Best Luxury Cars Under $50k
If you’re looking to get a new luxury car but aren’t yet ready for a Rolls-Royce, you’re in luck. There is a wide range of luxury cars and some of them might just be a bit more affordable than you might have thought.
Even brands with models approaching $200,000 offer entry-level options in a variety of shapes and styles. In addition to the reputation of owning a car from a luxury vehicle brand, you’ll also find standard comfort, safety and entertainment packages that you would otherwise have to pay extra for, if they’re available at all, from mass-market brands. That said, as you’ll see below, it’s easy to run up a tab with luxury carmakers who tempt buyers with fancier options, materials and more. Many automakers, luxury or mass market, are starting to focus on SUVs rather than more traditional cars — that’s one reason why we broke this list into two categories, sedans and SUVs. All vehicles had to have starting prices below $50,000, be highly rated by Kelley Blue Book (KBB) experts, Edmunds consumers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and/or Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), when available. MSRPs are up to date as of publication, as are consumer reviews.
Best luxury cars under $50k
- MSRP $33,000
4.3 out of 5 by KBB experts; 4.2 out of 5 by Edmunds consumers (9 reviews)
5 stars NHTSA
Though this isn’t the lowest-priced sedan from Honda’s luxury arm, the TLX offers more space and upgraded technology. An optional V6 engine is a nice upgrade for this vehicle, but Acuras do a nice job of including standard safety equipment — a lane keeping assist system and forward collision warning alerts among them — and the TLX is no exception. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are also standard. There’s a good amount of cargo space, though Acura does offer SUVs, which we’ll describe later. With this Acura, you’ll also get a roomy, standard faux-leather interior and a comfortable ride quality without breaking the bank.
4.5 out of 5 by KBB experts; not yet rated by Edmunds consumers
5 stars NHTSA
Lexus, Toyota’s luxury brand, has added some new features to the 2019 model of its entry-level sedan. To start, Amazon Alexa voice commands now join the many other functions of the infotainment system, though it’s been noted that the infotainment system can be difficult to use at times. This car’s main advantage is its ability to provide a smooth and quiet ride. Passengers might find that the back seat is a little bit tighter than they might like, but if you’re sitting upfront, the Lexus IS is a decent alternative to German luxury.
Not yet rated by consumers on Edmunds or by KBB experts
5 stars NHTSA
The BMW 3 Series has become one of the staples of the lower-priced luxury options since 1975, and it’s quite easy to see why. Modern luxury meets traditional German engineering with a sharp and athletic ride quality and handling. You’ll have two options with the BMW: a practical everyday wagon and a sporty sedan. For 2019, the sedan gets a refresh, while the wagon carries over unchanged.
- MSRP $35,000
Not yet rated by KBB experts; 5.0 by Edmunds consumers (7 reviews)
5 stars NHTSA
The long-awaited price cut on the Tesla Model 3 is finally here. But if you want a longer range or the luxury interior the brand is known for, you’ll still have to spend more than $30,000 on the brand’s least expensive electric car. The upgrades are tempting — the base model priced above doesn’t include standard luxury features like a leather interior or even power seat and steering wheel adjustments, and not to mention classic Tesla draws like autopilot ($3,000), full self-driving capabilities ($5,000), a longer-ranged battery ($8,000) or all-wheel drive, which requires either the longer-ranged battery or the higher-priced performance package. However, Tesla has near-cornered the all-electric luxury sedan market, as many brands are focusing their efforts on electric SUVs. You will get 220 miles of range in the base model’s standard range battery with impressive performance including a 5.6-second 0-60 time.
Best luxury SUVs under $50,000
- MSRP $33,700
4.7 out of 5 by KBB experts; 4.2 out of 5 by Edmunds consumers (21 reviews)
Volvo’s lowest-priced SUV, the XC40 is on the smaller side for an SUV — critics note that its cargo room is limited — but it does offer a fair amount of thoughtful storage solutions to maximize your space. It’s big on technology, adding a standard digital driver display and a 12-inch infotainment screen, complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, but also comes with safety features (collision avoidance technology and lane keeping aid, among them) and standard leather seats. Overall, the XC40 may be a great option for someone looking to step up in size, perhaps from their current luxury sedan, without paying too much more.
4.6 out of 5 by KBB experts; 3.7 out of 5 by Edmunds consumers (105 reviews)
5 stars NHTSA; IIHS Top Safety Pick+
After a redesign for 2019, the Acura RDX is back and boasting new tech features in its third generation. Not to be confused with Acura’s larger three-row MDX, this SUV still offers an impressive standard suite of driver assistance features, plus an infotainment system with phone integration for iPhone and Android. The base model also comes equipped with a panoramic sunroof and heated front seats. For the price, the base model RDX offers a pretty good value. Lots of smart storage room and passenger space also give this SUV an advantage over smaller competitors.
- MSRP $40,700
4.6 out 5 by KBB experts; 4.6 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds (7 reviews)
IIHS Top Safety Pick+
As with many of Mercedes’ models, the GLC-Class gives you a variety of options, including packages for additional safety or convenience features, though they could easily drive up the base price to well above the $50,000 mark we’ve set here (all-wheel drive will also add to the price). The base GLC 300 trim offers standard features like heated front seats, a memory driver’s seat and a house-current power outlet, just like you’d see at home. The back seat offers a generous amount of legroom and headspace, making this SUV ideal for family life. A plug-in hybrid makes for more fuel efficiency too, though at a slightly higher price point.
- MSRP $41,000
not yet rated by KBB experts; 4.8 out of 5 by Edmunds consumers (16 reviews)
Top Safety Pick Plus by IIHS
As the 3 Series is to BMW’s entry-level luxury sedan market, the X3 is to the SUV segment. It comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine in its most basic form, and even the base model is lauded for class-leading cargo space and plenty of room for passengers. All-wheel drive is a $2,000 option on the X3. That said, you might need to be careful with the X3 if you’re overly budget-conscious — you might find that add-ons add up quickly.
Financing your new luxury vehicle
If you’re looking to finance your next luxury vehicle, consider shopping around to find the best rate. We’d also suggest getting preapproved before you start shopping, just so you know what rates, lenders and more are available to you. You could receive up to five potential loan offers by filling out a single online form on LendingTree.
The luxury vehicles included on this list were chosen using ratings from both experts and consumers, as well as safety ratings. We’ve looked at vehicles with starting prices of $50,000 or lower and those scoring at least 3 out of 5 by consumers on Edmunds and KBB experts. We also considered safety ratings. Prices listed here are for the base price of each model at time of publication.