A vehicle’s insurance rate is a substantial factor in annual ownership costs, and even premium customers like to minimize those fees by looking for the cheapest luxury cars to insure. The trick is not to trade away too much luxury just to lower your payments, because at some stage, you might be better off in a well-equipped mainstream choice. With that in mind, Autobytel experts worked to balance both sides of the equation with today’s list, which also meant sometimes selecting cars from non-traditional luxury brands. These choices don’t stint on premium features, however, as they all boast plenty of creature comforts for discerning owners. Instead, they feature low premiums, allowing customers to spend more of their money on more of those comforts in the first place.
10 Cheapest Luxury Cars to Insure
Photo Credit: Acura
2016 Acura TLX
Finding the least expensive luxury cars to insure is especially challenging, if only because everything about premium vehicles is more expensive than for mainstream choices. But you can still shop for luxury cars that have low-rate advantages, such as reliability, easy access to repair parts, and strong safety records. Take the 2016 Acura TLX. It leverages all the underlying benefits of its Honda pedigree, while also delivering supple Milano leather seating, the brand’s striking “Jewel Eye” LED headlights, and Acura’s hallmark ELS audio for an incredible listening experience. Meanwhile, for a particularly athletic driving experience, the TLX can be fitted with Precision All-Wheel Steer and Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive, along with a powertrain that pairs a 290 horsepower V6 with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Photo Credit: BMW Media
2016 BMW 3 Series
Now, insurance rates can vary widely from state to state and driver to driver—which is why Autobytel experts are not providing specific numbers here—and a further variable to keep in mind is a car’s specific trim level. Take the 2016 BMW 3 Series. The 320i and 328i are two of the least-expensive luxury cars to insure in their own right, yet the former also can cost hundreds less for coverage than the latter. The 320i is still well equipped, too, albeit with a focus on premium performance. For instance, the entry seats are upholstered in SensaTec, not leather, but enthusiasts get to maximize fun with the car’s 2.0-liter turbo engine thanks to standard BMW Driving Dynamics Control.
Photo Credit: General Motors
2016 Cadillac CTS
The 2016 Cadillac CTS is an impressive piece of engineering, with premium amenities and potent performance that’s a match for any sport sedan in its class. Indeed, it’s worth remembering that the current-generation CTS launched as Motor Trend’s Car of the Year when it debuted for the 2014 model year. Cadillac has kept up the pace of innovation with the car as well, this year introducing the higher-to-insure, 200-mph CTS-V, equipped with a 360-degree camera system, and a major advance for its CUE infotainment system. Already backed by mobile Wi-Fi and 4G LTE connectivity, the setup adds Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. But, perhaps because of Cadillac’s domestic roots, the CTS is one of the least expensive luxury cars to insure.
Photo Credit: Buick
2017 Buick LaCrosse
The 2017 Buick LaCrosse is another General Motors product that uses its origins for an insurance advantage, although this full-size sedan also benefits by not coming from a traditional full-luxury brand. As a result, the LaCrosse is among the cheapest premium cars to insure, despite actually supplying some fairly high levels of comfort, technology, and style. The fresh design of the car’s cabin, for example, is highlighted by an extensive array of soft-touch surfaces, with the driver and front-seat passenger able to enjoy power-adjustable, leather-appointed seats that furnish heat, ventilation and massage functions. All of GM’s top tech goodies also are available, from mobile Wi-Fi to smartphone integration and a bevy of proactive driver-assistance measures.
Photo Credit: Toyota
2016 Toyota Avalon
For some customers, shopping for the cheapest luxury cars to insure is part of an overall strategy to keep down costs, and they may want to consider the larger range-topping sedans offered by the mainstream brands. The 2016 Toyota Avalon is a case in point, since it serves up a premium ownership experience that compares with smaller, more expensive vehicles where you pay extra just for a fancier name. The Avalon is a long-ish midsize sedan with a sporty and sophisticated road presence, and it’s got an interior to match, complete with details like standard leather seats with French stitching. In up-level trims, the front row also features both heating and ventilation, while the driver is ensconced in a 10-way power-adjustable throne with supportive leg extensions.
Photo Credit: Lexus
2016 Lexus ES
Of course, it’s certainly possible to find relatively cheap-to-insure luxury cars at the more established premium brands. In fact, going solely by Insure.com’s handy average-rate calculator, owners of the entry-level 2016 Lexus ES350 only pay about 3.1 percent more for coverage than owners of the top-of-the-line Toyota Avalon. And remember, the ES was refreshed just for the 2016 model year, so the current models wear the brand’s latest, most dynamic design cues, including standard LED headlights and restyled, dramatically shaped front fog lights. Lexus also enhanced the ES cabin, redesigning the steering wheel for a more athletic appearance but finding ways to add more soft-touch surfaces, too, for added comfort. Available as well: Lexus’ full suite of safety technologies.
Photo Credit: Volvo
2016 Volvo S60
On the topic of safety, many of the cheapest premium cars to insure put a sharp emphasis on occupant protection, like the 2016 Volvo S60—it’s the only car here with both a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS and a full 5-Star Overall Safety Score from NHTSA (with 5 stars in all three testing scenarios). That’s not unexpected, yet if you haven’t checked out a Volvo recently, what may surprise you is how upscale the S60 has become. Not only does it provide premium technologies such as a standard Sensus infotainment system, mobile Wi-Fi, and available Harman Kardon audio, it does so with a unique Scandinavian design ethic that definitely sets the S60 apart from its rivals.
Photo Credit: Infiniti Media
2016 Infiniti Q50
In scouring the Internet to help customers find the cheapest luxury cars to insure, Autobytel experts also turned up recent research by YourMechanic.com that can help shoppers: The 2016 Infiniti Q50, even after its mid-cycle upgrade for the current model year, still has the potential for lower insurance premiums. The thing is, you’ll want to stay away from the Q50’s newest engines. Drivers may love them because they can deliver up to 400 horsepower for Infiniti’s entry sport sedan, but the lower the ol’ 0-60 times, the higher the insurance premiums are likely to be. Further, the standard 2.0-liter turbo for the Q50 can kick out a healthy 208 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft of torque of its own.
Photo Credit: Lincoln
2017 Lincoln MKZ
Finally, Autobytel experts will take things into our own hands for the last two entries, both of which should be among the cheapest luxury cars to insure this year, even though they are, technically, 2017 models. The 2017 Lincoln MKZ is scheduled to launch this summer with a fresh new design that drops the brand’s split-wing grille for a more traditional, yet highly sophisticated front appearance. Lincoln also has refreshed the MKZ’s interior, building on the brand’s growing reputation for luxurious, refined cabin environments, and two new “Black Label” themes debut as well: “Vineyard,” which relies on deep burgundy tones, including Deep Merlot leather and Merlot Ash Swirl wood accents; and “Chalet,” inspired by the Alpine skiing scene.
Photo Credit: Audi
2017 Audi A4
As with the Lincoln MKZ, the 2017 Audi A4 is a new iteration of a car that was one of the cheapest luxury sedans to insure for 2016. Thus, it’s likely to maintain its relative affordability even as Audi ramps up the premium touches for the new selling season. Customers this time around will see new standard amenities such as leather seating surfaces, a power sunroof, and a three-zone climate system, plus a lavish range of lux options also in the mix. Notably, those include Audi’s virtual cockpit, boasting a 12.3-inch digital display, along with mobile Wi-Fi connectivity, and Band & Olufsen audio.