The top luxury brands to buy in 2020 are so pricey because of the brand, edition’s deviation from the standard design, build quality, and, most commonly, the reason for their release. And most models offer as many customizable extras as a driver can dream up. Here’s a look at the hottest luxury cars rolling out for 2020.
top luxury brands to buy in 2020
we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of today’s top luxury cars spanning all body styles and budgets, from six-figure, 600-plus-horsepower sport sedans to entry-level offerings that provide upscale trimmings at accessible price points. As usual, our selections are powered by the Edmunds’ rigorous vehicle testing program. We test hundreds of vehicles every year on our test track and in the real world. So when we say these are the best luxury cars, we mean they’ve run that gauntlet and come through at the head of the pack.
Best Luxury SUVs
What qualifies an SUV as luxury-grade? It comes down to a blend of premium interior materials, higher build quality, advanced suspension design, extra performance, and exclusive tech or safety features. Customization options also tend to be more plentiful, as well as white-glove service programs that aren’t available via mainstream brands. Add it all up and you get a sense of specialness that makes you feel like those extra dollars were well-spent.
2020 BMW X1: Subcompact Luxury SUV
With its responsive engine, sporty handling and ample cargo space, the BMW X1 stands out as a top luxury subcompact SUV. Its refined interior seals the deal, offering conveniences such as a large touchscreen and a power liftgate. Even some of its options are unusual in this class, such as premium leather and a self-parking system. The expanded kidney grille design for 2020 will be a polarizing point for many, but on most other counts, the X1 comes up aces.
Starting price (including destination fee): $36,195
Fuel economy: 26 mpg combined
2020 Porsche Macan: Compact Luxury SUV
With snappy acceleration from a range of turbocharged engines, precise handling and a firm yet compliant ride quality, the Macan is arguably the closest you can get to a 911 in an SUV. It’s lighter on its feet than the larger Cayenne, and it offers what the 911 can’t: meaningful passenger and cargo space. The Macan does have less cargo room than many SUV rivals, but we doubt you’ll notice while grinning from ear to ear in the middle of a fast turn. As with all Porsches, you can add enough options to brush a six-figure price, but the Macan is so good that it’s hard to say any specification is overpriced.
Starting price (including destination fee): $52,250
Fuel economy: 20-21 mpg combined
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE: Midsize Luxury SUV
It’s hard to beat Mercedes when it comes to luxury. This brand perfected the concept of the luxury automobile decades ago, and today’s GLE advances that philosophy. With innovative safety features, a roomy interior, and one of the best infotainment systems around, the GLE is a stellar pick for a midsize luxury SUV. Innovation is part of Benz’s game. And while sometimes it can border on the absurd (ionized cabin fragrances, we’re looking at you), it also produces game-changers. For example, the GLE’s optional E-Active Body Control suspension leans into turns much like a motorcycle, reducing the feel of pitch and roll to passengers inside. Notably, the GLE can now also be optioned with a third row.
Starting price (including destination fee): $54,695
Fuel economy: 21-22 mpg combined
2020 Audi Q7: Midsize 3-Row Luxury SUV
The Q7 remains a go-to pick for a luxury three-row SUV, and it’s not hard to see why. Impeccable interior materials and design, advanced infotainment tech, and an exceptionally smooth ride set it apart from most rivals. The third row is relatively cramped, but unless you need adult-size space back there, you might find it more than adequate. For 2020, the refreshed Q7 offers a more chiseled look and some features borrowed from the flagship Q8, such as an improved suspension and a versatile second row that allows independent seat positions for all three passengers.
Starting price (including destination fee): $61,000 (estimated)
Fuel economy: 21 mpg combined
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS: Full-Size Luxury SUV
The 2020 GLS represents a new generation for Benz’s biggest luxury hauler. Appropriately enough, the lineup rides atop a new, longer chassis, which opens up more passenger room inside. The ride is quieter, which didn’t seem possible, and more comfortable. And the SUV’s two available engines get a slight hybrid power boost from an electric motor unit that not only aids starting but can also deliver a surge of acceleration at low speeds. Inside, the GLS can comfortably seat adults in all three rows, and driver and passengers alike can enjoy one of the most advanced voice-controlled infotainment systems available today. The GLS is a stunning improvement on an already excellent design.
