1. Audi A3 $30,825 AND Mercedes CLA $30,825
Two vehicles share the title of cheapest luxury car: the Mercedes CLA 250 and Audi A3. Compact luxury rivals, we’ve had the pleasure of comparing the two in all-wheel drive guises. The base models, found for just under $31,000 are front-wheel drive only, but still come with sporty dual-clutch transmissions.
SEE ALSO: 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 vs Audi A3
The most affordable Audi A3 comes with a 1.8-liter turbocharged engine that makes 170 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque. That’s mated to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. It comes standard with leather seating, power panoramic roof, power driver’s seat, Audi’s pre sense basic safety system and a rain/light sensor that activates the headlights and windshield wipers when needed.
In comparison, the CLA 250 sports a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that makes 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Paired to that engine is a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. It comes standard with dual-zone automatic climate control, pre-collision assist, 7-inch infotainment screen, and a choice of MB-Tex leatherette or no cost ash black leather upholstery.
While both of these cars are realtively affordable, our testing in the past has found the A3 to feel more luxurious and premium compared to the Mercedes CLA-Class, although the CLA certainly looks like a much pricier car. If you’re looking for an easy way into either brand, these cars will deliver the ownership experience you’re looking for without you spending more than $31,000.