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How to get luxury in a Lexus on a €13k budget - and 4 models to see first

Want a ‘Japanese Mercedes’? Here are some options.

Image: DoneDeal

TO MANY, LEXUS is not only a Japanese premium brand, but a rival to the established European car makers like Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

It might come as a surprise to some that Lexus was only founded in 1989. Despite its relative youth, Lexus has already produced some well-respected luxury models and sports cars.

That said, it is still possible to bag a second-hand Lexus bargain. Here’s a look at some of the best luxury Lexus models that you can buy on the used market for €13,000 or less.

1. Lexus CT200h (2011 onwards)

Source: DoneDeal

Kicking off the Lexus range is the CT200h. This five-door hatchback measures in around the same size as an Audi A3 or Mercedes-Benz A-Class and features a boxy, conservative image.

Underneath is the same hybrid system that is found in the popular Toyota Prius and this is a pretty reliable setup. It doesn’t have a high-performance output despite using a 1.8-litre engine.

Where it does score well is in emissions and fuel consumption (providing you drive it like a nun). The CVT automatic is fine when driven smoothly, and you don’t rush it. If you’re after a comfortable car for the weekly rush hour commute, this isn’t a bad choice.

2. Lexus IS (2005-2013)

Source: DoneDeal

By far the most popular and common Lexus model in Ireland, the IS is the company’s mid-size saloon.

It came as a hybrid, but the more popular model is the 2.2-litre diesel due to its more tax-friendly emissions (on later models) and fuel consumption.

Compared against the bigger players in this segment, like the similarly aged BMW 3 Series and Audi A3, the Lexus doesn’t feel quite as refined, but it does have good build quality and in the case of the hybrid, a healthy reliability record.

3. Lexus GS (2005-2012)

Source: DoneDeal

As older BMWs and Mercs start to date, there’s something about the Lexus GS that still stands out that little bit more, partly due to it being a rarer sight. You could have your choice of petrol engines including a hybrid model, although with the car’s size and weight it still isn’t the most economical of cars.

Other than wear and tear from daily use the GS stands up well to high mileage and providing it has been regularly serviced it shouldn’t spring any unwelcome mechanical surprises down the line. The only real downside is the annual motor tax bill and fuel costs if you’re going to be doing a lot of driving.

4. Lexus RX (2009-2015)

Source: DoneDeal

Over the years the Lexus RX built up a steady following of fans, becoming a common sight on South County Dublin school runs amongst other roles.

Although it was only available as a five-seater and had polarising looks, the RX provides a premium interior and hybrid drivetrain. Despite its ability to coast along silently over short distances thanks to its onboard battery, any savings at the fuel pump are likely to be offset by the hefty annual motor tax bill.

But, if you’re in the market for a roomy SUV with a posh badge on the nose, the Lexus could be right up your street.

More advice: How to buy a family car that’s also a great investment – plus 4 models to consider first>

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About the author:

Dave Humphreys

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