10 German Luxury Sedans You Can Buy For $20,000 Or Less

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Have you ever seen a fancy car at a not-so-fancy dealership and thought about buying it? You may not have much money to spend but still want to drive something nice.

Well, there are some old luxury cars made in Germany that you can afford. They’re not brand new, but they still look pretty good and are not too expensive.

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However, you could spend more money fixing the car than buying it if you’re not careful. Some people like taking risks when purchasing used cars, and there are some good deals if you know what to look for.

10 German Luxury Sedans You Can Buy For $20,000 Or Less

Here’s a list of 10 German cars you can buy for $20,000 or less. We tried to pick cars that aren’t too old or have too many miles on them, so they should still be in pretty good shape. Take a look and see if any of these cars catch your eye!

1. 2008-2015 BMW 7-Series

Most German luxury sedans sold in the US have been known for their plush interiors, powerful engines, and high depreciation rates.

However, one model now available for under $20,000 is worth considering – the 2008 BMW 7-Series. This model toned down the design of its predecessor and had excellent handling that made it feel like a slightly smaller 5-Series.

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Plenty of choices are available on the market with less than 100,000 miles, as many of these cars are now on their second or third owners.

The 750i and 750Li models come with a V8 engine, but some great diesel options are also available.

Regardless of the trim, you should have no trouble finding a 2008 7-Series that fits your needs and budget.

2008-2015 BMW 7-Series

Rating: 4.5/5

Horsepower: Ranges from 315 to 600 horsepower depending on the engine option.

MPG: Varies based on the engine and driving conditions, but typically ranges from 15 to 25 mpg in combined city/highway driving.

Top Speed: Top speeds vary depending on the engine and model but generally range from 130 to 155 mph.

Key Specifications:

  • Engine Options: V6, V8, V12
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic, 8-speed automatic
  • Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive (RWD), all-wheel drive (AWD)
  • Seating Capacity: 4 to 5 passengers
  • Wheelbase: 120.9 to 126.4 inches

Key Features:

  • Adaptive LED headlights
  • Advanced driver assistance systems
  • Premium leather upholstery
  • Gesture-controlled infotainment system
  • High-quality audio systems
  • Adaptive air suspension
  • Luxury interior trims
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Heads-up display
  • Surround-view camera system

Interior:

The interior of the BMW 7-Series exudes luxury and sophistication. Premium materials, including high-quality leather and wood trim, create an opulent ambiance. The seats are supremely comfortable, and the cabin is spacious, offering ample legroom and headroom for all occupants. Cutting-edge technology features prominently, with a user-friendly infotainment system and advanced driver assistance systems enhancing the driving experience.

Exterior:

The exterior design of the BMW 7-Series is sleek and elegant, with a commanding presence on the road. The signature kidney grille, LED headlights, and sculpted body lines contribute to its dynamic appeal. Available in a range of sophisticated paint colors and with various wheel options, the 7-Series can be customized to suit individual preferences.

Pros:

  • Powerful engine options deliver impressive performance
  • Luxurious and spacious interior with advanced technology features
  • Smooth and comfortable ride quality, especially with optional air suspension
  • High levels of refinement and craftsmanship
  • Wide range of available safety and driver assistance features
  • Prestigious brand image and strong resale value

Cons:

  • Higher starting price compared to some rivals
  • Some may find the exterior design conservative compared to competitors
  • Optional features can significantly increase the price
  • Fuel economy may not be as impressive as some competitors in the segment

Review:

The BMW 7-Series offers a compelling blend of luxury, performance, and technology, making it a top choice in the luxury sedan segment. With a range of powerful engine options, a sumptuously appointed interior, and an array of advanced features, the 7-Series delivers a driving experience that is both exhilarating and refined. While it may have a higher starting price compared to some rivals, its exceptional craftsmanship, sophisticated styling, and impressive performance make it well worth the investment for those seeking the pinnacle of automotive luxury.

2. 2010-2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The E-Class is a long-time rival of the BMW 5-Series, but it has a unique character. With a budget of $20,000, we can consider E-Class models from 2010 to 2016, including the rare station wagon variant.

Within this budget, we can look at models like the E350 4Matic, which often had six-cylinder engines and the option of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. Although V8 models like the E550 and most AMG versions are not feasible, we still have plenty of choices with under 50,000 miles on the odometer.

