• Image Credit: Mercedes-Benz
On some level, everyone wants to own and drive a  luxury car. Even though there's no real definition for what constitutes "luxury" in a vehicle anymore, since leather seats and infotainment systems can be found on subcompacts, we all can recognize that the way a certain car looks and feels places it in a category above most others. We want the cachet, confidence and coolness that comes with such a car.

Unfortunately, most of these vehicles cost a lot of money. Nowadays, you'll have a tough time finding a decently optioned  BMW 3 Series or  Mercedes C-Class, the smallest cars in their respective lineups, for under $40,000.

There is, however, a small group of luxury car holdouts that still can be had without breaking the bank. These cars all come with that "luxury" charisma and cost less than $35,000, which is just above the average cost for a  new car. Click through to see what's out there.
  • Image Credit: GM

Cadillac ATS

Sticker Price: $33,065 - $48,195
Invoice Price: $31,246 - $45,062
Fuel Economy: 22 mpg city, 33 mpg highway

A new entry level  Cadillac to take on the  BMW 3 Series. The ATS is rear-wheel drive, like other luxury sport sedans, and the styling is very modern and sleek. It handles and accelerates like a first-tier  sports car. Starting at $33,065, the price is agreeable as well.

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  • Image Credit: Audi

Audi A4

Sticker Price: $33,800 - $34,700
Invoice Price: $31,434 - $32,272
Fuel Economy: 24 mpg city, 32 mpg highway

The  Audi A4 comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 211 horsepower, and options for a six-speed manual transition, an eight-speed automatic and a multi-tronic continuous variable transmission. Audi's Quattro system could be the best all-wheel-drive system in the world. Getting all of this in addition to its great looking exterior for under $33,000 is pretty sweet.

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  • Image Credit: Volvo

Volvo S60

Sticker Price: $32,400 - $45,700
Invoice Price: $30,456 - $42,958
Fuel Economy: 21 mpg city, 30 mpg highway

The  Volvo S60 flies under the radar for many car shoppers, but it's a very capable luxury sedan. It has a great interior, tons of safety features and a peppy turbocharged 2.5L five-cylinder engine. It's not the most exciting thing on the road, but it's a nice, comfortable and attractive ride.

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  • Image Credit: Honda

Acura TSX

Sticker Price: $30,635 - $39,275
Invoice Price: $28,835 - $36,831
Fuel Economy: 22 mpg city, 31 mpg highway

The  Acura TSX, which starts at $30,635, has an attractive exterior, comfortable and quiet interior and is quite fuel efficient. Its driving dynamics leave a little to be desired, but if you're looking for a nice luxury ride that will last a long time, this should be on your short list.

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  • Image Credit: Honda

Acura ILX

Sticker Price: $26,900 - $29,200
Invoice Price: $25,378 - $27,507
Fuel Economy: 24 mpg city, 35 mpg highway

The  Acura ILX is a small premium offering from Honda. The most tempting thing about this vehicle is its low sticker price -- getting a luxury car for under $27,000 is pretty remarkable, even in spite of the fact that the ILX has some flaws with its underpowered engine and lackluster aesthetics.

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  • Image Credit: Toyota

Lexus CT 200h

Sticker Price: $32,050
Invoice Price: $30,417
Fuel Economy: 43 mpg city, 40 mpg highway

Getting a Lexus that can achieve 43 mpg in city driving for just over $32,000 sure is tantalizing. This luxury hybrid hatchback is sort of a premium Toyota Prius, meaning you're getting great fuel economy and versatility in a very nice package. Driving dynamics aren't great with the CT 200h, but it's easy to see the value this car offers.

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  • Image Credit: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

Sticker Price: $29,900 - $47,450
Invoice Price: $27,807 - $44,129
Fuel Economy: 26 mpg city, 38 mpg highway

A Mercedes-Benz that starts under $30,000 and can get 38 mpg on the Highway? It seems crazy, but that's exactly what the stylish and sporty new CLA-Class offers. The main complaint with the car, though, is that it's difficult to find one for that $29,900 starting price

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