In an effort to broaden their customer base, many high-end carmakers are now offering a range of vehicles, from coupes to SUVs, that are somewhat lighter on the wallet. Here are seven of the auto world’s more accessible luxury models.
SUBCOMPACT: MERCEDES-BENZ B-CLASS
Mercedes’ most inexpensive car is no slouch in the power department. The five-door hatchback boasts a 208-horsepower engine that propels it from zero to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds. While it’s a little awkward looking, the car’s upright shape means there’s enough cabin space for a modest Home Depot run.
Base price: $35,900
COMPACT: AUDI A3
With its sleek lines and minimalist interior, Audi’s entry-level sedan is a looker. It’s also got snappy handling and just enough oomph—the base version spits out 184 horses—to keep up in an increasingly competitive segment. If you’re willing to cough up about $5,000 more, you can have an all-wheel drive quattro version, which comes with 228 horsepower.
Base price: $33,400
COUPE: BMW 2 SERIES
Despite its price tag, the 2-Series is a BMW to its core, with great handling and lots of get-up. The base 230i goes from zero to 100 km/h in 5.6 seconds. Other versions of the car quickly vault out of budget territory; the convertible, for example, costs an extra $10,000. But the average driver will have plenty of fun in the 230i.
Base price: $38,050
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COMPACT CROSSOVER: CADILLAC XT4
SUV mania is sweeping the luxury world, and GM’s premium marque is going with the flow: Its premium Escalade is well known, but the all-new 2019 XT4 offers Caddy quality at a much more affordable price point. The base version comes with a turbo 2-litre, 237-horsepower engine, dual-zone climate control, heated steering wheel and ample rear legroom. But those seeking a more elevated driving experience will need to pony up an extra $7,000 for a premium trim package—with luxuries like leather upholstery, front and rear park assist, and a Bose audio system.
Base price: $34,400
MIDSIZE CROSSOVER: LINCOLN NAUTILUS
OK, OK. We know that Lincoln might not be the first name that comes to mind when you think luxury. But the Nautilus—a new take on the company’s now-retired MKX—has a stylish design and loads of standard features, though the 2-litre, 4-cylinder, 250 hp engine is a slight downgrade from the MKX’s 3.7-litre V6. Also to the good: the Nautilus costs about $5,000 less than other premium mid-size crossovers like the Porsche Macan.
Base price: $49,500
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WAGON: VOLVO V60
Station wagons may be on the brink of extinction, at least here in North America, but Volvo is bravely soldiering on with the V60 (and its bigger sibling, the V90). It’s a Volvo, so it comes with a suite of standard safety equipment, including lane-keep assist, front collision mitigation support, and a sensor that automatically turns on the windshield wipers when it rains. The car also boasts a refined cabin and has a top speed of 210 km/h.
Base price: $43,900
ELECTRIC VEHICLE: TESLA MODEL 3
The long-promised “consumer” model of Elon Musk’s electric vehicle fleet is fairly bare-bones at its lowest price point, but you do get the prestige of owning a Tesla, plus the benefit of never again having to buy gasoline. (The tinted all-glass roof is pretty spiffy, too.) Upgrading from the basic trim and standard-range battery (with an estimated range of 354 km) to a long-range battery (523 km) with premium features adds about $11,000 to the vehicle’s cost.
Base price: $40,900
*All prices are MSRPs and do not include taxes or shipping. Accurate as of March 2019.