Making your commute a high-class affair without breaking the bank. It’s LIVING’s pick of the best affordable luxury cars
For a small car which doesn’t compromise on style and taste, the A1 is hard to beat. It features many of the advanced technologies you’ll find in the larger models and has a choice of TDI and TFSI engines.
With its progressive design and distinctive lines, the Audi A1’s looks hint at the quality inside. Available in a 3-door or 5-door Sportback body style, it has a compact design that remains unmistakably Audi, while options like a contrasting colour for the roof or roof line enable you to make it your own.
The A1 enables you to fully personalise your vehicle – there are a wealth of options to enhance your car with features more commonly associated with models from the classes above. The roof line in three-door models and the entire roof section in Sportback versions can be painted in a range of contrasting colours, creating an imposing and individual look that can be accentuated further by features such as privacy glass and a high gloss black styling package taking in the grille and side air inlets.
And, you’ll find optional technology you might only expect at the top of the range. Like advanced key that lets you access and start your car with the key in your pocket, or options like HDD Navigation and Audi Connect that come as part of the Technology Pack. You can also add BOSE® Surround Sound System and LED Interior Lighting Pack to bring even more refinement to the interior.
Prices start from £14,755. Visit Audi for more information.
Alfa Romeo Mito
For something a little bit bigger than the A1, the Alfa Romeo Mito is a classy and distinctive option to consider. The styling of the latest Mito is sophisticated but still edgy enough to appeal to a wider audience – there are sports grilles, dark-finish headlamp bezels, revised rear bumper designs and new alloy wheels, as well as an Alfa White paint option.
The entry-point trim level is known simply as Alfa Romeo Mito with three great petrol and diesel engine choices and a generous list of standard equipment: 16-inch alloy wheels, satin chrome-effect exterior detailing (grille surrounds, headlamp and tail lamp surrounds), air conditioning, Alfa DNA driving mode selector, a rear spoiler and a Uconnect 5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with DAB and Bluetooth connectivity.
There is also a good choice of affordable option packs to add on from the Visibility Pack (auto headlamps and wipers, electro-chromic rear-view mirror and folding door mirrors); Comfort Pack (front centre armrest, floor mats, rear parking sensors and front seat lumbar adjustment); and Sport Pack (tinted windows, front fog lamps, sports instrument cluster and red brake callipers, among other optional extras.
Prices start from £12,960. Visit Alfa Romeo for more information.
Volvo’s answer to the demand for compact SUVs – the XC40 – has been met with huge success and has already claimed the coveted, What Car? Car of the Year title for 2018.
Continuing its reinvention from the standard family runner to cool and slick urban living, the XC40 promises all the safety and practicality of Volvo with contemporary features and modern design to give it maximum millennial appeal.
The XC40 will be available with a D4 diesel or a T5 petrol four-cylinder Drive-E powertrain. Further powertrain options, including a hybridised as well as a pure electric version, will be added later. The XC40 will also be the first Volvo model to be available with Volvo Cars’ new three-cylinder engine.
Safety and driver-assistance features offered on the XC40 include Volvo’s semi-autonomous Pilot Assist system, the latest generation of City Safety, Run-off Road Protection and Mitigation, Cross Traffic Alert with auto brake, and the 360° camera that helps drivers manoeuvre their car into tight parking spaces. These and other technologies make the XC40 one of the best-equipped small premium SUVs.
Internally, there is more functional storage space in the doors and under the seats, a special space for phones (including inductive charging), a fold-out hook for small bags and a removable waste bin in the tunnel console.
Prices start from £27,905. Visit Volvo for more information.
If you’re after an SUV, the Seat Ateca continues to impress, combining stylish designs with practicality. Its 4Drive all-wheel drive system is one of the most modern and efficient on the market today, using fifth generation Haldex multi-plate coupling with hydraulic actuation and electronic control.
Ateca’s design allows it to tackle challenging off-road conditions and drivers can adapt their car’s performance to suit their preference with the Seat Drive Profile; selecting from four profiles – Normal, Sport, Eco and Individual – with a simple turn of the new Driving Experience Button on the centre console.
The Ateca is equipped with safety systems and features across the board, contributing to a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and being voted What Car? Car of the Year 2018 for Best Family Car under £20,000.
Features include: Park Assist, a 360-degree array of cameras around the vehicle, Radar-controlled Front Assist and City Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Protection. Plus, more sophisticated features such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Jam Assist and Emergency Assist – which detects if the driver has become inactive and brings the car to a straight-line halt with the hazard lights illuminated.
Boot capacity is up to 510 litres with rear seats in place and 1,604 litres with rear seats folded. The boot’s rational shape makes loading simple and when even more space is needed, the rear seats can be folded over in a moment, using levers in the luggage compartment for convenience.
Prices start from £18,670. Visit Seat for more information.