Talk about your hard calls, assembling this list of ten of the best luxury cars under $40,000 took a lot of consideration. Why? Truth be told, it’s kind of hard to go wrong with any of the cars in this category. With practically all of the traditional luxury manufacturers dipping into the market farther upstream with lower priced models designed to attract younger buyers, the sub-$40,000 category has become seriously competitive.
Still, within every class there is that one group setting the curve higher for everyone else (yeah, we hated them too). That said, here are ten of the best luxury cars under $40,000:
10. Acura ILX: $28,840
Although the ILX is basically a Honda Civic, it is a really nice Civic, featuring an interior with upgraded materials. The sole powertrain is a 201-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder with front-wheel drive. The transmission is a dual-clutch eight-speed automatic; a manual is not available. The automatic is smooth and gives the ILX more of a calm and adult demeanor, which is a welcome change from the previous generation’s high-strung character. The ILX offers value for the money versus the competition.
9. Audi A3: $31,825
The A3 distinguishes itself as a great-handling, handsome sedan (or convertible!) with an upscale interior and luxury features that set the standard for the segment. Steering is precise, the ride composed; fit and finish are superb. A 170-hp 1.8-liter turbo four with front-wheel drive and a six-speed auto are standard; a manual is not offered. A 220-hp 2.0-liter four with all-wheel drive is optional;