Best used luxury cars for £25,000

Luxury cars need to combine a sumptuous interior with a cosseting ride and exceptional refinement. Here we count down our top 10 used luxury cars for £25k...

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by
Mark Pearson
Published30 November 2023

Used luxury

If what you desire in a saloon car is a sumptuous interior with plenty of space to lounge, as well as a soft and cosseting ride, all the performance and technology that money can buy and the sort of refinement that makes it possible to cross a continent in one day without reaching for the headache tablets, then what you need is a luxury car.

The trouble with most of them is that they cost an awful lot of money, but, if you wait for them to age a little, the very best of them can come within your reach for the price of a new family SUV.

Here we’ve found ten of the very best luxury saloon cars each up for less than £25,000. The very best one? Well, in our book that's the 2017-2023 BMW 5 Series. But take a look at the other cars we’ve picked and see if one of them can also tempt you into a life of luxury.

Strengths

  • Delightful to drive
  • Well equipped
  • Very economical

Weaknesses

  • A little pricey
  • Average rear seat space
  • Slight question mark over reliability

You’d be hard pushed to find a car at any price that has as broad a range of talents as the 5 Series. It comes with a range of punchy yet efficient engines, neat styling and a wonderful ride and handling balance. It's wonderfully refined, too. Our chosen spec 530e plug-in hybrid even has the potential for great economy. Add to that its luscious and spacious interior, excellent ergonomics and class-leading iDrive infotainment controller and it’s no wonder we rate this car above all others as a used luxury buy.

We found 2020 BMW 530e M Sport, 32,000 miles, £24,995

Shop for a used one here

Our pick: S8 Quattro Vorsprung 4dr Tiptronic

0-62mph: 3.8 sec
MPG/range: 24.6mpg
CO2 emissions: 261g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 505 litres
Insurance group: 50E

Strengths

  • Super-smooth ride quality
  • Beautiful interior
  • Impressive space

Weaknesses

  • Fuel economy behind rivals
  • S-Class has a more interesting interior
  • Not the most exciting to drive

Fancy all the familiar solid qualities to be found in everyday Audis but wrapped up in a luxury limo bodyshell, with added space, greater luxury and even more tech?  Underneath is the four-wheel-drive you’d expect from Audi, and inside is a classy-looking dash, smart infotainment system and a wonderfully opulent interior, with a long-wheelbase option for business types to lounge around in. Supremely refined but now modestly priced. 

We found 2019 Audi A8 3.0 TDI Quattro Black Edition, 48,000 miles, £24,995

Shop for a used one here

 

Strengths

  • Comfortable ride
  • Composed handling
  • Great refinement

Weaknesses

  • Diesel isn't as efficient as some rivals
  • Expensive to maintain

The S-Class offers an outstanding level of quality, refinement and driver appeal, and, in our chosen spec S350 diesel form, even has reasonable running costs. It’s comfortable, too, with a cosseting ride, and the interior is a classy delight. There’s plenty of tech on board, as you'd expect, but it’s all easy to access and use. All this quality for such a reasonable price makes it a bit of a luxury car bargain.

We found 2018 Mercedes S350d  SE Line L, 55,000 miles, £24,995

Shop for a used one here

 

Strengths

  • Sumptuous interior
  • Supple ride
  • Well equipped

Weaknesses

  • Not as fun to drive as some rivals
  • E220d not as quiet as some diesels

The Mercedes E-Class is available used with a great range of engines, comes very well equipped and is a quiet and comfortable cruiser. It’s not as spacious in the rear seats as some, and it can be quite firm in the ride on certain versions too, but it is elegant, classy, comfortable and well equipped, and now it’s really good value to buy used. Its reliability record is good, too. 

