Best Luxury Cars for the Money for 2024
The best luxury cars for the money are ranked based on an analysis of their price and average lifespan, with the top-ranked models offering the longest life at the lowest price.
The best luxury small and compact car for the money is the Audi A3, with the Lexus ES 250 being the best luxury midsize car for the money. The Lexus LS 500 ranks #1 for the best luxury large cars for the money.
The best luxury hybrid car for the money is the Lexus ES 300h and the best luxury plug-in hybrid cars for the money (PHEV) is the BMW 3 Series (Plug-in Hybrid). Topping the list for the best luxury sports cars for the money is the Audi TT (coupe), while the Audi TT (convertible) ranks first for the best luxury convertibles for the money.
The best luxury wagon for the money is the Mercedes-Benz E-Class (wagon), with the Audi TT (convertible) being the best luxury 2-seater car for the money.
iSeeCars.com identified the best value (“best for the money”) luxury cars based on their price and potential lifespan. Luxury cars with the lowest cost per 1,000 miles of total potential lifespan are ranked the highest.
Luxury shoppers seeking their next new car should have high expectations. Whether an entry-level hatchback or supercharged sports sedan, all modern luxury vehicles need to offer attractive styling and an engaging driving experience backed by sufficient horsepower, confident braking, and responsive cornering. And while performance may be the first priority, fuel-efficient powertrains, offered in either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, along with high-end infotainment systems and advanced adaptive suspensions, are also worthy expectations in this vehicle class.
Traditional luxury automakers, such as Acura, Audi, Cadillac, Land Rover, and Porsche, are being challenged by newcomers like Genesis and electric vehicle brands like Rivian and Tesla. For buyers not ready to switch to electric cars there remains a wide variety of luxury coupes, convertibles, midsize sedans, and sports cars, as well as small and full-size luxury SUVs, to choose from. The best luxury cars for the money lists on this page focus on mainstream four-door sedans like the BMW 5 Series, Cadillac CT5, Genesis G80 and Volvo S90.
Shoppers seeking value in their luxury car purchase should consider more than just a vehicle’s starting price. Everything from standard and optional features to fuel costs will play a role in both initial purchase price and long-term costs. Today’s smaller turbocharged, four-cylinder engines offer an impressive mix of high horsepower and fuel efficiency, but performance fans will likely prefer larger supercharged or twin-turbo engines, despite their lower fuel economy ratings.
For truly fuel-conscious buyers seeking maximum MPG, an increasing number of hybrid and plug-in hybrid luxury vehicles are also now available.
Best Luxury Plug-in Hybrid Cars (PHEV) for the Money
- Annual Lifespan Cost
How We Rank These Cars
The Best Cars for the Money list ranks cars by their annual cost, which compares the purchase price of the car against how long the car lasts. We believe this is a good determiner of value--the lower the annual cost, the better the value.
iSeeCars analyzed millions of cars to determine how long each car can last. Then we calculated the annual cost over the lifespan for each vehicle. In the event two or more vehicles have the same annual cost, we use iSeeCars proprietary rating of the overall quality of the car (iSeeCars Score) to break the tie.
The overall iSeeCars Score is an analysis of three factors: reliability, resale value and safety. It is calculated based on the latest research and analysis by our data science team. The data analysis comes from over 12 million new and used vehicles in our Longest-Lasting Cars and 5-Year Depreciation Studies, combined with NHTSA and IIHS Safety Ratings.
Vehicles are scored in three categories:
Reliability | 33.3%
The reliability score represents an analysis of iSeeCars' proprietary research on the longest-lasting vehicles.
Value Retention | 33.3%
The value retention score is based on our data science team's statistical analysis and prediction of 5-year depreciation from MSRP to determine which cars hold their value best, using US Bureau of Labor Statistics data to adjust for inflation.
Safety | 33.3%
The safety score is calculated based on the last five years of crash test ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and incorporates the latest Top Safety Pick information from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).