Trucks & SUVs

These $30,000 Used Luxury SUVs Have 1 Disastrous Flaw

Buying a used luxury SUV is a great way to save big thanks to the massive depreciation that used luxury goods face. However, don’t be fooled by the attractively low price. Some of these used Luxury SUVs may be cheap to buy upfront but can quickly become a massive headache over time. Today we’ll be looking at three used luxury SUVs for less than $30,000 that received poor reliability ratings by Consumer Reports.

The 2016 Volvo XC90 is a luxury SUV you should avoid

2020 Volvo XC90
2020 Volvo XC90 Luxury SUV | Volvo

The 2016 Volvo XC90 is set to be one of the best family luxury SUVs on the surface. According to Consumer Reports, the three-row SUV excelled in the acceleration, transmission, braking, and comfort categories. Additionally, the interior received top marks for quality and low noise levels. Add on to that a sleek exterior design, powerful engine options, and a minimalist interior, and you get an excellent luxury SUV.

However, turn to Consumer Reports’ reliability ratings, and you’ll find a completely different story. According to Consumer Reports, the 2016 XC90 has known reliability issues with its engine, transmission, climate system, suspension, brakes, body integrity, and power equipment. This means that despite finding a lightly used example on Autotrader for less than $30,000, XC90 ownership could prove quite costly over time.

The 2015 BMW X5 isn’t much better

A BMW X5 parked on the street for a photo
A BMW X5 Luxury SUV on display | Franke Tsang/South China Morning Post via Getty Images

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If the 2015 BMW X5 looks like an enticing luxury SUV option, you’re not alone. As far as this list goes, the X5 is by far the sportiest option. From efficient six-cylinder engines to fire-breathing V8s, there’s plenty to like. If you look on Autotrader, you’ll find 2015 X5’s selling for under $20,000 with a decent amount of miles on the clock. However, given the model’s $53,750 base MSRP, depreciation has hit it relentlessly.

Just like the Volvo, BMW’s luxury SUV is unsurprisingly plagued by reliability issues. According to Consumer Reports, the X5 ranked poorly in the engine, fuel system, electric system, suspension, brakes, and power equipment categories. Since these major components are prone to fail, long term maintenance could prove quite expensive. This is likely why the values have dropped so sharply.

Steer clear of the 2015 Audi Q7

Like the BMW, the 2015 Audi Q7 is a luxury SUV with a $53,400 starting price. Despite this, you’ll find plenty of high-trim levels on Autotrader for less than $25,000 with decent mileage. It comes as a surprise to no one that poor reliability ratings are likely to blame for the steep depreciation. According to Consumer Reports, the 2015 Q7 struggles in the climate system, suspension, brakes, and body integrity categories. It is worth noting that the Q7 has fewer issues than the other luxury SUVs mentioned.

Despite being the least likely to break down, the Q7 had surprisingly poor customer satisfaction ratings. Consumer Reports records this data by surveying actual owners to see if they actually like the SUVs they have purchased.

If you’re going to buy, make a budget

If the savings are too good to ignore, make sure you make a budget before pulling the trigger on any used luxury SUV. This way, even if problems do arise, you’re financially prepared for them. Additionally, make sure to check Consumer Reports to find out which engine and transmission combinations are the least problematic.