Luxury doesn't have to cost a fortune. Some of the top luxury automobile manufacturers are making luxury sedans that are really quite affordable. These aren't cheapo, stripped down models that feel like you're driving a tin can with a pretty wrapper, either. The luxury sedans that can be had for around $35,000 or less are substantial, well-made luxury vehicles that are beautiful to look at and fun to drive.
Cadillac ATS Sedan
The sporty Cadillac ATS sedan is a consummate luxury vehicle for the incredibly reasonable price of about $35,000. With $3,500 down, you can drive a Cadillac for $300 a month. This isn't some stripped down, economy model, either. This is a sleek, sporty lightweight yet agile luxury sedan all the way. They come with plenty of bells and whistles, too. You get the high-tech CUE or Cadillac User Experience which includes a highly responsive touch screen with Natural Voice Recognition. It accepts your mobile device so you can utilize it with voice commands while you drive. They have a fully customizable control panel, too.
U.S. News & World Report gave the ATS sedan a score of 8.5 out of 10. According to them, "The 2017 Cadillac ATS is a good pick if you're shopping for a sporty, yet affordable, small luxury car." They also think the ATS is one of the Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families and Best Vehicle Brands. Motor Trend gave it 4 out of 5 stars.
Believe it or not, you can even get a BMW 3-series luxury sedan for around $35,000. This sedan has a smooth ride and handles well with a quick, responsive engine. It feels a bit less spacious inside than the Audi A4, though, and the ride can be bumpy on rough roads. There are five different engines from which to choose with this sedan. You can also get either an 8-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive or rear-wheel-drive. Gas mileage varies, depending on which engine you get and how you drive. In general, though, it will be in the range of 23 mpg city and 34 mpg on the highway.
Car and Driver gave the BMW 3-series 4.5 out of 5 stars and placed it in the #4 slot in their ranking of Entry-luxury Cars. Edmunds gave it a 4.2 out of 5, and U.S. News & World Report gave it a score of 8.7 out of 10 along with the #4 slot in Luxury Small Cars.
The Audi A4 is one of those luxury sedans that is surprisingly affordable. It is a quick, sporty, quiet sedan with an understated exterior and sharp, sophisticated interior. Some of the standard luxury perks are the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay with a 19-speaker audio system. The base price for the A4 is just under $35,000 for the 2.0T ultra Premium package. It gets great gas mileage, too, with 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. An Audi smartphone interface, 3-zone automatic climate control, Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights, a sunroof with sunshade, power tilt and slide features and leather upholstery come standard on the A4 Premium.
Car and Driver gave the new Audi A4 5 out of 5 stars, giving it the top spot in their ranking of Entry-luxury cars. They liked how it handled but said, "the over boosted steering is too light at highway speeds." It is also an extremely safe vehicle with a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS. U.S. News & World Report gave it a score of 9 out of 10 and Edmunds gave it a 4.5 out of 5.
The Acura isn't exactly what comes to mind when someone says they want a luxury sedan. It has a history of being more of an economy mid-size sedan. The Acura ILX should definitely be on the short list, though, when you go looking for an affordable luxury sedan. You can get an ILX Premium Package sedan for about $30,000, and this is a well-made sedan. The ILX gets very good gas mileage, too, with 25 mpg in the city and 35 on the highway, so it isn't excessively expensive at the pump, either. At this time, you can lease a 2017 ILX with an 8-speed dual clutch for $220 to $240 per month. It is an affordable luxury compact sport-sedan that takes corners like a champ and has a smooth, comfortable ride.
Car and Driver put it in 7th place on their list of Entry-luxury Compacts. U.S. News & World Report gave it a rating of 7.6 out of 10. The Car Connection gave it a score of 6.7 out of 10, stating that, "The Acura ILX isn't long on glamor, but it's a focused and comfortable, compact sedan on the first rung of the luxury ladder." Motor Trend gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars with an Excellent rating in the 5 Year Cost of Ownership rating. The NHTSA gave the ILX a 5-star safety rating.