used cars under 30k

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2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class front 3/4 viewMercedes-Benz USA

Check Out The Best Affordable Used Luxury Cars for 2020

Time to shop for a luxury car? Why not keep your budget under control and let someone else take the depreciation hit? If you decide to go for a used luxury car rather than a new one, you’ll not only save money, but if you shop carefully, you won’t have to sacrifice quality. Even better, if you research carefully, you’ll be able to spend just $30,000 or less. Worried about finding the right used luxury car at that price? Keep reading – we’ve got you covered.

The 10 used luxury cars on this list can all be had for under $30,000. However, keep in mind that used car prices near you may vary – and you may have to hunt around for under-$30k examples of some of these models. They were good cars when new, and tend to hold up well over time. This list also includes a range of brands and body styles, so whether you’re looking for a car just for you or need something suitable for a family, you’ll have options. 

We’ve listed these vehicles in ascending order according to their U.S. News overall score. Ties were broken by giving the higher position to the less-expensive vehicle. Keep in mind that the scores and prices of these vehicles will change as we receive new information. Because of that be sure to check out each review to find the most up to date information.

2010 Cadillac CTS front 3/4 view (low angle)Cadillac

2010 Cadillac CTS

Avg. Price Paid: $7,222 – $8,667 | U.S. News Overall Score: 8.8/10

The Cadillac CTS is an elegant yet practical sedan that sits in the No. 6 spot among our 2010 luxury midsize car ranking. It’s powerful and handles well, which makes it fun to drive. It’s also comfortable, spacious, and safe. 

The CTS came with a 3.0-liter V6 as its base engine, and a 3.6-liter V6 was available. Rear- and all-wheel drive are options, and fuel economy is reasonable regardless of configuration – another factor that helps make the CTS a practical choice.

Cadillac’s cabin design for the CTS was spacious and elegant, elevated with high-quality materials and good build quality. However, it was light on the standard features, and buyers might have to shop around for features like Bluetooth and a sunroof.

2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK front 3/4 viewMercedes-Benz USA

2012 Mercedes-Benz GLK

Avg. Price Paid: $13,191 – $14,154 | U.S. News Overall Score: 8.9/10

The top luxury compact SUV of 2012 was the Mercedes-Benz GLK, thanks to its compelling performance, coddling ride, and composed handling. However, the GLK is thirsty at the pump and has less cargo capacity and rear legroom than most rivals.

Every GLK of this model year came powered by a V6 engine with no options for upgrades, but its 268 horsepower leaves little reason to complain. Rear-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available.

The 2012 GLK offers seating for five, though rear passengers likely won’t want to sit back there for very long. However, the front seats are comfortable and supportive, and you’ll find standard synthetic leather upholstery throughout the cabin. As for features, you’ll get an infotainment system with Bluetooth as standard, among other interior niceties.

2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class front 3/4 viewMercedes-Benz USA

2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Avg. Price Paid: $16,820 – $20,074 | U.S. News Overall Score: 9.0/10

When new, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class was truly cutting-edge in terms of technology, and a benchmark for the super luxury car segment. Of course, that was reflected in its higher-than-average price. If you’ve always wanted an S-Class but you’ve been patient, now might be the time to pounce.

The S-Class was available with the choice of two engines: a V8 and a twin-turbo V12, both of which provided great acceleration and overall performance. Rear- and all-wheel drive were available. Yet, despite the S-Class’ impressive speed, comfort is still the key takeaway, thanks to the cabin’s elegant design and attention to detail.

When new, the S-Class was offered with a menu of safety features that were unavailable anywhere else. They might be familiar now to anyone who’s shopped for a new car in the last few years, but for the time, they were nearly unheard of.

2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class front 3/4 viewMercedes-Benz USA

2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Avg. Price Paid: $16,820 – $20,074 | U.S. News Overall Score: 9.0/10

When new, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class was truly cutting-edge in terms of technology, and a benchmark for the super luxury car segment. Of course, that was reflected in its higher-than-average price. If you’ve always wanted an S-Class but you’ve been patient, now might be the time to pounce.

The S-Class was available with the choice of two engines: a V8 and a twin-turbo V12, both of which provided great acceleration and overall performance. Rear- and all-wheel drive were available. Yet, despite the S-Class’ impressive speed, comfort is still the key takeaway, thanks to the cabin’s elegant design and attention to detail.

When new, the S-Class was offered with a menu of safety features that were unavailable anywhere else. They might be familiar now to anyone who’s shopped for a new car in the last few years, but for the time, they were nearly unheard of.

2010 Hyundai Genesis front 3/4 viewHyundai Motor America

2010 Hyundai Genesis

Avg. Price Paid: $6,856 – $7,676 | U.S. News Overall Score: 9.0/10

The Hyundai Genesis was a bargain of a luxury midsize car when it was new, and it’s a bargain now on the used market, too. It features a sophisticated design, great build quality, and a comfortable interior.

