Looking for a deal on a luxury car? Most automakers are now offering comprehensive certified pre-owned programs on many of their recent models. That means some of today's best values are well-maintained used luxury cars with a manufacturer-backed warranty. To prove that, we've compiled a list of our favorite "half price" luxury cars that offer a bulletproof warranty and a recent design for less than half their original value.
2008 Audi A6
The Audi brand's desirability level has been improving. As a result, impressively strong resale values are setting industry standards. But shoppers interested in the mid-size A6 can still get great deals on used models with a certified pre-owned warranty. The thirsty 4.2-liter powerplant provides fantastic muscle, but we recommend sticking with the base 3.2-liter V6. Although the smaller engine still offers an ample 255 horsepower, it boasts much improved fuel economy ratings of up to 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. There are also more than a dozen 2008 A6 models equipped with that engine available on AutoTrader.com with Audi's certified pre-owned warranty, which covers up to two years or 50,000 miles.
2008 BMW 550i
Enthusiasts may prefer the V10-powered M5, but BMW's 8-cylinder 2008 550i is also a force to be reckoned with among mid-size luxury sedans. In addition to a 360-horsepower 4.8-liter V8, the 550i offers available manual or automatic transmissions and a long list of standard equipment, including leather upholstery, steering-linked xenon headlights and a power sunroof. Today's car shoppers will also be happy to learn it's not difficult to find a certified example for around $30,000, which is almost exactly half of the sedan's 2008 base price of $59,700 including destination. Although it doesn't include the same warranty as a new model, a certified pre-owned 2008 550i still offers the peace of mind that comes with the balance of a six-year, 100,000-mile comprehensive plan and a thorough inspection by a BMW technician.
2008 Jaguar XJ8
Thanks to a complete redesign for 2011, earlier versions of Jaguar's flagship XJ luxury sedan have dropped significantly in value in the past two years. In fact, more than a dozen certified 2008 models are currently available on AutoTrader.com with an asking price of around $35,000-less than half their original value. That's a good thing if you're a car shopper interested in a recent luxury sedan at a low price-especially considering Jaguar's certified pre-owned warranty, which provides comprehensive coverage for up to six years or 100,000 miles from the original date of purchase.
2008 Lexus LS 460
Although Toyota's luxurious Lexus brand isn't known for rapid depreciation, one exception is the automaker's sublime full-size LS 460 luxury sedan. With base prices of around $64,000 in 2008, the sedan is easy to find in the mid-$30,000 range just four years later. Although we think the upscale LS 460 would be inexpensive to own even without Lexus's certified pre-owned warranty, it's hard to shy away from the automaker's impressive coverage that spans three years or 100,000 total vehicle miles. The LS460 has the traditional Lexus luxury touches: a power sunroof, a smooth 380-horsepower 4.6-liter V8, heated leather upholstery, an in-dash six-disc CD changer with a digital media player connection and a soft, soothing ride.
2007 Mercedes-Benz S550
Car shoppers familiar with luxury sedan depreciation won't be surprised to learn that Mercedes' S-Class flagship is easily found for half its original value with a certified pre-owned warranty despite sharing a design with the current model. Indeed, nearly 20 different 2007 S550s are available nationwide for less than $44,000, or about half of the sedan's new base price of $86,000 before options. In addition to Mercedes' one-year certified pre-owned warranty that covers up to 100,000 vehicle miles, that heavily discounted figure will get buyers a jaw-dropping list of standard features that includes a navigation system, a power sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, 18-inch alloy wheels and even an electronic aid that helps occupants close the sedan's doors and trunk.
2008 Volvo S60
Already reasonably priced as a new car, in the mid-$30,000 range before options, Volvo's mid-size S60 sedan can be found just four years later at an asking price under $20,000 with a factory-backed certified pre-owned warranty. That's a good price for a 2007 model-and it's an even better deal on a 2008 S60 with reasonable mileage, since the automaker's certified pre-owned warranty covers the sedan for up to six years or 100,000 miles from the original sale date. In addition to the warranty, buyers will also enjoy the S60's contemporary styling and its luxury touches. They'll also enjoy a choice of three turbocharged flavors, ranging from the spry 2.5T to the downright fast S60R, which was dropped after the 2007 model year.
What it means to you: As much as most buyers crave the new-car experience, if you don't mind a few miles on the odometer, you can find some great deals on certified pre-owned luxury cars.