The average person spends two and a half hours in his/her car daily. That’s longer than sitting through the average Hollywood movie. It’s also more time than we spend eating, running, or making decisions like which luxury car to buy. Nobody wants to spend that time cramped in a little car with roll-up windows and no A/C. We want comfort. We want convenience. We want a rolling home away from home. However, we don’t want to clean out our bank accounts to have it. With more and more gadgets becoming standard, consumers are reaping the benefits of more luxury for less money. Here’s a look at some of the most affordable luxury cars out there, the best new luxury cars for under $30,000.
1.) 2011 Hyundai Azera Base MSRP: $25,495
Nothing says love like legroom and this one has some to spare. 44 inches of it in the front seat and 38 inches in the back mean you won’t have to stop as often to stretch your legs on those long trips. An improved 3.3L V6 engine will pump out 260 horsepower and, for those of you who desire that little extra bit, there’s also an available 3.8L V6 that will push 283 ponies. Both engines are matched with a new 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. Gas mileage numbers are in the area of 20/28mpg (city/highway) with the 3.3L V6.
One of the nicest features of any luxury sedan is the ability to ensure the safest ride available. With eight standard airbags, active front head restraints to help prevent whiplash, Tethers for Children (LATCH) system and three-point seatbelts for all positions, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), a Traction Control System (TCS), and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), which optimizes brake performance, Hyundai has made this one of the safest vehicles on the road. Three trim packages include a “Premium Package”, “Navigation Package”, and “Ultimate Package” which includes all the trimmings.
2.) 2011 Buick Regal Base MSRP: $26,245
Buick has been on the borderline of luxury and economy for a long time. With the 2011 Regal, they may have tipped the scales. Available with a 2.4L DOHC 4-cylinder engine, this one provides one of the best fuel economies of all in the luxury class, sporting 20/30mpg (city/highway).
The list of options and gadgets for the Regal is not overly astounding and there’s nothing super flashy about this model. What it does provide, however, is simplicity in design and build. Legroom and interior features are comparable to other models in its class but the lack of bells and whistles shows that Buick had the reliability and performance of the vehicle first and foremost in their minds. With a base price slightly above $26K, you may feel like you should’ve paid more when you drive it.
3.) 2011 Saab 9-3 Base MSRP: $28,900
Classified as a compact luxury car, the 9-3 should turn some heads with both its performance and style. Available with 1.4L and 2.0L, both turbocharged and both 4-cylinder, engines, the 9-3 should make your pulse quicken with its performance. Transmission options include a 6-speed manual and new 6-speed automatic.
Most options are carried over from previous models and include a navigation system, rear-obstacle detection, steering-linked xenon headlamps, sport suspension, upscale interior trim, anti-skid system with traction control, and heated seats.