From smooth rides and high tech to posh trim and raw power, luxury cars certainly come with their, well, luxuries — and have price tags to match. That’s not just sticker prices, either — high-end vehicles come with higher long-term expenses.
GOBankingRates used data from RepairPal to create a list of the compact, midsize and full-size luxury cars that are most expensive to own in terms of the cost of annual repairs. The site defines the cost as “the average total annual cost for unscheduled repairs and maintenance across all model years of a vehicle.”
When possible, this list also highlights the most common problems and repairs for each model. Check out which luxury cars cost the most to repair.
Average annual repair cost: $813
The Cadillac ATS is an expensive compact luxury car to own, though the average repair costs for cars in its class are $808 a year. The two-door coupe is among the lightest cars in the segment and, at 272 horsepower, has one of the most powerful four-cylinder engines. It winds up in the shop for unscheduled repairs less frequently than most compact luxury cars, but when it does, the repairs tend to be more serious.
Audi A3 Quattro
Average annual repair cost: $868
The Audi A3 Quattro costs a bit more to own in terms of average annual repair costs than the Cadillac ATS. But it winds up in the shop more often — twice a year, on average, compared to 0.7 times a year for the average luxury compact.
The four-door, 184-horsepower sedan tends to need major repairs 7% of the time, compared to 8% for the average car in its segment. Issues with electric sliding doors and the climate control system are among the most common complaints.
Average annual repair cost: $925
You’ll pay nearly $120 more in annual repair costs for a Porsche Boxster than the average cost for other luxury compact cars. A Boxster is as likely to end up in the shop for unscheduled repairs as the segment average. But the repairs are far more likely to be serious — 13% probability compared to 8% for the average luxury compact. Internal oil separator leaks are a common headache, as are issues with power windows and other electrical components.
Average annual repair cost: $983
The Mercedes-Benz SLK350 costs more per year to repair than average and is also diagnosed with serious issues more frequently. There’s a 14% probability of problems being severe compared to 8% for the segment average.
There were four recalls on the most recent model for systems like electronic stability control, electrical wiring, rear suspension and engine cooling. The most common complaints include rough shifting, oil seepage and camshaft adjuster solenoid failure.
Audi TT Quattro
Average annual repair cost: $999
The Audi TT Quattro runs nearly $1,000 a year for the cost of repairs alone. And those repairs are more likely to be severe than the segment average by a probability of 13% to 8%, respectively.
Vacuum leaks, oxygen sensors and catalytic converter problems tend to trigger the check engine light. Owners have also reported problems with erratic turn signals, creaking noises and failed spark plugs, ignition wires and ignition coils.
Average annual repair cost: $1,038
The first car on the list that runs into the four digits for yearly repair costs is the BMW 135i. Owners can expect to take it to the shop about once a year compared to 0.7 times a year for the average luxury compact.
The problems that warrant those trips to the mechanic are more than twice as likely than average to be severe. Improperly folding side mirrors seem to be a common problem, as do noise and vibrations caused by low refrigerant in the air conditioning system.
Pictured: BMW M135i xDrive
Average annual repair cost: $1,088
The speedy Porsche Cayman is about as pricey as it gets for annual repairs on a luxury compact car. These cars are also in the shop for unscheduled repairs more than average, and those repairs are far more likely than average to be serious. Internal oil separator leaks tend to plague the Cayman. Excessive brake pad and rotor wear are fairly common, too.
Audi A5 Quattro
Average annual repair cost: $925
Now, we’re looking at the costs associated with maintaining midsize luxury cars.
The average annual repair cost for midsize luxury cars is $762, well-below what you can expect if you own an Audi A5 Quattro. The average luxury midsize car is in the shop 0.6 times a year. The A5 Quattro, on the other hand, goes in for unscheduled repairs 0.8 times a year.
The good news for Audi owners is that the average chance of needing serious repairs on a car in this segment is 9%. The A5 Quattro has a slightly lower chance, 8%, of needing serious repairs.
Audi A4 Quattro
Average annual repair cost: $975
You can expect yearly maintenance costs for the Audi A4 Quattro, which is a sedan, to run $50 higher than it does for its cousin, the A5 coupe. They’re in the shop a little more often than average but are a little less likely to need serious repairs.
The most common complaint is that problems with the catalytic converter, oxygen sensor or vacuum leaks cause the check engine light to come on. There are also several reports of problems with the digital display and instrument cluster.
BMW 328i xDrive
Average annual repair cost: $1,016
The BMW 328i xDrive is pricey to repair compared to the segment average. It’s more likely to require unscheduled repairs, and those repairs are more likely to be for something serious.
The 330i replaced the 328i in 2017, but the 3 Series, in general, is highly regarded and well-reviewed in the midsize luxury segment. The complaints typically focus on inconsistent performance with the car’s infotainment technology.
Pictured: BMW 3 Series Sedan
Average annual repair cost: $1,024
Owning a Jaguar XF will cost you more than $260 extra per year to repair and maintain, compared to the segment average. Available as a sedan and Sportbrake wagon, the XF doesn’t register a lot of complaints about common repair issues. In 2018, however, there were three recalls on the vehicle, one for airbags, one for problems with the instrument panel and one for the fuel system.
