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Used test: Audi A7 vs BMW 5 Series vs Jaguar XF costs

These three cars major in luxury, yet at seven years old they'll each save you more than £30,000 off new. Which is the best used buy? We find out...

Jaguar XF vs Audi A7 Sportback vs BMW 5 Series

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety

Let's start with the most expensive car when new, the Audi A7. It remains the priciest used buy, but at a very reasonably £18,000. Next up is the Jaguar XF, sitting mid-pack at £17,000. The BMW 5 Series is the cheapest new and used, coming in at £15,000 after seven years. With all cars having similar savings – otherwise known as depreciation – none particularly stands out as the best buy on this alone.

The trio are similarly matched on fuel economy, too, though the XF comes out on top nonetheless. It achieved a 39.4mpg average in our hands, while the 5 Series returned 38.2mpg and the A7 37.7mpg. The XF attracts a yearly road tax fee of £180, the 5 Series £180 and the A7 £165.

Jaguar XF vs Audi A7 Sportback vs BMW 5 Series

Continuing the trend of similarities, we come to insurance costs. In group 43, the 5 Series will cost the most at around £1054, but the XF is only one group behind in 42, meaning it should cost around £1033. The A7 is one lower in group 41, so it'll set you back around £1015.

In regards to servicing, Audi will charge you a fixed fee of £599 for two services of the A7. For the 530d, you can buy one major service from BMW for £900. The XF is pricy to service. We were quoted £1685 for two services. 

All of these cars are suitably well equipped, with sat-nav, Bluetooth, leather upholstery, auto lights and wipers, cruise and climate controls, front and rear parking sensors and heated front seats. However, the 5 Series is the only one that doesn’t get keyless entry and it has smaller alloy wheels than its rivals, although it is alone in having metallic paint as standard. The XF has a reversing camera, but is otherwise eclipsed by the A7, which gets four-zone climate control and full LED headlights and taillights.

Jaguar XF vs Audi A7 Sportback vs BMW 5 Series

In our latest What Car? Reliability Survey, the 5 Series (in diesel form) ranked seventh out of 10 cars in the luxury car class. While that isn't stellar, the XF and A7 (though featured here as the mechanically similar A6) are even worse, coming in eighth and ninth respectively. As brands, BMW placed 16th out of 32 manufacturers featured, while Audi finished in 21st and Jaguar 26th. 

The XF is the only one to have been crash tested by Euro NCAP under the current, more stringent regime. This means that it benefits from numerous modern safety features, including lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking (below 50mph), and a system that displays the speed limit in front of the driver. The A7 came with the least safety kit as standard, while the 5 Series did get a five star rating in its day.

All three are rated equally highly by Thatcham for resisting break-ins and being stolen.