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Maybe you're moving up in the world, hoisting yourself up another notch on the corporate ladder. Or perhaps you drive a mid-size SUV and are accustomed to those kinds of payments, but you want something different. Maybe you really love luxury cars but don't have the space for a large car in your driveway or parking garage. In any case, you're craving comfort, style and at least a little bit of sportiness in your next automobile. Well, let us introduce you to the world of "entry level" luxury cars, also called "near-luxury" cars.

"Near-luxury," in this case, does not mean "nearly luxurious," or "not quite luxurious." No, the vehicles here are fully luxurious cars-they're just a bit smaller than traditional luxury cars. Offered by virtually every prestige brand needs out there, near-luxury cars are intended largely to lure single, up-and-coming buyers into their brand, in hopes that the buyer has a good experience and continues to shop there.

But you don't have to be single nor up-and-coming to enjoy the posh features, exciting good looks and sharp handling that near-luxury cars offer. After all, they share nearly every gadget and gizmo as well as virtually all available safety innovations with the pricier members of their respective corporate families.

Furthermore, their more prudent size and lower weight usually translate into sportier performance and favorable fuel economy. So for about $30K and up, "near-luxury" cars give you just about everything you'll get in a "luxury" car for about $10K less, on average.

Now, making a choice from this category is sort of like wine tasting- there are many good selections, and your favorite will be primarily a matter of taste. Generally, all of these cars have good safety records, offer luxury amenities, deliver better than average performance, and have strong resale values. And there is enough variety in the class that you should be able to find at least one or two that really rev your engine.

A fork in the road....either navigate through our entry-level luxury buyer's guide by clicking on the arrow or by selecting one of the models listed below!

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