You’ve done well for yourself and are now in the market for a vehicle upgrade. It’s time to ditch the rattletrap you’ve been driving and snag yourself a car with some premium options.
How do you decide which car to go with? You want something with some spirit when you press the gas pedal and a great deal of elegance when you’re enjoying the drive. Is a 7-series in your future or maybe an SL-Class Mercedes-Benz? Well, maybe you’re not quite there yet…
Budget is still a consideration. You’re looking at premium models but not necessarily the top of the line quite yet. When you step into the luxury car class, there’s more to consider than just the purchase price. You need to think about:
Maintenance costs. When you drive a premium vehicle, your maintenance and servicing will cost a premium as well. Higher quality parts are necessary to keep your vehicle operating at its best. Belts, brakes, and even oils and fluids can cost multiple times the amount you’d spend on a run-of-the-mill car.
Depreciation. It stands to reason that the more expensive the car, the more its value will decrease as it ages. You don’t want to burn your money buying a car that you don’t plan on keeping for a long time.
Fuel costs. Some luxury cars require premium gas and ONLY premium gas. Some luxury cars are gas-guzzlers. You’re going to want to find a car that achieves great fuel economy, can use regular or premium gas, or a combination of the two.
Insurance costs. The cost of your car insurance is one of the only variables you can be acutely aware of before you make your luxury car purchase and can be the difference between owning an affordable luxury car and one that’s outside of your budget.
Luxury Cars Can Be Affordable
What you may not expect is that the insurance on a luxury car can be quite competitive. In some cases, luxury cars are more affordable to insure than a basic compact car, and the reasons are actually quite intuitive when you think about it.
Most luxury cars are owned by older, more mature drivers who are less likely to get into an accident. That means fewer insurance payouts in the vehicle class, reducing the cost to insure.
Luxury cars have better safety features than the average vehicle, and the end result is fewer injuries in the event of an accident. Reduced medical costs per accident means lower insurance premiums
Luxury cars have more technological advancements that help prevent accidents in the first place such as Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Automatic Emergency Braking. That reduces the instances of accidents in the first place, again keeping your insurance premiums lower.
The average luxury car owner lives in a better neighborhood and likely parks their luxury car in a garage, reducing instances of vandalism, theft, and hail or storm damage, so insurance companies don’t have to charge as much to insure these vehicles.
Some luxury cars come with incredibly competitive insurance rates and that’s not just compared to their own class. Some may have rates up to 20% lower than the model year average.
Top Five Luxury Cars With Lowest Insurance Rates
1. Infiniti Q50
The Infiniti Q50 is an astoundingly well-equipped sedan that is sure to impress even the most discerning of luxury car buyer. The Q-series sedan is the reinvention of the previous G37 sedan and utilizes a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with 208 horsepower and a seven-speed automatic gearbox. The Q50 is available in either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, though the luxurious interior is more noteworthy.
Aluminum or wood accents emphasize the spacy cabin and plush leather wraps the seating surfaces of higher-trim level models. Each Q50 has a rearview camera, advanced air bags, ZONE body construction, Vehicle Dynamic Control, and a whole host of available blind spot and predictive control options.
2. Buick Lacrosse Premium II
With Buick’s new focus on the business class, their cars are packed with elegance, function, and enough performance to keep them competitive with the luxury class, which is exactly what you get with the Lacrosse Premium II. The V6 has a peppy 304 horsepower to provide a thrilling drive while the interior pampers the driver.
Bose premium sound, leather 8-way adjustable power seating, IntelliLink Infotainment system, adaptive cruise control, and a vibrating safety alert system built into the driver’s seat elevate the Lacrosse Premium II into the luxury category.
3. Acura TLX
The often overlooked brand in the luxury category, Acura offers competitively priced luxury cars with features found on cars tens of thousands of dollars more expensive. The TLX is a sporty sedan with incredibly responsive engine and transmission options and amazing amenities. Aside from the piercing gaze through Jewel-Eye LED headlights, its recognizable Acura angles are sexy and sleek.
The Acura TLX has optional all-wheel drive, Lane Keeping Assist, Forward Collision Warning, and Blind Spot Information Systems keep drivers aware of their surroundings. The Collision Mitigation System and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor prevent accidents while the full complement of air bags and safety features ensure a confident, secure ride.
4. Toyota Avalon Limited
The flagship model for Toyota, the Avalon, gets even more luxurious in the Limited trim level. Its gorgeous exterior is smooth but aggressive-looking, commanding your gaze as it drives by. The spacious interior is adorned with much higher quality materials than you’d expect in a Toyota, more attuned to Lexus or Mercedes. The leather seats are plush and comfy, but the real luxury features are in the tech category.
Safety Sense-P is a suite of safety options including pre-collision alerts, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. Buttons are touch sensitive and the 6.1-inch infotainment display is clear, bright, and easy to use.
5. Lincoln MKZ
The stunning design of the Lincoln MKZ is only the start. Every aspect of the exterior is luxury from the massive panoramic glass-panel roof to the LED lighting. Inside the MKZ it gets really interesting, though, with a fantastic layout and high-grade materials that truly cement the MKZ in the luxury category. The smooth console lacks a gearshift, which is now a push-button design beside the world-class SYNC infotainment system. Bits of chrome bring the eye appeal even higher.
The Lincoln MKZ has a suite of luxury-class safety features including Adaptive Cruise Control and Forward Collision Warning, cross-traffic alert, and the available Intelligent All-Wheel Drive. The MKZ has available heated and cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel, and ambient LED lighting for a luxurious driving experience.
No matter which luxury car you settle on, your insurance rates are also tied to your driving record. To keep your driving record as clean as possible, drive within posted speed limits and obey traffic laws (they’re there for a reason!). Also, many accidents can be avoided with regular repairs and maintenance that pop up. Whether you drive a Lincoln or an Acura, Buick or Infiniti, replace worn-out brakes, burnt-out lights, and steering and suspension problems as they come up, so that you can get the best ride out of your vehicle.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Least Expensive Luxury Cars to Insure and was authored by Jason Unrau.