Gabriel Bell coined the phrase, “You get what you pay for." The adage applies to the purchase of most products such as automobiles, but, of course, there are exceptions. With nearly 300 different new car models currently available for sale, and thousands of used cars on the market, selecting the right one can be a daunting task.
According to realcartips.com, the selection process starts with the price, but to help narrow the choices further at any price point, a buyer should focus on three factors.
First there’s quality to consider. The quality and durability of the car’s components and accessories over time, including tech features – such as adaptive cruise control, navigation, and telematics systems.
Next, the cost of ownership. This is the long-term cost of owning a car, including repairs, maintenance, insurance, and depreciation, and making sure it’s not substantially more than the purchase price.
Lastly, there’s reliability. Although most new cars are highly reliable with long term warranties, a dependable vehicle means fewer headaches and lower costs.
In October 2019, the average price of a new car was $34,217. So, new car buyers could reasonably expect any vehicle that costs over $100,000 to be much better than the average.
Here are twenty luxury cars worth $100,000, that are exceptions to the rule.
18 2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum 4WD
At just over $100k, the Cadillac Escalade is an attractive SUV with a long list of standard features such as a 360-degree camera, premium leather, and plenty of safety technology.
However, Consumer Reports ranked the 2017 model as one of the worst luxury SUVs on the market today. The vehicle received poor marks for an inadequately designed and cramped cabin, clumsy handling, poor braking performance, and a stiff ride. The Escalade was also the most unreliable SUV tested in 2017.
17 2018 Jaguar F-Type R
At $106,450, the 2018 Jaguar F-Type R is a stunningly attractive sports car with a powerful engine and excellent handling capabilities.
Regrettably, those features are offset by the fuel economy that's lower than competitors, as well as audio and climate controls that are needlessly complicated and cumbersome. Money Inc. gave the Jaguar a poor reliability rating of 3 out of 5 and a low score for cost of ownership.
16 2018 Nissan GT-R
The 2016 Nissan GT-R ranges in price from just over $100,000 to nearly $150,000, depending on options.
The vehicle rates highly for its power, acceleration, and handling, but is lacking in other areas. The interior materials are anything but luxurious, which is disappointing for such an expensive car. The cost of ownership is above average for cars in its class, and its reliability score is mediocre at best.
15 2019 Jaguar XJL Supercharged XJ50
The XJ50 boasts a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 engine that sends 470 horsepower through an eight-speed automatic transmission to the rear wheels.
While it has an upgraded suspension for agile handling and 14-way power front seats with massage for comfort, the Jaguar ranks near the bottom of the super-luxury car class due to outdated technology and less than stellar reliability.
14 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged
Reliability is often the factor that determines if a luxury vehicle is worth over $100k. In that price range, SUVs are usually a combination of indulgence and performance. The Range Rover Supercharged is one of those, with its 5.0-liter V8 engine rated for 518 horsepower and amenities such as front and rear parking sensors, driver drowsiness monitoring, leather upholstery, and heated front and rear seats.
However, the Range Rover gets poor reliability marks.
13 2019 Mercedes-Benz Maybach Exelero
While its price exceeds $100,000 like all the other vehicles on this list, the Exelero has very little that would justify the nearly $8 million price tag.
The mixture of limousine and luxury coupe design gives the car a sad, unattractive look. With a cost of ownership beyond ridiculous, the only reason to own this car is for its collector’s prestige and future increases in value.
12 2018 BMW X6 M
The Wall Street Journal said, “…the BMW X6 M costs $109,995, as tested, and is yet remarkably useless. Your head starts to spin the moment you open the driver’s door: Whoa, the cabin is tiny. Where did all the room go?”
Although the X6 M is more prominent on the outside than the BMW 335i xDrive Gran Turismo, it's smaller in every dimension on the inside. Ordinarily, a higher price for an SUV translates into more space. The X6 M is the exception.
11 2016 Dodge Viper
The Dodge Viper boasts a magnificent style, terrific power, excellent handling, and a user-friendly infotainment system. But the high-performance sportscar has a reputation for a stiff and uncomfortable ride. The interior is small, and the seats are uncomfortable. Other flaws such as weak responding brakes, poor fuel economy, and low marks for reliability. At $118,795, the Viper seems overpriced, considering all its shortcomings.
