Buying Guide to a Luxury Sedan for Under $20,000

These days you can’t get a very good car for less than $20,000. For that price all you can afford is a compact economy car. However you do have another choice, purchasing a used luxury car. Not only do you look more stylish driving around in a luxury car but they are usually equipped with a lot better accessories than you could ever get in an economy car. If you don’t want to be driving around in a weak powered compact car than step up to the next level and purchase a used well maintained luxury car and enjoy the comforts of a luxury car. Today I will be comparing four luxury sedans, looking at a variety of things that you should consider before making the purchase and handing over your hard earned money. Some things that you should consider before deciding to purchase a luxury car; the potential for high repair and maintenance costs, a lower fuel economy and higher insurance premiums. Its best to call up your insurance company and get a quote from your insurance provider and maybe a few others to see how much a new luxury car will effect your insurance rates.

Now to the cars…

Coming in 4th place is the BMW 530i: For under $20,000 you can afford this the car all the way up to the 2003 model. If you had purchased it in 2003 it would have cost you over $40,000 dollars going all the way up to $50,000 depending on the kinds of accessories you added to it. For the same price that you would be driving around in a small compact car you could be driving around in an excellent looking luxury sedan, which all of your friends are likely to be jealous of. Though I choose to place the BMW in fourth place it has the most appealing look to the eye. Its handling is as great as its looks. Its steering is very responsive and the car goes exactly where you want it to. BMWs looks are appreciated by a wide age group. Its ride is also good but not as good as some of the other contestants. However, the BMW has its weak points. It has a potential for electronic repair problems, which could really put a dent in your life. Also the value drops rapidly for this car. It comes equipped with a 3.0L I-6 engine that achieves 225hp. With gas prices rising endlessly this car is able to provide you with 19mpg in the city and 26mpg on the highway.

Number 3 is Mercedes E320. Which would have cost you anywhere from 47,000 to 53,000 for a new one. But by purchasing a second hand Mercedes you could be driving around in a 2002 model. Mercedes is the classic car that everyone associates with the wealthy. Like the BMW the Mercedes has great handling and ride. For under $20k you could be driving around in this status symbol of wealth. With its striking appearance it offers a stiff and smooth ride. Since Mercedes is known to have lots of repair issues it could turn out to be a very expensive deal and you might just need to be rich after all in order to afford it. Like the BMW the value decreases fast because of those repair issues that causes the ownership of a Mercedes to come at a hefty price. The E320 comes with 3.2L V6 221hp engine that achieve 19mpg in the city and 27mpg on the highway.

Runner up is the Acura RL. Which would have came for around $45,000 had you purchased a new one in 2002. But now you can get one for under $20,000. Like the other two this also handles and rides very well. However unlike the two European sedans this car has few repair problems thus making it a much safer buy. It has decent looks, but they don’t quite measure up to the other two cars. Because it has a lot fewer incidents of problems as it ages, it is able to hold its value very well compared to the other two. It is known to have a fairly stiff yet comfortable ride. If you don’t want to be paying the repair bills that are possible with the other two choices than this is an excellent choice, because it offers all the luxury amenities that you could desire at this price range. It possesses a 3.5L V6 engine that produces 225hp. The thing that holds the Acura down is its poor fuel economy. It only achieves 18mpg in the city and 24mpg on the highway.

The number one choice to make when it comes to purchasing a used luxury sedan for under $20,000 is a Lexus LS400. The Lexus comes powered by 4.0L V8 with 290hp in the 98 and up models yet it still achieves 18mpg in the city and 25mpg on the highway. It also beats out the competition when it comes to the ride because it offers a smooth and quiet ride which almost feels like you are floating on the road. Even with its soft ride it has good handling, though not as good as the other 3 sportier models. Had you wanted to buy this car brand new in 2000 you would have had to do away with $55,000. Like the Acura this car also has few repair problems and thus it is able to hold its value well. Though its looks don’t have the sharp lines like the others it still has some sense of style. Its usually more appealing to the older and more mature buyers. But if you really consider all the positives and negatives that these cars have you can see that the Lexus LS400 really comes out on top.

Though I rated the Lexus LS400 to be the best bet for your money, it really depends on what you value more, looks or the knowledge that you will have reliable car that will never let you down when you need it. When trying to purchase a used luxury sedan try and get one that has less than 100,000 miles on it because once the cars reach that level they usually need some type of service that you don’t want to get stuck paying for right after you just purchased it. Now with the help of the internet it is much easier to buy a car and get a good deal because you can use sites like yahoo autos powered by auto trader or cars direct.com to find a good deal on a used car. You can usually get the lowest priced car by buying directly from a private seller than a dealer but its usually a littler safer to purchase from a dealer because you can usually get some type of warranty from the dealer, which can provide with some peace of mind because you can never be 100 percent certain when purchasing from a private party. So take some time to do a little searching and you too could be driving around in a sleek luxury sedan for the same price that you would pay for small weak compact car. Depending on your personal taste and needs anyone of these cars can be an excellent choice.

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