Small luxury cars

2014 BMW 228i - exterior 2 - AOA1200pxIn today’s Thursday Throwdown, we list small luxury cars. These coupes, sedans and hatchbacks are usually the entry-level luxury car buyer’s purchase with both price and value for luxury in mind. Some buy them as second commuter cars or daily drivers next to their larger, more difficult to park full-size luxury rides.

Our top picks are chosen for their overall appeal and ranked on specific metrics. Our full list of vehicles represents the best to be had in the small luxury car segment. These 2014 models are beginning to appear as used car and dealer demonstration vehicles now, so be sure to check the CARFAX report for one you might purchase used and our Used Car Listings to find one for yourself.

Side-by-Side Comparison Chart of Top Picks

2014 Small Luxury Cars New $ MPG Safety (of 10)
Acura ILX (General Motors), 900 24/35
Audi A5
Cadillac ATS $33, 065 22/33
Lexus CT 200h $32, 050 43/40
Lexus IS $39, 615 19/28
Mercedes-Benz C-Class $35, 800 22/31
Volvo S60 $32, 400 21/30 10

2014 Top Small Luxury Car Picks

2015 Cadillac ATS - 3 - AOA1200pxLowest Entry Price: Acura ILX
Best Fuel Economy: BMW i3, Lexus CT 200h
Quietest Ride: Lexus IS, Volvo S60
Most Refined Overall: BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Most Refined Interior: Audi A5, Cadillac ATS
Most Fun To Drive: BMW 2-Series, Cadillac ATS

2014 Acura ILX

The lowest-priced vehicle in our Throwdown is also the least luxurious by comparison, but the Acura ILX has a good four-cylinder base engine and impressive fuel economy to match. The turbocharged four-cylinder option is preferred, however, for its sportier driving experience.

2014 Acura ILX
Base price new: , 900
EPA rating: 24/35 mpg city/highway
Crash test ratings: IIHS – G/N/G/G/G, NHTSA – 5-Stars

2014 Lexus CT200h - fence 5 - AOA1200px2014 Audi A4

The turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the Audi A4 is the same as the one in the A5 (below), but the A4 offers a four-door body style and a little more space in the back seat. For winter drivers, the A4 is available in all-wheel drive. A premium interior finishes the deal for many.

2014 Audi A4
Base price new: $33, 800
EPA rating: 24/32 mpg city/highway
Crash test ratings: IIHS – G/P/G/G/G, NHTSA – 5-Stars

2014 Audi A5

The Audi A5 is a nicely balanced coupe offering confident driving dynamics and composed feel on the road. The A5’s interior is very high quality with that signature German appeal many enjoy. Its turbocharged four-cylinder is not overly peppy, but it does offer good fuel economy and acceleration.

2014 Audi A5
Base price new: $39, 000
EPA rating: 22/32 mpg city/highway
Crash test ratings: IIHS – N/A, NHTSA – N/A

2014 BMW 2-Series

New for 2014, the BMW 2-Series replaces the BMW 1-Series. It’s a slightly larger, more roomy coupe than the outgoing model. The 2-Series is marked by sporty handling and great engine options, with the base-level turbocharged four-cylinder being an excellent goer for the class. This car was an easy shoe-in for our Most Fun To Drive pick.

2014 BMW 2-Series
Base price new: $32, 100

Mercedes wallpapers all models.
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