Every 2023 Small Luxury Car Ranked from Best to Worst

2021 red tesla model 3 parked on the street outside a house

Even luxury small cars can’t seem to fend off the ever-mighty crossover from eating into their buyers. Sales numbers are down for many of these vehicles, but it’s looking like manufacturers are keeping them around, at least for now. That’s probably thanks to higher margins on these luxury cars. The subcompact and compact segments typically straddle the line between sport-focused and feature-filled, especially compared to their more stately larger siblings.

We rank 23 compact and subcompact luxury cars from best to worst depending on their driving performance, standard features, design, and value. If we did a standalone list for each segment, it would be pretty small. Instead, we combined both sizes into a “small” luxury car list.

22. 2023 Infiniti Q60

a 2019 infiniti q60

(image via Facebook)

The 2023 Infiniti Q60 could use some updating when it comes to its infotainment system. Other competitors are leaving it in the dust. Additionally, it has some uninspiring steering for a sporty-focused coupe. In other bad news, it has a small truck and cramped seating.

21. 2023 Infiniti Q50

a 2019 infiniti q50

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The 2022 Infiniti Q50 offers drivers competent handling, but this Infiniti also has pretty poor interior materials for a vehicle at this price point. Plus, it sucks down gas at rates similar to much larger cars. It also suffers from the same 2021 recall as the Q60.

20. 2023 Lexus RC

a 2019 lexus rc

(image via Facebook)

The 2023 Lexus RC has been redesigned with year with new exterior styling and interior modifications as well. It’s a small car, but even still, the storage capabilities are below average. It does have plenty of features, however, which is something you would expect from Lexus.

19. 2023 BMW iX

2022 bmw ix

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The BMW iX is spacious inside and has good driving dynamics, as well as safety ratings. But the funky design may not be everyone’s preference, but the range for this EV is comparable to newer competition.

18. 2023 Cadillac CT4

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Cadillac is known for their powerful array of engines, and the 2023 CT4 has three to choose from. It also has an intuitive infotainment system and responsive handling. The negatives, however, outweigh the positives. There’s a small trunk and tight rear seats. But the biggest offender, though, is the subpar materials throughout the cabin at this luxury price point.

17. 2023 Jaguar F-Type

2022 jaguar f-type


(image via Jaguar)

What are cars used for? Driving around. And when it comes to driving, the Jaguar excelled. But that’s only half the story. Drivers have to interact with their cars by using the available space and making selections with the controls. That’s where the 2023 Jaguar F-Type lets drivers down.

16. 2023 Lexus IS

a 2019 lexus is

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We aren’t fans of Lexus’s infotainment system, nor were we pleased with the small trunk. But the 2022 Lexus IS does offer sporty handling for a comfortable ride. Maybe in the future Lexus can provide better engines and improve fuel economy. In fact, an electrified engine option would hit both points in one move.

15. 2023 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

a 2019 mercedes benz cla class

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That sporty raked-roof styling is impressive to look at, but when you’re trying to see out the tiny rear window, it’s not so helpful. Plus, anyone over 10 will struggle with the low roof in the rear seats. It’s better for buyers to opt for offerings in the C- or A-classes from Mercedes-Benz.

14. 2023 Alfa Romeo Giulia

a 2019 alfa romeo giulia

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The 2023 Alfa Romeo Giulia has taken a tumble down in the ratings. It has sports car handling for a fraction of the sports car price, with a responsive and nimble driving experience. However, while we do like the revamped center stack, the touchscreen is a little finicky (and cramped). Plus, the overall interior materials are below the class standard.

13. 2023 Volkswagen Arteon

a 2019 volkswagen arteon

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The 2023 Volkswagen Arteon has good interior space and some great tech features for the price, but when you try to use them, things get a little confusing. The ho-hum styling isn’t as exciting as it could have been, but then again, VW was going for comfort instead of sportiness here.

