Some cars are very nice to drive, they are extremely comfortable to travel in and more so – they look very nice. However, despite all the luxury and lavishness, owning them can be a complete financial nightmare. With numerous mechanical, electric and other faults, reliability issues as well as high fuel consumption and insurance costs that can go through the roof, we have assembled an in-depth list of automobiles that are relentlessly difficult to maintain. So, without much further ado, here are 6 cars that will take every penny from you.
1. BMW 7er E65/E66
When in 2001, BMW announced it replaced the E38 with the E65, it had big shoes to fill. The previous lineup of BMW cars was considered to be the best that any manufacturer has ever put out. It’s only righteous to follow it up with great cars, right? Well, even though there were a lot of revolutionary changes, the cars were notoriously unreliable. The large V8 and V12 engines were very prone to faults, the iDrive system had poor reliability and the entire electrical system was difficult to repair.
Even the aftermarket solutions from Alpina couldn’t solve the unreliability issues. An average price of a 15-year-old E65 745i should be met by repair and maintenance costs in two years. If you aren’t convinced – check out the video by Hoovies Garage – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP7OuFYJLTE .
2. Mercedes Benz S-Class (W220)
Once again, just like BMW, Mercedes was trying to follow in the successful footsteps of the W140 which is considered to be one of the best limousines of all time. The W220 came out during the time of turmoil in the company. It was trying to appeal to new customers and due to endless failures was on the brink of even going bust. The W220 had one of the worst electrical systems in the car which failed often, but there were also other expensive fixes like:
- Suspension failures
- Frequent leaks
- Timing chain problems
Put high maintenance costs into consideration and you’ll know why this S-Class is considered to be the worst one of all time. However, if you do find one with an engine that is a decent condition, you can get and rebuild it. They will likely go up in price soon. However, older S-Classes do have high mileage, so it’s advisable to refurbish or change the dash and steering wheel as they’re most prone to wear and tear. Look at Woodensteeringwheels for more info!
3. BMW X5
We’re getting on to something here. There’s somewhat of a theme of German manufacturers on this list. Even though the majority of German cars are very reliable straight from the shop, but after they get older, their reliability goes down the drain really quickly. BMW X5 was the first SUV for the city and thus it has had the most time to gain the reputation of an unreliable car.
In the E70 had issues with the electronic parking brake, engine misfires were common and the gearboxes were, the E53 was also notorious for leaks while the newer F15 seems to be much better but there were still noticeable room for improvement.
4. Audi Q7
Once again, a German SUV has made an appearance on our list. Even though Audi’s (especially the diesels from the 90s’ and early 00s’) built the reputation of very reliable cars, the Q7 was a luxury SUV, and that combination meant disaster for used car owners. Electric faults, ignition and leaks come to the forefront of most issues. However, you had a lot of other issues with the larger diesel engines (V8 and 6 liter V12 to be precise) that tend to need massive maintenance after 120-150 thousand kilometers. Of course that is to be expected after time, but the Q7 took it to another level being labelled as the most unreliable Audi model in the lineup.
5. Mercedes GL
If Merc fans thought they were safe after the W220 – they’re not. Mercedes has had a lot of unreliable cars, including the early A-Class, but the GL is atop the list of more modern Mercedes’ that extract every cent of its owners. You had transmission and suspension issues that cost above four digits to fix, there were notable problems with the steering rack and battery drainage as well as tail light electric failures. This is all not so strange with a 10-12-year-old car, but the GL was 3-4 years old when these issues started popping up en masse.
6. Tesla Model X
Tesla is the hottest chicken in the car business right now. However, the hype around electric cars and their technological gizmos sometimes overlaps real-life practicality. A lot of owners were not very satisfied with the build quality of their cars which felt cheap and the Model X proved to be quite unreliable. So, providing a breather for the Germans, enter Model X – the most unreliable Tesla out of the entire model range. There has been a lawsuit against the carmaker from the owners, the doors proved to be nice to look at but hard to live with and the electrical systems in the car left a lot to be desired in terms of reliability. And it can cost 100+ thousand USD.