With so many automakers focused on practicality and functionality, it seems like there isn’t as much room for vehicles that are designed to be comfortable and enjoyable to drive. Finding a luxurious coupe or sedan used to be easy, since many drivers were focused on the feel and driveability of their vehicles. Over the last few years, though, it seems that luxury cars have gone to the wayside in favor of eco-friendly hybrids and utilitarian SUVs.
Fortunately, there are still automakers that are creating beautiful luxury sedans and coupes with an eye for comfort and relaxation that other types of vehicles just don’t have. Many of them are even making affordable versions of these cars that might otherwise be out of reach for the average car buyer. By understanding what affordable luxury vehicles are available on the market and what they have to offer, you can find one that will serve you well for many years.
2022 BMW 2 Series
When it comes to luxury cars with a sporty, stylish attitude, BMW is perhaps the leading automaker that comes to mind. Their entry-level coupe, the BMW 2-Series has won a myriad of awards in 2022 and it comes as no surprise that it is also one of their most popular models. The base engine that comes in the 230i trim level is a turbocharged 255-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder that comes with both rear- and all-wheel-drive as an option. This engine runs through an eight-speed automatic transmission that is quick-shifting and it is capable of bringing the 2-series from zero to 60 in just 5.1 seconds.
Inside, you will find an interior that is well-designed and features BMW’s signature high-quality materials and build. The digital gauge cluster is 12.3 inches wide and it also comes with an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system that has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The 2-Series comes with a subscription-based WiFi hotspot as well. One of the key features of the interior is a rotary controller on the center console that gives you solid control of the infotainment system while driving.
2022 Audi A3
The Audi A3 is one of the most affordable luxury cars available on the market with a starting price of just $35,895. The A3 is also all-new for 2022 and features a redesigned exterior with sleeker lines and modern technology in the cabin. The engine that is available with the base A3 is a turbocharged 201-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder that is supported by a 48-volt hybrid electric motor. You can get this in either an all-or front-wheel-drive configuration and it runs through a seven-speed automatic.
The interior of the A3 is stylish and very bold, which is refreshing for a sedan in its class. The gauge display is surrounded by two very large vents that give it a futuristic, retro-modern look. The lines in the dashboard are stitched for an extra bit of luxury detail and the seats come with both faux-suede and quilted surfaces. The standard touchscreen is 10.1 inches and is reserved for things like infotainment and connectivity controls but all the climate control switches are analog and well within reach for both the driver and the passenger, which is something sorely missed by many old-school drivers.
2022 Cadillac CT4
The odds are good that when you think of a luxury car, you think of a Cadillac. That is why the CT4 is such a refreshing and delightful throwback to the days of large, comfortable sedans. The CT4 is an affordable, entry-level Cadillac that is much more accessible than many of the other models in the automaker’s lineup. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine puts out 237 horsepower and is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission with a front-wheel-drive chassis. The suspension is as soft and forgiving as you would imagine a Caddy would be and it still offers a driveable, responsive feel.
The cabin of the 2022 CT4 is user-friendly and looks very premium with 12-way adjustable front seats and automatic climate control as standard features. The 8-inch touchscreen infotainment screen features Cadillac's CUE software and a Wi-Fi hotspot is another standard feature that will come in handy for almost any driver or situation. The 2022 CT4 also comes with a wide variety of driver-assistance and safety features like automated emergency braking and lane-departure warning as standard features with even the most base trim level.
2022 Acura ILX
While Acura is known as a high-end manufacturer, its biggest appeal is the fact that they produce affordable cars with premium-level features and comfort. The 2022 Acura ILX is no exception and its low starting price and sleek styling make it a great choice for all kinds of drivers. The base trim level of the 2022 ILX comes with an FWD four-cylinder powertrain that puts out 201 horsepower through an eight-speed automatic transmission. This engine is controlled with incredibly responsive pedals, which make driving the ILX fun and exciting.
The cabin of the ILX is packed with features and has a high level of build quality for a vehicle with an MSRP that starts at around $29,000. With heated seats, a sunroof, and dual-zone climate control, it has all the extras you would want from a much more expensive vehicle and all of them come standard. It also comes with a suite of advanced safety features like forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and much more to keep you safe on the road.
2022 Genesis G70
When searching for a luxury sedan, you most likely want a car that strikes a good balance between performance and comfort. The Genesis G70 specializes in this combination and has everything you need to make your driving experience enjoyable and luxurious. It comes with a turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 252 horsepower and has a combined fuel economy of 25 mpg. This powertrain runs through an eight-speed automatic transmission that transfers power to the rear-wheel drive.
Inside, the 2022 G70 is incredibly posh and offers the kind of luxury you would expect from a car that has a much more premium badge. It is made with high-quality materials and doesn’t feature any of the gimmicky design elements that a lot of luxury brands try to shoehorn into their cabins. The dashboard is sleek and sparse except for a 10.3-inch infotainment touchscreen. It also comes with driver assistance and safety features like lane-keeping assist and standard adaptive cruise control.
