Balancing luxury features with long-term affordability can be difficult, but it's not impossible. For the 2011 model year, there are several new upscale cars that can be had for relatively cheap. Additionally, many of these entry-level models boast the added benefit of above-average fuel efficiency. Keep reading to review a few of the most affordable and fuel-thrifty luxury new cars on the market.
2011 Volkswagen GTI ($23,695)
If you want a vehicle that balances high-powered performance with efficiency, then the VW GTI may be a good option for you. Despite offering an invigorating 200-hp turbocharged engine, the GTI still manages a maximum of 24 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. Add in a posh, luxurious interior, and most agree the VW GTI is a good deal among the upscale class. Base models come standard with 18-inch wheels, sport suspension, alloy pedals, cruise control, Bluetooth and eight-speaker stereo.
Learn more about the 2011 Volkswagen GTI.
2011 Audi A3 ($27,270)
The Audi A3 has a lot in common with the VW GTI - sporty design, good safety features and a 200-hp thrifty engine. As an added advantage, the A3 also comes with an available 140-hp diesel engine that delivers an estimated 30 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway. Overall, luxury accessories are also more readily available than what is found on the GTI. Standard features include 17-inch wheels, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, leather seats, 10-speaker stereo and satellite radio.
Learn more about the 2011 Audi A3.
2011 Lexus CT 200h ($29,120)
The Lexus CT 200h is an all-new hybrid model from the Lexus nameplate. Undercutting the price of other Lexus hybrids, this model is geared specifically towards affordable luxury. With an estimated 43 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway, the CT 200h is one of the most efficient luxury cars for the year. Of course, this great gas mileage comes at the expense of engine revs - a fact that may leave some Lexus shoppers wanting more power under the hood.
Learn more about the 2011 Lexus CT 200h.
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid ($34,605)
With a price that matches the standard MKZ sedan, the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is the first hybrid vehicle that comes with absolutely no price premium. Base models deliver an impressive 41 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on he highway. Standard features are extensive, and include foglights, 17-inch wheels, rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, leather seats, Ford Sync technology and nine-speaker stereo.
Learn more about the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.
Low-Cost Compact Luxury
2011 MINI Cooper ($19,400)
While not technically listed as an upscale car, the MINI Cooper delivers a good boost in luxury when compared to other compact vehicles. Base features include air conditioning, six-speaker stereo and satellite radio. A good list of available upgrades also ensures you can tailor your level of luxury to meet your budget. Notable upgrades include convertible top with sunroof, foglamps, automatic climate control, keyless ignition and 10-speaker stereo. Fuel efficiency is estimated at 29 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.
Learn more about the 2011 MINI Cooper.