October 18th, 2019 by

A dark colored 2015 Cadillac Escalade, popular among affordable luxury cars, is parked at a farm near Fort Worth, TX.

So the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “luxury cars” is probably not “affordability,” but that doesn’t mean those two things can’t coexist. There are actually quite a few affordable luxury cars and SUVs out there if you know where to look, and if you are willing to shop in the used market. A pre-owned luxury car is a great way to get fantastic features and luxurious details without breaking the bank. And even if money is no object, why not take a moment to consider a more affordable option to stretch your dollar further?

When shopping for affordable luxury cars on the used market, however, it’s important to know what to look for and shop at the right places. You might be tempted to go for a private seller in the hopes of getting the best deal possible. While it’s true that you could pay the least when buying from the previous owner, it gives you zero peace of mind and leaves you open to unscrupulous sellers and a whole range of problems.

It’s much safer to buy a used luxury vehicle at a dealership – you might pay a little more, but you get a lot more peace of mind. Luxury cars and SUVs are often used for a few years on a lease, and you know they are well taken care of (since no one wants to violate the terms of their lease) and have pretty low mileage on them. Of course, you need to know which models to look for, so we recommend you consider the following five options.

#1 – The Cadillac Escalade

Why not start with the best affordable luxury cars? The Cadillac Escalade has been the premier name in American luxury SUVs for years now, and for good reason. The full-size Escalade provides a lot of space for passengers or cargo inside, making it as practical as it is luxurious. Cadillac Escalades are well known for their powerful engines and all-wheel drive, which makes them an absolute pleasure to drive in any weather conditions, no matter where you need to go.

Interior features in the Escalade have changed over the years, of course, but have always been noted for their sophistication and style. You get great tech options, though newer models will have more features, as you would expect. The Cadillac Escalade has also been hailed as a very safe vehicle, so you can drive with confidence.

We recommend looking for models from the most recent generation, which started in 2015. You’ll get the best combination of features with a newer used Escalade. If you got a bit further back, then you can save more money, but you’ll miss out on the latest technology.

#2 – The Acura MDX

If you’re looking for an SUV that is a little smaller than the Cadillac Escalade, then something like the Acura MDX is a great choice. Among affordable luxury cars, this is one that you will find pretty often, and though it might not have the prestige of a Cadillac, it is still a great option. In general, the MDX is not quite as powerful as the Escalade, but you can still find it with all-wheel drive for great overall performance.

Tech options and safety features have been excellent in the Acura MDX, as you would expect, and it has a sleek overall design. We suggest looking for a model from 2014 or newer, as this was the start of the most recent generation for these vehicles. There was a mid-generation update and facelift in 2017, so these models look a bit different, and they had more advanced safety features standard. A hybrid option also became available on 2017 models, so that’s something to look for as well.

#3 – The Cadillac SRX

As you can tell so far, when it comes to looking for affordable luxury cars, the model year and generation is pretty important. With that in mind, consider the Cadillac SRX, which is no longer in production, and was available most recently in its second generation from 2010 to 2016. Since this vehicle is not in production anymore, it’s fairly easy to find used models at very good prices, even newer ones.

The SRX was a mid-size luxury SUV that had a distinct angular style to it and included a lot of great features. One issue to be mindful of was an engine recall on some 2010 models, but as long as you buy from a reputable dealership, that should not be a concern. A more powerful engine became available starting on 2012 models and was standard throughout the rest of its run, so later model years will get you more power and better overall tech and safety features.

Due to a facelift and update in 2013, we recommend SRX models from that year or later when looking at affordable luxury cars. The SRX was replaced by the Cadillac XT5 in 2017, so if you want something much newer, then check that model out. Just keep in mind that used XT5s are likely to be more expensive.

#4 – The BMW 3 Series

Of course, we cannot talk about affordable luxury cars without looking at the legendary BMW 3 Series. For years these have been the best-selling BMWs on the road, and used models open up a very real opportunity for a wide range of drivers to experience what BMW has to offer. Many of these models hit the used market after a lease, so they are typically in fantastic condition.

When looking at the BMW 3 Series, you’re going to find models going all the way back to the 1970s, but we would generally suggest sticking to the most recent generations. The sixth-generation ran from 2011 to 2019, and there are a lot of fantastic vehicles to be found within these years. You’ll find these as sedans, since the coupe and convertible options switched to the BMW 4 Series, but they have great engines and fantastic interior options.

#5 – The Cadillac ATS

Finally, our search for the best affordable luxury cars leads us to the Cadillac ATS, a sleek and stylish answer to what BMW has to offer. This is a fairly new option overall, so you won’t find lots of generations to choose from, but that’s not a bad thing at all. It has been available as a four-door sedan for its entire run, starting in 2013, but a two-door coupe became available with model year 2015 to compete with the BMW 4 Series.

A number of different engines and transmissions, along with different driver configurations, have been available over the years, so you’ll need to really pay attention to all of your options when shopping for a Cadillac ATS. For example, a 2013 model could have a 2.5L engine with 6-speed automatic transmission, while a 2016 ATS could have a 3.6L V6 engine and 8-speed automatic transmission. Just be sure to look at all of the specs of any used Cadillac ATS you like.

We suggest going for newer models with the ATS too, because that’s where you’ll find the best tech and safety features. The good news is that you don’t have to solely focus on 2017 and newer models, however, as the ATS has been a great affordable luxury car since its introduction. In addition to the engine changes in 2016, there was a model refresh in 2015, which came with the introduction of the coupe, so keep those years in mind while looking at your options.

Finding Your Affordable Luxury Car

Here at Frank Kent Cadillac in Fort Worth, TX, we have plenty of used luxury vehicles for you to check out. While we may not have all the vehicles on this list specifically, we’re sure we can find some great options for your needs. Give us a call or head on over to speak with one of our friendly and knowledgable sale people to find the best fit for you.

Posted in Used Vehicles