24 Luxury Cars That Turned Out To Be A Headache

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The American dream can be summed up in a nice house, a small piece of land, and two luxury cars sitting in the driveway. While you may think that owning a luxury car would be nice, the reality is that a lot of them are a headache to own and not worth your time or money.

Some luxury cars are notorious for rapid depreciation, expensive maintenance costs, and many technical issues. If you’re thinking about investing in a nice car, you may want to avoid these 24 “luxury” cars. 

Jaguar XJ

Jaguar XJ
Image Credit: Jaguar Press Kit.

This car may look cool, but it is notorious for having technical issues. This car was pulled from production in 2019 because of a lack of demand. Its reputation for constant issues like suspension and electrical problems and sluggish touchscreen response makes this car a headache to avoid. The $86k price tag is just not worth it.

Cadillac XTS

Cadillac XTS
Image Credit: Cadillac Press Kit.

You’d think that a popular brand like Cadillac would have figured out its kinks and issues by now, but that’s not the case with the XTS. According to Vehicle History, this car is known for “stereo system freezing, excessive wind noise in the cabin, along with premature brake wear on the front brakes.”

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S
Image Credit: Tesla Press Kit.

You can’t deny Tesla’s popularity, but being popular doesn't mean it’s reliable. The power and price tag are there, but the interior is not very luxurious, and nothing to write home about. This model also has many common issues, including media control unit failure, suspension problems, defective touchscreens, and malfunctioning door handles, tarnishing its reputation.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
Image Credit: Stellantis Press Kit.

Alfa Romeo is a name that turns heads, but the Giulia Quadrifoglio is probably not the car you want. It is known for being a beast on the track, but a lot of owners have reported issues soon after purchase. First off, the interior isn’t that impressive. Plus, several parts are known for failing, including sensors, connectors, bearings, and control units.

Maserati Quattroporte

Maserati Quattroporte
Image Credit: Maserati Press Kit.

Maserati is another brand with dollar signs behind its name, but the Quattroporte has been known to depreciate readily, making it a sketchy investment. Co Calc reports that “Some of the most commonly reported problems include melting interiors, clutch problems, excessive noise, and tire wear in corners. In particular, the 2006 and 2014 models should be avoided due to these recurring issues.”

BMW 7 Series

BMW 7 Series
Image Credit: BMW Press Kit.

The BMW 7 Series is known for its advanced technology and luxurious interior, but its complex systems have led to expensive repair and maintenance cars; plus, the depreciation rate on this car is so high, making it a risky investment.

According to the Bavarian Report, “One common problem is that the transmission jerks and sticks. Many drivers of the F01 7 series and the longer-chassis F02 7 series report they have experienced transmission problems, and some have reported total transmission failure.”

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

BMW 7 Series
Image Credit: Dinkun Chen/WikiCommons.

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a well-known and loved luxury sedan, but it seems to lose its value quickly. Buying this car brand new may not be a good idea, but this means that you may be able to find a sweet deal on this car if you’re willing to buy it.

The only red flag is that, according to Copilot Search, “This model has been reported to have many problems, including rusting, failures in the suspension system, a slow and unresponsive transmission, and electrical failures.”

Audi A8

Audi A8
Image Credit: Audi Press Kit.

The Audi A8 is a blast to drive, fun to look at, and has some notable features that seem promising, but these cars are hit or miss, depending on the year.

According to audicomplaints.com, these cars have been known to have busted timing chains, start-stop defects, oil-starved turbochargers, and known for cheating diesel emissions.

Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale

Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale
Image Credit: Maserati Press Kit.

Another Maserati with questionable issues. This car is known for its high maintenance costs and makes you wonder if it’s worth the already-high price tag.

Hot Cars says that “GranTurismo maintenance can be around $2000 to $3000 per year. Furthermore, there are some components on the vehicle that can cost more than $9,000 to replace if they are damaged.”

They also warned owners to keep an eye on the electrical system, brakes, clutch, and suspension since these mechanical components all seem weak in Maserati's least reliable vehicles.”

Rolls Royce Ghost

Rolls Royce Ghost
Image Credit: UltraTech66/WikiCommons.

Rolls Royce is another luxury brand that is known for its stunning designs, opulent interior, and power, but the Ghost is also known for its lack of technological features that make you wonder if it’s worth the price. Plus, this car also has extremely high maintenance costs. But if you’ve got the dough to buy a Rolls Royce, you may not mind paying more for maintenance. 

Maserati Ghibli

Maserati Ghibli
Image Credit: Maserati Press Kit.

The third Maserati on this list is the Ghibli. This car is beautiful, no doubt. But it has bad gas mileage, the interior is cramped, and people have complained that the interior’s design is outdated and not worth the price tag.

Hot Cars also explained that “ in 2018, Ghibli had two recalls, both being extremely serious. One was because of the subframe welds, which could fracture and cause serious accidents, and the other was a fuel pipe that could leak in the engine compartment and cause fire.”

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X
Image Credit: Tesla Press Kit.

