10 German Luxury Cars No One Wants To Be Associated With

Shirley Beal

Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi are some of the prominent brands that flood our minds when we think about German luxury cars. Germans make some of the most over-engineered cars on the planet and generally, they tend to be reliable as well with a certain level of desirability factor attached to them. It is no surprise that some of the most exciting cars ever made were developed and manufactured in parts of Germany. Even the most famous racetrack in the world is located in Germany, and that says a lot. But, like in every group, there are some rotten apples that nobody wants to own.

Today, we take a look at these duds from Germany as we cover 10 luxury cars from Germany that nobody wants to own or even be associated with. We also explain why nobody won’t even touch these with a 10-foot pole:



10 BMW M5 E60

The front of an E60 M5 on a twisty road

In a nutshell, the E60 M5 is that car that everybody wants yet no one dares to buy! It is nothing but a racecar with an F1-inspired V10 engine masquerading as a cozy 5-seater sedan. The S85 5.0-liter V10, screams and howls to 8250rpm, makes a pleasant racket, goes like stink, and handles like any other self-respecting BMW M sedan. But, sadly, it is also one of the most unreliable cars with the V10 having a constant appetite for rod bearings

Related: Here’s How E60 BMW M5 Ownership Will Bankrupt You

9 BMW 7 Series E65

The front of the E65 BMW 7-Series
Via: BMW

When the E65 BMW 7 Series replaced the E38 7 series, the automotive world went berserk. For starters, the pre-LCI E65 was and is still an ugly looking car, and it just felt like blasphemy to replace something so perfect with this big chunk of metal. That coupled with the horrendous electrical gremlins and reliability issues made sure the E65 7 Series is the most hated BMW sedan out there.

8 Volkswagen Passat W8


This 2001 somber looking Volkswagen Passat is actually special. This was the luxury car that featured a rather unorthodox 4.0-liter W8 engine before it debuted in the Bugatti Veyron hypercar. Volkswagen basically used a run-of-the-mill Passat as a test bed for the engine and sold the same to unsuspecting customers. Although the Passat W8 is a cool sleeper car with 275 hp and 213 lb-ft of twist, it was plagued by issues and working on one can be your worst nightmare.

7 Mercedes-Benz S-Class W220

2000 Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W220)
via autoevolution.com

The W220 S-Class to Mercedes-Benz is what the E65 7 Series is to BMW, except the part where it looks ugly The W220 S-Class is a good-looking sedan (it still is) and was a replacement to the over-engineered W140 generation. This generation of the S-Class saw a lot of electrical components which were all dodge to say the least. Although the luxury barge as a whole is good, it proved to be the most unreliable S-Class generation due to its electrical issues.

Related: This Is The Most Reliable Mercedes-Benz S-Class Year To Buy Used

6 Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI

Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI 1

The 5.0-liter V10 TDI engine in the Touareg is a real torque monster, producing over 309 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque at 2000 rpm! It was a Frankenstein of an SUV with an awfully large and dirty diesel under its hood. Although it got a lot of attention for its towing capabilities, the first-gen Touaregs weren’t the most reliable SUVs around and coupled with this V10, the SUV can be a money pit. The Touareg also came with a 450hp W12 engine, but that is a story for another day.

5 Volkswagen Phaeton W12

Volkswagen Phaeton 2002 side on over panoramic city view
Via Volkswagen

The third Volkswagen on this list is Volkswagen’s answer to Mercedes-Benz S-Class. From an engineering point, the Phaeton was a marvel, and it was a luxury car built to high standards. But buying a used Volkswagen Phaeton today, particularly with the butter-smooth 6.0-liter W12 might not be the best idea. The W12 and V10 TDI engines are extremely hard to work with and if something goes wrong (which it will), you will have to wait an eternity for the parts to arrive from Germany.

Related: This Is What Made The VW Phaeton So Impressive

4 BMW 318 ti E46

Via WikiMedia

The ti here stands for Touring International, and is nothing but a fancy name for the BMW 3 Series compact. In case you’re wondering, the 3 Series compact is a rather wacky hatchback/coupe which is basically a 2-door 3 Series coupe cut to look like a hatchback. What makes it uninteresting is the choice of a lackluster 1.8-liter engine coupled with the styling, which might not be a hit with everyone out there.

3 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

New BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
Via: Motorist

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is a confusing car and a rival to the Mercedes-Benz B-Class. Every generation of the 2 Series Active Tourer looks weird, and the latest one with the massive kidney grilles is an eyesore to say the least. It is nothing but a FWD BMW with a tall MPV stance in a small hatchback like footprint with luxury car aspirations. See, so many things are wrong with the basic concept of this very car, and this is why it found its way into this list.

2 Mercedes A-Class W168

Mercedes W168 A-Class
Via Mercedes-Benz

Yet another confusing car in this list is the first-generation A-Class hatchback. Quite honestly, nobody wants to be seen in one of these. Easily the ugliest car from the three-pointed star brand, the W168 A-Class was a real disappointment as it had all the problems of 2000-era Mercedes cars (poor interior quality, bad to drive) along with looks that only a mother could love. To make things worse, it was also an unsafe car, since the W168 A-Class was found to rollover when driven enthusiastically.

1 Opel Omega

1997 Cadillac Catera
Via: NetCarShow

Also sold as the Cadillac Catera, this Opel has to be one of the most unreliable sedans out there. It was powered by unreliable engines and the sedan had other issues that accompanied that, including steering issues and stalling issues. The only positives were good features and an affordable price tag for a luxury car. But then, even these couldn’t save the Opel Omega’s fate, which was pretty much sealed.

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