Starting price (including destination fee): $76,195
Fuel economy: 21 mpg combined
Like their SUV counterparts, luxury sedans tend to offer a more premium interior experience, more sophisticated ride quality and stronger acceleration than an average mainstream sedan. You’re likely to find more advanced infotainment features, too. Most luxury sedans also come with a broad range of driver aids that tend to be optional or unavailable on lower-priced sedans.
2020 Mercedes-Benz A-Class: Small Luxury
The A-Class is a fresh face among luxury sedans, and it impressed us right out of the gate. Mercedes’ most affordable model provides a great combination of comfort and performance with the best infotainment system in the class. Even at its attractive price, there’s no cutting corners here. The interior quality is exquisite, it handles well enough for driving enthusiasts without sacrificing comfort, and it’s surprisingly spacious given its size. Dollar for dollar, it’s hard to beat an A-Class if you’re looking for an attainable small luxury sedan.
Starting price (including destination fee): $33,795
Fuel economy: 28 mpg combined
2019 Audi A6: Midsize Luxury
The A6 is a perennial favorite thanks to strong all-around performance, plus Audi’s typical focus on impeccable interior quality. Note that the A6 is all-new for 2019, with changes that include a turbocharged V6 engine with mild hybrid assist (replacing the previous supercharged V6) and a new dual-screen infotainment setup. Truthfully, the A6 got it right a long time ago and only needed polishing at the margins. We’ve found the new dual-screen setup more distracting than it should be in our testing, though — a rare case of Audi perhaps trying to be too clever. Drivers seeking more cargo space should consider the dashing sportback-style A7 sedan.
Starting price (including destination fee): $55,895
Fuel economy: 22-27 mpg combined
2019 Porsche Panamera: Large Luxury
Once known for its polarizing (some might say “humpy”) exterior shape, the Panamera got a lot more svelte with its recent redesign. These days, it’s simply an excellent Porsche people-hauler in the form of a large sedan. That means strong and seamless acceleration, along with more thrilling handling than its mass would suggest is possible. It’s also exceptionally practical thanks to the availability of a wagon-esque variant called the Panamera Sport Turismo. Engine options range from a plenty capable 330-hp V6 to the mental 677-hp electrified V8 in the Turbo S E-Hybrid. The Mercedes S-Class is the big challenger here, but we appreciate the Panamera for the bite that it offers in this typically sedate class.
Starting price (including destination fee): $88,550
Fuel economy: 21-22 mpg combined
2019 BMW M5: Sport Sedan
Arguably the first true midsize sport sedan, the M5 continues to have a target on its back, still ranking as a benchmark all these years later. Its turbocharged V8 delivers astonishing power — 600 hp driving all four wheels. And it handles with effortless precision no matter how fast or tight the road. For skilled drivers of exceptional courage, the M5 even lets you disable the all-wheel-drive mode and slide the back end out in corners. Experts only, please. Despite its prodigious power, the M5 is a docile commuter and capable family car, a true Jekyll and Hyde machine.
Starting price (including destination fee): $104,695
Fuel economy: 17 mpg combined
New tech ideas often start on more exclusive models, then filter down to the rest of an automaker’s lineup. Hybrid technology, on the other hand, was introduced by Toyota and Honda from the ground up. Only recently have we begun to see luxury hybrids on a significant scale. The size and weight of luxury vehicles are, of course, at odds with the fuel-sipping mission of hybridization. But today’s hybrid engine combinations (typically a four-cylinder or V6 engine with electric-motor assistance) can haul around all that luxury mass while still delivering impressive fuel economy.
