Best used luxury cars

The Mercedes S-Class is the best used luxury car in our Used Car Awards 2018Best used luxury car: Mercedes S-Class 

Prices from: £16,995
Our pick: Mercedes S-Class 014 (64) S 350 d, 55,000 miles, £24,995 

The pre-facelift version of the current Mercedes S-Class is among the most luxurious and comfortable cars you can buy. The fact that you can pick up a used model that boasts so much advanced technology and luxury equipment for the price of a family hatchback is pretty astonishing.

• Best luxury cars to buy 2019

Little comes close to the S-Class when it comes to comfort. The limo glides over lumps and bumps of any size easily, and even the roughest roads are smoothed out with convincing composure.

You don’t need to pay over the odds for a high-power petrol or diesel S-Class, either, because the S 350 d model we’ve picked out uses a 254bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel. It’s very smooth and quiet, pulls strongly and delivers strong performance when you need it.

The Mercedes is good to drive, too, because the ride isn’t marred by poor body control; in fact, it is composed at speed. The car is big and heavy, so don’t expect much dynamically, but that’s not what it’s about; it focuses on luxury, refinement and opulence.

The S-Class comes in standard and long-wheelbase versions. We’d pick the longer one due to its incredible level of room for rear passengers to stretch out in. The seats cosset you and the optional massage functions will keep you fresh until you arrive at your destination.

Many of these cars were bought by high-end taxi firms and they’re now on the used market, so expect prices to keep falling. There are plenty of high-mileage S-Classes around, but you can find some that haven’t been used as hard and therefore have fewer miles at the same age, and this is where bargains lie. Watch out for high maintenance costs, though, and the big Mercedes is sure to keep depreciating once you buy it.

Key details

On the road: Power, performance and refinement are exactly what you’d expect from a luxury limousine. 

Interior: Long-wheelbase cars offer plenty of room in the rear seats. Plush materials and loads of kit feature inside, too.

Finance options

Think luxury and you might also think pricey, but buying on finance is a great way to gain access to one of the most sophisticated vehicles around. For £424 per month, less than the monthly price for some family SUVs, you can bag an S-Class.

The initial deposit of £2,500 is even fairly reasonable. While you’ll spend more on fuel and maintenance, you can have most of the ownership experience for a fraction of the cost here. 

Commended Range Rover Mk4

If you prefer your luxury to come in SUV form, then consider a Range Rover. They hold their value fairly well, but you can buy a 2014 car for around £35,000 with less than 80,000 miles. It’s refined, ultra relaxing and adds serious off-road and towing performance, too. 

Left-field choice Bentley Flying Spur Mk1

Few cars are more luxurious than Bentley’s W12, and while you’ll pay for plenty of petrol, the Flying Spur can be bought for the price of a small family car. We saw one with 74,000 miles for £20,000, with reclining and massaging rear seats. It’s an enticing choice.

Best used cars to buy – 2018 Used Car Awards winners• Best used city car• Best used executive car• Best used supermini• Best used luxury car• Best used compact family hatchback• Best used MPV• Best used estate car• Best used coupe• Best used family car• Best used convertible• Best used small SUV• Best used sports car• Best used mid-size SUV• Best used hybrid car• Best used large SUV• Best used electric car• Best used compact executive car• Used Car of the Year 2018 Previous: Best used executive cars Next: Best used MPVs

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