1. 2014 Cadillac ATS
When Mercedes offered its CLA coupe in the U.S. for just under $30,000, it became a race to see which high-rolling automakers could go lowest with their prices.
Cadillac was at the front of the pack, mostly because it had to be. Its CTS, while popular and less expensive than many of the cars on this list, was a lot bigger, heavier and less efficient. Though General Motors felt it was giving drivers more for their money, it turns out luxury buyers pay for very specific size, performance and options.Though the base model offers a 2.5-liter, 321-horsepower V6, the ATS also comes with a 2.0-liter turbo engine that puts up an impressive 272-horsepower while keeping the starting price at roughly $35,000. That bumps up to $37,000 when you opt for all-wheel drive, but even those base models come with a Bose seven-speaker sound system, OnStar communications and assistance, dual-zone climate control and leather steering wheel. While it still lacks a bunch of the basic luxuries its competitors consider standard, there's enough leeway with that base price to add a few options packages without breaking the bank.
-- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Jason Notte. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/notteham. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.
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