2020 Lexus ES 300h
Lexus is a luxury-hybrid leader, boasting a hybrid offering in nearly every part of its portfolio. You’d expect as much from parent company Toyota, but it makes it hard to pick just one as the standout. Ultimately, it’s hard to go wrong with the midsize ES sedan. Recently redesigned, the new ES offers better fuel efficiency than ever, plus a roomier interior. Yet it still delivers the traits that make the ES great: a quiet cabin, superior ride quality, a wealth of standard features, and excellent value. The rear seats still don’t fold down, so cargo flexibility is limited, but for 40-plus mpg, we can live with it.
Starting price (including destination fee): $42,785
Fuel economy: 44 mpg combined
2020 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid
The MDX Sport Hybrid is the more fuel-efficient version of Acura’s popular midsize SUV. Like the regular version, the hybrid comes with loads of standard luxury features (such as leather upholstery) and driver aids (including adaptive cruise and lane departure warning) at a pleasantly moderate price. The gas-electric V6 hybrid powerplant accelerates smoothly, while a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system gives the SUV sure footing in turns and wet weather. Today’s MDX is an older design, dating to 2014, and the interior has gone a bit bland. We’ve also noted that the transition from electric to hybrid power can be a bit jarring. Still, it’s hard to beat this Acura’s value as a fuel-efficient three-row luxury SUV.
Starting price (including destination fee): $53,895
Fuel economy: 27 mpg combined
2020 Volvo XC60 PHEV
The XC60 is available in both regular gas-powered and plug-in hybrid versions. The T8 plug-in is the sportiest of the bunch, with snappy acceleration thanks to a combined output of 400 hp. It’s properly quick in a straight line, so there’s no issue getting up to highway speeds and maintaining them. The XC60’s seats are exceptionally comfortable and ideal for long hauls, and the large 9-inch display is an infotainment highlight. We’re not totally sold on the Volvo’s “hybrid-ness,” though. There’s a lot of artificial electric feel in the brakes and steering, and the T8’s air suspension lacks the sportier feel of the regular XC60’s setup. Still, we like the idea of traveling 17 miles on electric power alone before the engine kicks in. It’s enough to get you around town solely on electrons for days at a time.
Starting price (including destination fee): $54,945
Electric range: 17 miles
Fuel economy: 26 mpg combined
Fully electric luxury cars are still rare sights on our roads, but that will be changing in the years to come. Today’s battery technology is capable of moving ever larger and more luxurious cars, and established automakers have tired of seeing upstart Tesla dominate the luxury EV landscape. For now, the three vehicles below are great picks, but keep in mind that this segment is still in its infancy and looks set to evolve rapidly.
2019 BMW i3
Small, quick and nimble, the BMW i3 is the perfect car for the city or suburban sprawl. It threads through traffic swiftly and makes it easy to drive “one-pedal” style (easing off the accelerator to engage aggressive regenerative braking). The i3’s well-crafted interior also has a unique and contemporary style (bamboo is among the available trim materials). The rear-hinged doors aren’t ideal, especially in parking lots. And while it offers adult-friendly cabin room, the i3 doesn’t leave much room for cargo. Still, with 153 miles of range, it’s well suited to average commutes, and a small gas-engine option increases range to 200 miles. At 30 kWh per 100 miles for electricity consumption, the i3 is also pretty energy-efficient.
Starting price (including destination fee): $45,445
Electric range: 153 miles (200 miles with gas-powered range extender)
Energy consumption: 30 kWh/100 miles
2019 Audi e-tron
Audi’s fully electric e-tron is a new EV offering that we like a lot. This e-tron is altogether different from the A3 runabout that the e-tron name was most recently pegged to. A spacious luxury hatchback with 204 miles of range, the e-tron has plenty of juice for most daily commutes, even if the maximum range falls well short of Tesla territory. Acceleration is swift and silent, the interior is smartly trimmed and comfortable in both rows, and a large cargo area makes the e-tron especially compelling. And when hooked to a DC fast charger, the e-tron can charge to 80% in just 30 minutes.
