Luxury cars are often years ahead of entry-level vehicles in their features and styling. A low-mileage used luxury car can offer incredible value on the used vehicle market. Not every luxury automaker builds vehicles that are dependable and cheap to maintain. But when UsedCars.com ranked the most reliable 10-year-old vehicles, two luxury cars actually landed on its list: the Lexus ES and the Buick Lacrosse.
2007-2012 Lexus ES
Lexus is Toyota Motor Corporation’s luxury marque. Therefore, it’s unsurprising that the Lexus ES boasts Toyota levels of dependability. The 2007 through 2012 Lexus ES 350 was a midsize luxury sedan. It was a front-engine, FWD with a transverse-mounted V6 and six-speed automatic. Lexus tuned its suspension for a smooth, quiet ride instead of responsive performance. Yet its 268 horsepower engine could still propel it to 60 mph in a respectable 6.2 seconds. Reviewers did find the torque-steer effect annoying at full acceleration–not surprising in a powerful front-engine, FWD sedan. Overall, it earned a fuel efficiency rating of 21 city/30 highway mpg.
In 2009, Lexus gave the ES 350 a major restyling for lower, sleeker looks. Every single trim level comes with Bluetooth, dual-zone climate controls, a power moonroof, and an eight-speaker premium sound system. Lexus also equipped every ES 350 with keyless entry and ignition. Standard safety features included side curtain airbags, traction control, stability control, and anti-lock brakes.
Buyers could opt for very advanced features, including adaptive cruise control with a corresponding pre-collision safety system that retracts the seatbelts and ups braking power. Lexus also offered a Mark Levinson premium stereo, rain-sensing wipers, and parking assist. Overall, the Lexus ES 350 was ahead of its time in many ways while maintaining some of the best reliability of its day. This decade-old Lexus can hold its own on modern roads.
2010-2017 Buick LaCrosse
Buick engineered the second generation of its LaCrosse for interior comfort and quiet. Its styling incorporates designed elements from both the 1930s and 1950s. It may be especially appealing to fans of the golden age of Detroit. Buick is one of General Motors’ luxury badges. For this reason, the Buick LaCrosse was loaded with up-market features.
You could configure the second-generation Lacrosse with a range of engines and drivetrains. The base engine was a 2.4-liter four-cylinder inline engine that made just 182 horsepower. But Buick carried over the 280-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 from the first generation of the LaCrosse. The larger engine is a reliable choice, better suited to keep up with modern highway driving.
Every second-generation LaCrosse did come with air conditioning, XM radio, power doors and windows, electronic stability control, and six airbags. But if you can find a used LaCrosse with the “luxury package,” you also get leather seats and a Harman/Kardon premium sound system with 11 speakers. These options make it a true luxury vehicle and are probably worth hunting around for–according to UsedCars.com
Other reliable decade-old cars
The interesting thing about both the Buick LaCrosse and Lexus ES is they were the top-trim vehicles on a shared chassis. If a luxury badge is not a dealbreaker for you, you can find the exact same reliable chassis in a different vehicle. For example, the Lexus ES 350 shares many of its components with the sixth-generation Toyota Camry’s upper trim levels. The Buick LaCrosse borrowed underpinning from the ninth-generation Chevrolet Impala. If you can find either of these “entry-level” sedans–well-optioned and gently used–you may be able to get an excellent deal on a reliable car.
Learn more about how the Lexus ES350 holds up on the used market in the video below: