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Best used luxury cars 2024

An ultra-comfortable ride and a premium driving experience can be yours with the best used luxury cars

With high purchase prices and equally steep running costs, brand-new luxury cars are little more than a fantasy for most drivers. However, opting for one of the best used luxury cars means you can enjoy the same high levels of opulence, comfort and technology but at a much more manageable price.

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Luxury cars are usually built to the highest standards with top-end materials, so they should last longer than most vehicles.This  means they’ll be almost as good as new a few years down the line when depreciation has had time to set in.

In this sense used luxury cars can be the biggest bargains around, with some models losing tens of thousands of pounds in value in just a handful of years. If you’re an owner that’s a heavy burden, but if you’re a buyer it can lead to huge and tempting opportunities.

Our team of experts have thoroughly tested every luxury car on the market and, to help you on your way, we’ve put together the following list of the best used luxury cars you can buy today.

Best used luxury cars to buy

  1. BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe
  2. Range Rover
  3. Porsche Panamera
  4. Mercedes S-Class
  5. Aston Martin Rapide
  6. BMW 7 Series
  7. Audi A8
  8. Bentley Flying Spur

1. BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe

  • Our pick: 840i sDrive (2020/20, 47k miles, £35,190)
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Here’s proof that you really can enjoy a champagne lifestyle for beer money. Mixing million-dollar coupe looks and a beautifully crafted interior with incredibly tempting prices, the 8 Series Gran Coupe allows you to experience how the other half live, for half the price.

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Like many upmarket saloon cars, the BMW suffers from crippling depreciation when new, which is bad news for the original owner, but great for used buyers. 

For example, you can bag a main-dealer-approved used 2020 840i with just 47,000 miles on the clock and a complete history for a whisker over £35,000, which is well under half what it cost new three years ago.

As with all BMWs, the 8 Series is rewarding to drive, with great steering, sharp handling and the choice of turbocharged straight-six and V8 petrol engines. Those wanting to get the look for even less can seek out the smooth and frugal diesel-powered 840d. All versions come with the firm’s excellent eight-speed automatic gearbox, which shuffles gears smoothly when cruising, yet delivers rapid-fire changes in manual mode.

This athleticism doesn’t come at the expense of comfort, with standard adaptive dampers delivering a wafty ride over the worst bumps and potholes. And with the brand’s xDrive four-wheel drive standard on most versions, you’ll have the luxury of knowing you’ll get to your destination whatever the weather.

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The BMW’s rakish lines mean it’s equally at home living the high life as it is on the high street, while the luxuriously appointed interior has true Club Class appeal. Those in the back get space to stretch out, and while the tech isn’t quite as smart as the brand’s latest iDrive offering, the touchscreen infotainment looks great, is packed with features and is simple and slick to use, with good smartphone connectivity.

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When it comes to securing the keys to a truly desirable half-price hero, few can match this big-hitting BMW and the luxury it offers.

2. Range Rover (Mk4)

If you want the luxury car that can do it all, the Range Rover takes some beating. Imposing looks combine with go-anywhere off-road ability to make the big British machine the ultimate all-rounder. It’s great on tarmac too, with top-notch refinement.

For a fairly modest sum, you get one of the most comfortable, capable luxury cars ever built. Imposing looks mean it still feels at home rubbing shoulders with the jet set, while the spacious interior mixes traditional wood and leather with the latest tech. It’s practical, too, with a big boot and that trademark split tailgate.

On the move, the Range Rover’s serenity is enhanced by engines and auto gearboxes that deliver power and refinement in equal measure. From supercharged petrol V8 to plug-in hybrid, there’s something for everyone. Yet for us, the tried and tested 255bhp 3.0-litre V6 serves up a winning blend of pace, efficiency and durability.

3. Porsche Panamera (Mk1)

Channelling the spirit of the legendary 911 into an opulent five-door coupe, the Panamera is a luxury car for keen drivers. It handles with agility and engagement, yet it’s also roomy and lavish inside, with excellent refinement.

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When it arrived the only engine available was the 3.6-litre V6 petrol with 292bhp, although that quickly grew to include a hybrid model and a Turbo S with a 4.8-litre V8 that had 535bhp at its disposal. In 2011, diesels were added to the line-up too.

4. Mercedes S-Class (Mk6)

Mercedes’ flagship is as beautifully built, comfortable and enjoyable to drive as ever, and even newer rivals still struggle to match its advanced kit. The opulent long-wheelbase model offers unrivalled space, while the S 350 d combines strong performance and 40mpg fuel economy.

5. Aston Martin Rapide (Mk1)

You’ll need deep pockets to run the Aston Martin Rapide, but with prices now starting at less than £35,000, it costs less than half what it did when new. Under the long bonnet, the snarling 6.0-litre V12 serves up supercar-style acceleration, while the handling is agile and engaging. The ride is firm and the luxuriously appointed interior is cramped, but few four-door cars offer such a sense of occasion.

6. BMW 7 Series (Mk6)

The BMW 7 Series has long been an underdog in the luxury car sector. It doesn’t quite have the esteemed reputation of some of its rivals, but it definitely should: it’s built to a wonderfully high standard, the engines are immaculate and efficient, and BMW’s on-board technology is among the best you’ll find anywhere.

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The sixth-generation model arrived in the latter stages of 2015, with a pair of diesels making 261 and 315bhp respectively, along with a 3.0-litre, six-cylinder petrol producing 321bhp. A 4.4-litre V8 was added to the line-up not long after, with a plug-in hybrid variant coming on stream in 2016.

The diesels make the most sense from an economic perspective, as the petrols are thirstier on long motorway journeys. Equipment is universally good, with four-zone climate control, heated front and rear seats and an eight-speed automatic gearbox all standard features. Run-flat tyres were also the norm, potentially saving you a lot of hassle at the roadside. However, normal rubber improves the ride.

The 7 Series’ biggest attraction is its interior, which is beautifully designed and perfectly finished. The infotainment is very easy to use on the move, thanks to a dial controller that’s far less fiddly than the touchscreen.

7. Audi A8 (Mk3)

The third-generation Audi A8 represents something of a steal given that earlier low-mileage examples can now be found for under £15,000. The catch is that insurance and maintenance costs are very high, so watch out for those.

When the car arrived in showrooms buyers had a choice of a 4.2-litre petrol engine or 3.0- and 4.2-litre diesels. All of them came with an eight-speed automatic transmission, while a 3.0-litre petrol was added to the line-up soon after. A long-wheelbase A8 L model became available in February 2011, offering 130mm of extra space inside. If legroom is especially important to you, keep your eyes open for one of these.

8. Bentley Flying Spur (Mk2)

When it comes to luxury, Bentley is arguably the only brand that gets close to Rolls Royce in terms of appeal. However, the second-generation Flying Spur added another dimension with a level of grunt that’s almost surprising from a luxury saloon. Engine choices amounted to a 4.0-litre V8 with 500bhp or a 616bhp W12 that could top out at 200mph. Not bad for a vehicle that weighed 2.5 tonnes. There was also a V8 S that sat between the two variants which could sprint from 0-62mph in under five seconds.

When not being pushed to their full potential, all of the engines are extremely quiet at motorway speeds, making them calm, peaceful machines for cross-country drives. The ride is very good too, although the adjustable air suspension isn’t quite as sophisticated as you’ll find on the S-Class.

Now find out more about the best used cars you can buy...

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Chief reviewer

Alex joined Auto Express as staff writer in early 2018, helping out with news, drives, features, and the occasional sports report. His current role of Chief reviewer sees him head up our road test team, which gives readers the full lowdown on our comparison tests.

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