Starting price (including destination fee): $75,795
Electric range: 204 miles
Energy consumption: 46 kWh/100 miles
2019 Tesla Model 3
Tesla’s entry-level electric car offers benchmark performance and stands as an extraordinary technological achievement. In our yearlong ownership experience with a Model 3, we also noted annoying glitches, fit-and-finish issues and even battery failure. If you can stomach the growing pains of a tech-oriented car company — or is it a car-oriented tech company? — the Model 3’s tight steering, poised handling and instant acceleration make it a blast to drive. Also, the roomy cabin and massive trunk mean you’ll rarely have trouble hauling passengers and luggage, although the low-mounted rear seat cushion is unfortunate. Depending on battery choice, the Model 3 is rated at an impressive 220 to 310 miles on a full charge. It’s not quite fully baked, but we can overlook most of its flaws for the fun and efficiency the Model 3 delivers.
Starting price (including destination fee): $40,690
Electric range: 250-322 miles
Energy consumption: 27 kWh/100 miles
While the four-door sedan has always been about practicality — the convenience of separate entrances for rear passengers or the ease of stashing cargo in the back seat — the two-door coupe puts style first. It follows that a luxury coupe should pair head-turning looks with extra flair inside and under the hood, and our three picks here do just that. From stylish cabins with cool tech features to serious performance on the road, these luxury coupes deliver the goods.
2019 Audi TT
The Audi TT is a top luxury coupe for many of the reasons we value other Audis: sporty handling, Quattro all-wheel drive, cutting-edge interior design, and smart acceleration balanced by impressive fuel economy. Leather and suede upholstery and innovative tech features, such as a tracepad for infotainment inputs, give the TT a full measure of luxury to accompany its performance chops. Just don’t expect much trunk space in the TT, and forget about using the coupe’s rear seat for all but the smallest passengers. (There’s also a convertible version for sun worshippers that removes the second row altogether.)
Starting price (including destination fee): $45,895
Fuel economy: 26 mpg combined
2020 BMW 4 Series
Take BMW’s lauded 3 Series, remove two of the doors and crank up the sporty feel, and the 4 Series is what you end up with. This capable two-door starts with the sedan’s familiar poise and refinement and adds styling flourishes and suspension tuning designed to excite. It’s more civilized than many coupes with comparable performance (no cramped cabin or rough ride here), but it’s palpably sportier than a regular 3 Series. A redesigned 4 Series will supplant the outgoing 2020 model, but we like this 4 Series so much that there’s no reason to wait for the next generation — just go find a great deal on one of these.
Starting price (including destination fee): $45,945
Fuel economy: 21-27 mpg combined
2020 Lexus LC 500
After years of polishing its sedan lineup and offering smaller sport coupes, Lexus finally jumped back into the flagship-coupe business with the LC 500. What a comeback! The LC is a stately grand-touring coupe with stunning styling, burly V8 power, and a rich and contemporary interior layout. This Lexus manages the trick of being sporty, comforting and stimulating all at once. Pack light for your touring adventures, though, since the LC comes up short on cargo space. The hybrid version is also worth considering — although it lacks the V8’s authority and responsiveness, it still feels swift and special.
Starting price (including destination fee): $93,975
Fuel economy: 19 mpg combined
What do you do when you’ve run out of things to upgrade and refine? You chop off the roof. It’s a simple idea, really. Take all the best attributes of a luxury car, whether that’s an emphasis on comfort, interior quality or performance, and allow the sun to shine a light on them. Today’s top luxe drop-tops manage to be dynamic standouts while boasting unique creature comforts that enhance the alfresco experience.
