The 15 Cheapest Luxury Cars You Can Buy $40,000 In 2019

To many, owning a luxury car is a status play. Who doesn’t want a car with a prestigious badge on the hood or grille, and the appearance of wealth it bestows upon you? We have good news: For about the same money as a well-equipped mid-size sedan or compact SUV, you can have a vehicle built and sold by a full-blown, legit luxury automaker.

So, don’t plunk down payments on a $50,000-plus luxury car. Simply consult this list of the 15 least-expensive cars and SUVs available from luxury automakers. You’ll make sacrifices in size and actual luxuriousness—in brief, many are small and not as nice inside as their larger, pricier siblings. Hey, nobody said the idea of “affordable luxury” isn’t oxymoronic. Click through to see the options, ranked from most to least expensive:

15. 2019 BMW 2-series – $36,295

2018 BMW 230i 8AT

It isn’t quite the least expensive BMW you can buy—another vehicle with the blue-and-white roundel also resides on this list—but the 2-series coupe definitely is one of the most entertaining to drive. The base 230i model’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is eager and willing, and the rear-wheel-drive chassis makes for balanced and sprightly handling. It’s even available with a six-speed manual transmission as a no-cost option.

2018 BMW 230i 8AT

15. 2019 BMW 2-series – $36,295

  • Available body styles: Coupe, convertible
  • Engines: 248-hp turbo 2.0L inline-four; 335-hp turbo 3.0L inline-six
  • Trunk space: 10–14 cu. ft.
2019 BMW X1

14. 2019 BMW X1 – $35,945

The BMW faithful cried foul when the second-generation X1 arrived for 2016. To them, it was bad enough that the X1 was an SUV, but the crossover’s front-wheel-drive-based platform marked an even greater offense. Skip past that noise, though. The X1 is a practical and enjoyable small crossover, with lots of space inside and energetic driving dynamics. We’ve named it as the Best Subcompact Luxury Crossover in our annual 10Best Trucks and SUVs awards, and the attractive base price is just the cherry on top of an already appealing package.

2019 BMW X1

14. 2019 BMW X1 – $35,945

  • Available body styles: Compact crossover
  • Engines: 228-hp turbo 2.0L inline-four
  • Cargo space: 27 cu. ft.
2019 Genesis G70

13. 2019 Genesis G70 – $35,895

Hyundai’s Genesis brand is launching the G70, aimed directly at the BMW 3-series, and the new sedan’s base price exactly matches that of the outgoing base-model BMW 320i. (We left the 320i off this list because the new 2019 3-series no longer offers that low-cost trim level, starting instead with the significantly more expensive 330i.) The Genesis handily beats the former 320i in standard horsepower and features, and it has the requisite rear-wheel-drive chassis and athletic looks to compete in this cutthroat segment.

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2019 Genesis G70

13. 2019 Genesis G70 – $35,895

  • Available body styles: Sedan
  • Engines: 252-hp turbo 2.0L inline-four; 365-hp twin-turbo 3.3L V-6
  • Trunk space: 11 cu. ft.
2019 Cadillac XT4

12. 2019 Cadillac XT4 – $35,790

Cadillac’s newest entry-level model, the XT4 crossover, is a far cry from the first entry-level Caddy, the sad-sack, Chevy Cavalier–based Cimarron from the 1980s. The XT4 ticks all the major boxes for a small SUV with premium intentions, and its mechanical package is par for the class. There is a standard turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four powering the front wheels; all-wheel drive is optional. The base XT4’s low price is enticing, but the truth is that it’s not so well equipped, and getting nicer luxury features requires spending about $40,000.

2019 Cadillac XT4

12. 2019 Cadillac XT4 – $35,790

  • Available body styles: Subcompact crossover
  • Engines: 237-hp turbo 2.0L inline-four
  • Cargo space: 23 cu. ft.
2019 Audi Q3

11. 2019 Audi Q3 – $35,695

All-new for 2019, Audi’s Q3 is bigger and better than before. Less doughy and rotund in appearance, the Q3 carries forth Audi’s latest design language, which includes arcing curves over each fender, an octagonal grille, and, yes, ever more adventurous LED lighting. The interior is similarly upgraded, trading the old Q3’s dour simplicity with bolder materials and design. Quattro all-wheel drive is optional, while front-wheel drive is standard. Only a single powertrain is offered: Volkswagen Group’s ubiquitous 228-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder.

