If you’re a car enthusiast and have a taste for the finer things in life, you may be dreaming of owning a luxury car. While a Maserati might get you drooling, you may not have the dough to put down on that lower-end Ghibli at $71,000.
You need to look at affordable luxury cars. But you and your buddies are skeptical that affordable and luxury could even go together. I mean, come on. You have to put down a sizable amount of cash to get the luxury you deserve, right?
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A Story About Affordable Luxury Cars
Let me tell you a quick story, and then you’ll see how luxury is relative.
I went to a pretty tiny school for high school. The Administrator’s daughter was in my class and was a personal friend of mine. None of us were very rich, but the Administrator’s daughter was probably the richest among us.
One day, she comes to me and says, “My dad got a convertible! He’s coming! You want to go ride in it with me?”
Talk about an instant crush on the Administrator’s daughter.
From across the parking lot, it seemed the Administrator’s convertible was a BMW Z3. It was green with a bullet-shaped body and a tan ragtop. But as the car approached, I became less impressed. It was merely a Miata.
But when everybody else on the sidewalk saw the convertible, they went nuts. It was all a matter of knowledge and perspective that changed my perception of luxury.
Luxury Car Options That Won’t Break the Bank
While my sense of luxury has certainly scaled considerably, we still need to remember that almost every car manufacturer has a “luxury” model. I’ll start at the bottom and work my way up. But, we’re going to stay completely under $35,000 and still cover some great luxury options.
Let’s begin with the Buick Verano. This sedan tops out at $26,000 with all the bells and whistles.
You’re looking at some beautiful sleek lines on this car. Plus, the standard equipment is lovely. You’ll get dual-zone climate control, a remote starter for those frosty mornings, Bluetooth, 18-in alloy wheels, and a 7-in touchscreen.
The engine comes in at 180 HP which gives you 21 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.
When you’re looking for affordable luxury cars that last as long as a Honda, go to Acura.
The Acura ILX is Acura’s least expensive car, but it’s their best affordable luxury option. Its price is around $29,000 when you’ve added all the luxury options you could possibly want.
The front end of this baby looks like it was stolen off a classic batmobile. You could almost feature this car in a Bond Film.
And 201 HP and a 2.4-liter four-cylinder front-wheel drive, you won’t be complaining when you’re fleeing your arch-enemy in style.
The Audi A3 is your best bet when it comes to midrange affordable luxury cars. The previous year, the A4 might have been outside your range. But this year’s model is much more affordable at 31,000.
On the outside, she may not be as pretty, but inside she’s all comfort all the time. With a dual clutch automatic and 170 HP, you’re not going to be disappointed in the power at your fingertips either.
This is a car that won’t be discounted any time soon. But still, it’s bound to sit at an affordable price for a while.
Wait? What? A Benz and an Audi in pretty much the same ranking with each other? Yep. That’s exactly what you’re about to see.
In fact, the Mercedes-Benz CLA is just a tad bit more than your typical Audi. You can have one for as low as $32,000 dollars.
This is what I’m talking about when I say affordable luxury cars. 0-60 in under seven seconds? Yes, please. And it still gets a full 28 mpg in the city.
Mercedes-Benz doesn’t always go all out with standard equipment, but they did include power front seats and a 5.8-in display screen for your pleasure.
This cross-over is surprisingly low in price. It’s called the BMW X-1. It’s the wonderfully well-behaved grandchild of the BMW X-3. Could it possibly be any more affordable than this? $33,000 is what you’re looking at when you go to buy a new one.
You may have to pay a little more to get all-wheel drive. But it still handles wonderfully in the snow with its front-wheel drive.
You’re not going to get the insane power of it’s larger cousin, but you still get enough power to have fun on the road.
You’ll save at the pump too with 23 mpg city driving and 32 mpg on the highway.
Lexus used to be the luxury brand everybody looked at but couldn’t afford. They’ve reached down to the mid-class consumer and brought them up to the world of luxury cars.
With the Lexus CT 200H hatchback, you’re going to wonder why you didn’t have a Lexus before.
It’s the best way to travel in luxury. You’ve got room for both your family and your luggage. And you get to travel in style.
Plus, you won’t feel too hurt in the pocketbook either. It runs at 43 MPG on the streets of Loredo and 40 MPG on the Autobahn.
This is a thing of traditional beauty that will draw eyes all over your neighborhood. And you’ll be inside and comfortable with their dual-zone automatic climate control or the power sunroof.
7. A Caddy
For a while there we thought the Cadilac had died. You weren’t looked upon with fur-coated eyes as a majestic creature if you had a Cadillac.
Well, the Caddy is making a comeback with the Cadillac ATS. And you can afford it. A 2016 model starts at $34,000.
I wouldn’t complain about having last year’s model when I can have a 200 HP engine in my Cadillac. This thing has the beauty, the luxury, and the torque you’re looking for. I wouldn’t pass up a deal like this ever. I mean ever.
Conclusion: Don’t Skimp
You don’t have to skimp on luxury just to afford something that looks and feels nice. And really, when it comes to luxury, your biggest question should be Sedan, Coupe, or Crossover, not ‘can I afford it’.
Get out there and make your dreams of leather seats and powerful engines a reality.