Sometimes buying a luxury car is a very smart move – especially if you save a ton of cash by checking out the best used luxury cars under $30,000. It’s really a no-brainer when you consider that new luxury cars cost anywhere from mid-$30,000 to high-$60,000, depending on vehicle size, make, model, and options. So, if you’re a savvy shopper and do your homework, you can find a real bargain among these luxury cars that are a year to a few years old.

How’d we arrive at this list? While Consumer Reports most recent listing of “Best Used Vehicles for Under $20,000” doesn’t match our price point target, it does indicate some luxury makes as a good starting point. We just checked out later model years for the same cars. As for an idea of price, we use Edmunds True Market Value (TMV).

  • 2009-2010 Audi A3Introduced to the U.S. in 2006, Audi’s entry-level small hatchback wagon is an excellent choice for discerning consumers looking to save a buck. Edmunds TMV for the 2009 Audi A3 ranges from $21,580 for the 2.0T to $29,381 for the 3.2 Quattro (the only one with 3.2-liter V6 engine). TMV for 2010 models ranges from $27,270-$30,850. Note that the 2.0T Premium Quattro is the top-of-the-line and the only one with all-wheel drive for 2010. A clean-burning 2.0-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine joins the lineup. Kelley Blue Book comments: “Hungering for a European sports sedan like the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, or Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but can’t quite justify the expense? If so, the 2010 Audi A3’s taut handling, sophisticated design and hatchback versatility, at a price lower than those worthy machines, could make this car a keeper.”
  • 2008-2009 BMW 3-SeriesLong the benchmark in the entry-level luxury car market, the 2008-2009 BMW 3-Series offer consumers the full feel of luxury without the painful cost of new. Actually, 3-Series got a complete makeover for 2006, marking the beginning of the car’s fifth generation. In 2009, 3-Series got the 335d and its diesel engine, and xDrive debuted as the name for all-wheel drive models. Edmunds says: “The BMW 3-Series is still the standard-bearer of the compact-luxury sport class. It is a mixture of perfectly sorted and balanced vehicle dynamics, abundant and smooth power, a wide range of configurations to suit any buyer and available all-wheel drive for those who can’t afford to let a little inclement weather stand between them and their well-appointed journeys.”  For 2008 models, check out sedan and coupe with Edmunds TMVs ranging from $25,716-$34,349. Other models and trims are higher. Expect to pay a bit more for 2009, and only the 328i coupe, sedan, and wagon fit the price target. You can get a 328i xDrive sedan, though, if that’s to your liking.
  • 2008-2009 Cadillac CTSCar and Driver named the 2009 Cadillac CTS one of its “10Best Cars” – a distinction repeated again in 2010. The midsize luxury sedan from Cadillac has come a long way, indeed, and now competes with the best of the European luxury makes. Car and Driver says: “We were impressed with its dynamics, its upscale interior, the performance of its optional 304-hp, 3.6-liter direct-injection V6, its slightly softened but still distinctively edgy styling, its overall refinement, and the fact that it offers manual as well as automatic transmissions. We’re still impressed.” Edmunds TMV for the 2008 Cadillac CTS ranges from $24,349-$26,017, while the 2009 model ranges from $26,314-$30,154.

Need more choices for Best Used Luxury Cars Under $30,000? Not to worry, there are a few more to consider, including: 2008-2009 Acura TL, 2008 Infiniti G35 and G37, 2009 Volvo S60, and 2006-2007 Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

To see all cars under $30,000, click here.

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