12. 2023 Audi A3

a 2019 audi a3

(image via Facebook)

The redesigned 2023 Audi A3 has a lengthy list of standard features. That’s something we like. Plus, that powerful engine in a small athletic body results in an energetic sportster in the guise of a comfortable luxury sedan. Seats are roomier now, but the downside is the tiny trunk remains.

11. 2023 BMW 2-Series

a blue 2021 bmw 2 series

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The 2023 BMW 2-Series landed just outside the top 10. Compared to other competitors at this price point, the 2-Series offers wonderful value for first-class materials and upscale interior. It’s athletic and sporty to drive. But sizing up just a little bit (say, to the 3-series), makes all of these good things even that much better!

10. 2023 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

a 2019 mercedes benz a class

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The Audi A3 and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class are neck-in-neck. They are both around the same price, both provide an upscale interior, and both bring a smile to your face as you push the pedal to the floor. The A-Class edged ahead thanks to slightly higher design ratings.

9. 2023 Volvo S60

a 2019 volvo s60

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The 2023 Volvo S60 has what is probably our favorite interior in the segment, if not on any car. It has a large screen but also a select few buttons. It’s intuitive and responsive. (Hey Tesla, this is how it’s done). Additionally, materials are first-rate, the seats are comfortable, and the standard array of safety features is impressive. Unfortunately, it’s less athletic than competitors on this list. But it…tries.

8. 2023 BMW 4-Series

a black 2021 bmw 4 series

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The 2022 BMW 4-Series gives drivers peppy and responsive handling thanks to powerful engines. But it also has one of the highest starting prices in its class, where other competitors offer value on similarly equipped cars.

7. 2023 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

the front grille of a white 2021 mercedes-benz c-class

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The 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is our favorite Mercedes model in this class and it just ha ad brand-new redesign for 2021. The interior is futuristic without being confusing. The seats are supportive, and the larger space provides room for everyone. Besides the numerous standard features that already come with this vehicle, there is an even more exhaustive list of optional features to make it the perfect choice for you.

6. 2023 Audi A5

a 2019 audi a5

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Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz all have two cars in the top 10. They really know how to build a great car. The interior of the Audi A5 is top-notch, the controls are intuitive, and the engaged steering provides a smooth stately ride.

5. 2023 Audi A4

a 2019 audi a4

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The 2023 Audi A4 is a classy affair. Its sleek and stylish exterior carries over inside to a classy interior that spacious and comfortable. All the standard features that you could want are here when it comes to creature comforts, and the handling is top-notch. Wireless Apple CarPlay is now standard.

4. 2023 Kia Stinger

a 2019 kia sitnger

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Yes, you read that right. There’s a Kia in the top 5 of our list. If you took the badge off and test drove the Stinger, you’d swear it came from Europe and not South Korea. It’s spacious, has a clean and intuitive interior, and it’s one of the most fun vehicles to drive thanks to wonderful handling.

3. 2023 BMW 3-Series

a 2019 bmw 3 series

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The 2023 BMW 3-Series is the best Beamer our list with exciting engine options, capable steering and handling, and supportive seats. Is the infotainment system the cleanest? No, but hopefully you’re having too much fun driving to fiddle with all of that. It also offers a standard digital instrument cluster.

2. 2023 Genesis G70

a dark gray colored genesis g70 in a parking lot

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The 2023 Genesis G70 is akin to its Kia Stinger sibling (Hyundai & Kia are sister companies). All the same positive driving aspects carry over to the G70. Add to that a dizzying array of standard features for this price point, and you’ll be laughing with glee all the way to the bank!

1. 2022 Tesla Model 3

a red 2021 tesla model 3 long range

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The 2023 Tesla Model 3 has stellar safety ratings, and it has one of the longest EV ranges on the market. While the minimalist interior is nice to look at, it’s rather cumbersome to use the iPad-like screen for everything. Apple CarPlay or Android Auto? Nope! But this is the best affordable EV on the market if you price it right. Plus, it’s fun to drive!