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2021 Genesis G70 front 3/4 viewGenesis Motor America

30 Best Luxury Cars Under $50,000 for 2021

Drive Luxuriously Without Breaking the Bank

Luxury cars may seem out of reach for the average shopper, but that isn’t quite the case. There are lots of reasonably priced options in this segment, from the $33,000 Cadillac CT4 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class to the $35,000BMW 2 Series. The key is to set a reasonable budget and stick to it.

We’ve outlined the 30 best luxury cars of 2021 with starting prices under $50,000, but to be fair, more than half of these vehicles cost $40,000 or less. Keep in mind that our scores change as we receive new data, so the scores in this slideshow may not perfectly match those you find elsewhere on our site.

2021 BMW 4 Series front 3/4 viewBMW of North America, LLC

30) 2021 BMW 4 Series

Base Price: $45,600 | Overall Score: TBD

The redesignedBMW 4 Seriesrings in at the upper end of this price range, but it offers the performance, refinement, and technology to back it up. Offered in coupe and convertible models, the 4 Series sports an elegant interior with quality materials, an intuitive infotainment system, comfy seats, and a trove of standard driver assistance features. This BMW strikes a nice balance between handling agility and ride comfort as well, and even the base 430i model packs a muscular turbocharged engine.

2021 Jaguar XF front 3/4 viewJaguar Land Rover North America, LLC

29) 2021 Jaguar XF

Base Price: $43,995 | Overall Score: TBD

Jaguar recently trimmed its sedan lineup to just one model, and this is it. The refreshedJaguar XF sees a big drop in its price and an influx of new tech features, like a curved 11-inch touch screen. The only real drawback is the departure of its optional supercharged V6, though the standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine is perfectly sufficient.

The XF provides an easy-going ride quality, generous seating space for taller occupants, and upmarket cabin materials. It also has one of the largest trunks of any luxury midsize car, making it a fine partner for family road trips and golf outings.

2021 Infiniti Q60 rear 3/4 viewNissan North America, Inc.

28) 2021 Infiniti Q60

Base Price: $41,650 | Overall Score: TBD

TheInfiniti Q60 is a pretty compelling value if you’re shopping for a high-powered luxury coupe. Starting at under $42,000, the Q60 packs a 300-horsepower turbocharged V6, sensuous body lines, and a chassis that can both tame corners and smooth out bumps. 

The main caveat is that the interior looks and feels a bit dated. The Q60’s front seats are spacious and nicely cushioned, though the backseats are admittedly snug for anyone over the age of 10.

2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia front viewStellantis

27) 2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Base Price: $39,450 | Overall Score: TBD

The ballistic Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio and its 505-horsepower V6 will be well out of reach if you have a $50,000 budget, however its lesser siblings are not. The standard Giulia looks just as gorgeous, and it dazzles with its sharp cornering, communicative steering, and spunky turbo-four engine. 

The interior looks pretty upscale as well, and the front seats do a fine job of keeping occupants comfy and supported. Unfortunately, the rear seats aren’t as commodious as you might expect.

2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA front 3/4 viewMercedes-Benz USA

26) 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA

Base Price: $37,850 | Overall Score: TBD

The Mercedes-Benz CLA succeeds at looking a lot more expensive than it really is. This swoopy four-door sedan boasts impactful styling inside and out, high-end cabin materials, and a slew of advanced tech features for under $40,000. Just feast your eyes on the CLA’s infotainment screen, which stretches elegantly across half the dashboard. 

The CLA also sports a potent turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and it feels quick and agile to drive on the open road. The backseat isn’t particularly spacious, but smaller kids and teens should fit just fine.

2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class front viewMercedes-Benz USA

25) 2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Base Price: $33,650 | Overall Score: TBD

Looking to spend even less? Check out theMercedes-Benz A-Class. The A-Class shares a lot in common with the CLA, from its interior styling and MBUX infotainment system to its sporty driving dynamics and authoritative acceleration. The key difference is that the A-Class costs just under $34,000 and its higher roofline translates to more backseat space. In fact, it’s the least-expensive car in Mercedes’ U.S. lineup.