2010-2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Rating: 4.6/5

Horsepower: Power ranges from 201 to 577 horsepower depending on the engine variant.

MPG: Fuel efficiency varies based on the engine and driving conditions, typically ranging from 20 to 30 mpg in combined city/highway driving.

Top Speed: Top speeds vary depending on the engine and model but generally range from 130 to 155 mph.

Key Specifications:

  • Engine Options: Inline-4, V6, V8
  • Transmission: 7-speed automatic, 9-speed automatic
  • Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive (RWD), all-wheel drive (AWD)
  • Seating Capacity: 4 to 5 passengers
  • Wheelbase: 113.1 to 115.7 inches

Key Features:

  • Premium leather upholstery
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • COMAND infotainment system
  • Navigation system
  • Advanced driver assistance systems
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Adaptive air suspension
  • Surround-view camera system

Interior:

The interior of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class exemplifies luxury and sophistication. High-quality materials, exquisite craftsmanship, and attention to detail create an ambiance of refinement. Spacious and comfortable seating, along with a host of advanced technology features, ensure a pleasurable driving experience for all occupants. The cabin is meticulously designed, with ergonomically placed controls and an intuitive infotainment system enhancing convenience and connectivity.

Exterior:

The exterior design of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is timeless and elegant, with sleek lines and a commanding presence on the road. Distinctive styling elements, such as the iconic grille and LED lighting, contribute to its upscale appeal. Available in sedan, coupe, and convertible body styles, the E-Class offers versatility and customization options to suit various preferences.

Pros:

  • Wide range of powerful engine options with impressive performance
  • Luxurious and spacious interior with high-quality materials and advanced technology features
  • Smooth and refined ride quality, especially with optional air suspension
  • Excellent safety ratings and a comprehensive suite of driver assistance features
  • Versatile body styles, including sedan, coupe, and convertible
  • Prestigious brand image and strong resale value

Cons:

  • Higher starting price compared to some competitors
  • Some may find the infotainment system interface less intuitive compared to rivals
  • Optional features can significantly increase the price
  • Limited cargo space in coupe and convertible models

Review:

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class epitomizes luxury and performance, offering a refined driving experience with a range of powerful engine options, a meticulously crafted interior, and advanced technology features. Whether in sedan, coupe, or convertible form, the E-Class delivers style, comfort, and sophistication in equal measure. While it may have a higher starting price compared to some rivals, its exceptional build quality, impressive performance, and prestigious brand heritage make it a top contender in the luxury sedan segment.

3. 2010-2017 BMW 5-Series

Do you recall when the BMW 5-Series was one of the few foreign luxury sedans in the market? Times have changed, but if you have a budget of $20,000 or less, you can still get your hands on the sixth-generation 5-Series.

This model was introduced in 2010, and with a budget of $20,000, you can find a wide range of options with around 50,000 miles driven. Models such as the 528i and 535i, with or without xDrive, can be found at this price point.

You can also find gently used cars in various colors and powertrains. However, the more expensive M cars may not fit into this budget. Nonetheless, these cars can offer great value for the money, and you can find models with very low mileage.

2010-2017 BMW 5-Series

Rating: 4.5/5

Horsepower: Power ranges from 240 to 600 horsepower depending on the engine variant.

MPG: Fuel efficiency varies based on the engine and driving conditions, typically ranging from 20 to 30 mpg in combined city/highway driving.

Top Speed: Top speeds vary depending on the engine and model but generally range from 130 to 155 mph.

Key Specifications:

  • Engine Options: Inline-4, Inline-6, V8
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual, 8-speed automatic
  • Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive (RWD), all-wheel drive (AWD)
  • Seating Capacity: 4 to 5 passengers
  • Wheelbase: 116.9 to 120.9 inches

Key Features:

  • Premium leather upholstery
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • iDrive infotainment system
  • Navigation system
  • Advanced driver assistance systems
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Adaptive suspension
  • Surround-view camera system

Interior:

The interior of the BMW 5-Series is crafted with premium materials and showcases meticulous attention to detail. Comfortable seating, ample legroom, and a plethora of technology features create an inviting and luxurious cabin environment. The intuitive iDrive infotainment system provides seamless connectivity and control over various functions, enhancing the driving experience for both the driver and passengers.

