Buy cars under $ 40,000 with the best models on sale today

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Craig Cole / Roadshow

You don’t have to spend $ 40,000 to take home a nice vehicle, even if the average new car price is above today’s value. Because of this, it was important for us to highlight the best cars under $ 40,000.

We have already highlighted cars below the $ 30,000 mark. With this price cap, the extra batter opens up multiple makes and models to buyers, including entry-level luxury cars, medium-sized SUVs, and even long-range electric cars. Here are our editors’ favorites.

(Note: while all of the vehicles listed here have a base manufacturer’s suggested retail price that is less than $ 40,000, some of them offer full-featured trim levels that may exceed that price cap.)

2021 Kia Telluride

I’m choosing a somewhat unusual choice for this round-up because I spent some time at Kia’s Telluride recently and was really impressed. It’s remarkably good. I think it looks remarkably good too, though definitely divided opinions.

The ride is leisurely or comfortable, but it is really nifty and lulls my passengers to sleep several times. Meanwhile, the 3.8-liter V6 is more than adequate power and the eight-speed gearbox is responsive and unobtrusive, which is really all you can expect from an automatic in such a device.

You can get into a front-wheel drive Kia Telluride for $ 33,060 including destination, which is affordable given all of its offerings. Within our $ 40,000 cap, I’d access the feature-rich EX equipment, which starts at $ 38,460 and includes Kia’s comprehensive Highway Driving Assist system. Another $ 2,000 gets you AWD, then you’re just above the $ 40,000 mark for a large, comfortable SUV that is as challenging to drive as it looks.

– Tim Stevens

Read our latest Kia Telluride review.

2021 Toyota Avalon

I tend to like small, sporty cars. The 2020 Toyota Avalon is neither of those things, so why am I recommending it? Because it’s a fabulously well-made big sedan that’s an epic long-range cruiser. Its looks may not be for everyone, but there’s no denying that its buttery-smooth drivetrain and top-notch cabin are among its many strengths.

A 3.5 liter gasoline V6 comes standard with 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque and has plenty of power. An optional hybrid model with an electrically boosted 2.5-liter four-cylinder is available for about $ 1,000 more, but unless gasoline prices soar that fuel efficiency is like an ointment for the power deficit in the mid-1940s ( 176 hp, 163 pounds) works. Feet), I would recommend sticking with the standard motor.

Prices start at $ 36,830 (including destination) for a well-equipped base XLE, with premium Limited models priced at just over $ 42,000 ahead of options. At this end of the spectrum, you’ll see an Avalon luxurious enough to forget about that car’s more expensive Lexus ES twin. Oh yes, and if that’s not enough to stay in the Toyota showroom, you should know: The Avalon has an infinitely less annoying infotainment interface, and the rear seats can be folded down.

– Chris Paukert

Read our latest Toyota Avalon review.

2021 Volvo XC40

Small car luxury crossovers are often hit-or-miss affairs. Some skimp on luxury and style while others are duds behind the wheel. Neither of these applies to the Volvo XC40. If I were to buy a small premium SUV, I would definitely buy it.

The XC40 starts at $ 34,695 including the target, and I like the lowest momentum trim best (same spec as Long-term XC40 test car of the roadshow). Go for the more powerful, all-wheel drive T5 engine, choose a few option packages, and you have a really well-equipped crossover for around $ 40,000. LED headlights, leather seats, a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system and lots of active safety equipment come as standard.

The XC40 impresses with its relaxed, comfortable driving dynamics, the spacious interior and the high-quality materials. It’s everything I love about Volvo’s bigger, more expensive vehicles, all in one small package.

– Steven Ewing

Read our latest Volvo XC40 review.

2021 Hyundai Kona Electric

The $ 40,000 provision opens up a new breed of entry-level EV for buyers, and one of our favorites is Hyundai’s Kona Electric. The small car SUV combines generous safety and cabin technology with adequate space, everything packed into a city-friendly floor space and a wallet-friendly budget. If you want to keep it under $ 40,000, you have to go for the SEL trim.