The standard A 220 model offers a lot of features and performance for the money. If you’re looking for more muscle, though, consider upgrading to the 302-horsepower A 35 model, which retails for $45,850.

2021 Cadillac CT5 front 3/4 viewCadillac

24) 2021 Cadillac CT5

Base Price: $36,995 | Overall Score: TBD

The new Cadillac CT5 is a bit of a tweener. It’s priced in line with compact rivals like the Audi A4BMW 3 Series, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but it’s actually more similar to the A65 Series, and E-Class. This makes the CT5 a bargain if you’re shopping for a luxury midsize car. It’s very spacious, it’s well-equipped with standard tech and safety features, and it soaks up rough roads with aplomb. 

The base turbo-four engine is sufficient, but the twin-turbo V6 is a welcome upgrade. On the downside, the CT5’s interior feels somewhat cheap, even considering its lower price point.

2021 Cadillac CT4 front 3/4 viewCadillac

23) 2021 Cadillac CT4

Base Price: $33,395 | Overall Score: TBD

The Cadillac CT4 follows the same formula. It’s similar in size to the A43 Series, and C-Class, but it costs about the same as the smaller Audi A3BMW 2 Series, and Mercedes A-Class. More for less. The CT4 is pleasant to drive, thanks to its poised handling, cushioned ride, and peppy turbocharged engines. 

Its infotainment system is also pretty user-friendly. As with its larger sibling, though, the CT4’s cabin materials are a bit underwhelming.

2021 Acura ILX front viewAmerican Honda Motor Co., Inc.

22) 2021 Acura ILX

Base Price: $25,950 | Overall Score: 6.5/10

Much of theAcura ILX’s “goodness” lies in its value. This is a luxury sedan for the price of a midrange Honda Civic. The ILX has sharp exterior styling, many standard driver assistance features, and impressive fuel economy. The tradeoff of the ILX is that its interior is cheap-looking and its infotainment system is outdated and cumbersome. If you simply want a luxury car at a bargain price, the ILX may suit your needs. Otherwise, keep reading.

2021 BMW i3 front 3/4 viewBMW of North America, LLC

21) 2021 BMW i3

Base Price: $44,450 | Overall Score: 7.2/10

The BMW i3 has been around for a few years now, and its relative age weighs on it like an anchor in the quickly evolving world of electric vehicles. Its 153-mile driving range on a full charge is a fraction of what the best EVs can provide. The i3 is also rather stingy on active safety features. That said, there’s still a lot to love about this quirky BMW. It accelerates briskly, maneuvers gracefully around turns, and it sports a high-end interior with unique materials like eucalyptus wood and wool.

The next-generation of BMW electric cars are coming, but for the moment, the i3 still does the job in style.

2021 Lexus IS front viewToyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

20) 2021 Lexus IS

Base Price: $39,000 | Overall Score: 7.2/10

Lexus refreshed theIS sedan for 2021, and it’s a big improvement overall. Its exterior styling is cleaner and more sophisticated, its infotainment system is far easier to use, and it slices more confidently around turns, thanks to its retuned chassis. Some things haven’t changed, though. 

On the plus side, the IS continues to rate highly for predicted reliability, and it comes packed with active safety features. On the downside, its engine lineup could use a lot more muscle; the available 311-horsepower V6 feels marginally zippier than the standard 241-horsepower four-cylinder.

2021 Infiniti Q50 front viewNissan North America, Inc.

19) 2021 Infiniti Q50

Base Price: $36,600 | Overall Score: 7.4/10

The Infiniti Q50 is getting a bit long in the tooth. This four-door sport sedan has been around since 2014 without any major styling updates, which hurts its luxury appeal. The interior is dated, as is the clunky infotainment system. 

