Buying cheap luxury cars is often quite the gamble but buying cheap, old luxury SUVs is even more of a gamble. Why are SUVs riskier? Because there’s more stuff to go wrong. You have additional differentials, axles, sometimes transfer cases, air suspension, and often larger V8 engines. Among these three older luxury SUVs, which is the most reliable: the E53 BMW X5, the first-gen Porsche Cayenne, or the L322 Range Rover?
In this new video from Carwow, Mat Watson finds out.
Maybe it’s because these were the luxury SUVs that were on sale when I was first learning to drive but I love all three of these cars. The E53 X5 is still one of the best looking SUVs the brand ever made, the first-gen Porsche Cayenne proved that luxury SUVs could also drive like sports cars, and the L322 Range Rover offered an almost Bentley-level of luxury but with Jeep Wrangler-rivaling off-road prowess. If I were a braver man, I’d love to own any one of these cars.
However, all three are pretty well known for having reliability issues. E53-gen X5s are famous for problematic V8s (which the one in this video has), electrical gremlins, and rust. While L322 Range Rovers are notorious for their own rust issues, tons of electrical problems, air suspension issues, and transmission trouble. The Porsche Cayenne is less famously problematic but it still has some common issues, like coolant leaking and overheating, and this car has a pretty wonky transmission. Also rust.
Every car in this test is pretty tired, with their own sets of issue. After all, they’re super cheap, under £2,000. When you buy an old, cheap, premium car, you’re going to run into some issues. However, if those issues are fixable, then you can get one of these cars cheap, fix them up, and maybe still make out cheaper than with a newer, non-premium SUV. But the question is, which one do you choose. Check the video to find out.