2022 Lexus IS
For years, the name Lexus has been synonymous with luxury vehicles and the 2022 IS lives up to that reputation. This compact luxury sports sedan has bold styling and performance specs that make it a great choice for people who want an entry into this vehicle category. The IS for the 2022 model year features a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder at the base price that puts out 241 horsepower. This engine features a fuel economy that has been estimated by the EPA as a 31 mpg highway and 21 mpg city.
The IS is not quite as spacious as some of the other Lexus models in production but it has all the luxurious features and materials you would want from a car that is designed to be comfortable and a pleasure to drive. The premium materials combined with the comfortable ride make it a perfect vehicle for people who have long commutes or regularly take long-term road trips. It also features a standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system that has in-dash navigation and all the connectivity you might need.
2022 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Mercedes-Benz is an automotive manufacturer known for comfort and performance and the A-Class is the entry-level version of their patented sport sedans. This small luxury car has the same quality you would expect from Mercedes with a little bit more of a sports car heart. The engine in all versions of the A-Class is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder putting out 188 horsepower. The seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission helps the A-Class go from zero to 60 in just 6.1 seconds and the front-wheel-drive makes this car nimble and incredibly responsive in the steering department.
The cabin in the A-Class delivers many more premium design elements and materials than you might expect from an entry-level luxury car. There isn’t much in the way of cargo space but the front seats are incredibly comfortable and live up to the reputation Mercedes has built over the years. The 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system features Bluetooth streaming and there are five USB ports for all your connectivity needs.
2023 Volvo S60
Volvo has always walked the line between comfort and dependability and they have managed to do so successfully for many years. The 2023 S60 is a perfect example of how these two categories can merge to create something truly beautiful. The 247-horsepower turbo four-cylinder is powerful enough to be fun to drive but also offers an easy-going ride quality that all kinds of drivers can enjoy. The suspension and steering are all geared toward a subdued feel that makes driving long distances easy and comfortable and with a fuel economy rating of 26 mpg city and 35 mpg highway, it is relatively efficient, as well.
One of the things the 2023 S60 has in droves is attention to detail and nowhere is this more apparent than in the cabin. The materials used throughout are incredibly high-quality and the seats are comfortable and luxurious. The infotainment system runs through a tablet-style touchscreen with a Google-based interface with voice assistance for maximum convenience when you are out on the road.
2023 Acura Integra
Acura has always been known as the luxury arm of Honda but in recent years it has come into its own as an automaker. If you are looking for a new car in the subcompact luxury category, you can do no better than the 2023 Acura Integra. The turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine puts out 200 horsepower and runs through a standard continuously variable automatic transmission. The 2023 Integra is designed with a suspension that is meant to be responsive and stiff in the corners, which makes it much sportier than some of the other vehicles in its segment.
The interior features heated sports seats and fantastic design choices that give it a retro-futuristic look and a comfortable feel. The base trim level comes standard with eight-way power-adjustable seats and faux-leather upholstery that live up to the expectations that come with a luxury vehicle. It also has a 10.2-inch digital gauge display that is customizable and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
2022 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
While the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class is one of the more affordable cars in its lineup, you would never be able to tell from the build quality and design that it comes with. The base level of the 2022 CLA-Class comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. With standard front-wheel-drive and a seven-speed automatic transmission, the CLA-Class has the performance specs you would expect from a Mercedes with a price that is going to make it stand out at any dealership.
Even though the CLA-Class isn’t exactly a supercar when it comes to power and performance specs, the interior is plush and well-designed with a modern look and feel that is emblematic of Mercedes vehicles. The steering wheel is equipped with a touchpad and the dash has another touchscreen infotainment system, both of which are fully customizable.
2022 Kia Stinger
The Kia Stinger may not have the name recognition in the luxury car world that a BMW 3-Series, Infiniti Q50, or Porsche Cayman might, but it is packed with features and has a sporty feel that anyone can appreciate. It features a powerful turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder that puts out 300 horsepower through a quick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission. The suspension is tuned to be responsive and feels quick in the corners, which makes it fun to drive and gives it a sporty feel that many other luxury sports sedans don’t have.
The interior of the 2022 Stinger is both comfortable and easy on the eyes with a large rear seat and more cargo room than you might expect from the sleek, low-profile exterior. It doesn’t have the space that a crossover or luxury SUV like a BMW X1 would have, but it is still enough to make this a practical and useful family car if that is what you are looking for. The standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system is also incredibly user-friendly and features physical buttons that supplement the virtual ones.
If you want a new luxury car but only have a used car budget, it can be difficult to find something that suits your needs. The good news is that you don’t have to settle for a practical Toyota or Nissan as there are many different luxury cars on the market for budget prices. Knowing what is available in the lower price bracket can help you find a car that will give you the comfort you want at a price you can afford.