Luxury diesel sedan under Rs 45 lakh: New or Pre-owned options

The nearest service centre of either of the three German brands is at least 160 km away.

BHPian maverick6106 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello everyone,

I have been a long-term reader of this forum. Currently, we own a Getz 1.5 CRDi 2008 model and a Toyota Innova 2012 model. We plan to retain both vehicles. We are a family of 4 from Sagar, MP and believe in holding onto our cars as long as possible because frequently changing cars does not make financial sense. My father,62 years, wants to purchase a luxury vehicle with a budget of 45 lakhs. It has been a dream of his to purchase a luxury vehicle. Initially, he wanted to go for a new vehicle but I convinced him to look at pre-owned options as well after reading the various posts on this forum about the advantages of buying them. I am self-employed and have businesses across real estate and fuel stations. We are eligible for BH registration as well.

Requirements:

Concerns:

Vehicles Shortlisted

Used BMW 530d (G30)

  • Likes: RWD, Strong diesel engine, good handling characteristics, Well built interior
  • Areas of Concern: Laden Ground Clearance, Lack of dedicated space for spare tyres, Rear seat comfort.

Used BMW 630d (2018 OR 2019)

  • Likes: Same as 530d plus additional rear legroom, more comfortable ride because of Air Suspension, more practical, Higher laden ground clearance because of lower variations in ride height while going over speed bumps.
  • Areas of Concern: Good examples might be out of budget and 2018 models might not be niggle free as they were part of the first few batches, Looks are subjective, reliability of Air Suspension

Used Mercedes E Class (W213 E350)

  • Likes: Strong badge value which is still the most recognizable of the lot and resonates with the masses, Rear Leg room, Comfortable, Opulent interior
  • Areas of concern: Long-term cost of ownership, handling, electrical niggles, and air suspension, may be out of budget

Used Mercedes E Class (W212 E350CDI)

  • Likes: Famous for its bulletproof reliability, models from 2017 will have good reliability as most niggle will have been sorted out, looks, well within the budget
  • Areas of Concern: A phased-out model, Most cars will be out of warranty, will require frequent maintenance, and features and electronics are old schools.

New Toyota Camry

  • Likes: Sharp looks, excellent fuel efficiency, reliability, local service centre, good rear legroom, tax benefits on depreciation and car loan
  • Areas of concern: Underpowered, slow-to-respond gearbox, No badge value, Belly scraping because of soft suspension and low ground clearance.

New Lexus ES

  • Likes: Sharp looks, excellent fuel efficiency, reliability, good rear legroom, tax benefits,
  • Areas of concern: Underpowered, slow-to-respond gearbox, belly scraping because of soft suspension and low ground clearance and nearest service centre (Delhi) is over 600 km away, out of budget.

I have not shortlisted Skoda Superb as it is petrol only. I welcome the valuable input of esteemed forum members on this dilemma.

Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:

You have to first check if there is a good independent garage for luxury cars close to your place. If yes, awesome. Then consider a used X3, GLE etc. Or a 630d if you can manage with the GC. But I don’t think a low-slung sedan like the 530d will be a good choice for a small city like Sagar.

If you don’t have a competent luxury car specialist, just buy a Fortuner or Tucson and close it. The 2022 Tucson compares favourably with entry-level German luxury cars. Fantastic engine + gearbox, is luxurious enough, has better reliability than the Germans and you have a local Hyundai dealer for support. Fortuner if you can live with the body-on-frame SUV compromises.

Here’s what BHPian asit.kulkarni93 had to say on the matter:

Before you start shortlisting cars, Visit the FNG near your place. Discuss with the owners, what premium vehicles they have worked on if they are equipped with basic diagnostic tools and how much time spare parts normally take to arrive. I am sure you know plenty of people around Sagar who have premium cars and they can give you feedback on the overall experience. Do not go by numbers, Many cars with stiff suspension wouldn’t bottom out easily. If GC is still a concern then it’s best you look at the Q5/X3 or the last-gen X5 or diesel Q7.

Here’s what BHPian androdev had to say on the matter:

As long as you are being realistic with your expectations, you can surely consider a premium luxury in a small town. The prestige of owning these brands in a small town would be at another level – which can be a pro or con depending on your point of view.

Go for a new car. I know the numbers look tempting but when you consider the big picture (your intention to own it for many years, the sentimental aspects of buying for parents and all the nice intangibles that come with a new purchase), you should absolutely consider a new car. I would even go to the extent of saying that your family/parents would appreciate and remember the car buying and delivery process more than the car itself. More importantly, with a new car, you will have a honeymoon period of an initial 60-70K km at least whereas with a used car, you are likely to hit rough weather pretty early and it will ruin the whole project. Most people who confidently buy used luxury cars are very experienced with the selection and servicing of such cars.

If you go with a new car, you just need to go through the hassle of servicing the car once a year (assuming your usage will be less than 15K km per year). Luxury car service centres will mostly oblige to send their driver to your place or arrange a flatbed to get your car serviced. It will cost a few bucks but you have to accept it as the price of living in a small town.

Given the far-off location of the service centre, the downtime will be a bit longer than usual during which time you will have to manage with other cars in your garage. Keep in mind that BMW follows condition-based servicing which might not be convenient and skipping service will void the warranty. My recommendation would be to go with Mercedes, they are very established players and surely have familiarity with serving many clients from smaller cities.

The current C class would be as good a package as the previous gen E class, so you won’t be getting any fewer cars if your budget allows you to buy a new car from one segment lower. The current generation Mercedes cars look really upmarket and would delight parents and families. Visit the showroom and test drive to see what appeals to both heart and pocket.

Lexus is another good option assuming local Toyota can service the car. Since you said the car will be driven by you or your dad, I would say go with the German brands. They are certainly more enjoyable to drive, esp on highways, and worth the hassle of dealing with far-off service centres.

Camry and Tucson are very good cars and will be pragmatic choices but the laws of risk vs reward always apply in life.

If you want to explore pre-owned options, limit your search to “within warranty” cars from official pre-owned sales divisions of MB, BMW, Audi, etc. Don’t buy from the open market unless the seller is a known person.

Ultimately owning a luxury car in a big city itself is a demanding exercise (both money and effort) and suitable only for those who fancy such indulgence. Many HNIs neither desire such cars nor are willing to put up with the hassles. Things get amplified when you are in a small town (both the good and the bad) and it’s up to you to decide if you enjoy such car ownership to justify the hassle. Another way to look at it is, to do it once as indulgence. If the experience works out great, you would be pleased with your decision. Otherwise, cut your losses and don’t repeat.

Here’s what BHPian EV NXT had to say on the matter:

The new Tucson is very un-Hyundai. It handles well, is fast, and rocks steady at high speeds.

Feels solid, has enough features to keep you happy and is very comfortable too.

If you can live with the badge this is a german in disguise.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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