These downright-debonair cars pamper you with plenty of comfort and style.
How long has it been since you looked for a new or used vehicle? Did your search results back then include cars with in-dash navigation systems? Was set-and-forget adaptable cruise control an option? Did the driver’s seats in your search vehicles have the ability to keep you both warm in the winter and cool in the summer?
More and more these days, such features are available in higher-end vehicles. You won’t believe all the comfort features many of today’s luxury sedans have to offer — often with prices that won’t blow out your budget.
If you want to upgrade your vehicle to something more luxurious, you’ve got a lot of available options — some for less than $20,000 at CarMax — for driving a stylish car that gives plenty of consideration to your comfort while you’re on the road.
We’ve got recommendations for a best luxury sedan that’s full of features you’ll appreciate. Take a look at these top 10 luxury cars, full of cool features, based on CarMax sales data from January 2017 through September 2017.
The ATS first hit the road in 2013 as Cadillac’s response to the 3-series BMW. And for many, it’s a luxury vehicle you can find at a relatively affordable price. Choose a 2014 Cadillac ATS and you’ll get a turbocharged (on some trims), rear-wheel drive, four-door sedan with plenty of luxurious features like remote start, parking sensors, and a warm-sounding Bose® audio system.
For Caddy fans who want more deluxe grunt, there’s the 2015 Cadillac ATS 3.6L Performance AWD Coupe. This two-door version has lots of sexy lines and luxe touches. Place your mobile device on the wireless recharging shelf in the dash of this car and top off your battery without plugging in. Pretty slick stuff.
There’s lots of oomph in the 2015 model above — more than 300 hp, in fact. Hit the gas and you’ll be pushed back into your plush, heated-and-cooled seat. Later “-V” versions of this coupe, including the 2016 ATS-V Coupe, are even more powerful. This rear-wheel drive variant comes with a 464-hp, twin turbo V6 and an optional six-speed manual transmission.
The E stands for executive, but in the case of the Mercedes-Benz E350, we think it definitely means elegant too. It’s polished and refined, and when equipped with 4Matic all-wheel drive and a smooth six-cylinder, 300-hp engine, the E350 is also plenty able. We called out the E350 in our Mercedes-Benz buying guide as a solid example of the E Class Benzes. Slide behind the heated wheel of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz E350 and it feels big and solid — bigger than its actual dimensions — and the doors click shut with legit German precision.
As for the luxurious bits, there’s a lot of them here; you can select a premium-package 2016 Mercedes E350 that comes with a panoramic sunroof, surround-view camera, adaptive cruise control, and a Harmon Kardon® stereo system.
The majority of 2014-2016 model years in stock at CarMax (as of 11/2017) are priced under $33,000.1
The CTS is a bigger Cadillac than the compact ATS described above — it’s a midsized sport sedan that comes in lots of configurations. We’ve already shared 10 things our customers like about the Cadillac CTS. For general luxury, there’s the 2016 Cadillac CTS with luxury package, which comes with leather seats, heated and cooled front seats, and almost 14 cubic feet of luggage space in back (compared to the 2016 ATS’s 10 cubic feet of trunk space).
Plus, this Caddy can smoke other luxury sedans off the line. The 2015 Cadillac CTS V-Sport is a hot four-door that puts 420 turbocharged horsepower under your right foot. Upgrade to the 2014 Cadillac CTS-V if you’d like your CTS with a V8 engine and 556 hp!
With this kind of hot performance, the cooled seats really do come in handy. We asked a CarMax buyer who specializes in luxury cars at one of our Pennsylvania stores for a quick explanation. He says cold air from the car’s AC system is ducted through the footwells and piped up through the perforations in the front seats. Customers really appreciate this setup in summer months, especially after their Caddys have been sitting all day in the hot sun.
Another smaller luxury car, the G37 is a good way to upgrade to high-end comfort in a compact package. It’s available as a four-door sedan, like the 2013 G37 X, which gives you all-wheel drive, a 328-hp V6 and an estimated 18 city/25 hwy mpg.2 That’s lots of power and solid gas mileage, plus an interior full of features like parking sensors, a Bose® sound system, and a leather interior.
For luxurious top-down driving, there’s the 2013 G37 convertible. It’s got the same engine as the G37 sedan, plus a retractable hardtop that drops down into the car’s trunk at the push of a button. If you can’t stand getting into a hot car that’s been closed up all day, use your key fob and a button on the door handle to open up and retract the top before you get behind the wheel. Cool!
Of the cars on this list, the luxury car buyer at our Pennsylvania store would choose a G37 two-door coupe, with the IPL performance kit, for his own transportation. “You don’t see a lot of these models on the road,” he says, “but I’m partial to Infinitis because they come from Nissan, which is a solid brand. It’s got a lot of power, plus a six-speed manual transmission, tighter suspension, and touches like aluminum pedals for both a luxurious feel and kicked-up performance.”
Here’s an upscale sedan for drivers looking to upgrade to something more luxurious: the Lexus IS 250, which looks great on the outside, is very well-appointed on the inside, and gives a good amount of performance. There’s a small and very smooth V6 under the hood of the 2014 Lexus IS 250 AWD, and this gives the car just over 200 hp. Certain models can be found with the F Sport factory tuning package, which includes a tweaked suspension for improved handling plus special alloy wheels and LED headlamps for sharper looks.
