Even with prices starting to drop a bit on used cars, finding a bargain to fit your budget can still be challenging. Fortunately, if you’re looking to spend less than $20,000 on a used luxury car, there are some excellent choices. Autotrader recently ranked the best used midsize luxury cars under $20,000. The Acura TL, Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Cadillac CTS, and Hyundai Genesis top the list. Let’s take a closer look at what they offer.
2015 Hyundai Genesis
The Hyundai Genesis packs numerous features into a comfortable, capable luxury sedan. The 5.0-liter V8 makes 420 hp, giving it impressive acceleration. Combining that power with a comfortable ride, first-class cabin, and features like a Lexicon 17-speaker audio system gives the Genesis the skillset to compete with any car in its class.
2016 Cadillac CTS
Cadillac’s CTS midsize sedan gets noticed for its handsome, chiseled looks but really stands out thanks to its luxury and performance. Though you likely won’t find a CTS-V with 640-hp shock-and-awe for under $20K, you can get impressive performance from the 2016 Cadillac CTS. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder and 3.6-liter V6 engines produce enough horsepower to satisfy all but the neediest speed freak. Meanwhile, the interior style, features, and luxurious appointments will impress you and your passengers.
2016 BMW 5 Series
The BMW 5 Series has long been the go-to for sporty performance, but its austere interior leaves a bit to be desired. However, unlike older 5 Series sedans, the 2016 model offers plenty of luxury, including a warmer, more spacious cabin. It’s also available with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive and plenty of upgrades, like genuine leather and a Bang & Olufsen audio system.
2015 Audi A6
Audi has the recipe for a great midsize luxury car down to a science. The A6 features an ideal blend of sleek, distinctive styling, performance, features, and comfort. Evidence of that can be found in the 2016 Audi A6 Premium Plus with a 2.0-liter turbo-four. It passes under the $20,000 bar and is sure to impress.
2014 Acura TL
The Acura TL ended its run in 2014 and still ranked among the top midsize luxury cars that year. It’s easy to see why with its mix of standard V6 power, good fuel economy, and performance that hits the sweet spot of ride and handling. Available with all-wheel drive, it’s a great all-around car at a bargain price.
Is it worth buying an older luxury car?
When it comes to the midsize luxury car segment, depreciation is the key to getting an excellent vehicle for under $20,000. The cars on Autotrader’s list are less than 10 years old and sell for under half their original sticker price. They offer contemporary styling and features found on newer versions of the same models. And if it’s prestige you’re looking for, all of these cars will impress your neighbors, who likely won’t be able to tell the 2016 model from the 2022 version.
Additionally, these used luxury cars are easy on the wallet. Monthly payments averaged $700 a month in 2022, but payments on a $20,000 used car come out to less than two-thirds of that over four years.
However, the real key to affordable ownership of an older luxury car is finding one in good condition with a detailed maintenance history. Obtaining the vehicle history report and investing in a pre-purchase inspection is crucial. That can identify potential problem areas and even help you negotiate a better deal — including a lower sale price, repairs on any issues, or a discounted extended warranty.