Exterior:

The exterior design of the BMW 5-Series is elegant and sophisticated, with clean lines and dynamic proportions. Distinctive styling elements, such as the iconic kidney grille and LED lighting, contribute to its modern and upscale appearance. Available in sedan and wagon body styles, the 5-Series offers versatility and practicality, making it suitable for a wide range of lifestyles.

Pros:

  • Wide range of powerful engine options with impressive performance
  • Luxurious and spacious interior with advanced technology features
  • Smooth and refined ride quality, especially with optional adaptive suspension
  • Excellent handling and agility, characteristic of BMW’s sporty driving dynamics
  • Comprehensive suite of driver assistance features enhances safety and convenience
  • Strong resale value and reputation for reliability

Cons:

  • Higher starting price compared to some competitors
  • Some may find the iDrive infotainment system interface complex initially
  • Optional features can significantly increase the price
  • Rear-seat space may be slightly cramped for taller passengers in sedan models

Review:

The BMW 5-Series continues to be a benchmark in the midsize luxury sedan segment, offering a perfect balance of performance, comfort, and technology. With a range of potent engine options, a refined interior, and advanced features, the 5-Series delivers a driving experience that is both engaging and luxurious. While it may have a higher starting price compared to some rivals, its dynamic handling, upscale cabin, and prestigious brand image make it a top choice for discerning buyers seeking the ultimate driving machine.

4. 2011-2019 BMW 3-Series

If you have a budget of around $20,000 and are looking for a reliable car, BMW 3-Series is a good option.

However, it may take some time to find a good quality car. With this budget, you can consider the sixth-generation model of the BMW 3-Series, the F30, produced from 2011 to 2019.

You can easily find these models for sale. But with this budget, the latest model year you can realistically buy is 2016. These models will have around 50,000 miles or more, and you will find gas and diesel engines.

In gas models, you can opt for six-cylinder 328i models with or without xDrive or choose the more affordable four-cylinder 320i models.

2011-2019 BMW 3-Series

Rating: 4.7/5

Horsepower: Power ranges from 180 to 425 horsepower depending on the engine variant.

MPG: Fuel efficiency varies based on the engine and driving conditions, typically ranging from 23 to 35 mpg in combined city/highway driving.

Top Speed: Top speeds vary depending on the engine and model but generally range from 130 to 155 mph.

Key Specifications:

  • Engine Options: Inline-4, Inline-6
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual, 8-speed automatic
  • Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive (RWD), all-wheel drive (AWD)
  • Seating Capacity: 4 to 5 passengers
  • Wheelbase: 110.6 to 110.7 inches

Key Features:

  • Premium leather upholstery
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • iDrive infotainment system
  • Navigation system
  • Advanced driver assistance systems
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Adaptive suspension
  • Surround-view camera system

Interior:

The interior of the BMW 3-Series is designed with a perfect blend of luxury and functionality. High-quality materials, ergonomic design, and intuitive controls create a comfortable and inviting cabin environment. Ample seating space, along with a host of advanced technology features, ensures a pleasurable driving experience for both the driver and passengers. The iDrive infotainment system provides seamless connectivity and access to various entertainment and navigation functions.

Exterior:

The exterior design of the BMW 3-Series is sporty and dynamic, with sleek lines and aggressive styling cues. Distinctive features such as the signature kidney grille and LED lighting elements contribute to its athletic and upscale appearance. Available in sedan, wagon, and Gran Turismo body styles, the 3-Series offers versatility and practicality while maintaining its sporty character.

Pros:

  • Wide range of powerful engine options with impressive performance
  • Luxurious and well-appointed interior with advanced technology features
  • Excellent handling and agility, characteristic of BMW’s sporty driving dynamics
  • Fuel-efficient engines with strong acceleration
  • Comprehensive suite of driver assistance features enhances safety and convenience
  • Strong resale value and reputation for reliability

Cons:

  • Higher starting price compared to some competitors
  • Some may find the ride quality slightly firm, especially with sport-tuned suspensions
  • Rear-seat space may be limited, particularly in Gran Turismo models
  • Optional features can significantly increase the price

Review:

The BMW 3-Series remains a top contender in the compact luxury sedan segment, offering a winning combination of performance, comfort, and technology. With a range of potent engine options, a refined interior, and advanced features, the 3-Series delivers a driving experience that is both exhilarating and luxurious. While it may have a higher starting price compared to some rivals, its dynamic handling, upscale cabin, and prestigious brand image make it a compelling choice for enthusiasts and luxury car buyers alike.

