Need some insights on brands, leasing and reliability for luxury sedans

I have hit a certain financial milestone and I’m exploring some luxury sedan options for the future. We currently own Tesla Model 3 and Nissan Leaf. We got those for HOV lane stickers, and what our budget allowed at that time. I have never owned a luxury car, so I don’t know everything I might be missing.

What I care about:

  • Tech features like ADAS (lane steering, adaptive cruise control), safety (collision avoidance, parking assist, etc.). I love these features from Tesla.
  • Great NVH characteristics for a quiet/comfortable ride (my commute route in the Model 3 is quite noisy).
  • 60k out the door budget or < ~$1k/mo lease payment

What I don’t care about

  • high performance
  • luxury interiors like leather seats.

I have been exploring options to buy a luxury sedan either leasing or buying (new or used).

I ran some searches on iseecars and autotrader, and I noticed these things.

  1. Lexus used vehicles tend to have very high resale value. I looked at used LS options but those are $70 to $90k, and I don’t want to spend that much. My other option then is the ES which gets good ratings on ride quality, and I see some 3 to 6 year used options in the $30 to 40k range.
  2. BMW 7 series or Mercedes S class drop in value by ~half around the 5 year mark, but people are complaining about spending time at the shop, so maybe that’s reflected in the price. Or is it just a general perception of being high maintenances that causes those resale values to drop. If I can find a used BMW/

For used cars:

  • which brands do retain NVH rating over time (don’t want to buy a used car if it only remains quiet in the first 3 years.
  • what are some ways to prevent frequent unscheduled trips to the shop if buying BWM/Mercedes
  • any other vehicle brands I have overlooked for a tech focused comfortable ride?

For leasing:

  • since Lexus maintains values so well, I’d have thought the lease options would be affordable but my preliminary search suggests that is not the case.
  • For the German brands, I see good lease options, which is counterinutitive. I’d have thought since the depreciation is high, the lease prices will be high

Any other strategies I may have missed for scratching my luxury sedan itch?

If you want to buy and keep it for awhile - Get Lexus ES

If you want to lease - Get German, if you don’t mind EV, Benz eq is cheap.


Luxury? Reliability? Under 60k? Don’t care about leather seats? Oh boy have I got the car for you… Toyota Century, with WOOL seats because the Japanese know what true luxury should feel like.



Does it have apple car play​:sunglasses::sunglasses:?

Buy Lexus and lease Germans, the Germans will most likely be cheaper to lease from what I see on LH than the Lexus I don’t know why since Lexus has cheap plastic material and nothing luxury but I assume it’s the resale value.

I think this kind of rules out, like, literally every German luxury brand (except for their “inexpensive” FWD-based models).

It’s not a great idea to buy a German car, and, for God’s sake, please don’t get one that’s 5 yrs old.

I don’t think there’s really data on this, but every car from a legacy luxury car maker is probably going to have stable NVH for 3 yrs of ownership, provided you don’t get a car that’s particularly old.

RV isn’t necessarily based on real-world resale value.

Lexus doesn’t subsidize its leases w/ low MFs or many rebates (aside from the EVs). It really only makes sense to buy Lexuses, for the most part (esp since they hold their value well). And b/c they hold their value so well, I don’t really know if it makes sense to get a used one.

BMW tends to offer significant lease incentives and used to offer very low MFs. MB and Audi don’t really subsidize lease for their ICE cars.

There are always exceptions to the above.

You could maybe look into leasing a loaner (incl EV SUVs from MB and BMW).

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Then you should probably look at Genesis.

The 3 Korean brands are the only ones beside Tesla who do blind spot cameras, in addition to very good ADAS and parking summon-type features


I’d suggest leasing a German car. Does it have to be full-size? A midsize is significantly cheaper and still a massive step up in terms of NVH compared to a Model 3, although they all depreciate rapidly if you want to keep it after the lease. In terms of reliability, BMW is head and shoulders above the rest at the moment. A 530e (4-cylinder plug-in hybrid) sounds like it would fit the bill. 2023s might be hard to find at this point, but 2024s (new generation) should come late this year. CPO 2023 if you prefer the looks.

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Got it.

This is very insightful. Thank you.

I don’t mind EVs for my sedan (I plan to buy a minivan for the family road trips). So I will explore good EV leases. Maybe the new Teslas have better NVH, but very disappointed by how noisy my Model 3 is (it’s noisier than Nissan Leaf).

I did not have Genesis on my radar. I will have to research.

No, it doesn’t. This will mainly be a commuter car. We are planning to buy a minivan for family road trips or rent something for those trips.

I will do a test drive of 530e.

The depth of your insights is hitting me slowly after doing more reading on the forum.

So this is my understanding on how to get a great deal

  • research residual values and MF from various manufacturers
  • find some attractive vehicle make/model candidates
  • find loaner/demo vehicles where it’s from last model year or sitting on the dealer lot for a while
  • negotiate low purchase price (with incentives), but keep the same RV as for a new car
  • since the delta between purchase price and RV is small, and you are financing it at low itnerest rate, your lease payment would be attractive.

Are there brokers who help you figure out the various incentives, and these things for a fee?

My guess is there are a lot of details here and doing it on my own would take a lot of time, but that’s the “price” of a good deal - effort and time spent researching and negotiating.

Yeah, pretty much. But part of is more broadly is…

  • Are you shopping the effective monthly payment, or are you shopping for a specific car (as in, “I love car Model A, so I’m going to focus on getting a good deal for that specific car, even if Model B in the same class is generally cheaper to lease”

  • And how much you value your time. Some (many?) people here, though, love the “hunt” of getting a good deal. Some people don’t feel like it’s worth their time. I don’t know whether brokers would specifically only disclose incentives to you but, if you let me know the above (are you only interested in a specific model, or are you open to other models in that same class), that would probably be helpful.

Regarding the other stuff you’ve written above…

  • It might be helpful to first narrow what class of car you want b/f researching MF, RV, and rebates (if a model has a big rebate, it’ll probably be mentioned on LH somewhere)

  • Loaner can from the previous model year can be a good deal, but cars (truly brand new or loaner) from the previous model year do eventually lose lease support. And loaners aren’t always a much better value.

  • Also focus on pre-incentive discount. A dealer can make it look like you’re getting a great discount, if you’re not separating out rebates/incentive from the supposed discount.

  • RV isn’t negotiatble. If you see a diff RV from what’s listed on LH Ratefindr or by Edmunds, the dealership might be using a different bank from the captive bank.

And, finally, even though I’m a Trusted Hackr and been here awhile, I’ve never leased a car myself (!), so always do your own due diligence. :slight_smile:

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This itself is a complicated question and requires a lot of research. I am not loyal to any brand or model, but my priorities as I mentioned are a quiet ride and great tech.

I used to do a lot of travel hacking with credit cards, and I soon realized that it was more cost effective to to go a destination where I can get a good deal rather than trying to find a good deal for a destination I’m interested in. Airline fare sales and mistake fares was a great way to travel.

In case of a car, I’d say I’m shopping for a great deal first. But first I need to research more cars, and test drive a few. I am studying the Signed section to see what cars people are getting great deals on, and then researching those.

Yeah, I think test driving is going to be important (and possibly extended ones where you can drive over a variety of surfaces?). Ride quality is such a subjective thing, and I assume how one experiences and likes a manufacturer’s implementation of tech is also probably decent subjective.

What are mistake fares???