Thankfully, however, the Q50’s performance is still a strong suit. You’ll find one of two twin-turbo V6 engines under the hood, resulting in either 300 or 400 horsepower. These power plants shuttle the car along like a rocket, and the Q50’s taut suspension copes nicely with switchback road

2021 Infiniti Q50 front viewNissan North America, Inc.

19) 2021 Infiniti Q50

Base Price: $36,600 | Overall Score: 7.4/10

The Infiniti Q50 is getting a bit long in the tooth. This four-door sport sedan has been around since 2014 without any major styling updates, which hurts its luxury appeal. The interior is dated, as is the clunky infotainment system. 

Thankfully, however, the Q50’s performance is still a strong suit. You’ll find one of two twin-turbo V6 engines under the hood, resulting in either 300 or 400 horsepower. These power plants shuttle the car along like a rocket, and the Q50’s taut suspension copes nicely with switchback roads.

2021 Lexus RC driver side viewToyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

18) 2021 Lexus RC

Base Price: $42,120 | Overall Score: 7.5/10

TheLexus RC coupe is greater than the sum of its parts. Its front suspension is derived from the now-discontinued Lexus GS, and its rear end comes from the Lexus IS, but it all plays in harmony, and it makes for a four-seater that is comfortable to drive for long distances but still engaging to pilot when the roads get twisty. Other RC coupe highlights include a sterling reputation for reliability and a wealth of standard safety features.

On the downside, the RC’s touch-pad infotainment system can be pretty unruly, and its backseat is snug, though that’s not surprising for a two-door sports coupe.

2021 BMW 3 Series front 3/4 viewBMW of North America, LLC

17) 2021 BMW 3 Series

Base Price: $41,250 | Overall Score: 7.8/10

For many of us, the BMW 3 Series is what comes to mind when we think of a luxury car. The 3 Series is elegant but understated, powerful yet efficient, and comfortable to drive but still an all-star on winding tarmac. Powertrain options include a turbocharged four-cylinder, a plug-in hybrid, and a turbocharged straight-six. 

The 3 Series sedan has a quality interior and roomy seating space in both rows as well, plus a mostly intuitive infotainment system. All that being said, the 3 Series isn’t exactly a steal at $41,000-and-up.

2021 Volkswagen Arteon passenger side viewVolkswagen of America, Inc.

16) 2021 Volkswagen Arteon

Base Price: $36,995 | Overall Score: 7.8/10

It would be an oversimplification to say that the Volkswagen Arteon is a budget Audi A5 Sportback. But that’s the basic idea. The Arteon has svelte body lines, a spacious interior, a practical hatchback cargo area, and a gentle ride quality, much like the A5. It’s also reasonably well-equipped with advanced tech and safety features. The kicker is that this German saloon costs about $4,800 less than the cheapest A5.

Does it accelerate as briskly or feel as luxurious inside as the A5? No, but for the price, the Arteon is quite the bargain. All 2021 Arteon models are outfitted with a 268-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder.

2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class front viewMercedes-Benz USA

15) 2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Base Price: $41,600 | Overall Score: 7.9/10

The Mercedes C-Class gives you options. It’s available in sedan, coupe, and convertible models. Engine choices range from a zesty 255-horsepower four-cylinder to a menacing 503-horsepower V8. Even its driving dynamics span the gamut from the supremely smooth C 300 model to the corner-carving C 63 S. Some things don’t change though. Every C-Class boasts top-notch cabin materials, a bevy of standard tech and safety features, and comfy front seats. Just watch the price tag. The C-Class can quickly soar past the $50,000 mark.

2021 Volvo S60 front 3/4 viewVolvo Cars of North America

14) 2021 Volvo S60

Base Price: $38,395 | Overall Score: 7.9/10

If interior quality is what you’re after, theVolvo S60 delivers it in spades. The S60’s cabin is replete with supple upholstery, soft-touch plastic, and sleek aluminum trim, all tied together in a lovely and understated way. There’s ample seating space for adults in both rows, and the interior does a fine job of muffling road and wind noise. The S60 also coddles passengers with its smooth ride quality.

All S60 models feature a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, but output ranges from 250 to upwards of 400 horsepower depending on upgrades like supercharging and hybridization.