5. 2008-2014/2015-2020 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The C-Class has become a popular car for Mercedes-Benz, and the last couple of generations have turned it into a miniature S-Class.

Our budget of $20,000 allows us to consider the tail end of the W204 generation, spanning the years 2008 to 2014, and the early years of the newer W205 generation, which was introduced in 2015.

The W205 is a more comfortable and luxurious car, while the W204 was a bit heavier and less agile, similar to the old W124 E-Class.

With our budget, we can look at many early W205 models in C300 4Matic trims, which were popular options for leased examples, especially in northern states.

2008-2014/2015-2020 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Rating (2008-2014): 4.4/5

Rating (2015-2020): 4.6/5

Horsepower (2008-2014): Power ranges from 168 to 451 horsepower depending on the engine variant.

Horsepower (2015-2020): Power ranges from 241 to 503 horsepower depending on the engine variant.

MPG (2008-2014): Fuel efficiency varies based on the engine and driving conditions, typically ranging from 20 to 30 mpg in combined city/highway driving.

MPG (2015-2020): Fuel efficiency varies based on the engine and driving conditions, typically ranging from 23 to 34 mpg in combined city/highway driving.

Top Speed: Top speeds vary depending on the engine and model but generally range from 130 to 155 mph.

Key Specifications:

  • Engine Options: Inline-4, V6, V8 (2015-2020), Inline-4, V6 (2008-2014)
  • Transmission: 7-speed automatic, 9-speed automatic (2015-2020), 7-speed automatic (2008-2014)
  • Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive (RWD), all-wheel drive (AWD)
  • Seating Capacity: 4 to 5 passengers
  • Wheelbase: 108.7 to 111.8 inches

Key Features:

  • Premium leather upholstery
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • COMAND infotainment system
  • Navigation system
  • Advanced driver assistance systems
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Adaptive suspension
  • Surround-view camera system

Interior:

The interior of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is synonymous with luxury and comfort. From high-quality materials to intuitive controls, every detail is crafted to enhance the driving experience. The spacious cabin offers ample legroom and headroom for all occupants, while the advanced technology features ensure convenience and connectivity on the road. Whether it’s the sleek design or the premium upholstery, the C-Class interior exudes sophistication and refinement.

Exterior:

The exterior design of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is characterized by sleek lines, bold contours, and a commanding presence on the road. With its distinctive grille, LED lighting, and aerodynamic profile, the C-Class strikes a perfect balance between elegance and athleticism. Available in sedan, coupe, and convertible body styles, the C-Class offers versatility and style to suit various preferences.

Pros:

  • Wide range of powerful engine options with impressive performance
  • Luxurious and well-appointed interior with advanced technology features
  • Excellent handling and agility, characteristic of Mercedes-Benz’s engineering excellence
  • Strong fuel efficiency, especially with newer engine options
  • Comprehensive suite of driver assistance features enhances safety and convenience
  • Strong resale value and reputation for reliability

Cons:

  • Higher starting price compared to some competitors
  • Some may find the rear-seat space slightly cramped, particularly in coupe and convertible models
  • Optional features can significantly increase the price
  • Maintenance and repair costs may be higher compared to non-luxury vehicles

Review:

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class sets the standard for luxury compact cars, offering a perfect blend of performance, comfort, and technology. With a range of potent engine options, a refined interior, and advanced features, the C-Class delivers a driving experience that is both exhilarating and luxurious. Whether it’s the sedan, coupe, or convertible, the C-Class impresses with its sophisticated design, exceptional craftsmanship, and unparalleled driving dynamics. Overall, it’s a top choice for those seeking the ultimate in automotive luxury and refinement.

6. 2016-2020 Audi A4

Ingolstadt’s smaller sedan, though not the smallest, has traditionally played a subordinate role to BMW’s and Mercedes-Benz’s offerings. However, it has gradually established its distinct audience over several generations.

If you have a budget of just under $20,000, you can find A4s with approximately 50,000 miles until the 2018 model year. At that price range, the mileage might appear a little high, but it is worth noting that the fifth and current generation of the model was introduced in 2016.

Turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines with Quattro all-wheel drive power many off-lease models with about 50,000 miles.

The list of options on these cars can be extensive, so it is recommended that you read it carefully and choose only those features that you need, as the number of used A4s on the market is quite high. The S4s of that generation may be slightly out of reach, but the sportier trims of the A4 are not.

