When the expression "luxury cars" pops up in your mind, soon comes the image of a gigantic sedan or a robust SUV, full of expensive items. But luxury cars are not necessarily large models, they can also be found in a compact form.
Those cars may have a small size, but they come out with everything that larger luxury models present: advance technology, sophistication, and performance without the heftier price tag of the bigger guys. If you want to go small without compromising performance and your luxury needs, these compact models are for you.
Here are the 10 of best compact luxury cars.
10 Volkswagen Arteon
Although this car doesn’t look very pretty on the inside, it sure does good on the inside. Starting at $35,845, the car comes with good drivability, although it can be not as brisk as other competing models. High-tech items and a 268 horsepower engine complete the highlights of the newly-released model, and, despite these features, Arteon “struggles to distinguish itself from competitors,” according to a report by US News. Other drawbacks include poorly designed controls and less nice cabin materials.
9 Kia Stinger
This is the car for those looking for a sporty performance yet having a luxury ride. Starting at $32,900, this is one of the most affordable cars in its category, making it perfect for those who look for a luxury car on a budget.
In the Stinger, the elegant trim and cabin, combined to its powerful twin-turbo V6 engine, provide a superb experience to the driver. Seats are roomy, and the Stinger also comes with lots of standard features.
This car is “dynamic on the road,” the US News report stated, adding that its “turbocharged engines are punchy, and its steering and braking are responsive.” That same report ranked the Kia model as the best luxury car for the money.
8 BMW 4-Series
Living up to its brand’s name, this compact does not disappoint when it comes to performance and luxury. The US News report stated that the 4-Series “holds its own in a tightly contested class, thanks to its excellent handling, high-quality and feature-rich interior, and abundance of cargo space,” despite being a little tight in the back seat.
With a starting price of $44,000, this BMW model comes with huge cargo space, a quality entertainment system, and flawless interiors. The engine, however, does not provide a more sporty performance in the entry model, even though you can upgrade the engine power as an optional item.
7 Alfa Romeo Giulia
After many years away, the famous Italian car maker has been back to the U.S. market, with a stylish luxury car. Starting at $38,500, the Giulia delivers an agile performance, resulted of its 300 horsepower engine. It also features a responsive infotainment system and comfortable front seats.
The disappointments, according to US News, are the rear seats, that “particularly small,” and the smaller trunk space. The report also stated that the Giulia “delivers class-leading performance, but many rivals have interiors that are more spacious and more consistent in quality.”
6 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
One of the best selling cars of the German brand, the 2019 C-Class comes with a series of new features, which include a refreshed styling, new turbocharged engines as standard, and an entertainment platform that features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. With an initial price of $41,400, the Mercedes model has several engine options, but it lacks performance when compared to other models, not being “as fun to drive,” the US News report said. In addition to the performance, the car also lacks good room in the second row and some distracting infotainment controls.
5 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Here’s another Mercedes hit, as the A-Class comes along as a great option for a compact luxury car. Starting at $32,500, the new model comes with a powerful turbocharged engine, a high-end interior, and a new intuitive infotainment system. The report stated, however, that the model comes with a couple of issues as “its stiff ride and tiny trunk keep it from reaching the top of the heap.”
Despite these issues, the A-Class delivers responsive handling that, combined with the other features, makes the model earn “tons of praise and places in the upper half of the very competitive luxury small car class,” the report said.
4 BMW 2-Series
BMW comes in again with a handsome coupe, that delivers high performance without forgetting the comfort while driving. With a starting price of $35,300, the 2-Series comes with a suspension that makes your ride smooth when facing rough road conditions, plus an increased power in the engine, and new advanced safety features. Those include an automatic breaking system, which was optional in previous models. The report considers this 2-Series model as “one of the most athletic cars in the class,” as it also classifies the interior of the car as “sophisticated,” made with high-quality materials that are the standard for BMW.
3 Tesla Model 3
As the only fully electric model on this list, this car has a true sports sedan performance, and it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to high technologies. Starting at $35,000, which is below average for similar models, this Tesla comes with an all-electric powertrain that delivers a smooth acceleration yet bringing a low energy cost by having a range of over 200 miles.
“Every Model 3 comes with a state-of-the-art infotainment system that controls everything from the stereo to the windshield wipers. This smartphone like system receives over-the-air updates from Tesla, and it's enticing for techies, but some drivers will find the system overly distracting,” the US News report said. Another drawback is the lack of integration with smartphones, forcing you to stop in order to change playlists.
2 Genesis G70
As being the newest sports sedan of Genesis, this all-new model has it all, and “a brisk base engine, jaunty driving dynamics, and an elegant, well-appointed interior are among its top assets,” as the report described. With a starting price of $34,900, the luxury Hyundai model comes with very athletic handling, powerful engines that deliver performance, and a quiet interior.
The US News feature also mentions that “any doubt about the ability of Hyundai's high-end branch to build an honest-to-goodness luxury car will be put to rest,” and that “the G70 isn't a good fit if you carpool with colleagues, though, as its back seat is too pinched for adults (a common affliction for small luxury cars).
1 Audi A4
This compact car from the famous German brand outpaces its competitors once again. Starting at $37,400, the report states that the car’s “interior is refined, upscale, and modern, and flourishes such as standard leather seats set it apart from rivals like the BMW 3 Series and Volvo S60.” The A4’s sharp handling “helps make it fun to drive, and the performance-tuned S4 model offers ample power,” the report said.
For those who like a sportier drive, there is some bad news, as Audi decided to discontinue the manual transmission option in the U.S. market. As a result, the brand only offers automatic transmission on its A4. The model also comes with an intuitive infotainment system and state-of-the-art technological features.