10 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR
The SVR is the most powerful model in the Range Rover lineup featuring a 575-horsepower supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 engine that drives the robust four-wheel-drive system. The electronic air suspension and selectable driving modes allow the vehicle to handle any terrain with ease.
However, U.S. News reported: “Though the Land Rover Range Rover Sport has great performance, its less-than-practical attributes – like below-average cargo space and a poor predicted reliability rating – keep it near the bottom of our luxury midsize SUV rankings.
9 2019 Mercedes-Benz G 550
The 2019 G 550, with a starting price of $124,500, is one of the most distinctive vehicles in the large luxury SUV class but lacks some safety features.
While it’s built for extreme off-roading, the Mercedes spends most of its time in the city. The 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is highly capable and luxurious with a style that doesn’t appeal to everyone but places far below its rivals in class rankings.
8 2018 Acura NSX
The Acura NSX is a high-tech hybrid sports car that starts at a price of $156,000. The 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine and three electric motors produce 573 horsepower, making the NSX very fast. It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds. The standard all-wheel drive gives the sports car excellent handling.
However, U.S. News ranked the Acura NSX at the bottom of its luxury sports car rankings. Most competitors are simply more user-friendly and comfortable.
7 2019 Tesla Model X
The appearance of the Tesla Model X sans radiator grille seems unusual to some observers, making the EV unappealing. While the Tesla gets a perfect score on the Consumer Reports’ Owner Satisfaction survey, the nonprofit product-testing organization found it to be one of the least reliable vehicles for sale in 2017. Most of the issues related to the all-wheel-drive system, interior trim, and brakes.
6 2019 Infiniti QX70 5.0 S
Despite a design that dates from 2009, Infiniti still asks over $100,000 for the 2019 QX70 5.0 S. The higher-end models have nicely appointed interiors, but their style seems outdated.
The only powertrain offered, the 3.7-liter V-6 has poor fuel efficiency and trails other more technologically advanced engines. The QX70 is an SUV in need of an update.
5 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class Coupe
The GLE Class Coupe is a failed attempt at mixing a compact SUV with a coupe to achieve a 4-door, 5-passenger crossover.
The Kelly Blue Book says, “the Coupe has less interior room, worse outward visibility, and the choice of only two powertrains. As for its looks, we're being polite in calling it ‘unique.’”
4 2016 Audi A8
The Audi A8 might seem like a good deal at $137,900 because of its smooth-running powerful engine and sporty handling. But several issues offset the car’s best qualities. The vehicle has few driver assistance features, limited trunk space, and an outdated infotainment system.
Money Inc. rates the A8 at a disappointingly low 5.5 out of 10 for cost of ownership and only a 3 out of 5 for reliability.
3 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
The new G-Class base model costs $122,000 but can balloon to $225,000 for a custom configuration. While the vehicle has plenty of power for a luxury-class entry, the handling feels a bit cumbersome, and it's difficult to control on pavement.
Money Inc. gives the Mercedes-Benz only a 6.9 out of 10 rating on performance. The addition of some driver assistance features and improvements to the steering and suspension are needed to justify the high price.
2 2019 Mercedes-Benz S55 AMG
The S55 has earned a reputation for being unreliable, and the repair costs are high enough to induce a heart attack in even the healthiest of owners. The price new starts at $150,000, and this model of Mercedes-Benz, with its history of mechanical issues, has created a growing list of dissatisfied owners with buyer’s remorse.
1 2017 Bentley Bentayga
The Bentayga has the distinction of being the most expensive SUV on the market. Although the base price is a lofty $229,000, it pales in comparison to a fully loaded Bentley selling for nearly $500,000.
The Bentayga demonstrates a quality typical of most cars in its luxury class, excellent performance, plenty of luggage space, and passenger comforts. But the sharp corners give it the appearance of an older funeral car.
Sources: moneyinc.com, autoguide.com, usnews.com, realcartips.com wsj.com