2020 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
The C-Class is a benchmark regardless of whether it comes in sedan, coupe or convertible form. The convertible’s head-turning style, impeccable interior, advanced technology, and ridiculous performance potential (up to 503 hp in maxed-out C 63 S trim) make it a favorite among luxury convertibles. Its Airscarf system, which blows warm air on the necks and shoulders of front passengers, makes putting the top down that much more inviting.
Starting price (including destination fee): $56,565
Fuel economy: 20-24 mpg combined
2020 Porsche 718 Boxster
It’s hard to believe that the Boxster was mocked by the Porsche faithful when it first debuted a couple of decades ago. Today, the Boxster is a mainstay of the Porsche lineup, providing a slick two-seat alternative to the increasingly exclusive 911. Sharp and precise handling, muscular four-cylinder turbo power, and a well-crafted interior make the Boxster ideal for visiting your favorite roads under a sunny sky. But exercise caution with the order sheet: The Boxster offers plenty of options, which add up in a hurry.
Starting price (including destination fee): $60,250
Fuel economy: 21-25 mpg combined
2020 Jaguar F-Type
On paper, the F-Type doesn’t look like one of the market’s best luxury convertibles. It’s loud, it’s cramped, the infotainment system is buggy, and there’s not much room for occupants or luggage. Oh, but when you summon the horses from the Jag’s optional supercharged V8 engine or marvel at how it holds its line through a tight bend, all is suddenly forgiven. The F-Type Convertible is the kind of car that makes you tingle with anticipation every time you walk up to it. There’s a four-cylinder base engine, but we say go straight to the V6, at least, and try your best to get into the V8. The F-Type is more of an experience than a mere conveyance, which is why we’re willing to accept its flaws.
Starting price (including destination fee): $65,725
Fuel economy: 18-26 mpg combined
The wagon is a niche product in the American market, if less so elsewhere around the world. Perhaps it’s because the wagon occupies an ambiguous middle ground — is it a long hatchback or a low SUV? Or maybe it’s because many Americans never liked the land-yacht domestic wagons of their youth. But those who get wagons really get it, and today you can have all the features you want in a variety of wagon models. For drivers seeking SUV utility, sedan driving manners and solid fuel economy with a dash of premium flavor, luxury wagons make a compelling case.
2019 Audi A4 Allroad
Like the A4 sedan on which it’s based, the A4 Allroad features impeccable interior design and materials along with top-notch tech and infotainment features. It also offers similarly quick reflexes and deft maneuverability. But the Allroad’s wagon body means more room for cargo. And because it sits higher off the ground, it can, as its name suggests, go further afield than its sedan counterpart. Small wonder that the A4 Allroad is a perennial wagon all-star.
Starting price (including destination fee): $46,695
Fuel economy: 25 mpg combined
2020 Volvo V60
Blending SUV convenience with the handling of a sedan, the V60 serves as a fine Scandinavian alternative to the German establishment. Sleek styling is a departure from the boxy Volvo wagons of the distant past, as are the cutting-edge tech and driver assistance features. And the shapely and supportive front seats meet the challenge of the long hauls that wagons were made for. That’s a good thing since we’ve found the V60’s ride a bit stiff-legged. If you need more space or prefer a hybrid powertrain, we also hold the larger V90 wagon in high regard.
Starting price (including destination fee): $40,645
Fuel economy: 25-27 mpg combined
2020 Buick Regal TourX
Buick? Luxury? Hear us out. The Regal TourX occupies a nice middle ground between smaller and larger wagons. Fold down the second row and you’ve got more cargo space than many rivals offer — more even than some small SUVs. You can sleep back there; trust us, we’ve done it. The TourX’s low profile makes loading gear onto the roof easy, too, and the turbo engine has plenty of hauling power. Buick’s wagon entrant is based on the premium Opel Insignia sold in Europe, which explains the exterior flair and classy interior design and materials. While you won’t find brushed metal switches or abalone inlays here, the TourX is a discernible step up from mainstream offerings.