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2019 Audi Q3

11. 2019 Audi Q3 – $35,695

  • Available body styles: Subcompact crossover
  • Engines: 228-hp turbo 2.0L inline-four
  • Cargo space: 24 cu. ft.
2019 Mercedes-Benz GLA-class

10. 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA-class – $35,245

We can’t help but wonder how many Mercedes-Benz GLA-class buyers opt for the optional $450 illuminated three-pointed star for the grille. The showy light-up badge is a fitting distraction, since this baby Benz is all about highlighting its association with the glamorous Mercedes brand. Too bad it otherwise doesn’t measure up to our expectations of what a Mercedes should be. In its least expensive form, the GLA’s interior is filled with hard plastics and not much else; there is a severe lack of creature comforts.

2019 Mercedes-Benz GLA-class

10. 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA-class – $35,245

  • Available body styles: Subcompact crossover
  • Engines: 208-hp turbo 2.0L inline-four
  • Cargo space: 17 cu. ft.

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2019 Lincoln MKC

9. 2019 Lincoln MKC – $34,990

Lincoln is slowly but surely abandoning its MK-based naming scheme, a transition that has yet to reach its smallest crossover, which still wears the MKC moniker. (Next year, Lincoln is replacing the MKC with the all-new Corsair.) In the meantime, the MKC was updated for 2019 with freshened looks. It sits firmly in the compact size class, making the MKC one size bigger than most other similarly priced premium crossovers (many of which are also on this list). At its base level, the Lincoln offers a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and front-wheel drive; getting all-wheel drive, the more powerful 2.3-liter engine, or any number of luxury features will require shelling out a fair bit more dough.

2019 Lincoln MKC

9. 2019 Lincoln MKC – $34,990

  • Available body styles: Compact crossover
  • Engines: 245-hp turbo 2.0L inline-four; 285-hp turbo 2.3L inline-four
  • Cargo space: 25 cu. ft.
2019 Volvo XC40

8. 2019 Volvo XC40 – $34,695

Volvo’s smallest SUV has a cute and distinctive personality all its own, with chunky styling and a variety of interesting color and trim choices. Recently, Volvo added a value-oriented T4 trim to the XC40 lineup, bringing the base price below $35,000. It comes with a less powerful, 187-hp version of the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that powers the costlier T5 model, and it is only offered with front-wheel drive. If you’re willing to spend a little more, the T4 can be had in the better-equipped R-Design and Inscription trims instead of the base Momentum spec.

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2019 Volvo XC40

8. 2019 Volvo XC40 – $34,695

  • Available body styles: Subcompact crossover
  • Engines: 187-hp turbo 2.0L inline-four; 248-hp turbo 2.0L inline-four
  • Cargo space: 21 cu. ft.
2019 Acura TLX

7. 2019 Acura TLX – $33,995

As one of the larger vehicles on this list, Acura’s mid-size TLX sedan comes imbued with greater value to those prioritizing spaciousness. It is a genuine mid-size car with a fair number of standard technology features. Be warned that the base price won’t get you the more daringly styled TLX A-Spec with a V-6 engine and all-wheel drive (and with a torque-vectoring rear axle) pictured here, but rather the standard naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder and front-wheel drive—still a decent, fine-driving combination.

2019 Acura TLX

7. 2019 Acura TLX – $33,995

  • Available body styles: Sedan
  • Engines: 206-hp 2.4L inline-four; 290-hp 3.5L V-6
  • Trunk space: 14 cu. ft.

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2019 Mercedes-Benz A-class

6. 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-class – $33,495

The A-class is the smallest Mercedes-Benz you can buy, at least next to the relatively obscure two-seat SLC roadster. It also is the cheapest, starting at only $33,495. Unlike Benz’s first experiment with a low-cost sedan for the U.S., the CLA-class, the A-class truly feels like a Mercedes. Only smaller. Whereas the original CLA-class suffered from mediocre interior materials and at-times unrefined driving qualities, the A-class is clothed in premium materials inside and sports a slick new infotainment system. Soon, the A-class will be joined by a new, second-generation CLA riding on the same all-new platform; as before, that model will aim for more style-conscious buyers with a lower-slung roof and more daring styling than the rather traditionally shaped and upright A-class.

