Every new year welcomes in a batch of new cars. Whether the new model year brings only slight changes or an entirely new generation, you can be sure that each class of cars will compete to offer the best and the very latest in technology. There is no exception for luxury vehicles.
While the older model years of luxury cars and crossovers may seem unaffordable to start with, they are not necessarily out of reach for everyone. There are affordable luxury cars available on the market if you are happy to spend some time looking around.
The good news is that you do not necessarily have to settle for an older model year either if you want a cheap luxury car; you can find an affordable option for 2021. We have done the homework for you and have compiled a list of the top affordable luxury cars for 2021.
Bear in mind; however, we are not including fully-loaded trim levels. Many of the high-end trim levels don't come cheap. But we have found several vehicles around the $35,000 mark among many automakers that carry a reputation for luxury, including BMW, Infiniti, and Mercedes-Benz.
2021 BMW 2-Series
The 2021 BMW 2-Series may not be the cheapest BMW on the market, but the 2-series coupe still offers affordable luxury with the base price starting at just below $35,000. The base powertrain features a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with an output of 248 horsepower.
The primary directive for the BMW 2-series is performance, and it boasts more engine options and horsepower than many of its competitors, such as the Audi A3. It also overtakes its rivals with more cargo space than most luxury small cars in its class, including the Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
The base model offers several standard features, including a 6.5-inch display that supports Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, and BMW's iDrive infotainment system. The list of standard advanced safety features is also impressive, including a forward collision warning and a rearview camera.
2021 Volvo XC40
The Volvo XC40 makes our list of affordable luxury cars with its refined cabin quality, two rows of spacious seats, and well-rounded driving dynamics and handling. The base 2021 XC40 has a starting price of $33,700, which is one of the lowest prices for luxury subcompact SUVs in its class.
The entry-level model has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with an output of 187 horsepower and front-wheel-drive. It may not sound rapid, but it feels more lively than some of its rivals, like the Audi Q3 and Cadillac XT4. All-wheel-drive comes on a 250-horsepower version.
The Volvo XC40 is a welcomed option if you want luxury on a budget. It is a couple of thousand dollars cheaper than the BMW X1. It boasts a long list of standard driver assistance and convenience features, such as Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, an infotainment system with a 9-inch touchscreen, leather upholstery, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
2021 Lexus UX 200
The 2021 Lexus UX is one of the cheapest luxury cars in the brand's lineup of models, but don't let a low starting price of $32,900 indicate poor quality. This luxury crossover SUV's interior styling is sophisticated, and most surfaces are covered in high-quality materials, including padded synthetic leather and soft-touch plastics.
There are three trim levels available, all of which feature a four-cylinder engine with a 169 horsepower output. Front-wheel-drive and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) are standard. Similar vehicles have more power, though.
The base UX 200 includes a wide array of standard and safety features, including a 7-inch infotainment display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, keyless entry, synthetic leather upholstery, blind-spot monitoring, and LED headlights. Upgrading to the UX 200 F Sport trim at $34,900 will add restyled bumpers, shift paddles, and a stiffer suspension.
2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class earns its place on our list of affordable luxury cars with its punchy engine, high-tech infotainment system, and elegant cabin. The A-Class A 220 has a reasonable starting price of $33,650.
This luxury sedan offers a fun driving experience and is fuel-efficient too. With its 188 horsepower four-cylinder engine, the base model gets an EPA-estimated 25/36 mpg city/highway. If you add all-wheel-drive (AWD), the highway rating lowers to 34 mpg. A more powerful A 35 AMG is offered, but it's considerably more expensive. The CLA-Class is similar, but with a more coupe-like design.
The A-Class comes with several standard features that complement its value, including a 7-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, MB-Tex synthetic leather upholstery, panoramic roof, 64-color ambient lighting system, and a host of standard safety features.
2021 Kia Stinger
The 2021 Kia Stinger is one of the most affordable luxury small cars in its class for 2021. One would think the price tag is incorrect for its long list of offerings, making it hard to turn this luxury car down.
Starting at $33,090, it has a reasonable level of performance, a large cargo area, and a high level of refinement for the price. The Stinger has one of the lowest starting prices within the luxury small car class — the cheapest option is the Acura ILX, but the Stinger is a more substantial car.
The base powertrain GT-Line has a turbocharged 255-horsepower four-cylinder engine, rear-wheel-drive, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Stinger comes standard with several features, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a smartphone charging pad, heated front leather seats, a rearview camera, and 18-inch wheels.
