best semi luxury cars

luxury cars aren’t solely for the rich and famous. If you have ample personal savings, reliable income, and budgetary discipline, you may have the means to buy a new or used luxury car. So what are the Best Semi Luxury Cars, best second hand luxury cars and cheapest luxury cars to maintain to buy today?

A handful of new base-model luxury cars start at under $30,000. Pre-owned luxury cars (typically coming off three-year leases) can cost as little as $15,000, though their long-term maintenance costs are likely to be higher than their brand-new counterparts. Note that after taxes and fees, your final price may be higher, though you can and should try to negotiate a better selling price at the dealership.

best semi luxury cars

1. Cadillac ATS

  • Class: Midsize sedan, coupe
  • EPA MPG: 22 city, 31 highway
  • MSRP: $34,595
  • IIHS Crash Safety Rating: Superior (front crash prevention only)

The Cadillac ATS is available as a sporty four-door sedan or sleek two-door coupe. The base model has a 272 horsepower, 2.0-liter engine with automatic start/stop capabilities. Rear-wheel drive comes standard, but you can upgrade to all-wheel drive for a couple thousand more (the precise increase depends on options). StabiliTrak technology improves braking and stability in challenging road conditions, even with rear-wheel drive.

Inside the cabin, Cadillac offers a comprehensive “infotainment” system called CUE. CUE’s features include an 8-inch touchscreen, 10-speaker surround sound system, wireless charging capabilities, voice recognition commands, Apple and Android operating system integrations, and a rear-view camera. ATS also has its own wireless hotspot, plus OnStar service and a complimentary SiriusXM trial subscription.

2. Volvo S60

  • Class: Midsize sedan
  • EPA MPG: 25 city, 36 highway
  • MSRP: $33,950
  • IIHS Crash Safety Rating: Good

The Volvo S60 has long been a popular mainstay of the venerable Swedish automaker’s lineup. The base version, called Dynamic, is a relative bargain at less than $34,000. Other customized trims and packages cost nearly twice that.

The good news: you don’t need the high-end Inscription Platinum ($42,000) or Polestar ($60,000) to feel like you’re driving a luxury car. The base S60 has 18-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, and swanky aluminum interior touches. A 5-cylinder engine delivers 240 horsepower at 258 pound-feet of torque – more than enough for a thrilling burst of speed whenever warranted. The optional all-wheel drive package cuts fuel economy by 5 MPG (down to 31 MPG highway), but it’s certainly welcome in cold climes.

Even the Dynamic version has customization options galore. One popular add-on is the $1,950 Vision package, which features rear cameras, keyless ignition, HomeLink (a smart home hub integration), blind-spot information, and park-assist capabilities. The $1,500 Technology package boasts adaptive cruise control, driver alert control, lane-keeping assist, active high beams, and collision warning with auto-braking capabilities.

3. Mercedes-Benz CLA250

  • Class: Compact sedan, coupe
  • EPA MPG: 24 city, 36 highway
  • MSRP: $32,400
  • IIHS Crash Safety Rating: Superior (front crash prevention only, 2016 model year)

For a Mercedes-Benz, the CLA250 is surprisingly down-to-earth. It’s a sleek, stylish coupe-sedan mashup that delivers 208 horsepower from an efficient 4-cylinder engine. With a 0-to-60 acceleration time just shy of seven seconds, it won’t win any awards on the racetrack, but it’s fun to drive around town.

Unlike old-school Mercedes coupes, CLA250 comes standard with front-wheel drive and an independent suspension that provides a supple, adaptive ride. Performance car enthusiasts go gaga over the AMG body, an homage to Mercedes’s precision (and usually very expensive) AMG line. Safety features include adaptive braking, rear-view camera, eight airbags, attention assist (a driver alert system), active brake assist, rain-sensing windshield wipers, blind-spot assist, and more. And the infotainment system is pretty solid too.

close-up of mercedes benz cla250 affordable luxury car

4. BMW 230i

  • Class: Coupe, convertible
  • EPA MPG: 24 city, 35 highway
  • MSRP: $33,150
  • IIHS Crash Safety Rating: Good

The BMW 230i is BMW’s answer to the CLA250. A stunning little coupe that’s also available as a convertible, 230i boasts a 4-cylinder, 2.0-liter engine that achieves 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque without sacrificing fuel efficiency. For gearheads, the ultra-smooth 8-speed automatic transmission includes a manual shift mode, though it’s worth noting that manual mode saps 3 MPG from the combined fuel economy rating.

