What luxury car should I buy in the $70,000 range? I'm looking for something that won't depreciate like a stone but is still fun to drive. I'm considering the Jaguar XF, Porsche Panamera, Maserati Quattroporte and Gran Coupe, etc.
Acura, Infiniti and Audi are the top three luxury brands for residual (or resale) value for 2013, according to Automotive Lease Guide, widely regarded as the most authoritative source for that information.
In giving out its annual residual value awards, ALG listed the 10 luxury brands with the highest residual values after three years. Lexus ranked fourth and Mercedes-Benz fifth. Porsche was eighth, and Jaguar and Maserati were not in the top 10 (ALG did not list all brands).
Among luxury models, the Lexus GS 350 had the highest residual value among premium full-size cars, the Audi A6 was second and the Jaguar XF placed third. The Lexus LS 460 was the winner in the premium executive category.
You might also look at reliability, which influences resale value. Lexus typically scores at or near the top of J.D. Power and Associates' Vehicle Dependability Study, which measures problems in the third year of ownership. Lexus had the fewest problems in the 2012 study and Porsche the second fewest. Mercedes-Benz was sixth and Acura 11th.
Jaguar ranked 28th out of 32 brands, a huge plunge from the previous year, when it was third. Porsche, on the other hand, ranked fourth in 2011 and improved to second in 2012. Maserati was not included in Power's dependability study because of its low sales volume, and we have little information on the brand's reliability.
You said you want something that's fun to drive. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's no fun when things go wrong, so we would put reliability high on our priorities. Based on that, we would put the Panamera ahead of the XF on our shopping list and shy away from Maserati.
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