The later-generation IS 250s are longer than previous models by several inches, to make more room inside for passengers. The 2015 Lexus IS 250 looks great with the luxury package — real wood inlays in the cockpit and dark leather with contrasting stitching throughout. Add to this package heated and cooled front seats and you’re rolling in real comfort. It might not provide the hottest acceleration from a stop, but this trim, with front-wheel drive, delivers a respectable estimated 21 city/30 hwy mpg. 2
The majority of 2014-2016 model years in stock at CarMax (as of 11/2017) are priced under $28,000.1
We love the looks of the recent C-Class Mercedes vehicles. And the C250 is a luxurious vehicle that feels solid and substantial, too. Consider the 2014 Mercedes-Benz C250 coupe, a swoopy-looking two-door with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine plus luxe features like leather interior, panoramic sunroof, and a Harmon-Kardon® stereo system. Add this trim’s full navigation system plus blind-spot monitor and rearview camera, and heated front seats into the mix, and you’ve got a full package that’s a very solid introduction to the Mercedes marque.
The majority of 2014-2016 model years in stock at CarMax (as of 11/2017) are priced under $24,000.1
The C300 is a step up from the C250 — there’s a larger, 2.0L engine in models like the 2015 Mercedes C300, which pumps up the horsepower and gives you a good bit more pulling power from a stop.
Many of the smart Mercedes features are here to give you plenty of driver aids while you’re piloting the C300. One cool add: some models, like the 2016 C300, come with a powered decklid that automatically opens to help you out when your arms are full of groceries. It’s part of the Mercedes Hands Free Access system. A sensor near the trunk can tell when you and your key fob are close by; you wave your foot under the bumper, and the trunk pops open.
Here’s a big, authoritative, four-door sedan that’s an interesting pick for a luxury car list. But with lots of power and plenty of luxurious features inside, it’s easy to make the case. Lots of leather. Wood dash accents. Plenty of legroom and headroom for five passengers, plus Bluetooth®, voice recognition, and a customizable driver display.
And, models like the 2015 Chrysler 300 Limited give you 292 hp and good acceleration. We like the 300’s brawny silhouette, tall alloy wheels, and distinctive slab sides that give it a strong presence on the road.
Inside this model, you’ll find a Beats® audio system, heated front seats, and a panoramic sunroof.
If you’re a Lexus fan, you can see the ES 350 coming your way from a long way off. That’s due to this model’s HUGE front grille and wild, angular scoops and headlights that give it a look unlike lots of other four-door sports-luxury sedans on the road. Its styling is really distinctive, just like everything else is with this car.
Models like the 2016 Lexus ES 350 give their drivers lots of luxurious options like front seats that are both ventilated (cooled) and heated. The steering wheel is heated, too. There’s also a rearview camera, blindspot monitor, parking sensors, and Bluetooth®.
There’s also a more powerful (at least, compared to the Lexus IS 250), 3.5L six-cylinder under the hood of the 2016 Lexus ES 350, plus additional interior features like wood trim, warm and ambient lighting, a panoramic sunroof, powered rear sunshade, and a multi-speaker Mark Levinson® sound system.
The 3 Series BMW is the most popular luxury car we offer, and we usually have a healthy number of the 2014 models priced under $20,000. 3 Series mates style, luxury, and performance very well.
The 328 is one of the few luxury sedans in the segment to offer a diesel engine, for additional miles per gallon. For example, the 2014 BMW 328d (with rear-wheel drive) has a turbodiesel engine that gives owners an estimated 31 city/43 hwy mpg.2
There’s also an all-wheel drive system called XDrive that’s available on trims like the 2015 BMW 328xi; this turbocharged model packs luxurious features like a head-up driver info display, heated front seats, and stereo sounds from Harmon Kardon®.
And, if you like to shift, the 328 is available with a six-speed manual transmission. It’s an enthusiast-friendly option that gives you a higher-performance perk to go along with your luxury experience.
The majority of 2014-2016 model years in stock at CarMax (as of 11/2017) are priced under $26,000.1
What is it about the luxury car experience?
One sales consultant at our Lancaster, PA, CarMax store puts it like this: “When I have customers coming in to look for luxury vehicles, most of them want that smooth, refined touch that you just don’t get from every make and model out there.
“When you get behind the wheel of an Infiniti G37 coupe or the Cadillac CTS, you feel the difference just as soon as you hit the start button,” he says. “No matter where you’re driving one of these cars, you’re going to be comfortable and you’re going to look good driving it.”
Even more luxury car options
They didn’t make our list, but our Lancaster sales consultant reports the Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz CLA250 are popular with customers at his location. He says customers like the 2016 Audi A4 Premium’s sporty design and its Audi Quattro® all-wheel drive option, and models like the 2014 Mercedes CLA250 are a hit thanks to their powerful four-cylinder turbo engine and eye-catching, low-slung, four-door coupe looks.
Ready to shop? If you’re curious about a luxury car or SUV that’s not listed above, check out the luxury vehicles at CarMax that are available right now. Or research luxury features you want in your next car, truck, or SUV.
A note about budgeting for your luxury vehicle purchase
Have you planned out how to budget for a car purchase? Consider this as you close in on your next purchase: you could spend X on a new, base-model car with a minimum of comfort features and luxury. Or you can spend that very same X on any of the types of cars above, and get a laundry list of great touches that make you feel like you’ve really arrived!
1Based on prices on carmax.com in November 2017. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features and trim packages. Prices do not include taxes, tags, titles, and any applicable fees.
2Fuel economy and range figures are based on EPA estimates when vehicles sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov for details.
Unless otherwise noted, information relating to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.