230i’s selling points are fun and performance, but safety and technology features abound too. A Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) package includes a slew of safety enhancements, such as brake drying, traction control, and brake fade assist. A seven-speaker sound system and HD radio combine to deliver crystal-clear, lifelike audio, while the iDrive infotainment system boasts eight pre-settings.

5. Jaguar XE

  • Class: Compact sedan
  • EPA MPG: 34 city, 42 highway
  • MSRP: $34,900
  • IIHS Crash Safety Rating: Poor to good

The Jaguar XE is one of the more exciting (and reliable) models to come out of its maker’s workshop in some time. You can choose from a 180 horsepower diesel engine, 240 horsepower standard 4-cylinder, or 340 horsepower 6-cylinder – good for efficiency, pep, and power, respectively. Jaguar’s best-in-class warranty is worth noting too, as further proof that the automaker has finally put long-running questions about vehicle longevity behind it.

Though Jaguar XE’s MSRP is higher than some of the other cars on this list, its miserly fuel economy is a potential selling point for frugal drivers who plan to spend lots of time behind the wheel. Assuming average lifetime fuel economy of 38 MPG (the city/highway median) and an average lifetime fuel price of $3 per gallon, you’d spend just under $7,900 on gas to drive 100,000 miles in this car.

Contrast that with Volvo S60, whose 30.5 median MPG would set you back $9,836 after 100,000 miles – a nearly $2,000 difference that more than makes up for the $1,000 MSRP difference.

6. Audi A4

  • Class: Compact sedan
  • EPA MPG: 24 city, 31 highway
  • MSRP: $34,900
  • IIHS Crash Safety Rating: Good

The Audi A4 is among the most recognizable, longest-running luxury car models on the American market. The latest versions boast two engine options: a super-efficient, 190 horsepower 4-cylinder or a powerful 252 horsepower 4-cylinder. Choose from the standard front-wheel drive or available Quattro four-wheel drive – a must in cold, snowy climates. For gearheads, Audi pushes the ultra-smooth manual transmission option, which is a rarity these days in the luxury sedan department.

A4’s technology and safety features more than stand up to the competition. The PreSense package provides a slew of automated and safety-enhancing driving features for claustrophobic urban conditions and open-road driving alike. Electronic Stability Control (ESC), an anticipatory braking system, and a vehicle immobilizer further boost safety and security. Inside, leather seats and three-zone climate control provide unparalleled comfort, while an HD radio and state-of-the-art stereo system support theater-quality sound.

Audi A4 Model

7. Lexus CT 200h

  • Class: Hatchback (hybrid)
  • EPA MPG: 43 city, 40 highway
  • MSRP: $31,250
  • IIHS Crash Safety Rating: Good

The Lexus CT 200h is the only hybrid on this list. Not coincidentally, it has the best city mileage by a fair margin – though, notably, not the best highway mileage. That honor goes to Jaguar XE.

Still, due to the excellent city fuel economy rating, CT 200h is the best luxury car choice for eco-conscious buyers: at $3 per gallon and 41.5 median MPG, your first 100,000 miles will produce a fuel bill of $7,228, nearly $700 less than Jaguar XE. Combined with its relatively low price tag, this makes CT 200h a great choice for those concerned about long-term car ownership costs.

What’s inside? CT 200h boasts an excellent navigation system and comes standard with the Enform infotainment system, a stylish service that lets you order roadside assistance, receive real-time maintenance alerts and recommendations, and plan your next road trip without lifting a finger. Farther back, a “customizable” cargo area offers more storage space than any other vehicle on this list, save BMW X1.

Pro Tip: If you’re not willing to sacrifice performance for fuel economy, you don’t have to. Upgrade to the F Sport trim, which costs less than $2,000 more than the base version and boasts a slew of driver-friendly features.

8. Acura TLX

  • Class: Midsize sedan
  • EPA MPG: 24 city, 35 highway
  • MSRP: $32,000
  • IIHS Crash Safety Rating: Average to good

Acura bills its TLX as a “performance luxury sedan.” That sounds about right. The base engine is a 206 horsepower 4-cylinder, but you’re free to upgrade to a direct-injected, 290 horsepower 6-cylinder powertrain – one of the most powerful motor options of any vehicle on this list, including the larger BMW X1 SUV. Plus, Acura is taking the game directly to Volvo and Audi with a state-of-the-art all-wheel drive option that stands toe to toe with comparable options from V60, A3, and A4.

