The Most Popular Luxury Cars Under $35,000 for 2017

15. 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250


The Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 is a new kind of car for Mercedes-Benz, a low-cost budget option that allows just about anybody to park one in their garage and wear the three-pointed star with pride.

While some say it lacks the refinement you'd expect from a Mercedes-Benz, it definitely has the look of a high-end car at a lower-end price.

Pros: Shares styling with pricier Mercedes-Benz models, standard 8” infotainment screen

Cons: Low-rent interior appointments, dull chassis dynamics

Bottom Line: If you want to get into a Mercedes-Benz on a budget, this is your opportunity.

Starting at $32,400

14. 2017 Audi A3


The new Audi A3 is a fantastic choice for someone looking to buy their first new luxury car.

It's styled beautifully, giving away nothing to its more expensive stablemates, with typical Audi features like LED headlights that make the car feel like a much more expensive model.

The high-quality interior is just icing on the cake.

Pros: High-quality styling in and out, proven drivetrain

Cons: Cramped interior, less-than-spacious trunk

Bottom Line: This Audi looks and feels like the high-quality machine it is, with performance to match.

Starting at $31,200

13. 2017 Acura ILX


When we say the Acura ILX is a classed-up Honda Civic, that shouldn't be taken as an insult.

Given the Civic's tremendous reputation for efficiency and reliability, wrapping it up in a fancy window dressing and luxury trims seems like a winning combination to us.

Pros: Smooth ride, excellent reliability

Cons: Less performance-focused than its rivals, slightly cramped back seat

Bottom Line: A great choice for buyers who see the true value in a car that lasts.

Starting at $27,990

12. 2017 Lincoln MKZ


The Lincoln MKZ may share its platform with the unassuming Ford Fusion, but it manages to turn any trip into an occasion.

Classy and refined without being overstyled and ostentatious, it's a great effort from Lincoln, who has been struggling to find their way in a crowded marketplace in recent years.

Pros: Great power from its EcoBoost engine, surprisingly agile

Cons: American luxury styling may be slightly dull to some, performance comes at the slight detriment of ride quality

Bottom Line: While the Lincoln brand may be struggling a little to find its identity (with help from Matthew McConaughey), the MKZ certainly makes a statement worth noting.

Starting at $35,170

11. 2017 Infiniti QX30


Once the realm of dull economy cars, hatchbacks – especially compact crossovers – are coming back in a big way.

The brand-new Infiniti QX30 wears its hatchback body proudly, and looks classy doing it.

Despite its compact package, you'll have plenty of space to haul just about anything, and don't worry about blind spots – Infiniti has one of the best back-up cameras in the business.

Pros: Tons of space for passengers and cargo, great tech features you’ll love

Cons: Hatchback body style isn't for everybody, heavy steering

Bottom Line: If you're looking for something a little different from your entry-level luxury car, look no further than the Infiniti QX30 (and don’t be surprised when several people ask you about it).

Starting at $29,950

10. 2017 Buick Encore


Another compact crossover, the Buick Encore manages to pack a lot of Buick into a small package at an incredible price point. Like any Buick, expect little in the way of road noise but also little in the way of performance. Still, if a compact city car with luxury appointments sounds like your idea of a good time, you should definitely give this year’s Encore a chance.

Pros: Quiet, comfortable cabin, smooth ride

Cons: Somewhat dull performance, feels less like a luxury car and more like a nicely-appointed mid-priced car, which doesn’t affect its looks but is worth noting

Bottom Line: Like a slow ballad at the end of a hair-metal show, this Encore might be your favorite part of the night.

Starting at $22,990

9. 2017 Volvo V60 T5


The Volvo V60 T5: once the exclusive domain of liberal arts college professors, the classic Volvo wagon has gradually evolved into a seriously cool ride for urban hipsters and aging hippies alike.

Simply put, it's a car that your mom and your girlfriend will both think is cool, and with Volvo's reputation for bulletproof reliability and bomb-proof safety, we're quite inclined to agree.

While the MSRP is just a hair over $35,000, if you’re considering similar competitors, you will definitely want to keep this one on your shortlist.

Pros: Great space, visibility, safety, and performance

Cons: Volvo's abbreviated dealer network may cause concerns for service & repairs

Bottom Line: No longer “so weird/ugly it's cool,” this Scandinavian supermodel is just flat-out cool. Keep an eye out for this one on the road - I have a feeling you’ll be seeing it everywhere.

Starting at $36,150

8. 2017 BMW X1

Car Guru

The new BMW X1 is now more car-like than ever, sharing its underpinnings with the Mini Cooper.

While the previous X1 was a great crossover, the new BMW X1 takes it to the next level with additional refinement - a much nicer interior means it’s a better place to spend time than ever.

Pros: Fantastic interior, plenty of useful space for people or stuff

Cons: Front-wheel drive platform lacks BMW character, slightly less performance than before (according to some)

Bottom Line: Sometimes, it feels like BMW can do no wrong, even when they try their hand at building a front-wheel-drive crossover. This is one of those times.

Starting at $33,100

7. 2017 Mini Cooper S


The MINI Cooper S is one of those cars you either love or you hate.

How anyone could hate this eager, sporty hatchback is a mystery to us, but its unique character really speaks to some drivers who expect more fun, performance, and luxury out of their hatchbacks.

With excellent performance and an impressive pedigree, the MINI Cooper is a great alternative to the entry-level luxury status quo.

Pros: Incredible chassis and performance, especially the Cooper S and John Cooper Works model

Cons: Retro interior features (like the switchgear) are quirky for the sake of being quirky, but may be to the detriment of functionality

Bottom Line: Whether you’re a wannabe racing driver or a fashion-conscious Anglophile, there’s a lot to love in this tiny package.

Starting at $24,400

6. 2017 Audi Q3

car preview

Like the A3 we mentioned before, the Q3 takes Audi’s typical attractive upmarket styling and impressive driving dynamics and applies it to a sporty crossover.

As well as it drives, the really impressive aspects of its personality are its compliant ride and quiet cabin.

Typical of Audi, top-notch build quality will leave you feeling like you got the steal of the century, even if you pay MSRP.

Pros: Soft ride and great handling, fantastic interior

Cons: Attractive roofline comes at the cost of some cargo room, not as quick as it should be

Bottom Line: The Q3 is a lower-priced version of the Q5 and Q7 that won’t leave you wishing for more.

Starting at $31,800

5. 2017 Lexus NX


The new Lexus NX is another entry into the crowded luxury compact crossover segment. 

Typical Lexus precision abounds - the interior build quality is especially impressive. While it doesn’t excel at any one thing, it’s proof that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Pros: Fantastic Lexus build quality and reliability

Cons: Polarizing styling, somewhat sluggish performance

Bottom Line: The Lexus NX is like a baseball player whose stats aren’t impressive but gets picked for the All-Star team every year - packed full of intangibles, its virtues can’t be quantified with mere numbers.

Starting at $34,965

4. 2017 Infiniti Q50


Everyone starting taking Infiniti seriously when they released the G37, a bonafide BMW 3 Series competitor.

Now, the Q50 carries on that tradition, with an even more upmarket interior and more technology than ever, with not one but two huge screens in the dashboard.

Pros: Excellent technology integration and interior finish quality

Cons: Base model is low on power, chassis not as sharp as its predecessor

Bottom Line: This more grown-up Infiniti midsize is a worthy successor to the excellent G37.

Starting at $33,950

3. 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250


While the Mercedes-Benz GLA may look like just another compact crossover, it’s secretly a hot hatchback in the vein of the MINI Cooper.

With handling this good, you may never make it to the MINI dealer, especially after taking in the sights inside the cabin. Despite its low price tag, it has the look (if not the feel) of a Mercedes-Benz.

Pros: Sharp chassis offers excellent handling, beautiful interior trim

Cons: Interior comfort isn’t what you’d expect from a Mercedes, not much space for luggage

Bottom Line: A more grown-up luxury hot hatch that’s a different kind of stylish for a different kind of buyer.

Starting at $32,850

2. 2017 Mazda6

Motor Trend

If you’re buying a base model luxury car, you are more than likely looking to not only feel wealthy but appear wealthy as well. So why is a Mazda on this list?

Consider the following: in the late 1980s, when Japanese manufacturers Honda, Toyota, and Nissan set up separate brands to sell their luxury models (Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti, respectively), Mazda proudly sold their range-topping 929 with a Mazda badge.

They’ve come a long way since then, and if you want a real value, you can have a fully loaded Mazda6 for thousands less than stripped-down versions of its luxury competitors.

Pros: Best interior in its class, gorgeous body styling, impressive reliability and fuel economy

Cons: The badge won’t impress your friends or co-workers, higher-than-normal interior noise levels

Bottom Line: If you want to live rich instead of just looking rich, consider the Mazda6. It’s a real value that will last.

Starting at: $22,780 

1. 2017 BMW 320i

car guru

The BMW 320i is a tremendous value, and a great choice for performance-minded enthusiasts.

Sharing most of its engine architecture in common with the outgoing BMW 328i model, it has adequate performance that can be augmented with the Sport Package or Track Handling Package.

Pros: Excellent chassis, respectable performance, and fuel economy

Cons: Low on power, fewer available options than 330i

Bottom Line: It's a true driver's car for discerning enthusiasts at a price that won't break the bank.

Starting at $33,450

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