- The 2022 Audi A3 is the best bargain luxury car on the market
- Acura’s ILX makes a strong case, but the Integra beckons
- Cadillac needs more time and money invested in the CT4 to make it a contender
You’ve probably heard it from your parents while discussing car shopping. “There’s no such thing as a cheap luxury car” they’ll tell you with the same tone as that night you came home late. Thankfully, your parents were wrong about this one. There’s plenty of cars like the 2022 Acura ILX and 2021 Cadillac CT4 that will provide luxury and value. These are the best, cheapest luxury cars still worth your cash.
Which luxury car is the cheapest?
We’ll start with a car built by a brand centered around affordable luxury: the 2022 Acura ILX. It’s Acura’s cheapest offering by a good sight, at least until the release of the 2022 Acura Integra. In fact, the Integra is a direct replacement for this small luxury car, designed to bring forth some sportier DNA. For now, if you want a cheap luxury car from Acura, this is the time to buy.
Luxury features like adaptive cruise and a moonroof are standard, and there’s plenty of other nice touches to be found. The materials feel excellent for the ILX’s $27,545 MSRP, and the styling is unmistakably Acura. However, as will be common with the small luxury sedan segment, the rear seats are tight. Overall, the 2022 Acura ILX represents solid, reliable transport with a luxury touch.
The 2022 Audi A3 is a cheap luxury car worth every penny
Now, it’s time to move upmarket, and down TrueCar’s list. The brand rates the 2022 Audi A3 below both the 2022 Acura ILX and the 2021 Cadillac CT4. However, that four-ringed badge works some magic. The Audi brand cache is worth a good bit, and the A3 serves as an entry point to that brand. However, you have to pay for the badge. The 2022 Audi A3 starts at a hefty $34,945. But you’ll spend more, as several safety features like adaptive cruise are optional.
Again, as is common for the segment, trunk space is somewhat limited, even if the seats fold down. Thankfully, the A3 offers more rear legroom than the ILX. Styling might be subjective, but the looks of the A3 are hard to argue with. Audi has a look that works for them, and it’s very present here. Plus, VW/Audi’s Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) dual-clutch transmission works better than any other transmission in this segment.
The 2021 Cadillac CT4 is worth the money
Finally, that leaves us with the Cadillac CT4. The brand is a monolith of American luxury, and the CT4 is a small taste of what’s offered in cars like the Cadillac Escalade. GM has figured out how to make cars ride, and that’s the biggest benefit of the CT4. If you want a little speed, the CT4V will run you a few grand more than the sedan’s $34,590 MSRP.
As for our pick, well, it’s hard to argue with the Audi A3. Sure, it’s the most expensive here, but at a certain point, you get what you pay for. The CT4 just doesn’t offer the same level of quality, and we’d rather have the upcoming Acura Integra.