10 Affordable Luxury Cars
It’s a sure sign that the economy is on the upswing when the so-called “entry level” segment of the luxury car market not only thrives, but expands to draw in a new crop of upwardly mobile buyers.
That’s currently the case, with upscale compact cars and crossovers becoming especially popular among empty nesters and up-and-comers that otherwise eschew larger models but still want a higher measure of performance and accommodations.
According to an analysis of registration data conducted by IHS Automotive in Southfield, Mich., recently debuted models like the Acura ILX, Cadillac ATS and Mercedes-Benz CLA are successfully serving as “gateways” into the luxury segment for buyers who previously shopped among mainstream brands. The leaders in this regard are actually drawing the majority of their sales away from non-luxury nameplates.
“The fact that many luxury models are pulling more than half of their conquests from non-luxury models suggests the line between luxury and non-luxury is blurry at best,” says IHS Automotive Solutions consultant Tom Libby. “As more luxury makes join Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi in the entry-level arena, and as mainstream makes continue to offer sophisticated products at the top of their portfolios, the division between luxury and non-luxury may fade even more.”
Not only do those buying bona fide luxury cars enjoy bragging rights with regard to brand cache, they’re afforded added benefits of ownership. These often include longer warranties and/or free scheduled maintenance programs and upgraded treatment at the service department, usually with complementary loaner cars, waiting rooms stocked with espresso bars and other amenities and cars that are returned to customers washed, vacuumed and with the fluids topped off.
Here’s a quick look at the 10 luxury vehicles boasting the highest percentage of conquests coming from mainstream segments: