Best 2018 Luxury Cars Under $50,000

Mercedes-Benz C-Class
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2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

$40,250 | U.S. News Overall Score: 8.4/10

The 2018 C-Class offers the cabin opulence you’d expect from a Mercedes-Benz vehicle, but otherwise, it can’t keep pace in our competitive luxury small car rankings. Even the lowest C-Class trim level comes standard with genuine wood accents, high-quality leatherette upholstery, and a sleek infotainment screen. It’s easy to get comfortable up front thanks to the wide range of seating adjustments, though the rear seats are more cramped than those of many competitors.

You can choose from two powertrains and still stay under budget: the base four-cylinder engine in the C300 model or the plug-in hybrid powertrain in the C350e. The C300 has adequate power for daily driving, while the C350e lets you drive about 8 miles using only electric power; it gets as much as 51 MPGe. The C-Class feels composed during cornering, and its steering system requires a light touch, which makes long-distance cruising a simple task.

The main reason the C-Class ranks lower than its closest rivals is its low predicted reliability rating. Most luxury sedans earn ratings of three or higher, while the C-Class only has a two out of five rating.

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