The editors at vehicle valuation site KBB.com have made their picks for the best luxury cars under $35,000.
This is an interesting category, since the average price of all new vehicle purchases is now north of $35k. Ordinary vehicles have become safer, faster and more feature-laden than ever before. How are luxury brands able to offer something “more” in a price category that now includes everyday pickup trucks, CRVs and minivans?
However, some companies do a good job of offering features and qualities that set their vehicles apart – and manage to keep the price under $35k. Here are KBBs picks:
2015 BMW 2 Series
This might be a small BMW, but it’s still a BMW . KBB found the 2-series to be especially fun to drive among their picks. It also manages to return 36 mpg fuel economy. Buyers can choose to equip the car with features like a parking assistant, a Track Handling Package and BMW Apps.
2015 Acura RDX
KBB said that this 2-row SUV offers, “…driver-centric attitude and a crisp, modern cabin with luxury amenities.” As with other Acura’s, the RDX is also well-engineered and practical. In fact, this luxury mini-ute has the most standard equipment in its segment.
2015 Audi Q3
Audi has been on a roll in recent years, and the 2015 Q3 should continue the trend. KBB praised this small SUVs modern cabin, found that its suspension offered a mix of outstanding handling and comfort. While it’s not meant to be an off-road hauler, this SUV can be equipped with Audi’s famous Quattro all-wheel drive system.
2015 Lincoln MKC
Ford has been trying to revive the Lincoln brand as the all-American luxury leader it used to be, and the brand’s latest offerings might just do the trick. KBB found much to like in the MKC — an all-new small SUV — that it said, “…combines attracting styling, impressive tech amenities and fun-loving driving dynamics.
2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
The CLA-Class is Mercedes’ gateway drug to the more expensive CLS-Class. The CLA looks a lot like it’s bigger brother, and offers a nice mix of performance and luxury. Buyers can opt for a panoramic moonroof, or the high-performance AMG option.
2015 Acura TLX
For 2015, the TLX replaces both the TL and the TSX in Acura’s lineup. KBB said that the new model handles like a small sports sedan, but offers the interior space of a bigger one. Features include Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, 4-wheel steering and an 8- or 9-speed automatic transmission.
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
Mercedes-Benz is offering a downsized SUV for 2015, in the form of the GLA. This one combines car-like handling with room for five people, and their gear. KBB said that buyers can order the GLA with all-wheel drive and still pay less than $35k.
2015 Cadillac ATS
While Lincoln has struggled to regain its luxury-brand crown, its traditional rival, Cadillac, has been hitting home runs for years with unique, angular styling and class-leading performance. The ATS sport sedan continues this trend, offering handling and performance that make it a worthy rival to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the BMW 3 Series.
2015 Audi A3
Audi’s entry-level A3 has been a hit with urban drivers for years. It’s unique in this segment for two big reasons: 1. you can get it with a diesel, and 2. you can order a convertible version of the A3 and still keep in under $35k.
2015 Lexus NX
The NX is the first small luxury SUV to wear a Lexus badge. This is a crowded field, so the company really went out of its way to make the NX different. (One look at the exterior styling will convince anyone of this.) But what KBB really found unique about the NX was its well-equipped interior.
It’s really amazing how many choices buyers have these days, in all vehicle categories. It’s also amazing that $35k is now about average as a new vehicle purchase price. The good news is that buyers can get a lot of luxury and capability in this price range.