Starting price (including destination fee): $30,295
Fuel economy: 24 mpg combined
Combine luxury with powerful performance and six-digit price territory comes up quick. But these uber-cars check all the boxes. Soothing through the daily grind and scintillating on twisting tarmac, the best luxury sports cars bring smiles in all road conditions.
2020 Chevrolet Corvette
If you haven’t heard, the 2020 Corvette ushers in the most fundamental change in the model’s 67-year history. But you probably heard — it’s been impossible to ignore. The new Vette moves its engine from up front to right behind the cabin for a true mid-engine layout, just like any number of Ferraris or Lamborghinis. This approach opens up new dynamic frontiers for Chevy’s classic American sports car. Maximum performance at a reasonable price continues to be the Corvette’s mantra — it’s just going about it in a whole new way.
Starting price (including destination fee): $59,995
2020 Porsche 911
Legendary handling and rear-mounted flat-six engines make the 911 one of the world’s most iconic and desirable sports cars. Thanks to rich leather interiors, absurd levels of customization, and ever more advanced electronics, the modern 911 has bona fide luxury, while its performance credentials have been well-established for decades. Capable of both world-beating performance and practical, real-world comfort, the 911 stands apart. A new generation for 2020 brings additional refinements to the car’s already delectable formula.
Starting price (including destination fee): $98,750
Fuel economy: 16-25 mpg combined
2020 Audi R8
Traffic-stopping style and a high-revving 10-cylinder engine shared with the Lamborghini Huracan give you two excellent reasons to lust after the R8. But with its adaptive suspension, the R8 also has good manners, making it arguably the most formidable challenger to the Porsche 911’s dominance. Recent mild updates to the R8 include subtle styling tweaks, but it’s still the same supercar at heart. The best of Germany and Italy come together in this enduringly appealing Audi.
Starting price (including destination fee): $171,150 (estimated)
Fuel economy: 17-18 mpg combined
2020 BMW 8 Series
Today’s 8 Series is all-new, but it revives a nameplate we haven’t seen since the 1990s. Thankfully, the 8 Series takes some of that era’s teen spirit — low-slung design, big body and presence, refined grand-touring manners made for the open road — and adds healthy doses of modern technology and turbocharged V8 power. For 2020, there’s also a more reasonably priced six-cylinder model. Despite the 8 Series’ ample size, the back seat is surprisingly small, so it’s really not a functional four-seater. But what it lacks in rear passenger room, the 8 Series makes up for with relatively generous cargo space. Is it really a sports car? All right, we’re stretching the definition a little. But one drive in the M850i xDrive and you’ll be a believer. This BMW has the soul of a performance machine, even if its styling doesn’t shout it out.
Starting price (including destination fee): $89,890
Fuel economy: 23-25 mpg combined
There is no luxury-truck class per se, but there are certainly luxurious trucks. Nearly two decades ago, truckmakers wondered if the average truck buyer would go for upscale interiors and fancy electronics, even though trucks were typically known for rugged minimalism and ample thrust from their V8 or diesel engines. Well, no one’s wondering any longer. That’s why you see the top trim levels of today’s pickups awash in leather, fancy wood trim and huge touchscreen displays, making them more akin to luxury SUVs than to work trucks built for farms and construction sites. Alas, there are no hinged tailgate doors or carpeted and aluminum bedliners here, as in the early days of luxury-truck experimentation — just a trio of American classics, done up in their finest dinner wear.
2020 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali
The GMC Sierra has always tried to stand out from its Chevrolet Silverado mechanical twin with a mixture of exclusive features and upgraded materials. If your heart is set on a luxurious GM truck, the Sierra Denali is the way to go. The Denali offers GM’s largest V8 engine along with all the appointments of the lower Sierra trims, and it adds an adaptive suspension, power side steps and a higher-caliber interior. Like the rest of the Sierra lineup, the Denali boasts a roomy cabin with loads of rear legroom, a multiconfigurable tailgate for easy access and loading, and an optional carbon-fiber bed.
