Consumer Reports: Used Luxury SUVs to Avoid in 2022 and What to Buy Instead

With so many SUVs to choose from, how do you find a reliable used luxury SUV that won’t break the bank? Consumer Reports says these options are worth skipping over for a more dependable option. The “buy instead” option listed has better reliability and owner satisfaction scores.

The 2014 BMW X3 is a used luxury SUV worth avoiding

Consumer Reports says to avoid the 2014 BMW X3 used luxury SUV like the one pictured here | BMW
Consumer Reports says to avoid the 2014 BMW X3 used luxury SUV like the one pictured here | BMW

Say it isn’t so! The 2014 BMW X3 didn’t make the grade. Consumer Reports says that the second-generation X3 had a lot of positives to offer but has caused headaches for owners. The X3 has a sporty ride, smooth transition, and luxury interior. However, the reliability score was way below average and the owner satisfaction score was too. The iDrive control system can also be fidgety and hard to master.

Price Range:  $15,900 – $17,875

SUV to buy instead: 2015 Acura RDX

Second choice: 2016 Mazda CX-5

Consumer Reports says the 2013 Audi Q5 is also an unreliable used luxury SUV

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Consumer Reports said that the 2013 Audi Q5 “feels solid, is rewarding to drive and has a plush, quiet cabin.” Unfortunately, the Q5 also brought a lot of problems. The reliability score was far below average, and owners reported various engine, fuel, and electrical systems issues. Audi tends to have reliability problems across the lineup, and the Q5 isn’t exempt from that.

Price Range:  $14,675 – $18,200

SUV to buy instead: 2016 Volvo XC60

Second choice: 2012 Lexus RX

While Volvo usually impresses, the 2017 Volvo XC90 missed the mark


For the 2017 Volvo XC90, the luxury SUV initially impressed Consumer Reports on the road test. The XC90 also came with a long list of safety features, a comfortable interior, and room for seven. After that, the reliability didn’t serve owners very well. CR says that every year of the XC90 since 2016 has shown to be unreliable, which means buying a used one might be an expensive mistake. The infotainment system is also dated and confusing. Consumer Reports says to avoid this SUV unless you find one with a great extended warranty.

Price Range:  $31,025 – $52,175

SUV to buy instead: 2017 BMW X5

Second choice: 2016 Lexus GX

Don’t be fooled by the low price on the 2012 Buick Enclave

The 2012 Buick Enclave was a moderately popular three-row SUV when it first came out. Unfortunately, the time has not been kind to this used luxury SUV. It gets an unimpressive 15 mpg overall and the reliability score was far below-average. The owner satisfaction score didn’t improve much from that. But if you find it for a good deal, Consumer Reports thought the Enclave was smooth to drive and handled well. With the unreliability aspect, you might be better off with one of the SUVs listed below.

Price Range:  $9,625 – $11,775

SUV to buy instead: 2012 Acura MDX

Second choice: 2014 Mazda CX-9

Consumer Reports gathers this information straight from owners on the Annual Auto Survey. The problems noted on the used luxury SUVs worth avoiding come from those surveys, but that doesn’t mean all vehicles will have such issues. Getting a pre-purchase inspection or buying a certified pre-owned vehicle can help discover problems in advance.

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