2021 Acura TLX front viewAmerican Honda Motor Co., Inc.

13) 2021 Acura TLX

Base Price: $37,500 | Overall Score: 8/10

The redesigned 2021 Acura TLX makes good on the company’s fun-to-drive promise. The TLX features an aggressive physique, it navigates confidently around turns, and its 272-horsepower turbocharged engine easily hauls the sedan up to speed. Its cabin is a nice place to be as well, thanks to its handsome styling, quality materials, and comfy front seats. The fact that this luxury midsize sedan costs under $40,000 is just icing on the cake.

2021 BMW Z4 passenger side viewBMW of North America, LLC

12) 2021 BMW Z4

Base Price: $49,700 | Overall Score: 8.1/10

The BMW Z4 is somewhat of a Goldilocks car. It’s not too racy or track-oriented, but it’s also not too disengaged or cushy. Instead, the Z4 feels just right for shoppers that want a luxurious and comfortable convertible that still knows how to dance on a twisty backroad.

The Z4’s cabin is upscale and reasonably spacious, the infotainment system is sleek and easy to use, and the suspension comfortably filters out most road irregularities. There’s even enough room in the trunk for a set of golf clubs. Engine options include a 255-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder and a 382-horsepower turbo inline-six.

2021 Lexus ES Hybrid rear 3/4 viewJohn M. Vincent / U.S. News & World Report

11) 2021 Lexus ES Hybrid

Base Price: $41,810 | Overall Score: 8.1/10

The Lexus ES 300h isn’t just affordably priced at around $42,000. It’s downright frugal at the gas pump, too. The ES’s 215-horsepower hybrid system is rated at an excellent 43 mpg in the city and 44 mpg on the highway, which equates to an annual fuel bill of around $1,000, according to the EPA. Who doesn’t like to save a little money?

Efficiency aside, the ES Hybrid also impresses with its elegant and spacious interior, large trunk, blissful ride quality, and vast array of standard safety features. A clunky infotainment interface is one of the ES’s few foibles.

2021 Audi TT front 3/4 viewAudi of America, Inc.

10) 2021 Audi TT

Base Price: $49,800 | Overall Score: 8.2/10

The Audi TT sneaks just below the $50,000 cutoff of this list, and – though it is a small car – it does offer a lot of bang for your buck. The TT’s punchy turbocharged engine has character, and it eagerly zings this four-seater up to speed. The exterior styling is clean-cut and attractive, and it’s matched with a similarly upscale and minimalist interior. The TT’s digital gauge cluster seems like a vision of the future as well. Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system comes standard, and it helps the TT cling to the tarmac in corners but also traverse snowy roads confidently. It really is an all-weather sports car.

You may want to look elsewhere if active safety features top your shopping list, though. The TT is rather lacking in that department.

2021 Lexus ES rear 3/4 viewToyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

9) 2021 Lexus ES

2021 Toyota Supra driver side viewToyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

8) 2021 Toyota Supra

Base Price: $42,990 | Overall Score: 8.4/10

The Toyota Supra is back after a two-decade hiatus, and this new “A90” generation is the real deal. The sleek two-seater impresses with its high-end interior, intuitive tech features, razor-sharp handling, and brawny 255-horsepower turbo-four engine. A 382-horsepower turbocharged straight-six is available, albeit not for under $50,000.

What’s also impressive is how distinctive the Supra feels in relation to the BMW Z4, despite both cars sharing a majority of components. The Supra is stiffer and feels more planted through turns, and it begs to be pushed harder on track. If the previous-generation Supra is any indication, look for these cars to be collector’s items in the next few years.

2021 Kia Stinger front 3/4 viewJohn M. Vincent / U.S. News & World Report

7) 2021 Kia Stinger

Base Price: $33,090 | Overall Score: 8.4/10

TheKia Stinger is one of those few cars with seemingly no drawbacks. The Stinger has an upscale and spacious interior with loads of cargo room and user-friendly tech features. It rates highly for safety and predicted reliability, and it’s backed by a lengthy 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. 

