Luxury vehicles seem unattainable to many people because of their high price tag. Most are over $50,000, which results in high monthly payments and long repayment periods. However, a surprising number of them are affordable to the average car enthusiast if you know where to look. Any luxury vehicle is an investment and, regardless of its more affordable price tag, even inexpensive luxury vehicles experience depreciation.
You can protect your investment with the best care and maintenance possible, so, along with your vehicle purchase, you’ll want to get the best car covers and other accessories to maintain its resale value. Although the exact list of the cheapest luxury cars varies from year to year, some perennial go-to favorites are for fans of luxury cars. Here are eight options for cars that won’t break the bank.
2020 Audi A4
If you’re looking for a car with a balance of features and an engine that accelerates quickly and smoothly, the A4 is the ideal choice. With a base price of just over $37,000, you can afford to upgrade the standard engine specs and still stay within your budget. However, the base engine’s 188 horsepower is enough for most casual drivers, especially if you live in a city where you won’t get to drive fast very often. The cabin is gorgeous and comes with enough technology to make your journeys safer and more comfortable. The standard stereo system is 10-speaker, but you can upgrade to a Bang & Olsen audio system with 19 speakers. The 2021 A4 is also excellent, but try looking for a 2020 model, as you may get a discount on some versions.
2021 Kia Stinger
Though not technically a luxury brand, the Korean car manufacturer has marketed the Stinger, and several other high-performance models, to drivers searching for luxury features at an affordable price. This sports sedan comes with a 2.0-liter 4-Cylinder Turbo engine and has AWD optional, so you can choose the base model or get something better–suited for winter climates. It starts at just over $33,000 for GT-Line trim options and $39,000 for GT trim. The difference is subtle but makes an important style statement to car enthusiasts. Options include head-up displays, surround view monitors, and other technology that’s helpful if you drive in heavy traffic. Some interior color options are only available with the Sun & Sound add-on, which will run you a few thousand dollars extra. Other than this minor inconvenience, the Kia Stinger handles as well as most other luxury sports sedans.
2021 BMW 2-series
The BMW 2-series is a sports car, and even its most basic engine starts at a whopping 228 horsepower. Choose from the Coupe, the Gran Coupe, and the Convertible, depending on your exact seating needs and budget. Since the Coupe only has two doors, it’s not an ideal family car, but it makes a beautiful addition to your garage for special occasions and date nights. Sirius XM radio is now standard for this line, and the optional navigation system is cheaper than in years past. You can upgrade the engine to a 3.0-liter 335 horsepower engine, but most drivers will find this a bit overkill unless you live in the countryside, where you can make use of it.
2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Although the A-class is small, it’s a sophisticated car that delivers the luxury car essentials. The interior is beautiful and has an excellent range of technology, including digital displays and entertainment. The engine is powerful yet quiet, and the standard blind-spot monitoring gives you extra peace of mind in any traffic.
The starting price tag of $34,700 is good for a luxury vehicle, although the car is small and the base engine isn’t as strong as some of its competitors. One of its standout features is the MBUX infotainment interface with gesture control, widely considered the best infotainment system on the market. It’s perfect for small families and couples, especially since the cabin is more spacious than it appears from the outside.
2021 Cadillac XT4
This subcompact crossover is an entry-level Cadillac model, but it still has all the exquisite design details you would expect from the brand. The standard leatherette seating is beautiful and comfortable, but you can upgrade to leather with the Cold Weather Package. The 2020 and 2021 models are excellent, so don’t miss out if you find a 2020 version available at a discount. For the 2021 model, HD rear vision camera, park assist, and remote start are standard. With a $36,790 base price tag, this is the perfect luxury car for families who want to move in comfort without sacrificing space or safety.
2021 BMW X1
The X1 is an excellent choice for anyone seeking a luxury SUV. It has plenty of space for four adults and their gear, and it handles as well as any other entry-level BMW. The infotainment interface isn’t stellar, and the overall inside design isn’t as good as some competitors in the same price range. However, it’s an excellent option in the $36,000-and-up subcompact SUV category. Also, consider the slightly more expensive X2, which has even better handling but not as much cargo space.
2021 Acura ILX
The Acura ILX is the cheapest option on this list because it lacks many of the features and design aspects that make it a luxury car. At a $25,950 base price, it’s easy to customize with additional features that you need and want. It has 201 horsepower and 34 highway miles per gallon, so it’s great for running around the suburbs or going on longer trips. It also holds up well in crash tests, so you can feel secure shuttling your family around.
2021 Lexus UX
The UX SUV series is available in an enormous range of packages, from the basic $32,900 model to the hybrid AWD version starting at $35,100. The combination of superior gas mileage, cabin space, and safety features makes any of the models an excellent investment for busy families. It has a low center of gravity compared to most SUVs, which helps it handle better, even on winding roads. It’s small and can’t hold as much cargo, but its overall safety makes it worthwhile as long as you’re not trying to transport a lot of sports equipment or luggage at one time.
Picking the Perfect Car
The right car for you might not be the cheapest, and it’s important to consider all of a car’s features and specifications before buying. Gas mileage, safety, and size will all play into how much value a car has for you. The cars on this list give you a piece of luxury without putting a dent in the rest of your budget. With the right care, they’ll serve you well for a decade or longer while leaving money for everything else your family needs and deserves.