Avoid Buying These 6 Luxury Cars Most Likely To Have Major Mechanical Problems

February 24, 2024. By Dawn Allcot

Rear leather seats of business car, interior.

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You might think spending more on a vehicle means fewer hassles and headaches. After all, doesn’t a high price tag equate to a higher-quality design and streamlined mechanics that will keep your car on the road and out of the shop?

Not necessarily.

As you’ll see below, even the finest luxury brands are prone to breakdowns and major mechanical problems, leading to inconvenient repair times and costs. Or, as the old joke goes, if you want to drive a Jaguar, purchase two because one will always be in the shop.

GOBankingRates recently researched Consumer Reports studies and compiled various articles and inquiries from a number of auto enthusiast and legal websites in order to find the six luxury cars you may wish to avoid if you’re seeking the peace of mind and sense of style that comes with driving a reliable luxury car.

2023 Jaguar F-Pace

In spite of its powerful acceleration, incredible comfort and cute, sporty design, the new Jaguar F-Pace falls short in reliability ratings according to ConsumerReports.org, who low-rated the vehicle in both both predicted reliability and predicted owner satisfaction categories. While at the time of this writing there is not an abundance of data yet available on this new model, the report at Consumer Reports hews closely to the punchline of the Jaguar joke of old. If you want a luxury compact SUV, there are other models to consider with proven reliability, such as Acura or Lexus models.

2016 and 2019 Audi A6

If you’re interested in buying a luxury car but want to save money, it’s worth considering a car that’s a few years old. However, you might want to steer clear of the Audi A6 series. The car currently has five recalls and a reliability rating of just 1 out of 5, according to Consumer Reports. Older models, such as those between 2013 and 2015, earned solid reliability ratings but the 2016 and 2019 models fall short. Consumers have reported trouble with noises, leaks, squeaks and rattles, as well as engine and suspension/steering issues.

2023 Alfa Romeo Giulia

The exotic and sporty stylings of the Alfa Romeo Giulia may turn heads on the highway, but you’re better off avoiding recent models. The 2023 Alfa Romeo Giulia ranked dead last in luxury compact cars based on Consumer Reports ratings, with a predicted reliability of just 2 out of 5.

2023 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The stylish Mercedes-Benz C-Class earned the dubious honor of being named the “Popular Luxury Sedan to Avoid” by Consumer Reports in 2023. Rated just 11th out of 15 overall in luxury compact cars, the car received a 2 out of 5 rating in predicted reliability and a 3 out of 5 in predicted owner satisfaction. The 2023 model has already been recalled three times by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since its release.

2023 Volvo XC60

Volvo has always been perceived as a trusted and reliable luxury brand, but the folks at Consumer Reports are not impressed by the Volvo XC60. The two-row SUV was listed as a one to avoid, and fell right in the middle of the luxury compact SUV ratings. The car has a predicted reliability of 2 out of 5, and the 2022 model was also rated as “worse than average” with regards to its reliability. There are also three significant recalls on the vehicle from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration related to the electrical system, brake support system and engine cooling.   

2020 – 2022 Tesla Model S

Want to buy a used Tesla Model S? Prepare to factor repair costs into the amount you thought you’d be saving by purchasing a used vehicle. While earlier models from 2015 to 2019 had average or better reliability ratings, the models from 2020 through 2022 have earned lower marks. The 2020 Model S garnered a reliability rating of just 2 from Consumer Reports, just as the 2022 Model S only did slightly better with 3 out of 5 points. These models have also received recalls for software issues (meaning drivers can at least receive the updated fixes online without having to visit a service center). In 2022, several of the issues were related to Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) software, which is new technology currently in Beta mode. That said, if you aren’t the type who wants to update your car just as you do your mobile devices, Tesla may not be the best luxury brand for you.


Whether new or used, buying a luxury car is a major investment, especially in today’s market. Beyond just test-driving your vehicles of choice, it’s always an imperative cost-saving measure to do your homework on the various brands and models to ensure that you’re making the most economically sound choice for your budget, taste, safety and lifestyle.