2016-2020 Audi A4

Rating: 4.6/5

Horsepower: Power ranges from 190 to 354 horsepower depending on the engine variant.

MPG: Fuel efficiency varies based on the engine and driving conditions, typically ranging from 25 to 35 mpg in combined city/highway driving.

Top Speed: Top speeds vary depending on the engine and model but generally range from 130 to 155 mph.

Key Specifications:

  • Engine Options: Inline-4, V6
  • Transmission: 7-speed automatic, 8-speed automatic
  • Drive Type: Front-wheel drive (FWD), all-wheel drive (AWD)
  • Seating Capacity: 4 to 5 passengers
  • Wheelbase: 111.0 inches

Key Features:

  • Leather upholstery
  • Tri-zone automatic climate control
  • MMI infotainment system
  • Navigation system
  • Virtual cockpit
  • Advanced driver assistance systems
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Adaptive suspension
  • 360-degree camera system

Interior:

The interior of the Audi A4 is designed with precision and elegance, featuring high-quality materials and impeccable craftsmanship. The spacious cabin offers comfort and convenience for both the driver and passengers, with supportive seats and intuitive controls. The MMI infotainment system provides seamless connectivity and access to various entertainment and navigation functions, while the virtual cockpit enhances the driving experience with customizable digital displays.

Exterior:

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The exterior design of the Audi A4 is sleek and aerodynamic, with clean lines and a modern aesthetic. Distinctive features such as the signature Singleframe grille and LED lighting elements contribute to its sophisticated and sporty appearance. Available in sedan and wagon body styles, the A4 offers versatility and practicality, making it suitable for a wide range of lifestyles.

Pros:

  • Strong performance and responsive handling
  • Luxurious and well-appointed interior with advanced technology features
  • Excellent fuel efficiency, especially with the base engine option
  • Comfortable ride quality, even over rough road surfaces
  • Comprehensive suite of driver assistance features enhances safety and convenience
  • Strong resale value and reputation for reliability

Cons:

  • Limited rear-seat space compared to some competitors
  • Some may find the ride slightly firm, especially with sport-tuned suspensions
  • Optional features can significantly increase the price
  • Infotainment system interface may be less intuitive for some users

Review:

The Audi A4 stands out in the compact luxury sedan segment, offering a winning combination of performance, comfort, and technology. With a range of potent engine options, a refined interior, and advanced features, the A4 delivers a driving experience that is both exhilarating and luxurious. Whether it’s the sedan or the wagon, the A4 impresses with its stylish design, upscale amenities, and dynamic driving dynamics. Overall, it’s a top choice for those seeking a premium driving experience with practicality and sophistication.

7. 2008-2016 Audi S4

The Audi S4 is a popular car in the used car market, and its depreciation is not as steep as some of the larger Audis.

If you have a budget of $20,000, you can buy a 2011-2014 model year of this car, the fifth-generation model produced until 2016.

The base price of these cars was around $50,000 when they were new, and they are equipped with a 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces 333 horsepower and 325 pounds of torque.

When looking for a used S4 within your budget, it is important to find one with meticulous records and without any red flags. The first owners of these cars didn’t buy them to crawl through sleepy villages slowly, so it’s best to look for a well-maintained one.

2008-2016 Audi S4

Rating: 4.7/5

Horsepower: Power ranges from 333 to 450 horsepower depending on the model year and engine variant.

MPG: Fuel efficiency varies based on the model year and driving conditions, typically ranging from 18 to 25 mpg in combined city/highway driving.

Top Speed: Top speeds vary depending on the model year and engine variant but generally range from 155 to 170 mph.

Key Specifications:

  • Engine Options: V6
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual, 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Drive Type: All-wheel drive (AWD)
  • Seating Capacity: 4 to 5 passengers
  • Wheelbase: 110.6 inches

Key Features:

  • Leather and Alcantara upholstery
  • Three-zone automatic climate control
  • MMI infotainment system
  • Navigation system
  • Bang & Olufsen premium sound system
  • Adaptive suspension
  • Sport differential (available on certain model years)
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Sunroof (available on certain model years)

Interior:

The interior of the Audi S4 is designed with a focus on sportiness and luxury. High-quality materials, including leather and Alcantara, adorn the cabin, while supportive seats provide comfort and stability during spirited driving. The MMI infotainment system offers intuitive controls and seamless connectivity, keeping the driver connected and entertained on the road. Three-zone automatic climate control ensures that all occupants can customize their comfort levels.

