price: $26,529/Dealer Price: $27,915
2005 Porsche Boxster – The Porsche Boxster is another in the class of toy cars. When the economy starts to take a tumble – and it’s choice between mortgage payments and the superfluous sports car in the driveway – you’re going to sell the convertible. (The Boxster is just way too small to sleep in.) The 2005 model is going to be the one to consider. It was redesigned then. Power output was increased in 2007, which is going to make those models more attractive to some, but there is no shortage of performance in the ’05 Boxster for what most of us are going to do with the car (i.e. drive it at fairly responsible speeds on Interstate highways). Opt for the base model vs. the upgraded S for largely the same reasons.
Private Seller price: $22,695 /Dealer Price: $24,398
2006 Infiniti M – There are two classes of M: the 35 and the 45. Life is going to be a little zippier with the more powerful M45, but in 99% of driving situations, the M35 is going to be a perfectly delightful cruiser (and offer better fuel economy from its V-6 vs. the V8 in the M45). The Infiniti M is a great used car bargain, regardless of economy, because it has just failed to catch on with the buying public in the same numbers as its sibling, the G35. It’s tough to fathom why because this is a sedan that beats the competition in most head-to-head tests.
Private Seller price: $22,150/Dealer Price: $23,663
2006 Cadillac STS – Here’s another luxury sedan that has been eclipsed by its smaller sibling, the CTS. It’s also overshadowed by the STS-V, the souped up model that was introduced in 2006. The STS is a luxury used car bargain because it had a decent run, but its time is going to pass quickly as GM struggles with product development. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the 2006 model, for example, but it is going to seem tired in its look. Plus, folks are going to downsize out of the STS into the CTS when their leases come up. Pick up a 2006 model and lead a life of contentment. If you want to save a few bucks, opt for the V-6 over the V8.
Private Seller price: $17,950/Dealer Price: $19,548
2005 Acura TL – What model year Acura TL you buy is largely up to your pocketbook, but you are not going to be disappointed in any model introduced since the redesign in 2004. Now’s a good time to buy a used TL because a new model has been introduced. Frankly, the 2009 TL is as ugly as sin, but it’s a great car to drive. Probably the best reason to buy a used TL is for its sound system. It’s the equal of luxury sedans costing tens of thousands more. Plus, the TL is just a fun car to drive. It will rarely, if ever, disappoint you.
Private Seller price: $16,144 / Dealer Price: $17,669
2006 Acura MDX – The MDX was upgraded in 2007, which makes the 2006 a strong luxury used car. It was the last model year of the first generation, which means it was largely pitch perfect by the time the new model was rolled out. Just like its sedan sibling, the TL, there is nothing that is going to disappoint you about the MDX. Stay away from 2001 and 2002 models because of transmission problems. The MDX is an SUV that doesn’t flaunt its size or luxury on the outside.
Private Seller price: $18,820/ Dealer Price: $20,445
2006 Ford Expedition – If you need a big, comfortable SUV, and let’s face it some of us do, the Ford Expedition is a great used car luxury value. Ford’s SUVs really took an unfair slam because of their size. They became the poster boys for excess but what was overlooked was their quality. There is little perceptible ride difference between the Expedition and its cousin, the Navigator. A top-of-the-line Expedition really is a luxury vehicle.
Private Seller price: $14,544/Dealer Price: $15,620
2006 Lexus SC – Opulence is going to be out if the recession continues and the Lexus SC430 is really a luxurious two-seat convertible. It has an overabundance of style. Some people have quibbled over the years about its performance, but it’s not a sporty convertible. It’s a luxo-cruiser with a hardtop that is going to put a smile on your face every time you drive it. Lexus really knows how to build a luxurious car.
Private Seller price: $36,382 /Dealer Price: $38,936
2006 Chevrolet Silverado 4dr Crew Cab – Pickups can be luxurious vehicles, but they don’t have to flaunt their luxury like the Cadillac Escalade EXT. The Silverado is a good case in point. Frankly, it may not be as refined inside as the Ford F-150, but it has a better reliability rating from Consumer Reports. Plus, it was redesigned for 2008, which makes this past generation model a good deal.
Private Seller price: $16,502 /Dealer Price: $17,844
2006 Toyota Sequoia – Looking for a big, comfortable SUV that can hold lots of people and their luggage? Plus, it can take you off road, if need be? Then the Sequoia is the right vehicle for you. It has a luxurious interior, maybe not quite as swank as a Lexus, but it’s going to keep you happy. It went through a cosmetic upgrade in 2005 before going through a redesign in 2007. So, the 2006 model was the last model year before the change.
Private Seller price: $24,185/Dealer Price: $25,995