The Kona’s electric motor sends 201 horsepower and 291 lb-ft of torque to its front wheels. That’s more getting up and walking than the turbo-charged gasoline Kona, but the heavier EV is a bit slower overall. With no gear changes or engine speeds to be built, however, the almost noiseless electric SUV should feel more responsive away from the line and in the city.

The most important number, of course, is the Kona Electric’s 258-mile EPA estimated range – which should dispel most range concerns. With a DC quick charger, the electric vehicle can charge its battery to 80% in around an hour. More common level 2 240 volt home and public stations can deplete the battery on a 9.5 hour charge.

– Antuan Goodwin

Read our latest Hyundai Kona Electric review.

2020 Acura RDX is a delight for budget conscious luxury buyers

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2021 Acura RDX

The third generation Acura RDX was launched last year and offers a number of improvements over its already solid predecessor. A more appealing styling, a new turbo engine and Acura’s excellent SH-AWD system make the RDX really interesting. It’s nicer inside too, with great controls layout, some of the most comfortable seats in the business, and a healthy list of technology offerings. With a base price of $ 38,825, including $ 1,025 for the destination, it’s not bad value for a sporty entry-level luxury crossover.

A 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder powers the RDX and produces a respectable 272 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. The latter is available from 1,600 rpm up to 4,500 rpm for lively acceleration from standstill and out of corners and works with a well-coordinated 10-speed automatic. Spring for the optional adaptive dampers and you have a little crossover that can be fun to toss around or convenient for normal push of a button driving.

The infotainment is provided by Acura’s True Touchpad Interface with a 10.2-inch center screen, which can be operated intuitively after a short familiarization period. It is offered with navigation, an ELS audio system with 16 speakers, WLAN hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functions. For safety reasons, a front collision warning with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and a multi-angle reversing camera are standard.

– Jon Wong

Read our latest Acura RDX review.

2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

The A-Class is a great introduction to the Mercedes-Benz brand. This small sedan exceeds its weight with high-quality materials, a lively turbo engine and a lot of technology.

The Mercedes infotainment system MBUX comes on an optional 10.25-inch touchscreen and brings natural speech recognition to the table. I also love the augmented reality overlay that is available in the navigation. It shows the navigation directions directly on the real-time video display of the front camera, so you won’t miss a turn.

The four-cylinder turbo engine develops 188 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque, which is more than enough for the A220 sedan. A sport mode can adjust the gearbox and throttle response, while comfort is great for everyday driving. Power goes to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, though all-wheel drive is available for those in colder climates.

Overall, the A-Class is a real premium car – far more than the last-generation CLA250 ever was.

– Not hall

Read our current Mercedes-Benz A-Class test.

2021 Toyota RAV4

Toyota’s RAV4 is one of the best-selling small SUVs in the world for a reason. It’s simple, sturdy, well built, and reasonably priced. And it looks good too.

The RAV4 2020 drive options might not be the most exciting in the world, but they are efficient and shouldn’t cause you many problems in the future. The optional hybrid power in a compact SUV is also a good selling point.

The RAV4, especially in the Adventure version, is a pretty SUV that looks a bit like its more off-road siblings without forcing any compromises on its owner. It’s a great crossover and more attractive than ever.

– Kyle Hyatt

Read our latest Toyota RAV4 review
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2021 Audi Q3

The 2021 Audi Q3 is on sale and has some major improvements and I believe that will give this little German an edge over their competitors, many of whom are very compelling.

After trying the Q3 last year, I can confirm its handling capabilities. With the same 228 hp turbo I4 as the Volkswagen Golf GTI, it should also ensure enough hustle and bustle to underpin on-road behavior that invites you to have a little fun behind the wheel.

The starting price of the Q3 of $ 35,695 including destination offers you solid standard equipment, including a 10.25-inch cluster display, a panoramic sunroof, two-zone automatic climate control, two rows of USB ports and automatic emergency braking.

– Andrew Kroki

Read our current Audi Q3 review.

Continue reading: Best truck for 2021

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