Exterior:

The exterior design of the Audi S4 is characterized by its athletic stance and aggressive styling cues. Features such as the signature Singleframe grille, quad exhaust tips, and distinctive S-line accents distinguish it from the standard A4 models. LED lighting elements add a touch of modernity and visibility to the exterior, while available options such as sport wheels and carbon fiber trim enhance its performance-oriented aesthetic.

Pros:

  • Potent V6 engine delivers strong acceleration and performance
  • Precise handling and responsive steering make for an engaging driving experience
  • High-quality interior materials and craftsmanship exude luxury
  • All-wheel drive system provides excellent traction and stability
  • Advanced technology features enhance convenience and safety
  • Strong resale value and reputation for reliability

Cons:

  • Fuel efficiency may be lower compared to non-performance-oriented vehicles
  • Limited rear-seat space compared to some competitors
  • Higher maintenance and repair costs associated with performance vehicles
  • Some may find the ride quality firm, especially with sport-tuned suspensions

Review:

The Audi S4 is a compelling choice for enthusiasts seeking a balance of performance and luxury in a compact sedan. With its potent V6 engine, all-wheel drive system, and sport-tuned suspension, the S4 delivers exhilarating performance and precise handling on both the road and track. Inside, the cabin is appointed with high-quality materials and advanced technology features, ensuring a comfortable and connected driving experience. While fuel efficiency and rear-seat space may be considerations for some buyers, the overall package of performance, luxury, and reliability makes the Audi S4 a top contender in its segment.

8. 2013-2020 Audi S3

Finding an Audi S3 for $20,000 is possible, but it will require some effort. You will mostly find examples from the 2015 and 2016 model years with around 50,000 to 60,000 miles on them.

This was an expensive car when it first came out, so most people with a budget for it went for the S4, which was already in the $50,000 price range. The S3 has a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine that delivers 292 hp but not much else.

It is a niche item that hasn’t received much love from buyers, and some consider it an expensive way to get a Golf R.

2013-2020 Audi S3

Rating: 4.5/5

Horsepower: Power ranges from 296 to 306 horsepower depending on the model year and engine variant.

MPG: Fuel efficiency varies based on the model year and driving conditions, typically ranging from 25 to 30 mpg in combined city/highway driving.

Top Speed: Top speeds vary depending on the model year and engine variant but generally range from 155 to 160 mph.

Key Specifications:

  • Engine Options: Inline-4
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual, 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Drive Type: All-wheel drive (AWD)
  • Seating Capacity: 4 to 5 passengers
  • Wheelbase: Approximately 103.6 inches

Key Features:

  • Leather and Alcantara upholstery
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • MMI infotainment system
  • Navigation system
  • Bang & Olufsen premium sound system
  • Adaptive suspension
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Sunroof (available on certain model years)
  • Advanced driver assistance systems (available on newer model years)

Interior:

The interior of the Audi S3 is crafted with precision and attention to detail, blending sportiness with luxury. Premium materials such as leather and Alcantara adorn the cabin, while supportive seats offer comfort during spirited driving. The MMI infotainment system provides intuitive controls and seamless connectivity, keeping the driver connected and entertained on the road. Dual-zone automatic climate control ensures that all occupants can customize their comfort levels.

Exterior:

The exterior design of the Audi S3 is characterized by its sleek and sporty silhouette, with dynamic lines and aggressive styling cues. Features such as the signature Singleframe grille, quad exhaust tips, and S-line accents distinguish it from the standard A3 models. LED lighting elements add visibility and modernity to the exterior, while available options such as sport wheels and carbon fiber trim enhance its performance-oriented aesthetic.

Pros:

  • Strong turbocharged engine delivers impressive acceleration and performance
  • Agile handling and precise steering make for an engaging driving experience
  • High-quality interior materials and craftsmanship exude luxury
  • All-wheel drive system provides excellent traction and stability
  • Advanced technology features enhance convenience and safety
  • Compact size makes it ideal for urban driving and parking

Cons:

  • Limited rear-seat space compared to some competitors
  • Higher starting price compared to non-performance-oriented vehicles
  • Some may find the ride quality firm, especially with sport-tuned suspensions
  • Infotainment system interface may be less intuitive for some users

Review:

The Audi S3 offers a compelling blend of performance, luxury, and technology in a compact package. With its potent turbocharged engine, all-wheel drive system, and sport-tuned suspension, the S3 delivers exhilarating performance and agile handling on both city streets and winding roads. Inside, the cabin is appointed with high-quality materials and advanced technology features, ensuring a comfortable and connected driving experience. While rear-seat space and pricing may be considerations for some buyers, the overall combination of performance, luxury, and reliability makes the Audi S3 a top choice in its segment.