The second Tesla on the list is the X. This model is very popular and comes with a luxurious reputation, but it is also riddled with headache-inducing issues. Top Speed explained that this car has design flaws, battery and charging issues, and multiple safety recalls. Plus, its iconic gull-wing doors are known for being problematic, which takes away all the coolness factor of this car’s design.

Infiniti QX80

Infiniti QX80
Image Credit: Infiniti Press Kit.

The Infiniti QX80 has several perks, most notably its spacious interior. But Engine Patrol states that this luxury SUV has numerous issues, including timing chain issues, exhaust manifold cracks, high fuel consumption, transmission shudder, air suspension issues, battery drain issues, and even more. Need I go on? If you’re looking for a luxury SUV, you may want to look elsewhere.

Lincoln MKT

Lincoln MKT
Image Credit: Lincoln Press Kit.

The Lincoln MKT's issue is not its cost or reliability, but its looks. It's a midsized, 3-row luxury SUV that is roomy, comfortable, and dependable, but its looks are just not it. If you’re willing to deal with the looks, Copilot Search recommends that you just avoid the 2010 model. They reason that “it’s the only model with a significant number of complaints, ranging from premature tire wear to an inadequate A/C system.”

Jaguar F-PACE

Jaguar F-PACE
Image Credit: Jaguar Press Kit.

This SUV is known for its sporty handling and attractive design, but it’s also known for reliability issues and high repair costs. If you’re someone who values dependability and you like owning your cars and driving them for years to come, you may want to look elsewhere. Griffin's Auto Repair says that these cars are also known for having fuel system issues, manufacturer safety recalls, and the occasional drained battery.

Cadillac ATS

Cadillac ATS
Image Credit: Cadillac Press Kit.

If I buy a luxury car, I expect it to be roomy, comfortable, and have all the new technology. The Cadillac ATS is a compact sedan, so it lacks the spaciousness that usually accompanies a luxury car. These are also known for rapidly losing their value, so they are better bought used instead of new.

Land Rover Range Rover

Range Rovers
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The Range Rover is a known and loved classic luxury SUV, and it’s most known for its off-roading and durability. However, Hot Cars has a warning about this car and says, “Whatever the year, the Range Rover often suffers from engine problems. Early cars would overheat. Diesel units would suffer a whole raft of catastrophic failures. Gasoline units kill radiators, eat timing chains, and suffer manifold woes, and none are likely to be wallet-friendly to fix.”

Volvo S60

Volvo S60
Image Credit: Volvo Press Kit.

The Volvo S60 is one of the safest cars on the road, but it misses the mark on overall reliability. Repair Pal shows that this model has over 25 common issues reported by owners, including transmission shifting issues, erratic shifting, and many more transmission-related issues.

The Volvo XC90 may be a much better option if you’re in the market for a luxury car. This is what I drive daily, and I have no complaints about it.

Porsche Cayenne

Porsche Cayenne
Image Credit: Porsche Press Kit.

It’s a lot of fun to be behind the wheel of this high-performance SUV. Sadly, these cars are known for their costly maintenance and repair bills. They are most known for engine failures, electrical problems, and broken plastic coolant lines. So, while they may be a blast on the road, long-term ownership costs may diminish the excitement.

Genesis G80

Genesis G80
Image Credit: Genesis Press Kit.

This car is a more affordable luxury sedan option that may appeal to budget-conscious buyers, but it has been known for significant mechanical issues. Just last month, Genesis had to recall 19,272 newer vehicles for a fuel pump failure that could result in a loss of engine power. It's not exactly the type of issue that I want to worry about at any price point.

Acura RLX

Acura RLX
Image Credit: Acura Press Kit.

This car is supposed to be a comfortable luxury sedan, but some people say that it just feels like junk. One particular commenter said that their RLX repeatedly scrapes the ground when in motion, has a sluggish transmission, and only has under 70k miles on the engine. This one sounds like a headache to avoid.

Bentley Bentayga

Bentley Bentayga
Image Credit: Bentley Press Kit.

The first and only Bentley on the list is the ultra-luxury SUV with a steep price tag of just over $200k. True to the cost, this car has an impressively lavish interior, but there are complaints that it is not the prettiest Bentley, and it doesn't have many impressive driver assists that you would expect of an SUV of this class.

Lexus LS

Lexus LS
Image Credit: Lexus Press Kit.

The Lexus LS is known for its impeccable build quality, but it hardly retains its value over the long haul. According to Repair Pal, it’s also notorious for issues like,

  • Brake actuator issues
  • Failed “push start” switch
  • Navigation errors and blank multi-cluster display screen
  • Knocking from the engine
  • Inside rearview mirror discoloration

Aston Martin Vantage

Aston Martin Vantage
Image Credit: Aston Martin Press Kit.

The Aston Martin Vantage is undeniably stylish and comes with a prestigious name to boot, but it may not be the most reliable choice.

According to Pugsley & Lewis, Aston Martin specialists, the clutch is the “Achilles heel” of this car, and replacing it is “going to empty your bank account.” I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in a car that goes after my billfold.