If you’re looking for a used compact car, then it’s easy to want something economical like a Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. But what if you something a little more luxurious? In that case, your options for a small luxury are limited, but U.S. News has a handy list of their top picks of the “Best Used Small Luxury Cars Under $20k for 2021.” Surprisingly, an Audi came out on top.
This U.S. News list is a mixed bag full of ties
When looking for a luxury car, you might think that would be hard to find one for under $20,000. However, U.S. News picked out some of the best cars they could find and even reached back to the 2009 model year in order to stay within the confines of the price cap.
Ultimately, the list that they came up with is filled with many German rivals from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Lexus. However, the 2009 Audi A3 surprisingly came out on top. While the list is filled with 111 different entrants, many of them were tied for fourth, sixth, and fifteenth place. We’ll spare you the details of going into every single entrant, but here are U.S. News’ top picks starting from the top.
#1 – 2009 Audi A3
Back in 2009, the Audi A3 came in a five-door hatchback form that was “sleek-looking” and included a “well-made cabin” according to U.S. News. The publication gave the A3 a high score of 9.2 and praised its “sports car-like performance and outstanding safety scores,” all of which make it a great option for a small luxury car.
Best of all, they also said that the average price paid for an A3 is $4,651 to $8,316, which is way below the $20,000 threshold.
#2 – 2013 Audi A4
The second runner-up on the list is the 2013 Audi A4. U.S. News rated the A4 with a score of 8.8 and highlighted its top-quality interior, robust engine, and “agile, yet comfortable ride.” We will say that the A4 is a great choice if you’re looking for a mid-size luxury sedan and you’ll especially like that you can find them for around $13,000 to $20,000 nationwide.
#3 – 2009 Lexus IS
It’s not too much of a surprise that the 2009 Lexus IS made the list considering the automaker’s reputation for building reliable cars. But U.S. News picked it for its upscale interior, refined handling, and the large amount of power that you can find in the IS 350 model. The Lexus IS can also be found in the used market for around $7,000 to $8,000, so it’s no wonder that the publication gave it a score of 8.7.
#4 – 2015 BMW 2 Series
You can’t have a list of affordable luxury small cars without including a BMW, more specifically a 2 Series. U.S. News likes the 2 Series’ “lively engine power and engaging ride” in addition to its superb reliability ratings.
#6 – 2016 Lexus CT Hybrid
There are actually nine cars that tied for sixth place, so we picked the top one. U.S. News likes the 2016 Lexus CT Hybrid for its great fuel economy, safety ratings, and reliability. Considering it’s a Lexus, we couldn’t agree more.
There are plenty more picks to choose from
In case you want to see the complete list of cars that U.S. News picked out, be sure to check out the full list of all 111 of them. Some of their choices could surprise you, but what’s great is that they are all affordable and cost below $20,000.