9. 2013-2020 Audi A3

The Audi A3 sedan has been a hit since its introduction, and the smaller A4 is readily available on the used market. The current generation dates back to the 2013 model year and will be replaced in 2021.

However, these sedans are within a $20,000 budget, with Audi’s 2.0-liter fours under the hood. Although they were pricey when new, the driving experience is different enough from the A4 to consider. Shoppers may question getting the A3 instead of the similarly priced A4, but it’s best to try both to see which one feels better.

2013-2020 Audi A3

Rating: 4.4/5

Horsepower: Power ranges from 170 to 220 horsepower depending on the model year and engine variant.

MPG: Fuel efficiency varies based on the model year and driving conditions, typically ranging from 25 to 35 mpg in combined city/highway driving.

Top Speed: Top speeds vary depending on the model year and engine variant but generally range from 130 to 155 mph.

Key Specifications:

  • Engine Options: Inline-4
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual, 6-speed dual-clutch automatic, 7-speed dual-clutch automatic (2015-2020)
  • Drive Type: Front-wheel drive (FWD), all-wheel drive (AWD) (available on certain model years)
  • Seating Capacity: 4 to 5 passengers
  • Wheelbase: Approximately 103.8 inches

Key Features:

  • Leather upholstery (available on higher trims)
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • MMI infotainment system
  • Navigation system
  • Bang & Olufsen premium sound system
  • Panoramic sunroof (available on certain model years)
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Advanced driver assistance systems (available on newer model years)

Interior:

The interior of the Audi A3 is designed with sophistication and practicality in mind. Premium materials and refined craftsmanship create an upscale ambiance, while supportive seats offer comfort during long drives. The MMI infotainment system provides intuitive controls and seamless connectivity, allowing the driver to stay connected and entertained on the road. Dual-zone automatic climate control ensures that all occupants can customize their comfort levels.

Exterior:

The exterior design of the Audi A3 is characterized by its sleek and sporty silhouette, with clean lines and dynamic proportions. Features such as the signature Singleframe grille, LED lighting, and available S-line accents give it a modern and upscale appearance. Available options such as sport wheels and a panoramic sunroof enhance its appeal and functionality.

Pros:

  • Efficient and responsive engine options deliver strong performance
  • Agile handling and precise steering make for an engaging driving experience
  • High-quality interior materials and craftsmanship exude luxury
  • Available all-wheel drive enhances traction and stability in adverse conditions
  • Advanced technology features enhance convenience and safety
  • Compact size makes it ideal for urban driving and parking

Cons:

  • Limited rear-seat space compared to some competitors
  • Higher starting price compared to non-luxury compact cars
  • Some may find the ride quality firm, especially with sport-tuned suspensions
  • Infotainment system interface may be less intuitive for some users

Review:

The Audi A3 offers a compelling combination of performance, luxury, and technology in a compact package. With its efficient engine options, agile handling, and upscale interior, the A3 delivers a refined driving experience that is both enjoyable and practical. Whether navigating city streets or cruising on the highway, the A3 impresses with its comfort, style, and sophistication. While rear-seat space and pricing may be considerations for some buyers, the overall combination of performance, luxury, and reliability makes the Audi A3 a top choice in its segment.

10. 2011-2018 Audi A6

Ingolstadt’s A6 has always struggled to find its place in the market, sandwiched between the capable 5-Series and the E-Class. Whether its fortunes have improved over the past decade is hard to say.

However, if you have a budget of $20,000 and have your sights set on an A6, you have a few options, all of which will be from the fourth-generation model introduced in 2012 and produced until 2018. The best value for your money will likely be found in the 2014 to 2016 model years.

With this budget, you can comfortably purchase a 2.0T version of the A6, powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and features Quattro all-wheel drive, with around 50,000 miles on the clock or less. You may also find 3.0T six-cylinder models in this price range.