2021 Lincoln Corsair
The spacious and high-end cabin, user-friendly infotainment system, and its lengthy list of standard features guide the 2021 Lincoln Corsair onto our list of affordable luxury cars. It does tap a little over the $35,000 mark at $35,900; however, this is a highly competitive price for a luxury compact SUV. Many vehicles in this class start above $42,000.
The standard trim Lincoln Corsair comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 250 horsepower. A smooth driving experience provides a comfortable ride, especially around corners. The Excite Mode is a sport mode that helps make your ride feel a little more sporty and engaging.
Several standard features accompany this luxury crossover SUV, including Lincoln's Sync 3 infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a 10-speaker premium stereo system, sliding second-row seats, remote start, and a power liftgate, to name just a few.
2021 Infiniti Q50
The 2021 Infiniti Q50 is no Porsche, but it doesn't fall too far behind in standard horsepower with its 300 horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 engine. The Q50 features the most powerful base engine in its class of compact luxury cars. Not too bad for a price that falls below $36,000.
While horsepower and performance were a clear focus point for the luxury brand, they didn't surpass their safety ratings. The Q50 received the highest rating of Good in all four crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Standard features that outfit the entry-level Q50 Pure include synthetic leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, alloy wheels, keyless entry, 7- and 8-inch touch screens, Bluetooth, voice recognition, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.
2021 Genesis G70
Affordability meets an opulent cabin, excellent safety scores, and thrilling performance. Starting at just under $36,000, the 2021 Genesis G70 earns a worthy spot on our list of affordable luxury cars.
The base 2.0T trim has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with an output of 252 horsepower. One of its biggest rivals is the BMW 3-Series, but not only is the Genesis several thousand dollars cheaper, but it also has a more stylish interior.
One of the G70's strong suits of this luxury sedan is its handling, strong brakes, and responsive steering that makes it feel more like a sports car. The base model's standard features include stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, keyless entry, an 8-inch touch screen, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.
2021 Cadillac XT4
The 2021 Cadillac XT4 is a luxury crossover SUV that offers spacious seating, good cargo space, and composed handling. With a $35,000 price tag, the Cadillac XT4 makes itself at home as one of the most affordable luxury cars.
The XT4 comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 237 horsepower. This SUV may not be very sporty, but it not entirely slow either. One of its rivals, the Jaguar E-Pace, shares a similar powertrain, but the Jaguar does not have as much back seat space as the Cadillac.
The base XT4 Luxury comes standard with remote start, the Cadillac User Experience infotainment system, Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and TeenDriver.
2021 Buick Envision
Buick Envision introduced its 2021 model year with a complete redesign that is far more eye-catching than previous model years. This luxury crossover has also kept its affordability and impresses SUV enthusiasts with its low starting price of $32,995.
A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine powers the base model of the Buick Envision and provides 228 horsepower. The Envision moves swiftly enough around corners and is perfect for town driving, and fuel economy matches up well against rivals with an EPA-estimated 24/31 mpg city/highway. The standard front-wheel-drive model is mated with a nine-speed automatic transmission and offers a smooth driving experience. All-wheel-drive is optional.
The 2021 Envision base model, called the Preferred, comes with an extensive list of standard features. There is an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and a SiriusXM satellite radio. There is also an impressive suite of standard driver-assistance features, such as adaptive cruise control.
2021 Acura ILX
The Acura ILX makes its way onto our list of affordable luxury cars because it is the least expensive luxury small car you can buy — and by a considerable margin. It has a starting price of $25,950. No other class rival retails for even less than $32,000, and it comes with a more elevated image than the Honda it's derived from and considerably less than the larger Acura TLX.
This sedan comes with a 201-horsepower four-cylinder engine. It is not the fastest car, and there are no turbo options, but its fuel economy will be appreciated at the fuel pump. The ILX has an EPA-estimated 24/34 mpg city/highway.
There are three packages to choose from, and adding on the most expensive package for a high-spec ILX will still have you paying less than $35,000. Standard features include synthetic leather upholstery, heated front sport seats, Bluetooth, and a moonroof.
2021 Audi Q3
Suppose you are looking for a blend of dynamic handling, high-class cabin materials, and intuitive tech features. In that case, the 2021 Audi Q3 will tick off all the right boxes. This luxury crossover SUV deserves its place on our list with a starting price just below $36,000.
A turbo-four engine with 228 horsepower powers all Audi Q3s. It may seem small, but it has more than enough muscle for most situations. The driving experience is fun and enhanced with good brakes and decent steering response for an SUV. A Volkswagen Tiguan is a similar price, but it doesn't drive as well as the Audi.
The entry-level Premium introduces a long list of standard technology and safety features. It includes the MMI infotainment system, wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, leather upholstery, panoramic sunroof, Audi Pre Sense Front, and lane departure warning.