Frugal car buyers tend to forgo luxury cars in search of something more affordable. It makes sense because buying a car that you can’t afford is one of the quickest ways to get into debt.
However, luxury cars aren’t just for rich people, and a luxury car doesn’t have to break the bank. If you have a reliable income, decent savings, and are disciplined when budgeting then you may be able to purchase a new or pre-owned luxury car.
You have luxury options from new base-models that start just over $30,000 or certified pre-owned luxury cars for as little as $15,000. Keep in mind that the cost of long-term maintenance on used cars tends to be higher than the brand-new ones. Let’s take a look at the luxury car sector’s most affordable options and some lower-end options that offer surprising luxury.
1 - Jaguar XE, $34,900 MSRP
The Jaguar XE is a compact sedan that wins in reliability and excitement. It is available with a 340 horsepower 6-cylinder engine, standard 240 horsepower 4-cylinder, or 180 horsepower diesel engine. Worth noting is the best-in-class warranty. Although the MSRP is higher than some others on the list, its fuel economy is a standout for frugal drivers who intend to enjoy a lot of time on the road.
2 - Mercedes-Benz CLA250, $32,400 MSRP
The Mercedes-Benz CLA250 is remarkably down to earth. This sleek coupe sedan holds a 4-cylinder engine that efficiently delivers 208 horsepower. The 0-60 acceleration is just under seven seconds so just enjoy driving around town and avoid the race track.
Independent suspension and front-wheel drive come standard on the CLA250, unlike older Mercedes coupes. This provides an adaptive and smooth ride. Performance car lovers are amazed by the AMG body style. The style pays homage to the precision of the Mercedes AMG line. Adaptive braking, eight airbags, a rear-view camera, attention assist, blind-spot assist, and rain-sensing wiper makeup the safety features of this ride. The infotainment system is a plus.
3 - Volvo S60, MSRP: $33,950
The Volvo S60 has a long and steady history. The Dynamic, which is the base version, is relatively inexpensive. Other packages and customized trims cost nearly twice as much. The Platinum is $42,000 and the Polestar is $60,000. Luckily you don’t need either of them to feel like you in a luxury car. The base S60 boasts 18-inch alloy wheels, high-end aluminum touches on its interior, and leather seats. The car's engine offers 240 horsepower with a torque of 258 pound-feet. That’s a surplus of what you’ll need for an exhilarating takeoff when warranted. The all-wheel-drive package is optional.
4 - Cadillac ATS, MSRP $34,595
The Cadillac ATS sleek two-door coupe or four-door sedan sport is a great option. Standard base models have 272 horsepower and a 2.0-liter engine with auto start and stop capabilities. Rear-wheel drive is also standard but can be upgraded for all-wheel drive. Stability in rough road conditions and braking are a result of the cars StabiliTrak technology.
Inside is the comprehensive infotainment system, CUE. It features an 8-inch touchscreen, wireless charging, 10-speaker surround sound, Apple and Android integration, voice recognition, and a rearview camera. The ATS has wi-fi hotspot and OnStar is complimentary with the trial subscription of SiriusXM.
5 - Buick Regal, $27,065 MSRP
The Buick Regal is larger and a great deal more luxurious than the Buick Verano, which has a low MSRP of just $21,065. The Regal is a great initial or second luxury vehicle for price-sensitive drivers who want to trade up. It comes in at just over $27,000, several thousand dollars less than the cheapest Mercedes or BMW models. Regal has several standard luxury features such as leather seats, advanced safety features, and Apple and Android integrations. A notable safety feature is a lane-keeping assist. If it suits your lifestyle you may consider Buick’s all-wheel drive with the optional WiFi hotspot.