When you are ready for a new car and want to get more comfort and convenience features, stepping up into an entry-level luxury car can be a better choice than choosing a fully loaded mainstream car or stretching your ability to make payments if you bought a premium luxury car.
Luxury brands — even entry-level luxury cars — tend to hold their value a bit better, making them worth more when it comes time to trade them in. These five entry-level luxury cars will keep you riding in style without breaking your budget.
Introduced as an all-new model for 2013, the Acura ILX has new standard features for the 2015 model year, increasing its luxury value for just a $27,050 starting price.
The new standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, leather seating with heated front seats and an eight-way power driver’s seat. The 2014 Acura ILX comes with a choice of two engines: a 150-horsepower, 2-liter four-cylinder paired with a sequential sportshift automatic transmission and a 201-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder paired with a six-speed manual transmission.
Manufactured in Greensburg, Indiana, the Acura ILX also features keyless access with smart entry and push-button start, as well as a multi-angle rearview camera and the Active Noise Cancellation system, which reduces external noise in the passenger cabin.
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2015 Audi A3
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As part of its redesigned A3 family, the 2015 Audi A3 premium compact sedan brings many of the innovative technologies found in its larger flagship cars to the entry-level segment for a starting price of $29,900.
Among the new technologies, which are all firsts in the entry-level luxury segment, are 4G LTE connectivity, Bang & Olufsen audio and the Audi pre-sense basic safety, which detects an emergency driving maneuver and prepares the occupant restraint systems.
Standard features on all models include leather seating, panoramic glass sunroof and bi-xenon headlights.
The 2015 Audi A3 comes with a choice of two engines: a 170-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder or a 220 horsepower, 2-liter four-cylinder. Both are mated to a six-speed S tronic auto-manual transmission and have the optional Audi drive select system with four modes (auto, dynamic, comfort and individual) allowing the driver to adjust throttle response, shift points and electromechanical steering effort.
Cadillac’s lightest and most agile sedan is among the lightest cars in its class, making it one of the most fun to drive, with a starting price of $33,065. That’s due to features such as driver-adjustable sport suspension, Cadillac’s first five-link independent rear suspension and a 50/50 weight balance.
It’s also loaded with technology, including exterior door handles that illuminate, active grille shutters that close on the front grille to improve fuel economy and enhance aerodynamics and adaptive forward lighting, as well as Intellibeams, which automatically turn the high beams on or off based on oncoming traffic.
The 2014 Cadillac ATS comes with a choice of three engines: a 202-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder; a 272-horsepower, 2-liter turbo four-cylinder or a 321-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6. All of the engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission, while the 2-liter turbo engine also has a six-speed manual transmission as an option — a unique feature in the segment.
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2014 Infiniti Q50
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All new for 2014, the Infiniti Q50 sports sedan is filled with a long list of technology features, for a starting price of $37,150.
Features include ergonomically designed front and rear seats, dual-zone automatic temperature control, Bluetooth hands-free phone and a rearview monitor. The Q50 also highlights some first-in-the-world technology, including direct adaptive steering, which communicates input from the steering wheel to the wheels instead of using the traditional mechanical linkage, and Active Lane Control, which uses cameras to monitor the car’s position in the lane and adjusts it accordingly if the car shifts due to wind or the driver’s unintentional drifting.
The 2014 Infiniti Q50 is powered by a choice of two engines: a 328-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 or a hybrid version that combines a 302-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine with an electric motor for a combined 360 horsepower.
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2015 Lexus IS
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For 2015, the Lexus IS features a handful of updates that increase the sport sedan’s mixture of luxury and fun-to-drive qualities at a starting price of $36,100.
For 2015, all IS models are equipped with the Siri Eyes-Free feature, which uses Apple-licensed technology for iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and newer models forward to use Siri to respond to verbal requests to play music from iTunes, get turn-by-turn navigation, read notifications and calendar information, as well as add reminders, appointments and notes.
In addition, all IS models for 2015 receive a one-year subscription to Lexus Enform Remote, which uses a mobile app to remotely lock/unlock doors, start or stop the engine, adjust the climate control or locate the car.
The 2015 Lexus IS 250 is powered by a 204-horsepower, 2.5-liter V-6, while the IS 350 gets its performance from a 306-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6.