3 Best Luxury Cars for the Money in 2023
Over the last five years, many automakers have dropped most or all sedans from their lineups. Ford dropped sedans to focus on SUVs and trucks. Volkswagen and Mazda killed off the Passat and Mazda6 sedans, respectively. Overall, new sedan sales have dropped 50% in the last decade. However, some still remain popular, including luxury cars. TrueCar compiled lists of the best value choices in each segment. Here are their picks for the best luxury cars in the compact, midsize, and full-size segments:
Best compact luxury cars for the money
TrueCar starts off the list of the best luxury cars for the money with the 2023 Acura Integra. Honda’s luxury counterpart to the Civic Si doesn’t have a premium price tag. The starting MSRP is $31,300, per Acura. That much money gives you a fun-to-drive sedan packing 200 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque in a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine. You can also get the Integra with the liftback format for more room. TrueCar reviewers noted the price, roomy cabin, and six-speed manual transmission are strengths of the Integra.
Behind the Integra is the 2023 Audi A3. At a starting price of $35,400, it’s slightly more expensive than the Integra but still a good bargain for what you get. A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder mild-hybrid powertrain beats out the Integra with 201 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. Like the Integra, reviewers note it’s fun to drive.
Though it’s a compact sedan, there’s lots of room in the second row for adults. The A3 was redesigned for the 2022 model year and continues much of the well-liked updates. The large infotainment screen is easy to use with good graphics. It’s efficient (at a combined 30-32 mpg), upscale, and offers all-wheel drive at great value.
Rounding out the top three best compact luxury cars for the money is the 2023 Cadillac CT4. The smallest vehicle in Cadillac’s fleet comes with a 2.0-liter turbo four producing 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque in the base Luxury trim. Those figures put it comfortably ahead of the others on power, and reviewers note the combination of a refined ride and quick acceleration.
Cadillac’s starting MSRP of $34,395 for the CT4 puts it between the A3 and the Integra in price. However, the interior isn’t at the same level as the other two luxury compact cars, and the seats are snug in the back. Edmunds reviewers say it’s one of the only American luxury sedans, and it’s outclassed by its competitors. It’ll give you good power for a low price, but it falls a bit short on luxury compared to other segment mainstays.
Best midsize luxury cars for the money
Moving up to the midsize luxury car segment sees new manufacturers in the top choices, headlined by the 2023 Lexus ES in first. Lexus’ luxury counterpart to the Toyota Avalon starts at $42,590. The lowest-cost option, the Lexus ES 250, comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. Though that’s down on power compared to others in the class, all-wheel drive is standard. For more power, there’s the ES 350, equipped with 302 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque from a 3.5-liter V6. The hybrid ES 300h also gives you 215 total horsepower and excellent fuel economy ratings.
There are lots of luxury features to enjoy on the ES. All models come with leather upholstery, at least an 8-inch touchscreen display, and a sunroof. Though TrueCar reviewers note it may not be as “posh” as some European models, they put a premium on comfort, reliability, and efficiency, especially with the hybrid model. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the ES a Top Safety Pick+. For a safe, reliable, luxurious midsize car, it’s hard to beat the ES, especially at that price.
Acura appears on another TrueCar best luxury car list with the 2023 TLX. Acura’s midsize model starts at just $39,850 and soundly beats the ES regarding starting power. The base model gives you 272 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque from a 2.0-liter turbo four. Bumping up to the top-tier Type S trim gets you a 3.0-liter V6 making 355 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque, some of the best numbers in the class. That strong performance numbers, attractive styling, and a well-put-together interior make the Acura TLX an excellent value pick in the segment.
However, it can’t match the ES’ reputation for reliability, and the engine options are less fuel efficient. TrueCar reviewers note the rear seats are also small, and the infotainment system can be tricky. The latter was a big red flag for Edmunds reviewers as well.
Finishing out the podium is another new manufacturer with the Genesis G70. Starting at $40,525, it’s priced between the ES and the TLX. There are two trim options: the base 2.0T and 3.3T. The 2.0T has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine generating 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The 3.3T’s 3.3-liter turbo V6 gives you 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, which is much higher than the other two top choices. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional.
TrueCar reviewers enjoy the acceleration from the V6, the handling and ride, and the standard safety equipment. The G70 is one of the best luxury cars for safety and driver aids, as each model comes with a long list of features, including lane-keeping assists, forward collision mitigation, and driver attention warning, to name a few. It also comes with Hyundai’s impressive warranties, and the IIHS named it a Top Safety Pick+. TrueCar notes the downsides are the smaller back seats, braking on the 3.3T trim, and the 2.0T’s “merely adequate” power. Though it’s a newer model on this list, the G70 is one of the best luxury cars for the money.
Best full-size luxury cars for the money
Another repeat brand takes the top spot in the full-size luxury category. The Genesis G80, the G70’s big brother, is TrueCar’s best full-size luxury car for the money. Pricing starts at $51,125, which isn’t a far cry from the G70.
The G80 gets a bump in power compared to the smaller model. The base 2.5T features a 2.5-liter turbo four generating 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but an all-wheel drive trim is also available. The top trim, the 3.5T Sport, comes with a 3.5-liter turbo V6 giving drivers 375 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque. TrueCar reviewers highlight the safety features and infotainment across all trims as well as the warranty package. Like the G70, it’s also an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. Though it may not have the pedigree or sporty handling of some competitors, it’s hard to beat the value you get with the G80.
Second to the G80 is the 2023 Volvo S90 Recharge. It’s a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) that combines a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine with a 107-kW electric motor. Total output is rated at 455 horsepower and 523 lb-ft of torque. With a starting price of $71,595, that’s a lot of power for a low price. TrueCar reviewers note it’s the most powerful Volvo ever and the most powerful car mentioned in this article.
Inside, the high-quality interior provides lots of room in the back row, even for taller passengers. Like the Genesis models, it’s an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. The S90 Recharge also makes the comfortable interior enjoyable with premium leather upholstery, a 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, and ventilated front seats. Competitors like the Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid PHEV may be more sporty, as TrueCar reviewers note the slightly numb steering, but come at a much higher price. The all-electric driving range, as is the overall efficiency, is better than all competitors. The G80 may beat the S90 Recharge on price point and warranties, but the Volvo is one of the best luxury cars for the money.
Coming in third for full-size luxury cars is the Genesis Electrified G80. It takes the G80 platform and equips it with an 87.2-kWh battery pack and an electric motor at the front and rear axle for a total of 365 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. That’s impressive power, but TrueCar reviewers say it’s not performance-oriented. Instead, it’s more of a comfortable grand tourer.
One of the few drawbacks is the small trunk space. If you can look past that, the Electrified G80 gives you more luxury than the starting G80. You can enjoy top-of-the-line materials, comfort, and technology in a fully electric package that’s an IIHS Top Safety Pick+.
What these lists tell us about the best luxury vehicles
Cox Automotive reported that the luxury share of vehicle sales in the U.S. hit a historically high 18% near the end of 2022. That’s part of the reason why the average price for new vehicles remains near the record high seen in the last few years. Amid these high prices, finding value in the luxury car segment can be difficult.
Still, luxury cars are popular enough for many brands to make models for multiple segments. Compact, midsize, and full-size cars are still widely available. However, these lists show you don’t have to pay a steep price for some of the best luxury cars on the market. In fact, TrueCar’s best full-size luxury car comes at a lower MSRP than Ford’s F-150 Lariat. There are plenty of models that can give you both luxury and value.