The Stinger also has energetic four- and six-cylinder engines, sporty handling, and one of the lowest starting prices in its class. All in all, if you crave value, practicality, luxury, and a fun driving experience, the Stinger may just be the antidote.

2021 Genesis G80 front 3/4 viewGenesis Motor America

6) 2021 Genesis G80

Base Price: $47,700 | Overall Score: 8.5/10

Feeling priced out of the BMW 5 Series or Mercedes-Benz E-Class? Welcome to the Genesis G80. The G80 offers all of the refinement and comfort of its midsize German rivals, but at a much lower price. It comes standard with a 300-horsepower turbo-four engine, supple upholstery, generous seating space, and a dozen active safety features. 

A widescreen infotainment system is also included, and it’s as easy to use as it is elegant. As with the Stinger, the G80 is covered by a long 10-year/100,000-mile warranty.

2022 Audi A5 front viewAudi of America, Inc.

5) 2022 Audi A5

Base Price: $42,400 | Overall Score: 8.5/10

The Audi A5 is the Swiss Army knife of the luxury small car class. It’s offered in sleek two-door coupe and convertible variants, as well as a capable four-door hatchback (or “Sportback”). It’s a joy to drive, thanks to its snappy steering and surefooted chassis, but it’s also a champ at soaking up rough roads in comfort. Few rivals can touch the A5’s interior quality as well.

A spunky turbocharged four-cylinder engine comes standard. Turbocharged V6 engines are found under the hood of the S5 and RS 5 variants, albeit not for less than $50,000.

2022 Audi A4 front 3/4 viewAudi of America, Inc.

4) 2022 Audi A4

Base Price: $39,100 | Overall Score: 8.5/10

The Audi A4 is the sedan twin of the A5. It’s handsome inside and out, it’s enjoyable to drive day to day, and its turbo-four engine does a nice job of balancing power with fuel economy. 

The A4 even undercuts its 3 Series and C-Class rivals a bit on price.

2021 BMW 2 Series front 3/4 viewBMW of North America, LLC

3) 2021 BMW 2 Series

Base Price: $35,900 | Overall Score: 8.6/10

The 2 Series may be the lowliest model in the BMW lineup, but it’s arguably one of the best. Offered in coupe, convertible, and sedan body styles, the BMW 2 Series dazzles with its precise handling, energetic acceleration, and upscale interior. Its infotainment system is pretty intuitive and there’s a healthy array of standard tech and safety features. The 2 Series also rates very highly for predicted reliability.

The base model 230i coupe is a relative bargain at just $35,900. Upgrading to the zestier M240i or M2 inflates the 2 Series’ price tag substantially.

2021 Tesla Model 3 front 3/4 viewTesla Motors

2) 2021 Tesla Model 3

Base Price: $37,990 | Overall Score: 8.8/10

The Tesla Model 3 isn’t perfect. Its interior is pretty spartan for a luxury car, its infotainment system can be very distracting, and its rear seats are on the snug side of comfort. But if you’re looking for a luxury EV, nothing can touch the Model 3 right now in terms of performance or price. 

The Model 3 accelerates with urgency, it grips the asphalt with a glue-like hold, and it can drive up to 353 miles on a full charge. Best of all, this Tesla starts at under $40,000, and that includes a comprehensive suite of active safety features.

2021 Genesis G70 front 3/4 viewJohn M. Vincent / U.S. News & World Report

1) 2021 Genesis G70

Base Price: $36,000 | Overall Score: 8.8/10

If you haven’t considered the Genesis G70 already, you’re missing out. This relative newcomer to the luxury small car class is a blast to drive, thanks to its nimble handling, poised ride, and authoritative get-up-and-go. A 252-horsepower turbo-four comes standard, and a 365-horsepower turbo V6 is available. It’s also a wonderful place to sit. The interior is stylish and well-trimmed, the seats are comfortable, and the infotainment system is user-friendly. A bunch of standard driver assistance features keep you safe behind the scenes as well.

Factor in the G70’s long 10-year/100,000-mile warranty and low $36,000 starting price, and it’s a terrific choice for luxury car shoppers on a budget.

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