Not every new car buyer has a safe crammed with cash or wants to take out a loan on the high end of five figures for a luxury car. Still, getting luxury features in a more affordable vehicle can be quite enticing. It is doable, and here we take a look at some potential choices. If you can’t afford a traditional luxury vehicle, try these instead.
2016 – Redesigned for 2016, the Kia Optima midsize sedan offers many features luxury car buyers are looking for, but at what is expected to be an affordable price (when the car is introduced in the fall of 2015). Such touches include available heated and cooled front seats, cloth, leather, or Nappa leather-covered seats (depending on trim), standard Kia UVO system (which includes geo-fencing, speed-alert, curfew alert, and driving score), optional 14-speaker Infinity audio system with Clari-Fi technology and 630-watt digital amplifier, available Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, rearview camera with available 360-degree monitor, plus advanced cruise control, blind-spot detection, rear cross traffic alert and autonomous braking. The 2016 Optima’s interior features soft-touch materials, real stitching along dash and doors, driver-oriented cockpit, more interior room and improved ergonomics. Three engines are offered, including a new 178-horsepower 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine matched with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The 2016 Optima will be available in LX, LX Turbo, EX, SX Turbo and SXL. Pricing is expected to begin at about $22,000 for the base model.
2015 – The second-generation Ford Edge debuted for the 2015 model year and the affordable five-passenger midsize crossover is proving as popular as ever. Almost four inches longer, the Edge provides more interior space for passengers and their gear. Due to the addition of more soft-touch materials, the Edge’s interior sports a more premium look and feel. New features available in the Edge include automated parking, lane keeping intervention, and adaptive cruise control. Models include SE, SEL, Titanium, and Sport, available in front- or all-wheel drive. Pricing ranges from $28,100 to $38,100.
2016 – Some say that the 2016 Ford Fusion is the best-driving midsize sedan in the market today, with competition really only from the Mazda6. Besides stunning good looks, the 2015 Fusion stands out for impressive safety scores, high-quality materials, a taut and inspired ride, great turbocharged engine options, and comfort, quietness and convenience on the inside. For just around under $30,000, you can get a slew of high-tech features generally reserved for upper trim levels or luxury makes and models. These include navigation, leather seats, blind-spot monitors, rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera (note that rearview camera will soon be standard for all new vehicles, mandated by the federal government). Available in S, SE, Hybrid S, Hybrid SE, Titanium, Hybrid Titanium, Fusion Energi SE, and Fusion Energi Titanium, pricing for the 2016 Ford Fusion ranges from $22,110 to $35,730.
2015 – With a refined, flowing exterior design (it’s a less-expensive version of the Infiniti), the 2015 Nissan Altima five-passenger midsize sedan offers many of the kinds of upscale features that buyers with less money to spend can really appreciate. These include remote start, alloy wheels, a rearview camera, a moonroof, Bluetooth with streaming audio, leather seating, Bose audio, heated front seats and steering wheel, and much more. A quiet, comfortable ride can nearly seal the deal. The 2015 Altima is available in 2.5, 2.5 S, and 2.5 SV trims, with starting prices ranging from $22,300 to $24,720.
2015 – For many auto reviewers, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata is right there among the best of the top family sedans. It’s more than the looks; it’s also about value. With the Sonata, buyers get a redesigned, seventh-generation model that’s better in almost every way possible. Marketed as a midsize sedan, the interior is as roomy as a large car, and back-seat passengers benefit from this. There’s better leg room and headroom – even for six-footers. As for luxury-type features, in various trims and/or available as options are: 17- and 18-inch wheels, heated front seats, woodgrain trim, heated rear seats, Infinity audio, ventilated front seats, quad exhaust tips, sport suspension, and more. The 2015 Hyundai Sonata is available in six models: SE, Sport, Eco, Limited, Sport 2.0T, and Limited 2.0T. Starting prices range from $21,150 to $33,525.
2016 Mazda Mazda6 – Get more than a little ‘zoom-zoom’ in your driving experience with a 2016 Mazda Mazda6. With a base price starting at $21,495, the 2015 Mazda Mazda6 offers a sporty ride, a positively luxe interior, excellent fuel economy, impressive space, comfort and usability – and features galore. Touring and Grand Touring models have the most standard equipment, including such luxury items as blind-spot monitoring, 19-inch alloy wheels, satellite radio, power moonroof, bi-xenon headlamps, adaptive front lighting, and 11-speaker Bose audio. The 2016 Mazda Mazda6 is available in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trims.
2016 – It’s versatile, comfortable, roomy, offers drivers some of the best handling traits in the compact crossover segment, and the 2016 Mazda CX-5 is also packed with features that delight and are generally considered upscale or luxury. In Touring models, buyers get a blind-spot monitoring system, a rearview camera, fog lamps, steering-wheel controls, upgraded upholstery, rear cup holders and an armrest. Top-of-the-line Grand Touring models include leather seats, Sirius satellite radio, nine-speaker Bose audio, dual climate control, a power driver’s seat, and heated front seats. The 2016 Mazda CX-5 is available in Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring, and base pricing starts at $21,795.
2015 – It’s not exactly a head-turner, but the extensively refreshed 2015 Toyota Camry midsize family sedan still offers lots of quality luxury features that buyers with more modest budgets will find attractive. For 2015, the Camry is available in LE, SE, XLE, and new XSE trim levels. There’s also Hybrid LE, Hybrid SE, and Hybrid XLE. Top XLE models have a features set that fairly screams luxury: 17-inch Super Chrome alloy wheels, leather seats with a power passenger seat and power lumbar, and Smart Key with push-button start, among other items. The Camry’s infotainment systems have been fully upgraded as well, so no matter the trim you choose, you’re going to benefit from a better infotainment experience. Base prices start at $22,970.
2016 – Redesigned for 2015, the five-passenger midsize 2016 Subaru Legacy hits a home run on several fronts: it’s affordable, starting at $21,745, materials in the cabin are premium, there’s plenty of room for driver and passengers, seats are comfortable and supportive, storage is good, handling is nimble, and standard all-wheel drive is an absolute plus. In addition, standard tech features include a 6.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a rearview camera, Bluetooth and smartphone app integration, and a USB/iPod input. Available features include blind spot monitoring, an upgraded 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with gesture-based controls enabling swipe and scroll (like you can do with your iPad), and Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, a camera-based system that has lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and automatic pre-collision braking.
2015 – Critics hail the interior of the 2015 Chrysler 300, saying the large American sedan has one of the nicest interiors – some call it elegant — in its class. The car also received some refreshing for 2015 on the interior and exterior. Other items in the Chrysler 300’s plus column include powerful engine options, a smooth and quiet ride, and standard easy-to-use Chrysler Uconnect infotainment system with 8.4-inch touchscreen display. Standard features include a six-speaker audio system, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, and a USB port. Available features include front and rear parking sensors, navigation, a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, HD radio, and three high-end audio systems. Available in four trims, 300 Limited, 300S, 300C and 300 Platinum, pricing begins at $31,695.