Starting price (including destination fee): $56,500 (estimated)
Fuel economy: 16-26 mpg combined
2020 Ram 1500 Limited
The Ram 1500’s unique coil-spring rear suspension is the ace up its sleeve. It enables the truck to ride smoothly over rough roads, even when unladen with cargo. Most of today’s trucks are comfortable enough for office commutes, but the Ram is even more so thanks to its rear suspension design. Notably, the Limited trim comes standard with an air suspension that makes the ride downright cloud-like, as well as premium leather upholstery and power side steps. Exceptional towing and hauling capabilities help make any Ram 1500 a strong pick among today’s pickups, while the Limited trim is a blissed-out luxury workhorse. For 2020, the popular V6 diesel option returns, providing class-leading low-end torque for better towing and hauling.
Starting price (including destination fee): $54,935
Fuel economy: 21-22 mpg combined
2020 Ford F-150 Limited
The F-150 is the best-selling truck in America. Some years, it’s even been the best-selling vehicle in America, period. It’s not hard to see why. It offers a dizzying array of engines, cab configurations and bed lengths, catering to buyers who range from tradespeople to suburban commuters and weekend anglers. There’s even the gonzo off-road Raptor edition for those who prefer to commute straight across the Mojave Desert. Luxury buyers will naturally gravitate toward the F-150’s Platinum and Limited trims, the latter maxing out on creature comforts such as upgraded leather upholstery, wood and aluminum interior trim, power side steps, heated rear seats, an automatic parking system, and a mega-powerful twin-turbo V6 engine. Even in its cushiest form, the F-150 still offers towing and hauling capability that’s just shy of its Ram rival.
Starting price (including destination fee): $69,080
Fuel economy: 19 mpg combined
The subtext of luxury cars is, of course, money. The more you can spend, the more comfort, performance and technology you get. But luxury doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive. The most affordable luxury cars and SUVs stake out the middle ground between mainstream features and premium materials and build quality. They offer luxury accoutrements without draining the bank account, tempting both mainstream shoppers looking to upgrade and luxury buyers ready to downsize.
The ILX sedan is an appealing starter luxury car. It offers the features you’d expect of a mainstream compact sedan, plus a more refined ride and cabin for not much more money. Acura’s entry-level model comes standard with LED headlights, faux leather upholstery, heated seats, and a full suite of driver aids. But it’s not without fault. Based on the previous-generation Honda Civic, the ILX can’t hide its economy-car roots. Some of the interior materials feel cheap, and the ILX lets in too much road noise for a luxury whip. The current, greatly improved Civic merits strong consideration alongside it.
Starting price (including destination fee): $26,895
Fuel economy: 28 mpg combined
2020 Genesis G80
The Genesis G80 is still earning its stripes in the luxury class, but its calling card is a lot of luxury for the price. Formerly known as the Hyundai Genesis, the G80 boasts a roomy, “midsize-plus” cabin that’s quiet at speed and loaded with standard features such as leather upholstery, heated front seats and crisp touchscreen infotainment. A choice of three engines (two V6s and a stout V8) covers a broad range of buyer priorities. The ride quality pales in comparison to segment stalwarts such as the BMW 5 Series, but then, you’ll likely save five digits by going the G80’s way.
Starting price (including destination fee): $43,545
Fuel economy: 18-21 mpg combined
2020 Lexus UX 200
Like the Acura ILX sedan, the Lexus UX 200 SUV is a sensible luxury starting point. The UX’s compact footprint makes it ideal for tight city streets or congested parking lots. Inside, Lexus has distilled the comforts of its RX and NX models into the UX’s bite-size package. Despite its diminutive dimensions, the UX is pretty roomy up front; just don’t expect a spacious back seat or cargo area. The zippy UX 250h hybrid actually improves performance while also delivering mpg in the 40s, so we’d take a close look at that model, too.
Starting price (including destination fee): $33,325
Fuel economy: 33 mpg combined