TLX has plenty of customization options that can push the base price well above the $32,000 MSRP – for instance, the all-wheel drive V6 (SH trim) with the optional Technology package retails for nearly $42,000. If you’re into the whole driving experience thing, opt for paddle shifters; they recreate the manual transmission experience without the inconvenience of a clutch.

9. Acura ILX

  • Class: Compact sedan
  • EPA MPG: 25 city, 35 highway
  • MSRP: $27,990
  • IIHS Crash Safety Rating: Good

The Acura ILX is a little smaller than TLX, it has fewer frills, and it’s not quite as peppy. But it stands up to scrutiny – and, with a starting price under $28,000, it’s one of the best new luxury car deals on the market today.

Acura makes a big deal of ILX’s pedigree. It apparently incorporates technology from the legendary NSX supercar, a perennial if low-profile favorite of serious automotive enthusiasts. The 2.4 liter, 4-cylinder engine summons up 201 horsepower and averages approximately 30 MPG in combined city/highway driving.

An 8-speed dual-clutch transmission – the first of its kind, according to Acura – guarantees smooth, effortless gear changes. And a state-of-the-art noise canceling system turns the entire cabin into a giant noise canceling headphone – great for drivers who don’t want wind and engine noise to interfere with their musical preferences or hands-free phone conversations.

For a relatively basic luxury car, ILX has some innovative safety and technology features. Key points include a lane-keeping assist system, adaptive cruise control, anticipatory braking (collision mitigation), and a blind-spot information system that provides real-time alerts on congested roadways.

10. Audi A3

  • Class: Compact sedan
  • EPA MPG: 26 city, 35 highway
  • MSRP: $31,200
  • IIHS Crash Safety Rating: Good

Formerly a sporty hatchback, the redesigned Audi A3 is a compact, still-sporty sedan with lots of pep and plenty of high-tech bells and whistles. In short, it’s a slightly smaller, slightly sleeker version of the A4, complete with two fuel-sipping powertrains (up to 221 horsepower) and your choice of front-wheel or four-wheel drive.

Like its larger sibling, the A3 features PreSense technology, Electronic Stability Control, anti-lock brakes, an electromechanical parking brake, and a high-tech child restraint system. It doesn’t have a vehicle immobilizer, though the anti-theft alarm may well be all the protection you need against would-be thieves. The xenon headlights, LED taillights, and single-frame grille combine for an arresting profile, day or night.

Inside, the A3’s creature comforts and infotainment system resemble the A4’s, down to the leather seating and HD radio. The rear-view camera is a must in tight spaces, and the rain-sensing wipers are key for hands-off (not literally) drivers.

Online car buying site reviews

Autotrader has millions of vehicles to choose from. The Car Research and Review section of the site helps car buyers calculate how much they can afford to spend on a car. The site is also full of helpful educational resources to inform users on every aspect of buying and selling a car, including finding the right insurance, tips for getting a car sold and comparison photos. In addition to buying vehicles, you can also sell or trade in your car on the site.Read more about Autotrader.com

The prices on CarMax are non-negotiable, meaning there’s no need to haggle. The site exclusively offers used vehicles. However, there are a moderate amount of cars with very low mileage. CarMax spends an average of 12 hours prepping each vehicle for purchase — each car must pass a 125-point inspection and undergo a thorough cleaning before being put up for sale.Read more about Carmax

CarsDirect has both new and used cars for sale. The site is able to provide auto financing for those with poor credit, no credit and any other level of credit. Leasing and refinancing are additional options. Because this site works with a high number of diverse dealerships nationwide, a wide range of cars are available to customers.Read more about CarsDirect

CarFax is well known for providing comprehensive vehicle history reports that detail all previous damage and ownership history. It works with over 28,000 dealerships nationwide to sell a variety of used cars. You can sign up for alerts on recalls and necessary maintenance reminders to make sure your car is in tip-top shape. The accompanying mobile app receives strong reviews from users.Read more about Carfax

Cars, trucks, motorcycles and other vehicles are available on this classic bidding site. You can either bid on a vehicle or, if available, buy at the set price. You can also look at satisfaction ratings to see if a seller has a history of satisfied customers and is legitimate. Daily deals on car parts and other accessories also provide opportunities for savings.Read more about eBay MotorsEdmunds

Edmunds has a wealth of resources to guide consumers on their car-buying journeys, including user forums, latest news in the auto industry and informative articles. You can read professional reviews of cars, including pros, cons and what’s new in recent models. The True Market Value for each car helps you know if you’re getting a good deal.

