Best Affordable Luxury Sedans Under $40,000

Mercedes Benz E Class 2012 Luxury Sedans Series

Luxury Sedans Under $40,000

Think you don’t have the luxury of buying a fancy, prestige car?

Well, sit back and relax as Gumtree Cars takes you into the world of leather seats, high-tech gizmos and motoring heritage with our list of four affordable premium luxury sedans from the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz…

The information below (Information) is provided by Gumtree for general information purposes only, to assist you in your car search. Any statements about safety or performance features are based on publicly available information (including ANCAP safety ratings) and reviews. You should not rely on the Information when buying a particular vehicle, because each individual vehicle has unique safety and performance qualities. Gumtree accepts no liability for your reliance on any of the Information when buying a vehicle.

Audi has a range of luxury sedans including this red A6 saloon

AUDI A6 LUXURY SEDANS (2011 – 2014)

Step inside the stylish 2011 Audi A6 and it’s easy to see why the Audi has come to be feared by the rival BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

The A6’s cabin is thoughtfully designed with great details, sweeping lines, lashings of leather, and real grained wood that feel pleasing to the touch.

For an extra touch of sophistication there’s Audi’s multimedia interface (MMI), which looks modern with its pop-up colour centre display and is simple to use thanks to the rotary controller on the centre console.

A big luxury sedan with an equally big cabin, so there’s a spacious rear seat with enough width for three adults and a substantial boot aided by split-fold rear seats.

Quite the range of engines, too. Models lower in the A6 range are powered by either petrol or diesel four-cylinders. Your $40,000 budget, however, can get you V6 power.

Whether you choose the 3.0 TFSI supercharged V6 or 3.0 TDI turbo diesel, you’re unlikely to be disappointed by the way these engines go or the way they sound.

These V6 luxury sedans also send power to all four wheels through Audi’s famous quattro system, giving these A6 models a traction advantage over their rear-wheel-drive rivals – if not necessarily better handling.

White BMW 5 Series luxury sedan

BMW 5 SERIES (2010-2016)

We’re sticking with a theme of finding you newer and larger luxury sedans for around a $40,000 budget, so for our BMW pick we’re taking the BMW 5 Series rather than an older 3 Series in a high specification.

There’s much to admire about the F10 generation sold between 2010 and 2016 beyond a design that may play it relatively safe after its E60 predecessor but looks unquestionably smart.

There is much more to admire on the objective side of things, starting with the 5’s sweetly tuned rear-wheel-drive handling.

If you’re lucky, a $40K budget might land you a 2011 535i with its punchy turbocharged straight-six.

More likely bets are the four-cylinder models, yet don’t be put off by the small-capacity engines beyond the fact you’ll get a BMW that’s only a handful of years old.

The 528i turbo petrol, for example, is faster (and yet more economical) than the six-cylinder 528i it replaces. And the 520d turbo diesel epitomises BMW’s class-leading efficiency, with a remarkable official fuel consumption figure of just 4.5 litres per 100km.

And even these so-called entry models come standard with four-zone climate control, a head-up windscreen display, keyless start, front and rear sensors, navigation, and electrically adjustable front seats.

Holden Caprice silver sedan

Image credit: Gumtree Cars seller

HOLDEN CAPRICE (2015-2017)

If there’s a relatively new car that offers more luxury-car metal for $40,000 than the Holden Caprice, we’ve yet to find it.

The long-wheelbase variant of the Commodore has long been a super-affordable way into a four-door executive car, and because it was sharply priced when new it’s even possible to buy yourself the keys to the last-of-its-kind: the 2015 WN Series II.

There’s just one specification but Holden threw almost everything at it for the Caprice’s final hurrah before the end of local manufacturing in 2017.

A larger, 6.2-litre V8 ups power from 260kW to 304kW and includes a bi-modal exhaust for a better sound and cylinder deactivation for reduced fuel use.

It then adopts the higher of two trim levels previously offered – the V spec – to equip the Caprice as standard with forward collision alert, lane departure warning, head-up display, sunroof, 19-inch wheels, and a nine-speaker Bose audio system.

This adds to blind-spot and rear-traffic monitoring, leather upholstery, parking sensors front and rear, and rear-seat DVD screens.

Wide rear doors make it easy for getting into and out of the rear seat where, not surprisingly for a vehicle popular with some chauffeur drivers, there’s limousine-like legroom.

Saying that, this is a car that owners and auto buyers can appreciate just as much from the driver’s seat.


Mercedes Benz E Class 2012 luxury sedans series


The C-Class is the volume seller, the S-Class the flagship, but the Mercedes E-Class is very much Mercedes-Benz’s signature luxury car.

It’s enjoyed a consistent reputation for quality, safety, comfort and technology, and a $40,000 budget allows you to dip into the earlier models of the fourth-generation (W212) E-Class introduced in 2009.

Among a raft of driver aids available, depending on model or options ticked, there’s radar cruise control that maintains a set gap to the vehicle ahead, radar sensors that can detect a vehicle in your blind spot, and monitoring for potential driver drowsiness.

All occupants are pampered, too, with hugely comfortable seats up front and heaps of space up back. This E-Class is also quieter than the previous model.

And if you’re off to play 18 holes with friends or colleagues, the E-Class’s 540-litre boot was above par for its class and designed to take four golf bags.

V8-powered models are likely to be out of reach, though not the V6 petrol E350 model that is good for 0-100km/h in a sprightly 6.3 seconds.

Or settle for the E220 entry diesel model and you can get yourself into an updated model from 2013 onwards, which introduced a major redesign and further interior and equipment improvements.

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Jez Spinks

Automotive Journalist