What Cars Have The Most Expensive Catalytic Converters?

The catalytic converter is a vital part of a car’s exhaust system. It makes toxic gases in exhaust less harmful before releasing them into the air. However, replacing it can be pricey, depending on the type of car.

The cost varies with material costs, emissions regulations, and the car’s features. Luxury cars with high-performance engines often have the priciest catalytic converters. SUVs and pickup trucks may need more expensive catalytic converters due to size, type of engine, production year, and features like powerful horsepower or turbochargers.

catalytic converter

Since it’s an important safety feature, investing in a quality replacement part is essential. If you want to replace your catalytic converter or find out which cars have the most expensive ones, this guide can help. It offers info about popular models that may need top-caliber components when serviced or upgraded.

What are Catalytic Converters?

Catalytic converters are emission control devices installed in many internal combustion engines. They use a catalyst to change toxic exhaust gases into less harmful substances. Their primary purpose is to reduce or eliminate emissions from a machine for a more eco-friendly operation.

Catalytic converters are made of three parts:

  • A ceramic monolith core, catalysts, and the outer shell. The body has a honeycomb structure, with countless cells containing catalysts like platinum, palladium, or rhodium. They react with exhaust gases, converting them into water vapor and carbon dioxide.
  • The outer housing keeps the converter at a constant temperature and protects it from damage like rocks on roads or other items hitting it.

Types of Catalytic Converters

Catalytic converters are essential for your car’s emission system. Varieties of converters are used for different vehicles. Costs range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Understanding the type of converter you need and the price you can anticipate is essential.

Here we will look at the various types of catalytic converters and which cars have the most expensive ones:

Precious Metal Catalytic Converters

Precious metal catalytic converters are the priciest kind. They include metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium. These metals enable the converter to change hazardous exhaust emissions into non-toxic compounds. Such converters are available in vehicles from Honda, Toyota, and Audi. Prices depend on the amount of precious metal in them.

When buying a vehicle that needs such a converter, research is crucial. Some cheaper models may not have these or cheap versions that fail often. Be aware of the theft, too, as these converters are worth a lot for their materials:

  • Platinum
  • Palladium
  • Rhodium

Ceramic Catalytic Converters

Ceramic catalytic converters are a cost-efficient way to decrease harmful emissions. They are made of a porous ceramic material infused with precious or non-precious metals like platinum, palladium, rhodium, copper, manganese, and iron. The ceramic is formed in honeycomb shapes to maximize the exposed surface area. This allows the exhaust gasses to interact better with the active ingredients, improving efficiency.

Compared to other converters, ceramic ones have higher construction costs. Yet, they offer superior performance initially and over time. Ceramic catalytic converters also tend to be heavier. This can be beneficial, providing better stability under high temperatures and reducing engine vibration.

Oxidation Catalytic Converters

Oxidation catalytic converters reduce emissions by changing pollutants from a gas to an inert solid. Common pollutants that are converted are hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. Metals used in the catalyst include platinum, palladium, rhodium, or cerium. They are efficient at cleaning engine exhaust without limiting airflow or performance.

They can be expensive and require special consideration when fabricating an exhaust system. Cars with more complicated exhaust systems may need premium ratcheting clamps, flanges, and materials such as stainless steel or Inconel® alloys. Installation of oxidation catalytic converters can significantly increase repair or replacement costs.

Most Expensive Catalytic Converters

Modern cars feature catalytic converters, essential for decreasing emissions and increasing fuel efficiency. They change hazardous exhaust gasses into less dangerous materials. Some vehicles have pricier catalytic converters than others. Let us explore some of the costliest catalytic converters available:

Porsche 928

Porsche 928 models have some of the priciest catalytic converters. Precious metals are used in their construction, resulting in higher prices. Platinum, palladium, and rhodium are all utilized, depending on the model.

These metals ensure the converters work well and last longer than cheap ones. Replacing a catalytic converter for Porsche models is usually around $2,050 to $2,700. This depends on the year and the metal used. Prices can vary from place to place.

Car owners should get advice from certified experts about their needs when replacing these components.

BMW 750i

BMW 750i is one of the cars with the priciest catalytic converters. It’s powerful and looks great. However, the parts used to make it are costly due to their luxuriousness.

The converter for the BMW 750i can cost thousands of dollars. This is because it controls pollutants from petrol engines with a complex chemical reaction and regulates sound frequency.

Its construction needs tough stainless steel to protect it from corrosion and abrasion. So the cost of production is higher due to the quality of the steel.

Audi A8

Audi A8s can be fitted with a range of catalytic converters, from base models to performance-focused ones. Their A8s have the most expensive converter in the market. The 4.0 liter V8 engine. It is designed to reduce emissions and increase performance. Quality materials, high thermal loads, and fuel economy make it perfect.

The benefit of an expensive converter is a more extended warranty period (10 years). This gives you peace of mind that your vehicle is protected long-term.


Cars with costly catalytic converters can be pricey to replace. Audi and BMW are some luxury brands, alongside Toyota Prius and Honda Insight which tend to be more expensive. However, small sedans and hatchbacks may also have costly converters, but they are rare.

It is wise to check which cars come with a pricey converter before buying a new vehicle or determining what repair needs are essential if you own one of the stated vehicles. Researching part prices is always a good idea before making an automotive purchase or repair to have all the required information for informed decisions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What cars have the most expensive catalytic converters?

Luxury cars like Mercedes and BMW tend to have the most expensive catalytic converters. Still, other cars like Honda, Toyota, and Ford can also have costly catalytic converters depending on the model and year.

How much do catalytic converters cost?

A catalytic converter can range from $50 to over $2,000, depending on the car model and year. Luxury cars tend to have the most expensive catalytic converters.

How often do I need to replace my catalytic converter?

The lifespan of a catalytic converter can vary depending on the car model, but generally speaking, it should last for at least 100,000 miles. If you’re experiencing problems with your catalytic converter, it’s best to check it out as soon as possible.