Luxury has everything to do with appealing and satisfying the deepest of human senses. It can involve homes, clothes, jewelry, and cars. Rich people are willing to pay top dollar to get the best luxury money can buy. Car manufacturers know there's a big market for luxury vehicles, and they try to outdo each other every year with the models they produce—which begs the question: what's a luxury car and what are the qualifications? There's no denying that you can easily point out brands when you're talking about luxury cars. BMW and Mercedes-Benz have been on the frontline when it comes to manufacturing luxury cars. These companies also have smart cars that you wouldn't define as "luxurious" by any stretch of the imagination.
A luxury car is primarily about interior design and comfort. All luxury cars have premium interior finishing with features like massage seats and heat control. The whole idea is to make the car as comfortable as possible while still having stellar performance features. The interior quality isn't enough, which brings us to the second feature, which is performance. You can't be paying more than $100,000 for a car that underperforms below the hood. Here are $80,000 luxury cars that their owners should be embarrassed to drive.
15 Maserati Spyder- $87,252
The Maserati Spyder had a base price of $87,252 when it first launched in 2005. There was a lot of hype before the launch of the car preceding the GranTurismo. It might've been too early for Maserati because the Spyder came with a lot of engineering failures. The exterior design looked like that of a Toyota Celica. The problem didn't stop at the dated design. There were several reported transmission failures, and the cheap interior didn't make anything better. The Maserati badge was barely recognizable, and it was the hefty price tag that brought attention to the car. Maserati has since produced better cars, but the Spyder isn't something they're very proud came out of their assembly line.
14 Lexus SC 430- $80,000
Jeremy Clarkson might be harsh on cars, but it takes more than personal hate to brand a vehicle as ''The Worst Car Ever Built.'' The car featured in the 2012 edition of Top Gear and was dubbed as Lexus's best convertible yet. They were critical of its handling, styling, and ride quality. Not a lot of thought went into the design of the vehicle. The rear seats shouldn't have been included. Jeremy termed the car as 'absolutely diabolical.' With such negative reviews, it's hard for Lexus to justify the price tag, but they still went ahead with the marketing of the car. It came with a V8 engine, which can produce up to 288 hp and can go from 0 to 60 in 6.2 seconds.
13 Qvale Mangusta- $79,900
The Qvale Mangusta had a base price of $79,900 when it first launched in 2000. "Mangusta" is Italian for "mongoose." The car did have a good-looking exterior, but that was also subject to debate. A lot of people felt that the company could've done a better job with the exterior cues and the performance.
The Mangusta used the same drivetrain found in the Ford Mustang to cut down on costs.
The Mangusta name seems to have been bad luck from the beginning, and the company had to place the name under the Qvale brand. This still didn't help in sales. The rich people didn't find the car appealing enough, and the company had to reduce the price by $10,000 in order to boost the sales of the car.
12 Maserati Ghibli- $80,000
The Maserati name is synonymous with luxury and performance. The company was founded in 1915 and sold over 42,000 units in 2016. The Maserati Ghibli is one of their recent successes when it comes to sales because the car is seen to be affordable compared to other models. Even with its 'cheap' price tag, the Maserati Ghibli comes with a ton of baggage. The build quality is inferior compared to its competitors, like the Mercedes. The in-car technology is also not up to date with the market standards. The Ghibli is stiffly sprung, and it's one of the heaviest in the segment, weighing 41,000 lbs. A new Maserati Ghibli owner isn't likely to be aware of these shortcomings, as such an owner is more concerned about the Maserati badge.
11 Tesla Model X- $81,000
Tesla has received a lot of praise ever since the company was launched. The founder, Elon Musk, is seen as a visionary who's revolutionized transportation and the electric automobile. A lot of consumers seem to be satisfied with the Tesla Model X, but there's more than meets the eye.
Consumer Guide voted the Tesla Model X as one of the most unreliable vehicles in 2017.
There have been multiple problems reported with the interior trims and with the brakes. The car has a futuristic dashboard, but it has a ridiculous service bay. There have also been problems reported with the infotainment, which makes the Model X a pain in the neck to own. A lot of people don't seem to care, though, as long as they're driving a Tesla badge.
10 Cadillac Escalade- $84,000
The Cadillac Escalade was included by Consumer Reports on the list of the most unreliable cars in 2017. This isn't the kind of news you want to be hearing when you've just paid $83,000 for a new Cadillac Escalade. It's also been ranked as the worst luxury SUV in the market today.
Just like the Range Rover, people still buy the Cadillac Escalade, and that's why the nameplate has been able to survive all those years of negative press.
Some of the common problems with the Escalade include a poor braking system, bad handling, and a stiff ride. Some people also complain about the design and the cramped cargo space, which beats the purpose of owning an SUV.
9 Porsche Boxster- $80,000
The Boxster was Porsche's solution for those who were on a budget but still wanted to feel like they owned the 911. The premium Porsche Spyder edition cost as much as $80,000. The earlier models had no value when it came to performance. One was better off saving a little bit longer and getting the Porsche 911 for a much more superior performance. The value of the car has since depreciated. You can get one for half the price, and the car seems to have been forgotten. It's aged gracefully, and you can buy it for aesthetic purposes, but you shouldn't expect a lot when it comes to performance under the hood or the cost of ownership.