Hyundai equipped the Genesis with a choice of V6 or V8 engine, though its lack of an all-wheel-drive option was a notable omission for this segment. The V8 definitely isn’t necessary, though it definitely makes the Genesis more interesting to drive.

Seating is supportive and spacious, and standard features like power-adjustable and heated front seats, push-button start, and Bluetooth helped the Genesis stand out from the crowd at the time.

2010 Porsche Panamera front 3/4 viewPorsche Cars North America, Inc.

2010 Porsche Panamera

Avg. Price Paid: $24,445 – $31,176 | U.S. News Overall Score: 9.1/10

The Porsche Panamera was all new in 2010, and this super luxury car quickly earned accolades for its performance and interior comfort.

The Panamera comes powered by a turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 engine, rated for 400 or 500 horsepower depending on trim level. Rear-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available. Acceleration is strong enough – and handling swift enough – to keep up with most sports cars, although this super-sized Porsche was considered pretty polarizing when it was new.

Inside, the Panamera seats just four passengers, though there’s plenty of space to go around – including plenty of room for cargo. As with many vehicles on this list, you can expect the tech features to look and feel, well, a decade old. If that doesn’t bother you, this Porsche offers plenty for the price.

2013 Porsche Boxster front 3/4 view (S model shown)Porsche Cars North America, Inc.

2013 Porsche Boxster

Avg. Price Paid: $29,295 – 35,232 | U.S. News Overall Score: 9.1/10

Yes, the 2013 Porsche Boxster is likely to eclipse our $30,000 ceiling for this list. However, it’s worth looking around to see if you can find an example under $30,000 (they do exist). The 2013 Boxster was fully redesigned for that year, and its performance is still impressive by today’s standards. It also fared well in our luxury sports car ranking that year.

The rear-wheel-drive Boxster came with the choice of two six-cylinder engines, good for 265 or 315 horsepower, respectively. There’s plenty of acceleration, but handling is where the Boxster really shines. It’s a lot of fun to drive, particularly on curvy roads. 

There’s room for two beneath the folding soft top, and the interior is refined and comfortable, with supportive seating.

2011 Cadillac Escalade front 3/4 viewCadillac

2011 Cadillac Escalade

$19,862 – $25,984 | U.S. News Overall Score: 9.1/10

Cadillac took top honors in our 2011 luxury large SUV ranking with the Escalade. It’s a posh and powerful SUV that makes a great choice for a family, since it can seat up to eight passengers across three rows. The Escalade of this generation is also safe, powerful, and reliable. A long-wheelbase model, the Escalade ESV, offers additional cargo capacity.

Every 2011 Cadillac Escalade gets a 6.2-liter V8 engine, and shoppers on the used market will have to decide if they want to hold out for the base rear-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. The maximum tow rating of 8,300 pounds is among the best of all large SUVs of this model year.

Standard features include leather upholstery, Bluetooth, power-adjustable front seats, heated and cooled front seats, a power liftgate, and a rearview camera. Rearview cameras might be standard equipment now, but they weren’t 10 years ago, so if you’re accustomed to driving with one, that’s a point in the Escalade’s favor.

2012 Lexus RX 350 front 3/4 viewToyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

2012 Lexus RX 350

Avg. Price Paid: $16,877 – $18,059 | U.S. News Overall Score: 9.1/10

The Lexus RX is a luxury midsize SUV that’s still going strong to this day, and it’s one of the newer options on our list of the best used luxury vehicles under $30,000. This SUV wrapped up 2012 at the top of our ranking for its class, thanks to its calm ride, stellar reliability, and strong overall value. 

Shopping for a used RX 350 should be a little less complicated than some of the other vehicles on this list, since it was offered with only one engine: a stout and smooth V6, paired with front- or all-wheel drive. Regardless of which you end up with, you’ll probably find the RX 350 totally competent and reasonably fuel-efficient.

The RX 350 seats five passengers with plenty of space, and the comfort factor is aided by features like leather upholstery and a rear bench that slides and reclines. Cargo space is above-average for the segment.

2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class front 3/4 viewMercedes-Benz USA

2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Avg. Price Paid: $14,114 – $17,393 | U.S. News Overall Score: 9.1/10

At the end of 2012, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class was holding tight to the top spot in our ranking of luxury midsize cars. The E-Class was known for good safety and reliability, elegant exterior and interior design, and an exciting engine lineup. Furthermore, buyers had the choice of sedan, coupe, convertible, and wagon variants. In other words, 2012 was a pretty good year for this Benz.

Not all body styles were available with every powertrain configuration, but the list is impressive: a 3.5-liter V6, a 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel, a twin-turbocharged 4.6-liter V8, and two additional V8s in the high-performance AMG models. Total output for these engines range from 302 to 550 horsepower. Rear-wheel drive was standard across the lineup, except in the wagon model, which had standard all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive was available in the three other body styles.

Most E-Class models seat five passengers, though the wagon accommodates seven. Other amenities across the lineup include a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system, ambient lighting, and Bluetooth.

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