  • User forums: If you have a question for the world out there, you can post it in the Edmunds user forums. You can also see if anyone else has a similar question.
  • Expert-ranked cars by category: If you already know what type of car you want, like a mid-sized sedan or a crossover, then you can look at Edmunds’ expert rankings for each category to get an idea of the best models.
  • Compare prices: You can see what people like you paid for similar cars in your area, helping to ensure you get a good deal on your car.
  • News and resources: Stay up to date on all things auto-related by reading the latest news and combing through Edmunds’ informative resources.
  • Companion app: Edmunds’ companion app provides most of the functionality available on the website. One neat feature is the Edmunds Suggested Price, which can help you haggle with the dealer.

CarSoup

CarSoup offers both new and used vehicles. Multiple search options and filters make finding the perfect car easier than ever. The site uses referral tools to connect individual sellers to local dealerships. Informative articles and research tools also help consumers broaden their knowledge on all subjects automobile related. Last of all, their accompanying app serves as a helpful resource to search for cars wherever you may be.

  • Price calculator: CarSoup’s Price Your Car Calculator lets you put in the basic details of your car and get a general estimate of how much your car is worth.
  • More than just cars: CarSoup also sells RVs, campers, boats, ATVs, trucks, snowmobiles and motorcycles.
  • Referral tool for sellers: CarSoup’s referral tool helps individual sellers find local dealerships that want to sell their car.
  • Online resources: CarSoup has a wealth of other resources to help you in your car search, including financing for those with poor credit, car donation options and vehicle history reports.
  • My Garage feature: CarSoup’s My Garage feature lets you save all the vehicles you have an eye on. Just go to your garage to compare the vehicles you’ve saved.

Enterprise Car Sales

Enterprise Car Sales lets customers buy, sell and trade new and used vehicles online. Customers can search for nearby vehicles, use car buying calculators and obtain financing through Enterprise.

  • Online vehicle inventory: Select from over 250 makes and models of cars, trucks, SUVs and vans.
  • Limited powertrain warranty: All vehicles come with a 12-month or 12,000-mile limited powertrain warranty. The company also provides a full year of roadside assistance when you purchase a new or used vehicle.
  • Shipping: Enterprise fees start at $199 for local auto shipping and $499 for long-distance transportation services.
  • Return policy: You can return a vehicle with seven days or 1,000 miles, whichever comes first, for any reason.

Bring-A-Trailer

Bring-A-Trailer is an online car auction platform for buyers and sellers. Customers first submit their vehicles for approval and are paired with an auction specialist. Buyers are responsible for arranging and paying for shipping.

  • Online vehicle inventory: Browse live auctions to find classic and collector cars, luxury vehicles and motorcycles. Available makes include Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin and Porsche.
  • Auction costs: Buyers pay a 5% commission fee on top of the final sale. It costs between $99 and $349 for sellers to submit a vehicle to the auction, depending on whether you want to include professional photos.
  • Registration: Buyers must register in order to place a bid on an auction through Bring-A-Trailer.
  • Shipping: Buyers are responsible for arranging and paying for shipping.

Autotempest

Autotempest is a third-part online aggregator that also provides tools to compare quotes and calculators to estimate trade-in values. It does not facilitate transactions but directs buyers to sites such as Carvana, TrueCar, Detroit Trading, eBay and craigslist.

  • Online vehicle inventory: Find used cars priced from less than $1,000 to $20,000. Specialty vehicles, including classic and vintage cars, are also available.
  • Research tools: Access free tools to compare quotes for cars, insurance and shipping. Through a calculator function, you can also estimate the value of your trade-in vehicle.
  • Additional products: Autotempest sells merchandise, such as shirts and mugs, through its web store.
  • Customer service: Users can ask questions or file complaints through an online form.

Hemmings

Hemmings is an online marketplace to sell, buy and trade classic vehicles. Find cars for sale, parts, services and real estate.

  • Online vehicle inventory: Find muscle cars, imports, American classics and more. Some of the oldest vehicles available for purchase were made in the 1880s.
  • Car auctions: Place bids online for exotics, classics, muscle cars, performance cars, trucks, SUVs, resto-mods and motorcycles.
  • Additional services: In addition to classic cars and car parts, the company sells gifts, clothing, books and magazines. Hemmings publications are available through a subscription in the United States and Canada.
  • Customer service: Hemmings customer service is available online and over the phone, Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern Time).

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