Think you need to spend $70,000 for a car that looks (and drives) like a little slice of heaven? Think again, lady. As it turns out, you can get top-of-the-line technology, style and features without blowing your entire salary. Want super-soft leather seats with built-in massage? Check. Need a third row and seating for seven? We hear you. Concert quality audio? You bet! Check out our favorite luxury cars under $40,000, all of which have been personally vetted by the auto gurus at A Girls Guide to Cars.
Tesla Model 3 Sedan
Cost: A starting price of $35,000, and there may be federal tax incentives and state credits to further reduce your spend. (For reference, the cost is significantly lower than other Tesla models. The Model S sedan starts at $71,200 and Model X crossover starts at $81,200.)
Selling Points: For starters, guys, it’s a Tesla. But besides being just crazy cool and exclusive, it’s also pretty damn practical. This mass-market sedan offers a range of 215 all-electric, zero-emissions miles all on a single charge—more than double the range of the Nissan Leaf. And a Supercharger station can power up the Model 3 in 20 minutes, so a road trip in this EV is possible (as long as there are Supercharger stations along the route).
Read more about the Tesla Model 3 here.
Mazda CX 9 SUV (with 3rd row)
Cost: A starting price of $32,280.
Selling Points: Need a third row and seating for seven? This is your guy. Mazda has been working hard over the past few years to reshape its historically mid-level brand into a premium one, and in addition to a fun drive experience, it are now outfitting their models with luxurious touches such as leather seating, refined design and top safety features. The first model to get the upgrades is the family-focused CX-9, a three-row crossover that could easily pass for something far more expensive.
Cadillac XT4 SUV
Cost: The Luxury (entry) model starts at $35,790. Upgrade to the premium Luxury model with Bose premium sound system and leather seats for $40,290.
Selling points: The Cadillac XT4 gives you ample space but not too much, making it easy to park and drive, especially in the city. We found that while the XT4 is technically a compact SUV, it really doesn't feel like one. And it packs in plenty of extras like an optional panoramic sunroof, a live view rear view mirror, a wireless charge pad that doubles as a great place to hold your phone and even massaging front seats, which are part of the heated seat package.
Read the complete review of the Cadillac XT4 here.
Volvo XC40 SUV
Cost: A starting price of $35,200.
Selling points: Both the exterior and interior of the Volvo XC40 impressed us. Said our tester: "From the white upholstery to the streamlined infotainment system with an oversized touch screen, the Volvo’s design language takes a cue from its Swedish roots. The XC40’s door panels are a minimalist take on traditional doors with a large, wide pocket perfect for a laptop or oversized water bottles. The armrest with window controls floats on a carpeted background, creating a soft, modern effect." And even the base model comes with a lot of bells and whistles: A nine-inch touch screen infotainment system, digital driver display, road sign display, Apple Car Play/Android Auto, Wi-Fi hot spot, lane keep assist, forward crash mitigation, leather upholstery and five drive modes including all-wheel drive.
Read the complete review of the Volvo XC40 here.
Lexus ES350 Sedan
Cost: A starting price of $36,900.
Selling points: While this car is jam-packed with fancy technology and luxurious interior features, it’s the sleek, sporty exterior that really excites. Lexus designers have given this guy a sharper, edgier look with crisp lines and a uniquely angled vertical front grille. All of which makes for an elegant silhouette—from the front hood to the rear spoiler.
Kia Stinger sedan
Cost: A starting price of $31,900 for four-cylinder turbo with 255 horsepower. The premium edition starts at $37,100 and adds a sunroof, eight-inch color touch-screen display and Harman/Kardon premium audio.
Selling points: Our tester loved the accessibility: "The interior is luxurious, and with adjustable, back-cradling heated seats, you’ll definitely ride in comfort. The storage spaces in the cabin are the perfect size for your phone or sunglasses. The USB and AUX ports are easily accessible and not hidden inside the center console. And one of the many things Kia always gets right is the interior layout of all the controls. Somehow everything is intuitive and right at your fingertips."
Read the complete Kia Stinger review here.
Acura ILX Sedan
Cost: A starting price of $25,900, which includes a 201 horsepower eight-cylinder engine, moon roof, jewel-eye LED headlights, heated seats, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and smart keyless entry. Get all the upgrades including navigation, leather seats and the technology package for $31,500.
Selling points: Forget $40,000, when it comes to an Acura, you get a whole lot of car for under $30,000! Think: A four-cylinder 201 horsepower engine with paddle shifter, sport mode that feeds the engine sound back into the cabin, leatherette seating and Apple Car Play, as well as safety features like adaptive cruise control, lane departure assist and blind spot monitors.
Read the complete review of the Acura ILX here.
Genesis G70 sedan
Cost: A starting price of $34,900.
Selling points: The Genesis G70 is the most awarded car of 2019 for a very good reason. Our tester reports: "Luxe details include quilted leather seats and door panels, contrast piping and stitching and the aluminum framed instrument panels that make the interior feel clean and luxurious.” The best part? A puddle light that beams down from the side view mirror and the door handle and becomes illuminated when the car is unlocked—so you don’t step in a puddle or fumble for the car door.
Read the complete review of the Genesis G70 here.