A reliable car with a luxury brand logo doesn’t have to cost top dollar. In fact, when Forbes compiled a list of the most reliable used cars you can buy for less than $10k, it identified four luxury sedans worth considering. These are the Buick Verano, Mercury Grand Marquis, Lincoln Town Car, and Lexus ES. Here are the specific years you should look into if you want a reliable used luxury car for under $10k.
2012 to 2015 Buick Verano
The Verano was a Buick the size of the Chevrolet Cruze. Despite some luxurious trims, and even some sporty drivetrains, it was never a hit when new. Luckily for us, this means it’s a bargain on the used reliable luxury car market. While other generations of the Verano are available in China, only 2012 through 2015 models were available in the U.S.
Forbes admits that the Verano’s exterior styling is forgettable. But upper trim versions had an impressive interior, both roomy and luxurious. Buick built most of these cars with a naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter I4 and automatic transmission. If you hunt around you can find a Verano with a manual and turbocharged 2.0-liter I4 that’s aged quite well. Note that true entry-level Veranos don’t offer much you can’t get in the Chevy Cruze.
2003 to 2011 Lincoln Town Car
You can’t find a more timeless luxury car than the Lincoln Town Car. This big RWD sedan with a V8 engine is a blast from the past, even though Lincoln built it through 2011. Lincoln is Ford’s top luxury division, and this third-generation of the Town Car is built on the reliable Crown Victory chassis. Because this chassis was so common as a police cruiser and a taxi, plenty of mechanics know how to work on them, and parts are easy to come by.
Ford redesigned the Town Car for 2003 and tuned both steering and suspension, so it’s worth finding a 2003-11 model of this reliable used luxury car. They were incredibly common with limo fleets, and the right high-mileage fleet-maintained Town Car still has many miles of life left. But you will want a mechanic to inspect a high mileage one and review its service records. You will also have to pay for the Town Car’s seating for six, 20+ cubic foot trunk, and powerful V8 engine every time you visit the fuel pump.
1999 to 2011 Mercury Grand Marquis
Mercury is an old Ford brand, so the Grand Marquis is a rebadged Lincoln Town Car. Why did Ford bother selling two versions of the same car? Many retirees were big fans of the classic Mercury brand. This means that a surprising number of Grand Marquis still have very few miles on the clock. Because this automaker is defunct, you may be able to buy one of these sedans even cheaper than a Lincoln Town Car.
Obviously if you are buying a 20+ year old car, especially in a more seasonal climate, you want to have it inspected for rust, corrosion, or other forms of wear–no matter how low the mileage is. But there are excellent deals on reliable used Mercury Grand Marquis cars with plush luxury interiors if you have the patience to hunt them down.
1999 to 2012 Lexus ES
Just like Lincoln is Ford’s top luxury badge, Lexus is Toyota’s luxury badge. This means that while the Lexus ES has luxury sedan styling and interior, it is as reliable as a Toyota Camry–and as fuel efficient. Any private mechanic who knows how to work on a Toyota Camry can also maintain a Lexus ES, and many of the parts under the hood are interchangeable. This drives down the cost of ownership significantly.
While a Lexus ES does not have the most dramatic styling, a well-cared-for example still looks at home parked in a row of luxury cars. Forbes reveals that 1999 through 2012 models seem to be the current sweet spot for sub-$10k prices and relatively modern styling and features. But the trick will be finding a low-mileage Lexus ES from any generation. Any well-maintained example within your budget is probably worth considering.
Next, find out which used cars have Apple CarPlay/Android Auto or see the pros and cons of buying a used luxury car in the video below: