Luxury cars are the first place that manufacturers equip their latest technology and comfort features. They have great rides and most have pretty powerful engines, too. Unfortunately, all of that tech, comfort, and power come at a premium, making new luxury cars difficult to afford. When you are looking for cheap luxury cars, you have to accept that you will need to buy a used car. While that will leave you with new-at-the-time tech, you do not have to sacrifice ride quality, comfort, or engine output.
Being average car buyers here at Gearheads, we thought about what cheap luxury cars really were. We wanted a list of cheap luxury cars that are affordable, but not so inexpensive that you have to worry about the rust holding the thing together as you drive. To that end, we defined our list of cheap luxury cars as having an average retail price of less than $15,000 (U.S.), but looked for the most recent model year that would meet that price point. We arrived at the retail prices we quote by taking the average between the value on the Kelley Blue Book website and the value on NADA Guides’ website for cars in ”Good” condition. The sites are KBB and NadaGuides. And, without further ado, here is our list of 10 cheap luxury cars. As an aside, the list is in no particular order of value or quality.
2011 BMW 328i
Before the BMW 2-series was introduced in 2013, the 3-series was the best option for those shopping for cheap luxury cars. Granted, the 1-series is less expensive, but the 1-series lacks a few things in the tech and ride comfort departments.
The 328i is the lowest trim package for the 2011 model year, but it still includes many of the tech features found in the higher 3-series packages and a few that are found in the upgraded 5-series. BMW gave the 3-series a facelift in 2010, so the 2011 model year will look like later model years. As a bonus, you can find a 2011 BMW 328i with 75,000 miles or less sitting on a dealer’s lot for around $12,500.
2010 Audi A5
Audi makes quite a few fun cars. One of the best to look for when shopping for cheap luxury cars is the A5. To be specific, to fit our price tag, we are talking about the 2010 Audi A5 with the 2.0T Premium trim package. This trim level gives you a coupe with a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder powerhouse and Audi’s amazing AWD system that has been thrilling buyers for decades. Tech wise, the A5 is a step up from the A4 Quattro and has many of the same features found in a 2010 A6.
On top of a fun driving experience and great ride quality, the A5 comes in under our price point. You should be able to find a 2010 Audi A5 with the 2.0T Premium trim with 85,000 miles for less than $14,000.