The entry-level luxury sedan segment of the luxury car market used to be wholly dominated by BMW’s 3-Series sedan, but now there are several other cars out there that not only fit into this segment but beat or at least challenge BMW at its own game.
A good entry-level luxury car has a starting price at or below the average price for a new car, an upscale interior, good-looking exterior, and an actually usable backseat and trunk. Here are the 8 best options out there right now.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a real winner for smaller entry-level luxury sedans. The car looks fantastic and offers a more upscale interior than many others it competes with. The car is kind of the everyman luxury car and can really do it all. The back seat is on the smaller side, but the same can be said for other luxury cars seen here.
The vehicle in sedan form comes with your choice of a 255 hp turbocharged four-cylinder, a 385 hp twin-turbo V6, or a 469 to 503 hp twin-turbo V8. No matter what engine you get, you’ll also get a competent chassis and direct steering.
The Genesis G70 is a fantastic entry-level luxury car from the fairly new Korean luxury brand. The car is targeted directly at the BMW 3-Series, and it’s a darn good attempt to knock the 3-Series out of its long-standing position near the top of the entry-level luxury sedan segment.
The G70 features direct and agile steering and handling, and strong engine choices, including a 252 hp turbocharged four-cylinder and a 365 hp twin-turbo V6 option. Pair that with an upscale interior and an elegant exterior and you have a fantastic car for the money.
The Jaguar XE is the lone entrant from Britan, in terms of entry-level luxury sedans, but it’s a darn good one. The vehicle features sporty driving characteristics, a sleek exterior, and an upscale and very Jaguar interior. It’s an elegant car, and while it’s infotainment system may leave some things to be desired it’s otherwise a truly lovely machine.
Providing motivation to this Brit is either a 247 hp turbocharged four-cylinder, a 296 hp turbocharged four-cylinder, or a 380 hp supercharged V6. When it comes to how the car drives, you’ll find its taut chassis and direct steering eggs you on to take corners at higher and higher speeds.
The new Volvo S60 is a sedan that is hard not to fall in move with. It’s a true joy in almost every regard from its sophisticated exterior to its Scandinavian minimalist interior. The vehicle has a simple kind of luxury that only the Swedish do well.
While not quite as sporty as some other cars on this list, the S60 is still enjoyable on a twisty road. The engine options include a 250 hp turbocharged four-cylinder, a 316 hp turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder, and a 400 hp hybrid powertrain that uses the turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder as well as an electric motor.
The BMW 3-Series has always been one of the first picks for this segment. The car practically defined the segment for decades. Well, the competition has caught up, but only barely. The current 3-Series is still one of the best entry-level luxury cars on sale today.
The 3-Series can be had with your choice of a 255 hp turbocharged four-cylinder or a 382 hp six-cylinder. The 3-series has always been a wonderful blend of power and athleticism, and this latest generation of the vehicle is no exception.
What? A Kia on an entry-level luxury car list? Yep. The Kia Stinger is the real deal, and it’s a little bit different take on what an entry-level luxury sedan should be. The rear of the car is actually a liftback, so you have ample access to the cargo area. Despite this, I’d still say it’s a sedan. Just look at the thing.
It’s also a car that was designed to put most other sports sedans to shame. The vehicle has some of the best steering and handling of any car close to its price point, and though it’s a little heavy, it can dispatch a racetrack or twisty road with ease. You have the choice of a 255 hp four-cylinder or a 365 hp twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6.
Audi has several cars that could be on this list, but of them, the Audi A4 is the one to get. It’s the Goldilocks of the Audi lineup. The A3 is too small and the A5 Sportback is too expensive. The A4 features an upscale design and top-notch interior materials as well as excellent technology features.
Under the hood of the A4, you can get a 248 hp turbocharged four-cylinder and a 349 hp turbocharged V6. The car also has precise steering—though a bit numb—and excellent handling allowing you to take on a twisty road with ease. The Audi A4 might not be the most eye-catching of the sedans on this list, but if you just want a nice entry-level luxury car and don’t want to stand out, then it’s perfect.
Tesla Model 3
I couldn’t make this list without mentioning the entry-level luxury sedan that’s currently atop the sales charts. Tesla’s Model 3 is the best selling car here. While sales haven’t been great for the segment nor for the model in recent months, there’s no denying this model has taken the entry-level luxury car market by storm.
The Tesla Model 3 comes with one or two electric motors. In its most basic form puts out 283 hp peak power. The next step up is a 345 hp version, and the top-dog model makes 450 hp.
The vehicle can also handle itself well on a track and is a bonafide performer pretty much anywhere. Pair that with a maximum range of up to 322 miles depending on how you spec it and a sleek but upscale interior and you have a good option.