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Best and worst older luxury cars for reliability

Luxury cars suffer from heavy depreciation, so can make very tempting used buys. But they can also leave you with big repair bills if you don't choose one of the more reliable models...

6 Apr 2018 09:40

Best and worst older luxury cars for reliability

Best older luxury cars for reliability

Car makers usually load their luxury car models up with all the latest kit, so they should be great to live with. It does mean they have more gadgets to go wrong, though, and once they're out of warranty it'll be down to owners to foot the bill for repair costs.

In our 2017 Reliability Survey, we asked more than 14,200 people to tell us about any faults their cars had suffered during the past 12 months. To pinpoint the most - and least - dependable models, we asked how long each problem had kept the car off the road and how much it had cost to get it fixed.

Models with the least problems and the lowest repair bills gained the top ratings, and those that languished in workshops for days on end and racked up expensive bills were given the lowest ratings.

Here's our round-up of the best and worst performers in the luxury league for cars aged four to 10-years-old.

Read the full Reliability Survey results

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Best older luxury cars for reliability

Audi A6

8. Audi A6

Score 65.7%

Only 30% of A6 saloons suffered a fault according to owners, but half of those faults related to the engine, engine electrics and the fuel system.

Read our full review of the Audi A6

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Best older luxury cars for reliability

Audi A6 interior

8. Audi A6

Score 65.7%

The more serious nature of Audi A6 faults meant that around a third of cars were off the road for more than a week. Around half the cars were fixed for free, but some other owners were faced with bills of more than £1500.

Read our full review of the Audi A6

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Best older luxury cars for reliability

Audi A7

7. Audi A7

Score 69.5%

The A7 isn't up with the best of its rivals when it comes to reliability, with 40% of cars suffering a fault. However, most were less serious issues, such as bodywork and non engine electrics; a small percentage suffered gearbox/clutch problems.

Read our full review of the Audi A7

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Best older luxury cars for reliability

Audi A7 interior

7. Audi A7

Score 69.5%

Most problems were sorted out in less than a week, with owners either paying nothing or just a few hundred pounds. That said, a small percentage cost more than £1500 to put right.

Read our full review of the Audi A7

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Best older luxury cars for reliability

Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupe

6. Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupe

Score 75.7%

More than 36% of CLS owners said their car had suffered a fault, with affected areas ranging from bodywork and non-engine electrics to the suspension.

Read our full review of the Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupe

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Best older luxury cars for reliability

Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupe

6. Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupe

Score 75.7%

All faulty cars remained driveable and all were fixed in less than a day. Repair bills were mainly just a few hundred pounds, but some cars were fixed for free and others cost up to £750 to get back on the road.

Read our full review of the Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupe

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Best older luxury cars for reliability

BMW 5 Series (2003-2011)

5. BMW 5 Series (2003-2011)

Score 79.8%

The older 5 Series appears to be ageing well – although 35% of cars had a fault, and these were split fairly evenly between non-engine electrics and diesel particulate filters, with a smaller number of owners reporting suspension issues.

Read our full review of the BMW 5 Series (2003-2011)

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Best older luxury cars for reliability

BMW 5 Series (2003-2011)

5. BMW 5 Series (2003-2011)

Score 79.8%

Owners told us that their cars were repaired swiftly – nearly half were back on the road the same day – but repair bills were fairly steep with some items costing up to £1500.

Read our full review of the BMW 5 Series (2003-2011)

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Best older luxury cars for reliability

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe

4. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe

Score 88.3%

The E-Class Coupe we're reporting on is only slightly less dependable than its saloon sibling. Only 14% of cars suffered a fault and problem areas included the battery, brakes and air-con system.

Read our full review of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe

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Best older luxury cars for reliability

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe

4. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe

Score 88.3%

Cars were fixed swiftly, but none were repaired for free and owners had to pay bills ranging from £100 to £500, so E-Class Coupe ownership isn't the cheapest option.

Read our full review of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe

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Best older luxury cars for reliability

BMW 5 Series (2010-2017)

3. BMW 5 Series (2010-2017)

Score 90.5%

Even though 25% of the previous generation 5 Series owners we heard from reported a fault, many of them were minor niggles with bodywork, trim or air-con. Only a small percentage of cars had problems with the gearbox/clutch or suspension.

Read our full review of the BMW 5 Series (2010-2017)

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Best older luxury cars for reliability

BMW 5 Series (2010-2017)

3. BMW 5 Series (2010-2017)

Score 90.5%

None of the 5 Series saloons we were told about were off the road for more than a week, and most remained driveable, but a small percentage of owners were left with bills of up to £750. It's worth noting that our results only refer to diesel-engined models.

Read our full review of the BMW 5 Series (2010-2017)

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Best older luxury cars for reliability

Mercedes-Benz E-Class saloon (2009-2016)

2. Mercedes-Benz E-Class saloon (2009-2016)

Score 91.2%

Only 12% of previous generation E-Class saloons suffered a fault, according to owners. The problem areas included the brakes, engine, engine electrics, fuel system and the water pump.

Read our full review of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class saloon (2009-2016)

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Best older luxury cars for reliability

Mercedes-Benz E-Class saloon (2009-2016)

2. Mercedes-Benz E-Class saloon (2009-2016)

Score 91.2%

Although many of the faults suffered by E-Class saloons centred on fairly serious areas, no cars were off the road for more than a week, and two thirds were fixed for free and the other bills didn't exceed £500.

Read our full review of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class saloon (2009-2016)

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Best older luxury cars for reliability

Lexus GS

1. Lexus GS

Score 100.0%

The Lexus GS may not be as scintilating to drive as an Audi A6 or BMW 5 Series, but it's by far the most dependable luxury car to live with. Remarkably, none of the four-to-10 year old Lexus GS saloons we were told about had suffered a fault in the past 12 months.

Read our full review of the Lexus GS

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Best older luxury cars for reliability

Lexus GS

1. Lexus GS

Score 100.0%

More than 77% of GS owners told us they were extremely satisfied with their cars, and the only things they didn't like were the relatively small boot in the 450h hybrid and the high fuel consumption of the petrol-engined, sporty 250 F.

Read our full review of the Lexus GS

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Worst older luxury cars for reliability

Jaguar XJ

2. Jaguar XJ

Score 45.0%

More than 33% of Jaguar XJs had a fault, according to owners. They spanned a wide range of areas including the battery, bodywork and trim, brakes, engine and non-engine electrics.

Read our full review of the Jaguar XJ

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Best older luxury cars for reliability

Jaguar XJ

2. Jaguar XJ

Score 45.0%

Jaguar dealerships worked hard to rectify faults though, repairing virtually all cars in less than a week, and many the same day. They also covered the cost of many repairs, with only a few owners asked to pay bills of up to £1000.

Read our full review of the Jaguar XJ

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Best older luxury cars for reliability

Jaguar XF (2010-2015)

1. Jaguar XF

Score 38.7%

The Jaguar XF sits at the bottom of the older luxury reliability league because more than 41% of cars suffered a fault. The majority of problems related to non-engine electrical systems; other common fault areas included the engine, brakes, bodywork and trim.

Read our full review of the Jaguar XF

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Best older luxury cars for reliability

Jaguar XF (2010-2015)

1. Jaguar XF

Score 38.7%

A significant proportion of XF saloons were rendered undriveable by a fault and took more than a week to fix. Repair bills ranged from zero to more than £1500.

Read our full review of the Jaguar XF

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