buying advice

5 lovely luxury cars I'd buy if I had €50k to burn

‘Tis the season… to dream about things we can’t afford.

THIS YEAR, our expert Dave Humphreys has written extensively about practical cars to buy on the second-hand market. But as it’s Christmas, we asked him to imagine he had €50k burning a hole in his bank account. Which cars would he spend it on?

IN THE WORLD of modern-day luxury cars, it would be easy enough to spend €50,000 on some of the endless optional extras alone.

But when you look in the used market, luxury cars in particular can be susceptible to some significant levels of depreciation. It can be possible to pick up some luxury vehicles for a small percentage of what they may have initially cost.

Depending on the age and model of car, your purchase can also require some bravery – and running costs, service and repair bills can often far exceed the initial price. Still, here are some of the luxury models you can pick up on the used market for under €50,000.

1. Lexus LS (2006-2012)

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Probably not the first car that pops into your head when you think luxury – but the Lexus LS is a fabulous car that has an understated air about it.

People commonly refer to Lexus to as the Japanese Mercedes-Benz and the LS is the perfect embodiment of that. It was available with a 4.6-litre petrol V8 (LS 460), and a 5.0-litre V8 hybrid (LS 600h), and despite the latter’s additional battery power it was still costly to tax.

The interior is what you’d expect from a luxury Japanese car, with chunky switchgear that feels robust and upholstery that has a high-quality finish. Famously, the LS was so quiet that is was claimed at 100km/h the loudest thing you could hear was the sound of your own breathing. It was even available with night vision, radar cruise control and a parking assistance system.

2. Jaguar XJ (2010-onwards)

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Sticking with ‘alternative’ luxury cars brings us to the Jaguar XJ. It’s a name that has been around for many years, but we’re going to stick with the current model here.

Debuting in 2010, the XJ has exterior styling that isn’t typically Jaguar and does continue to divide opinion. Against its German rivals, the XJ does concede interior space, technology and some parts of the interior aren’t finished to quite the same standard. You could choose a long wheelbase version, though few sold here, and from 2014 Jaguar offered all-wheel drive transmissions.

As tempting as the supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine might be, you’ll struggle to find anything other than the 3.0-litre diesel on the used market. That said it is a smooth engine and post-2014 models saw the introduction of a better eight-speed transmission.

3. Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2014-onwards)

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We couldn’t cover luxury cars and not mention the S-Class. For decades it has widely been considered the standard to which others must aspire. It has sold in significant numbers throughout the years, and there is no shortage of older models on the used market.

However, many of these older models can be prone to a long list of potential problems. The current W222 model came along in 2014 and has just come in for a minor update this year. So far this generation has proven to be much more reliably built and as you’d expect is as good to drive as it is to be driven in.

The S350d Bluetec models benefit from reasonably affordable tax at €390 per annum and claim to consume just 5.8 litres/100km on a combined cycle.

4. Bentley Continental (2003-2010)

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Yes, you can quite easily pick yourself up a Bentley for the same price as a new 5 Series.

Many would argue that the new BMW is a better buy – but nevertheless, some will be drawn to the luxurious nature of the Continental GT. This two-door grand tourer still screams Celtic Tiger, and if you’re not put off by the potentially colossal maintenance and running costs, then this can seem somewhat like a bit of a bargain.

The 6.0-litre petrol engine has plenty of power and enables the Bentley to cruise along effortlessly in between fuel stops. Bentley officially quoted 17 miles per gallon but expect less. The 370-litre boot is enough for some monogrammed weekend bags, and the rear seats are far from generous, but these are now selling for a fraction of what they once cost.

5. Citroen C6 (2005-2012)

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Bear with us here as we try to explain this one. You see, the Citroen C6 was a luxury car in the sense that it was rare (you can come up with your own reasons for that one) and features a unique ‘Hydractive’ suspension.

It was this setup that gave the C6 a wonderfully cushioned ride quality that few can still match today. Its styling was, well, very Citroen and if you happen to break the concave rear window, you might find that it’s not that easy to come across.

Most might consider you foolish to buy one but the C6 has some very cool features, and if you find a good example it’s guaranteed to be a future classic. Irish roads may never feel the same again.

More: How to buy a serious Audi for under €12k – and the 4 models you should look at>

More: Looking to buy a beautiful BMW with change from €25k? Here are 3 unusual options>

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