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Best Used Compact Luxury Cars Under $20,000

A sizable chunk of the automotive landscape is dedicated to SUVs. But there’s no replacement for a luxury car. And in the compact class, there’s plenty of coupes, sedans and wagons to provide a premium driving experience for not a lot of money. The great news? Nearly every luxury make has an entry in this class, so there are loads of wonderful machines with distinct personalities. Hunt carefully, and you just might even find that special performance model at a surprisingly low price point. Here’s our list for the 10 Best Compact Luxury Cars Under $20,000.

1. 2014 Lexus IS 250

2014 Lexus IS

Fresh from a complete redesign, Lexus finally brought its IS models in line with the best from Germany. The chassis was bigger, and the structure felt stouter than any IS before it. The IS 250 is a great bargain with a nice combination of smooth ride and sweet handling. The 2.5-liter V6 is a bit underpowered compared to some competitors but find an F Sport model and the handling poise might make up for the power deficit. The interior is Lexus lux, making this sedan an enjoyable car for the morning commute. Find a Lexus IS for sale

2. 2017 Mini Clubman Cooper S

2017 Mini Cooper Clubman

The Clubman S is part sport compact car, part wagon and part van. In many ways, it’s the most useful of the Mini line with nearly 18 cu-ft of cargo space behind the seats, rear doors instead of a tailgate and a long, flat roof to handle people and their stuff efficiently. But aside from its practical side, this is the S performance model, so the acceleration is brisk, and its handling moves on a country road are deft. Find a Mini Cooper Clubman for sale

3. 2018 Volvo S60

2018 Volvo S60

Volvos are known for safety, and the S60 line has been tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety received its Top Safety Pick award. The S60 is available in either front or all-wheel drive and has a cool Cross Country trim with added ground clearance. There’s also an R-Line and a more extreme Polestar model with 362 hp at the other end of the spectrum for those looking for a true sport sedan experience. Find a Volvo S60 for sale

4. 2014 Infiniti Q60

2014 Infiniti Q60

Infiniti’s V6 is one of the best-sounding engines on this list. The 325 hp 3.7-liter motor has a sweet howl, performs strong and makes this coupe a joy to drive. Q60 replaced the G37 letters on the back of this coupe, but the car itself was unchanged. And that’s just fine because it’s one of our favorite luxury coupes. Just don’t expect to fit big people in those rear seats—there’s not much room. Find an Infiniti Q60 for sale

5. 2016 Audi A4

2016 Audi A4

The sweet spot for compact luxury sport sedans is the Audi A4. Here’s a machine that rides smoothly, has impressive moves on a twisty road and is packed with tech that’s not just new but easy to use as well. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder is plenty potent too and can be optioned with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive. Our pick would be one with a manual transmission for the most fun. But those are tough to find. Find an Audi A4 for sale

6. 2018 Acura ILX

2018 Acura ILX

The Acura ILX uses the same chassis as the Honda Civic. But that’s where the similarities end. Acura has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 201 and an 8-speed automatic which drives the front wheels and makes for reasonable acceleration. The ILX has a solid safety report and delivers good fuel economy. But it does fall short of some here in terms of all-out luxury. Good news? You can pick up a nearly new one for not a lot of money. Find an Acura ILX for sale

7. 2015 Mercedes-Benz C350 Coupe

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe

When someone buys a Mercedes-Benz coupe, it’s like a little reward. After all, few brands have the reputation for luxury that Mercedes-Benz does. And the C350 doesn’t disappoint. The V6 has over 300 hp and provides good acceleration. Plus, you can expect loads of luxury features, elegant interior furnishings and plenty of style too. The C63 AMG was the top performance model and is awesome, but that one is unfortunately well outside this price class. Find a Mercedes-Benz C350 for sale

8. 2015 BMW 428i Gran Coupe

2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

BMW was the first to bring the fastback roof trend to compact luxury sedans. The 4-Series Gran Coupe looks a little sportier than the 3-series sedan but the bones underneath are virtually the same. And that’s no bad thing as the 3-series and 4-series are two of our favorites in the class with agile handling and a solid chassis structure. The Gran Coupe isn’t just a pretty face; it also provides a bit more practicality thanks to the hatchback trunk. Find a BMW 428i for sale

9. 2015 Cadillac ATS

2015 Cadillac ATS

Cadillac’s entry into the compact luxury sport sedan class took aim at Germany’s best cars and, in many ways, matched them tire-to-tire. The ATS is a taut handling sedan that offers big smiles for the driver no matter how twisty the road. The exterior design is forward-looking and unique. And the powertrains (either four-cylinder turbo or V6) are worthy of praise. Make ours a black one with the manual transmission. Find a Cadillac ATS for sale

10. 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

It’s hard to find a plug-in hybrid luxury compact car at this price level. But the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron sits in rarified air. Now the battery pack is small, so don’t expect more than about 20 miles of range if you drive conservatively. But for a short commute, it could work just fine. The Sportback body not only looks youthful but adds a measure of practicality, too, fitting plenty of gear inside that rear hatch. Find an Audi A3 for sale

Best Used Compact Luxury Cars Under $20,000

  1. 2014 Lexus IS 250
  2. 2017 Mini Clubman Cooper S
  3. 2018 Volvo S60
  4. 2014 Infiniti Q60
  5. 2016 Audi A4
  6. 2018 Acura ILX
  7. 2015 Mercedes-Benz C350 Coupe
  8. 2015 BMW 428i Gran Coupe
  9. 2015 Cadillac ATS
  10. 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

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