8 Mercedes-Benz GLE- $105,000
I know this is probably going to annoy Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts, but someone has to say it. The Mercedes-Benz GLE is a beautiful-looking car with all the interior refinements you'd expect in a vehicle of its class. The big problem with the GLE is lack of creativity, and we've come to expect the same thing every year. 2011 was a good year for the GLE because there was a departure in terms of style and performance. T
here have been very few modifications over the years, and it's no longer exciting to own the Mercedes-Benz GLE.
This is alarming, considering the fact that you have to pay more than $105,000 for one. The Mercedes offering for big SUVs is also shrinking.
7 Jaguar XJ220- $200,000
The Jaguar XJ220 was in production from 1992 to 1994. There were only 281 units, which would make it a collectible. The car had a price of $500,000 when it first launched, and potential owners had to put a deposit of $70,000 to guarantee ownership. The Jaguar XJ220 was based on deceit, and the company wanted to attract customers in any way possible. They had promised that the car would have a Jaguar V12 engine only for it to be replaced with a turbocharged V6 engine. The first prototype Jaguar displayed had a V12 engine, which generated a lot of interest, making buyers put in the deposit. Jaguar had hoped that no one would notice the Turbocharged V6 engine. The car isn't even worth half of what was charged when it first launched.
6 Ferrari Mondial- $81,000
The Ferrari Mondial could be equated to $167,000 for a base model in today's currency. It was one of Ferrari's expensive models when it launched in 1980, and it was in production for only 2 years. The '80s were a good time for luxury supercars. The Ferrari Mondial was an exception, as it was expensive, slow, and prone to combustion problems.
The car also had a big problem with the electronics. The wiring would sometimes catch fire, which would affect the functioning of the whole vehicle.
These problems affected the resale value of the Ferrari Mondial. It makes no sense spending close to 6 figures on a supercar that's likely to catch fire on the highway.
5 2001 Jaguar X-Type 2.5 Sport- $85,750
The Jaguar X type was on the assembly line from 2001 to 2009. The 2001 model was described as a notchback and borrowed heavily from the Ford CD132 platform. The car was to be Jaguar's first compact executive car and came with a premium price tag. The compact market isn't really associated with luxury.
Jaguar just took the Ford's underpin and placed it in the X-Type.
It would've been fine if they weren't charging $750,000 for a base trim. The car has since depreciated, and no one really talks about it anymore. It featured a 3.0-liter Jaguar V6 engine and came with the option of either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission.
4 Ferrari F355- $137,000
The Ferrari F355 is a car you buy when you're extremely wealthy and have a ton of options when it comes to luxury vehicles. You'll be disappointed if you're buying it for daily driving because it's a very expensive car to maintain, and the spares aren't readily available. The spider convertible version had a base price of $137,000 when it first launched, which could be twice the amount of today's value. Any car collector would want to have the Ferrari F355 in his garage, but it's not worth buying if you're planning to use it for something else other than that. In terms of performance, the Ferrari F355 had a 3.5-liter V8 engine, which could produce up to 375 hp.
3 Maserati Quattroporte (First Generation)- $125,000
The Maserati Quattroporte is a great vehicle, but the first couple of generations were nothing to write home about. The car costs a fortune when it comes to repairs, and it's strongly advised not to buy a second-hand vehicle, no matter how appealing the price might be. It'll cost you the price of the vehicle just to keep it running. Maserati must have realized their mistake, and the newer generations have a longer lifespan and aren't expensive to maintain compared to the older generations. Anyone planning to buy the Maserati Quattroporte should know a little bit of its history before writing the cheque. It'll save you the heartaches and the disappointments that come with the first generations.
2 Land Rover Range Rover- $87,000
This is a car that elicits a lot of debate among car enthusiasts. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but the facts can never be disputed. The surprising thing about the Range Rover is people still buy it despite being unreliable. You'll get people asking questions on forums like 'What's this funny noise I'm hearing?' or 'Why is the warning light always turning on?' One thing for certain is that the Range Rover is an unreliable vehicle. The value proposition has to be the interior luxury with the vehicle.
A new Range Rover has a starting price of $87,000, which is a lot of money, considering the trouble you'll be going through.
With the same amount or less, you can get a new Toyota Land Cruiser with just the same level of comfort and 4 times the reliability.
1 Mercedes-Benz S Class- $94,000
The S Class is the pinnacle of luxury when it comes to sedans. The car doesn't come cheap, as you'll have to do away with around $94,000. This a lot of money to pay for a car that has problems with the windows and the suspension. This problem has been so persistent with the Mercedes S Class that it takes away all the joy of driving such a beautiful vehicle. The infotainment system can also be off-putting since it has a steep learning curve. The cabriolet and the coupe versions have a very small truck, which can be a deal breaker for some people. This is the car you buy when you want to stand out, but because of the embarrassment you experience with the windows and the suspension, you keep it to yourself.
Sources: jalopniks.com; consumerguide.com; wikipedia.org