Small Luxury Sedan Buyer's Guide

By Editors on April 29, 2016 11:07 AM

The most affordable luxury cars are some of the most fun.

Today's luxury cars feature higher-quality materials than ever, futuristic technologies, and come backed by increasingly exceptional dealer service. It's as true for the lower-priced luxury entries as it is for the six-figure flagships sold alongside.

And while it's easy to hope your first BMW 3 Series is merely a stepping stone to a 5 Series and then a 7 Series, the truth is that the 3 Series is the most entertaining among them. So have fun now, before you get all rich and stuff.

BMW 3 Series

An automotive legend and the best-selling luxury car in the country.

Explore 3 Series

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The recently redesigned C-Class is our Luxury Car Best Buy of 2016 and a back-to-back Best Buy winner.

Explore C-Class

Lexus IS

Famously reliable fun, with a new engine lineup.

Explore IS

Acura TLX

With favorable pricing and excellent resale values, the TLX is one of the segment's value standouts.

Explore TLX

Infiniti Q50

The former G37 has evolved into the roomier and more refined Q50, which still offers a value advantage over many of its European competitors.

Explore Q50

Audi A4

Contemporary character and finesse-driven fun.

Explore A4

Cadillac ATS

Bold styling and the performance to back it up.

Explore ATS

Volvo S60

A luxury sport sedan with a lighter touch.

Explore S60


New for 2017

In addition to a completely redesigned Audi A4, the 2017 model year is bringing with it two brand-new small luxury sedans. Say hello to the 2017 Jaguar XE and the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia, two sport sedans with the legendary BMW 3 Series squarely in their sites. These are just a few of the new-for-2017 vehicles that will soon be headed your way.

Engine Options

For those looking to maximize mpg, the BMW 3 Series is available with hybrid or diesel power, and the Infiniti Q50 is available as a hybrid.

Performance Plus

Many of these cars have high-performance alter egos, including the Audi S4, BMW M3, Cadillac ATS-V, and Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 and AMG C63 S.

Entry No More

Once the smallest, lowest-priced models in their respective lineups, the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class have been displaced as their brands' entry-level models by the BMW 2 Series, Mercedes-Benz CLA and Audi A3. These smaller models made our most recent list of the 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $35,000.

Small Luxury Sedan Photo Gallery