We were quite impressed with this generation of the A6 when it was new and gave it plenty of praise. However, larger Audis have always seemed to depreciate more quickly than their competitors. While this is good news for you, buying from a dealer that has serviced the vehicle from a new one to avoid sketchy examples from used car lots is essential.

2011-2018 Audi A6

Rating: 4.6/5

Horsepower: Power ranges from 211 to 450 horsepower depending on the model year and engine variant.

MPG: Fuel efficiency varies based on the model year, engine, and driving conditions, typically ranging from 20 to 30 mpg in combined city/highway driving.

Top Speed: Top speeds vary depending on the model year and engine variant but generally range from 130 to 155 mph.

Key Specifications:

  • Engine Options: Inline-4, V6, V8
  • Transmission: Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), 7-speed dual-clutch automatic, 8-speed automatic
  • Drive Type: Front-wheel drive (FWD), all-wheel drive (AWD)
  • Seating Capacity: 5 passengers
  • Wheelbase: Approximately 114.6 inches

Key Features:

  • Leather upholstery
  • Four-zone automatic climate control
  • MMI infotainment system
  • Navigation system
  • Bang & Olufsen premium sound system
  • Adaptive air suspension
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Advanced driver assistance systems

Interior:

The interior of the Audi A6 is crafted with meticulous attention to detail, blending luxury with advanced technology. Premium materials and refined finishes create an upscale ambiance, while spacious seating and ample legroom ensure comfort for all occupants. The MMI infotainment system provides intuitive controls and seamless connectivity, keeping the driver informed and entertained on the road. Four-zone automatic climate control allows passengers to customize their comfort levels independently.

Exterior:

The exterior design of the Audi A6 is characterized by its sleek and sophisticated silhouette, with clean lines and dynamic proportions. Features such as the signature Singleframe grille, LED lighting, and available S-line accents give it a modern and upscale appearance. Available options such as sport wheels and adaptive air suspension enhance its performance and visual appeal.

Pros:

  • Potent engine options deliver strong acceleration and performance
  • Responsive handling and precise steering make for an engaging driving experience
  • Luxurious and well-appointed interior with advanced technology features
  • Available all-wheel drive enhances traction and stability in adverse conditions
  • Comprehensive suite of driver assistance features enhances safety and convenience
  • Strong resale value and reputation for reliability

Cons:

  • Higher starting price compared to some competitors
  • Some may find the ride quality firm, especially with sport-tuned suspensions
  • Rear-seat space may be slightly cramped for taller passengers
  • Infotainment system interface may be less intuitive for some users

Review:

The Audi A6 stands out as a top contender in the midsize luxury sedan segment, offering a perfect blend of performance, comfort, and technology. With its potent engine options, refined interior, and advanced features, the A6 delivers a driving experience that is both exhilarating and luxurious. Whether navigating city streets or cruising on the highway, the A6 impresses with its comfort, style, and sophistication. While pricing and rear-seat space may be considerations for some buyers, the overall combination of performance, luxury, and reliability makes the Audi A6 a top choice in its class.

FAQs

What are the trade-offs of buying a used luxury car under $20,000?

  • Higher maintenance costs: Luxury cars often require premium parts and specialized service.
  • Potential repairs: Older cars may have hidden issues waiting to surface.
  • Higher mileage: Finding low-mileage options at this price point can be challenging.

What reliability factors should I consider?

  • J.D. Power Dependability Scores: Lower scores indicate more reported problems.
  • Consumer Reports used car reviews: Offer detailed info on common issues and reliability.
  • Manufacturer recalls and service bulletins: Check for known problems addressed by the manufacturer.

Are there any high-performance options under $20,000?

  • BMW M3 (E46, 2000-2006): Renowned handling and iconic straight-six engine.
  • Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG (W211, 2002-2008): Powerful V8 engine and sporty performance.
  • Audi S4 (B8, 2009-2016): Balanced performance and luxury with a turbocharged engine.

What features can I expect in this price range?

  • Leather seats, sunroof, heated seats
  • Premium sound system, Bluetooth connectivity
  • Navigation system (in older models)
  • Safety features like airbags and traction control

What questions should I ask before buying?

  • Maintenance history: Request service records and receipts.
  • Accident history: Check for any reported accidents or damage.
  • Vehicle condition: Have the car inspected by a qualified mechanic.
  • Title status: Ensure the title is clean and free of liens.
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