BMW 335i xDrive
Average annual repair cost: $1,101
Not only does the BMW 335i xDrive cost nearly $350 more on average per year for repairs, but owners have to bring their cars in for unscheduled repairs about twice as often as the average midsize luxury car. And those repairs are more likely to be for serious issues.
Some common problems include control arm replacements, which cost between $2,467 and $3,114, exhaust manifold gasket replacements, which go for $1,118 to $1,623, and airbag crash sensor replacements, which could run you $322 to $355.
Pictured: BMW 3 Series Sedan
Average annual repair cost: $1,142
One of many Audis on this list, the Audi S4 costs more to maintain, breaks down more frequently and is more likely to require serious repairs than the average midsize luxury car. Some of the more common problems include overheating caused by faulty thermostats, check engine lights coming on due to faulty torque converters and oil leaks from transmission output shaft seals.
Average annual repair cost: $1,147
The vaunted Porsche 911 is a pleasure to drive but a costly car to own. Expect to bring it in the shop for unscheduled repairs roughly once a year, and when you do, it’s more likely than average to be for serious problems. Oil separator leaks are known to cause issues, and coolant reservoir leaks and O-ring oil leaks frequently send 911 owners looking for a good mechanic.
Average annual repair cost: $1,151
Like most of the midsize luxury cars on this list, the Audi S5 costs more per year to maintain. It also needs more frequent repairs and there’s a higher probability that those repairs will be costly compared to the average car in the segment.
Owners don’t report a lot of problems. But when they do, carbon buildup and failure to start after refueling are common culprits.
Average annual repair cost: $1,281
Among the most popular midsize luxury cars, few are costlier to maintain than the BMW M3. Not only do annual costs approach $1,300, but these cars are in the shop a whopping 1.39 times a year compared to 0.6 for the segment’s average vehicle.
They’re also more likely to need serious repairs than the average. Owners cited multiple simultaneous power steering hose failures and a rubbing sound during turns caused by problems with the rear differential.
Audi A6 Quattro
Average annual repair cost: $1,064
The first vehicle on the list in the full-size segment is the Audi A6 Quattro, which costs almost $100 more per year for repair bills than the average full-size luxury car at $972. Cost, however, is just part of the equation.
The average car in the segment requires unscheduled repairs 0.9 times per year. Audi A6 Quattro owners can expect to put their sweet rides in the shop more than twice as often.
Mercedes-Benz CLS 550
Average annual repair cost: $1,085
The Mercedes-Benz CLS 550 costs $100 more for annual repair costs compared to the average for a full-size luxury car. Unscheduled repairs pop up about once a year, with a 13% chance of serious repairs — both about average for the segment. Two common problems include cylinder head oil seepage and failed transmission drive selector modules.
Average annual repair cost: $1,092
The BMW 550i’s annual repair costs and frequency for unscheduled fixes are slightly higher than average. But the chance of needing major repairs is high — 18% compared to the segment average of 12%. The most common complaints include noise when the windows are fully up and issues with brake pad wear sensors.
Pictured: BMW 5 Series
Average annual repair cost: $1,148
The BMW 650i is slightly higher than average for the annual cost of repairs, the frequency of unplanned repairs and the need for major repairs. Owners report problems with brake pad wear sensors, same as the 550i model.
Pictured: BMW 6 Series
BMW 535i xDrive
Average annual repair cost: $1,185
The BMW 535i xDrive costs over $200 more than the average full-size luxury car to maintain and repair per year. And those repairs are more likely to be serious and happen more frequently.
The car is highly rated and receives overall strong reviews. But disappointed drivers have griped about weak tires, frequent recalls and unnecessarily complex engineering — particularly with critical engine components.
Pictured: BMW 5 Series
Audi A8 Quattro
Average annual repair cost: $1,309
The Audi A8 Quattro costs hundreds more to maintain than the average car in the segment. But it’s only a bit more likely than average to need unscheduled and serious repairs.
The most commonly cited repairs have to do with failing thermostats causing overheating, rainwater accumulating at the base of the windshield and noise caused by premature wear in the suspension.
Average annual repair cost: $1,367
The Porsche Panamera is undeniably fun to drive, but the cost of that excitement runs nearly $400 extra a year in repairs compared to the segment average. The Panamera is also far more likely than average to need unscheduled repairs. And there’s a one-in-five probability of this particular Porsche needing serious repairs compared to the average full-size luxury car’s 12% probability.
Average annual repair cost: $1,454
You’ll pony up nearly $500 more than average for annual repairs if you own a Mercedes-Benz S550. It could be in the shop more frequently and have a higher likelihood of suffering problems serious enough to require significant repairs.
HVAC blower failures seem to be a common problem. Likewise for camshaft adjuster solenoid failures and poor engine performance caused by crankshaft position sensor failure.
Audi A7 Quattro
Average annual repair cost: $1,501
Topping the list of highest annual repair costs across all three segments is the Audi A7 Quattro, at over $1,500. The car goes to the shop a little more often than average, but it’s slightly less likely to need serious, expensive repairs. Most complaints have to do with engine carbon buildup in the intake valves and runner flaps.
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Photo Disclaimer: Please note some photos are for representational purposes only and might not feature exact models, base models or the cars’ specific trim levels listed.