You don’t usually associate luxury cars with value. Between insane levels of depreciation, high purchase prices, and outrageous maintenance expenses, luxury cars’ upkeep costs tend to skyrocket over time. IntelliChoice has released its 2019 Best Overall Value of the Year winners, and we’ve teamed up to see if you can get a premium-badged car that doesn’t demand a fortune to keep running.
IntelliChoice chooses its winners based on a number of factors including: insurance fees, depreciation, maintenance, fuel, and a number of other factors over five years. These are all taken into account to determine how much it actually requires to operate a particular vehicle relative to its segment. Even factors like a car’s financing and state fees figure into ownership costs. IntelliChoice notes that trim level also affects how much a car costs to own, and in some cases, the difference can be staggering.
Continue on below to learn how the Volvo S60 and BMW 5 Series clinched the 2019 Best Overall Value of the Year awards for their respective family-sedan segments.
Read about more IntelliChoice Best Overall Value Winners here:
- Toyota, Honda, or GMC: Which Trucks Are the Best Values?
- Which Family Cars Are the Best Values? Toyota, Honda Win 2019 IntelliChoice Awards
- Jeep, Lexus Win Big With 2019 IntelliChoice Best Overall Value Awards
Volvo S60—2019 Best Overall Value of the Year Premium Compact Passenger Car
Among compact premium cars, the Volvo S60 stood above the rest with its low insurance, financing, and ownership costs over five years. Compared to the second- and third-place finishers, the BMW 430i and 440i Gran Coupes, respectively, insuring the Volvo is $6,647—that’s $3,735 cheaper than the former and a whopping $6,753 less than the latter. At $1,120, the Volvo S60’s repairs are also $288 less than the two BMWs over five years. This is a good example of how trim level affects the five-year overall ownership costs; at $62,990, you’ll be spending $8,028 extra on the 440i versus the 430i and a massive $12,399 more than the Volvo S60.
As for driving, we love the Volvo S60 and its wagon sibling, the V60, for their attractive exterior design, an example of Scandinavian minimalism at its best. The interior sports a clean look with minimal buttons and some of the best wood trim you’ll ever lay your hands on. Volvo’s Sensus interface, which uses a 9.0-inch portrait-style touchscreen for nearly every function, looks slick. It takes time to learn how to use, though, and getting simple tasks done requires too many steps. The base 250-hp 2.0-liter T5 turbo-four is a solid all-around performer. However, the T8 Hybrid’s unnatural brakes makes stopping smoothly a chore, and the T6’s super- and turbocharged 2.0-liter’s power delivery isn’t very linear.
BMW 5 Series—2019 Best Overall Value of the Year Luxury Passenger Car
BMWs, like most German luxury cars, are associated with high upkeep, but the 5 Series seems to have bucked the trend. Based on IntelliChoice’s data, the BMW 5 Series comes to $67,244 to own over five years, which is $3,819 cheaper than expected. Even its insurance is on the lower end of the spectrum (less than $10,000 over five years). Compared with the second-place Lexus GS 300 and third-place BMW Alpina B7, the 5 Series was among the cheapest to insure, and it didn’t take as big of a hit on depreciation—$35,990 over five years—which is better than most luxury cars, especially European ones.
The current-generation BMW 5 Series moved closer toward the luxury space when it debuted. It now shares its underpinnings with the full-size 7 Series sedan. Its disconnected feel means it no longer drives like the tight 5 Series of yore, which was the benchmark for driving dynamics (the M550i model is shown below). It’s more at home cruising on the autobahn at high speeds than stringing one corner after another on a road like Angeles Crest Highway. But its interior is lovely, and its infotainment system interface—with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto—is intuitive and user-friendly, although some controls require diving through several menus to access.
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