If you’re looking to move to upscale wheels, the best bet is to check out Best Luxury Small Cars in the $20-35K price range. These are entry-level small cars that are filled with lots of luxury features that are sure to please. One thing is certain: Once you’ve had a taste of luxury, there’s really no going back. And you can always move up to the next level from the luxury brands later on.

Here are our top picks for Best Luxury Small Cars $20-35K:

  • Audi A3Unique to its class, the 2010 Audi A3 delivers the performance of a sports car in a luxury small hatchback. Starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) fits the criteria, too, with the range from $27,270 to $29,950. A3 is available with gasoline or diesel engines and offers plenty of Audi’s trademark features, such as Quattro all-wheel drive and S-tronic direct-shift gearbox. Kelley Blue Book says: “Hungering for a European sports sedan like an Audi A4, BMW 3-Series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but can’t quite justify the expense? If so, the 2010 Audi’s taut handling, sophisticated design and hatchback versatility, at a price lower than those worthy machines, could make this car a keeper.”
  • Acura TSXWith a base MSRP starting at $29,310, the 2010 Acura TSX is a real bargain for an entry-level luxury small car. Of course, you can go up to the top-end base MSRP of $37,950 and adding in options will cost even more. Remember, however, that you never pay invoice, so work your best deal to get what you want. Consumers searching for a fun-to-drive luxury small car should really check out the TSX, especially with the optional V6 engine. High-quality cabin, lots of standard features, seamless shifting with the manual transmission and good fuel economy with the automatic are just a few of the plusses. Road and Track comments: “When driven in a more responsible manner – meaning day-to-day commuting and the occasional on-ramp Grand Prix, the TSX V-6 is a smooth-riding, quiet and powerful machine that’s wanting for very little. Combine all that with a very-cool and well-built interior (including terrific front seats), and it seems Acura has another winner on its hands.”
  • BMW 1-SeriesLong considered the benchmark for luxury cars, BMW offers an entry-level small car in the 1-Series with a 2010 128i model base MSRP of $29,150. Top-end MSRP for the 135i convertible is $40,350. BMW 1-Series is only offered as a coupe or convertible, though, so if you’re in the market for a small luxury sedan, check out the other picks. The rear-wheel drive 1-Series is powered by a 3.0-liter inline 6 that gets 230 horsepower in 128i and 300 horsepower with twin turbos in the 135i. Edmunds says: “The styling won’t suit everyone, but the 2010 BMW 1 Series undeniably offers a delectable combination of performance and manners in either coupe or convertible form.”

Other Best Luxury Small Cars $20-35K include the Volvo C30 (base MSRP starting at $24,600) and the Volkswagen GTI (base MSRP range of $23,664 to $24,269, for 2-door and 4-door, respectively).

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