We found 2020 Mercedes E220d AMG Line, 30,000 miles, £22,000

Shop for a used one here

 

 

Strengths

  • Powerful and refined engines
  • High-quality interior
  • Comfortable cruiser

Weaknesses

  • Thirsty petrol engines
  • Numb steering

The ultra-handsome 6 Series Gran Coupé is a luxurious and comfortable grand tourer with plenty of room for four and an air of opulence hard to beat for this budget. There are plenty of terrific engines to choose from, too - even with the entry-level petrol and diesel options it can hit 62mph from a standstill in just 5.4sec - and it's now great value bought used. It'll certainly impress the neighbours.

We found 2018 BMW 640d M Sport, 56,000 miles, £21,000

Shop for a used one here

 

 

Strengths

  • Refinement
  • Interior quality
  • Space

Weaknesses

  • There are better luxury cars to drive
  • Petrol engines thirsty
  • Reliability poor

The Audi A6 is a cosseting, quiet and technologically advanced saloon that feels beautifully built. True, its latest touchscreen infotainment system is a little distracting to use on the move, and the automatic gearboxes can be slow-witted, but the A6 is still wonderfully refined, decently efficient and excellent value for money bought at two or three years old. 

We found 2020 Audi A6 45 TDI S line, 25,000 miles, £23,500

Shop for a used one here

 

Our pick: M760e xDrive 4dr Auto

0-62mph: 4.3 sec
MPG/range: 256.8mpg
CO2 emissions: 25g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 525 litres
Insurance group: 50E

Strengths

  • Strong engines
  • High-quality interior
  • Sharp to drive

Weaknesses

  • Busy low-speed ride
  • Some kit is optional

Another luxury limo stuffed with tech, the 7 Series has always been one of the best of the breed to drive. You can punt it down a winding road with surprising confidence, or cruise down a motorway from its beginning to its end. It’s impressively clean and frugal, too, for a car of this size, with the chosen 730d version boasting a six-cylinder diesel engine of unusual refinement. Inside is a spacious and luxurious interior fit for any captain of industry, with plenty of up-to-the-minute kit.

We found 2018 BMW 730d M Sport, 44,000 miles, £23,500

Shop for a used one here

Strengths

  • Fabulous handling
  • Well equipped
  • Smooth ride

Weaknesses

  • High running costs
  • Sluggish infotainment
  • Flimsy switchgear
  • Reliability a bit mixed

Thanks to its precise steering and agile handling, no mainstream luxury saloon is more entertaining than the Jaguar XF, yet it's also comfortable over long distances. The best rivals are quieter, though, and they have classier interiors, but we reckon the XF still strikes a superb balance between ride and handling, and is great fun to drive. It’s well equipped, too, and great to look at. Reliability is a little mixed, however. 

We found 2020 Jaguar XF 2.0d Portfolio, 28,000 miles, £18,500

Shop for a used one here

Strengths

  • Good interior space
  • Generous standard kit
  • High-quality interior

Weaknesses

  • Puts comfort before handling
  • Touchscreen buttons
  • Lethargic gearbox

After something a little less ostentatious and a lot more affordable than most of the other cars on this list? Then this big, Swedish saloon could be just the thing, because it has a spacious and stunning interior, and comes very well equipped. It’s refined, too, and its striking looks will certainly impress the neighbours. Just bear in mind that it's not quite as good to drive as the best on this list. 

We found 2020 Volvo S90 D4 Momentum, 34,000 miles, £16,995

Shop for a used one here

Strengths

  • Great handling
  • Punchy engines
  • Well equipped
  • Reliability

Weaknesses

  • Poor rear head room
  • So-so quality

The XJ has always been the creamiest cat in the Jag range. Strikingly different in its styling, it equalled previous Jaguar standards in ride quality and refinement and shattered them in terms of driving pleasure. Inside the XJ brings a touch of modernity to the trad wood and leather look, and there’s plenty of kit for your money. It also finished second in the luxury car class in our most recent What Car? Reliability Survey

We found 2018 XJ 3.0d Portfolio, 57,000 miles, £22,995

Shop for a used one here