2019 Mercedes-Benz A-class

6. 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-class – $33,495

  • Available body styles: Sedan
  • Engines: 188-hp turbo 2.0L inline-four
  • Trunk/Cargo space: 9 cu. ft.
2019 Audi A3

5. 2019 Audi A3 – $33,495

Where Mercedes-Benz goes, Audi usually follows—and, sometimes, vice-versa. See the A3 sedan, which arrived here in the U.S. market months after the Mercedes CLA-class. (The CLA is being replaced for 2020, and in the meantime has been joined by the all-new A-class sedan that’s also in this roundup). Though it rides on the same VW Group MQB platform as does the Volkswagen Golf, the A3 feels like a true Audi. Its sleek styling and a modern-chic cabin convincingly impersonate a premium persona in spite of the wee Audi’s low cost.

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2019 Audi A3

5. 2019 Audi A3 – $33,495

  • Available body styles: Sedan, convertible
  • Engines: 184-hp turbo 2.0L inline-four; 228-hp turbo 2.0L inline-four
  • Trunk space: 10 cu. ft.
2019 Lexus UX

4. 2019 Lexus UX – $33,175

The positioning of Lexus’s new UX crossover might be confusing, considering that Toyota’s luxury brand already sells the slightly larger NX that competes in the same market segment (subcompact luxury crossovers). But this new model strikes us as a replacement for the old CT200h hybrid hatchback, something affordable for Lexus dealerships to dangle in front of new and entry-level customers. The cheaper UX200 comes standard with front-wheel drive and a four-cylinder engine with 169 horsepower, while the slightly more expensive UX250h hybrid’s gas-electric powertrain packs 181 horsepower and all-wheel drive.

2019 Lexus UX

4. 2019 Lexus UX – $33,175

  • Available body styles: Subcompact crossover
  • Engines: 169-hp 2.0L inline-four; 143-hp 2.0L inline-four, AC electric motor, 181 combined horsepower hybrid
  • Cargo space: 22 cu. ft.

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2019 Infiniti QX30

3. 2019 Infiniti QX30 – $31,245

The stylish QX30 crossover looks distinctly like an Infiniti-bred product—so much so that you’d never guess it shares many mechanical components with the Mercedes-Benz GLA-class found elsewhere on this list. The QX30 is a fair bit less expensive than the Benz, however, because its base version comes fairly sparsely equipped with cloth upholstery and a lack of posh features such as power seats and navigation.

2019 Infiniti QX30

3. 2019 Infiniti QX30 – $31,245

  • Available body styles: Subcompact crossover
  • Engines: 208-hp turbo 2.0L inline-four
  • Trunk/Cargo space: 19 cu. ft.
2019 Mercedes-Benz Metris

2. 2019 Mercedes-Benz Metris – $27,765

Hey, we said luxury badges, not luxury vehicles! The smaller of Mercedes-Benz’s two cargo vans available stateside, the Metris, wears the three-pointed star just as proudly as any other Benz. It might not look so stylish rolling around with its standard steel wheels and unrelentingly boxy body, but it surely is the most practical vehicle on this list. The base Metris is a work-oriented cargo van with rear-wheel drive and a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. A passenger version is offered, too, but it starts above $30,000.

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2019 Mercedes-Benz Metris

2. 2019 Mercedes-Benz Metris – $27,765

  • Available body styles: Van
  • Engines: 208-hp turbo 2.0L inline-four
  • Cargo space: 38 cu. ft. (passenger van), 183–199 cu. ft. (cargo van)
2019 Acura ILX

1. 2019 Acura ILX – $26,895

Acura’s smallest offering, the ILX, gains significant visual tweaks for 2019 that, counter to industry norms, coincide with a significant price reduction. The compact ILX’s new base price sits just under $27,000, placing it at the top of this list as the least expensive luxury-branded vehicle on sale in the U.S., at least by our measure. Next to its lowered price and snappier styling, the 2019 ILX also brings more standard active-safety features to the mix.

2019 Acura ILX

1. 2019 Acura ILX – $26,895

  • Available body styles: Sedan
  • Engines: 201-hp 2.4L inline-four
  • Trunk space: 12 cu. ft.

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