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Top 5 Entry Level Luxury Cars under $40,000 for 2014 Model Year

There are qualities that are associated with luxury car brands that you just can't get with even the flagship models from Toyota or Honda.  I won't be going into the details of what they are, but you know why you want to get into the driver seat of one of those prestigious cars.

There were times when entry level luxury vehicles were just a few steps away from the standard brand equivalents.  The three largest Japanese automakers created luxury brands a while back, and they used to sell the entry level luxury cars that were used to be labeled as "Glorified Honda/Toyota/Nissan".

However, the times have changed now, and the competition in this segment of vehicles are stronger than ever, which means the automaker must offer more for the money.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The overall proportions in exterior design has not changed excessively for 2014  C-Class, but this is a whole new car with a big list of improvements.  Mercedes-Benz C-Class has been doing very well in recent years against its prime rival BMW 3-series after the company made the car much sportier.

The C-Class has gone in for a thorough interior makeover in the intervening years, receiving a fresh dashboard look with up-to-date technology, while the old base V6 engine has been ditched in favor of a turbocharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder that gets 31 miles per gallon on the highway.

If you opt for C250 which is available as a coupe, sports sedan and luxury sedan, you can get into one for less than $40,000.  Just make sure not to get every option listed on the order form.

BMW 3-Series

The 3 Series have matured with its latest design transforming into noticeably larger dimensions in exchange for taut performance.  The car is surely more accommodating now as a result.  It can comfortably carry four adults, and the cabin is airier and more upscale.

2014 BMW 3 Series is available in new sport wagon, Gran Turismo, and sedan.  The most popular trim, 328i comes with an excellent turbocharged 4-cylinder rated at 240 hp and 33 mpg, but that will cost you slightly over $40,000 unless you want to order one in almost bare-bone configuration

The 3 Series also offers more affordable 2014 320i sedan (180 hp), which will keep the price under $40,000 even with generous selection of optional features.

Cadillac ATS

The rear-wheel-drive ATS sport sedan is only "entry-level" in its compact size. Otherwise, it carries all the qualities that are commonly associated with Cadillac. The ATS stands out for its impressive interior quality, exceptionally sharp styling and cutting-edge CUE system, which turns the center stack into a touch-based infotainment center. 

2014 Cadillac ATS comes in a whopping 16 trims with base price ranging from around $33,000 to $48,000.  In order to keep the price under $40,000, you will have to choose one of the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder or 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo variants.  The strong and fuel-efficient turbo 4-cylinder with 272 HP is very tempting as it  cost only $2,000 more than the 2.5-liter producing only 202 HP.

No matter which trim you end up selecting, ATS will deliver a comprehensive luxury experience. By the way, if you happen to enjoy spirited back-road driving, the ATS is one of the best-handling sedans today and it's available in auto and manual gearbox.

Audi A4

Though entry-level luxury sedan competitors are plenty, the 2014 Audi A4's commendable blend of attributes is hard to beat.

High-quality cabin, good fuel economy, sporty handling and excellent crash test scores are some of its best selling points.

For 2014, the Audi A4 produces 220 horsepower, up from 211 a year ago. A few more features, including Bluetooth and an iPod interface, are now standard.

Every 2014 Audi A4 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) are standard, while all-wheel drive is available with either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission. 

The price starts at around $34,000, making it one of the most affordable luxury car.

Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

For many shoppers in this segment of vehicles, it's not a deal breaker whether the car is driven with the front or rear wheels.  RWD has always been associated with luxury cars, and CLA becomes the first car from Mercedes designed as front-wheel-drive.  

But don't he so disappointed yet as CLA250 is also available with Mercedes-Benz legendary 4MATIC system. 

The CLA actually gets a more powerful base engine than the venerable C-Class, sporting a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with 208 horsepower and a healthy 258 lb-ft of torque. Starting around $30,000, the CLA is not only the most affordable car with a 3-pointed star but the lowest priced one in our list of "Top 5 Entry Level Luxury Cars".

Top 5 Entry Level Luxury Cars under $40,000 for 2014 Model Year Reviewed by Blogs on 11:53 PM Rating: 5

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