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Each week, Boston.com profiles several cars that consumers can find for below a certain price point in an effort to help you find your dream car faster. The cars listed include new and used models and any financial incentives currently available. Prices posted here are either starting MSRPs for newer vehicles or based on Kelley Blue Book’s Fair Purchase Price for used vehicles.
2017 Ford Explorer
2017 Ford Explorer. —Ford
Starting MSRP: $31,660
Why it’s worth the price: The seven-passenger Ford Explorer is a stalwart midsize SUV ideal for the suburbs. The Explorer comes in five trims. The standard engine is a 3.5-liter V6. Ford also offers a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder and a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6. Also available is Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system with a 6.5- or 8-inch touch screen.
The Explorer earned a five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and top scores in nearly all crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. A rearview camera is standard, and advanced safety features including adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and lane keep assist are available.
Current incentives: Check your local Ford dealership for offers and incentives.
2017 Buick LaCrosse
2017 Buick LaCrosse. —Buick
Starting MSRP: $32,065
Why it’s worth the price: Redesigned for the 2017 model year, the Buick LaCrosse large sedan offers luxury features without the accompanying price tag. The LaCrosse’s upscale, roomy cabin comes standard with leatherette upholstery. Leather upholstery is offered on higher trims. The only engine offered with the five-passenger sedan is a 310-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6. The LaCrosse’s best-in-class fuel economy delivers 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Bluetooth, two USB ports, and an infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen are standard.
The LaCrosse earned a perfect five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and scored well in crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The sedan comes standard with a rearview camera, parking sensors, and a Teen Driver feature that can control speed and audio volume from afar.
Current incentives: Check your local Buick dealership for offers and incentives.
2017 Lincoln MKC
2017 Lincoln MKC. —Lincoln
Starting MSRP: $32,880
Why it’s worth the price: Lincoln’s five-passenger luxury compact sport utility vehicle is the upscale cousin to the Ford Escape. The Lincoln MKC retains the Escape’s performance and utility but adds leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, and, new for 2017, a power liftgate. The MKC gets a 240-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that returns 21 mpg around town and 28 mpg on the highway. Also available is a 295-horsepower, turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder. The base model is equipped with Bluetooth, satellite radio, and smartphone integration.
Current incentives: Check your local Lincoln dealership for offers and incentives.
2017 Lexus CT hybrid
2017 Lexus CT 200h F Sport. —Lexus
Starting MSRP: $31,250
Why it’s worth the price: The Lexus CT hybrid is in a class of its own: an environmentally-friendly luxury compact car. The upscale Japanese brand’s smallest car runs on a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric motors and a continuously variable transmission. Not surprisingly, the CT hybrid gets excellent fuel economy, returning 43 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway.
The Lexus CT hybrid earned excellent scores in crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It has not been rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The car does not come equipped with any active standard safety features. However, a rearview camera, forward collision warning with automatic braking, and adaptive cruise control are available.
Current incentives: Check your local Lexus dealership for offers and incentives.
2015 BMW 5-Series
KBB.com Fair Purchase Price: $31,204
Why it’s worth the price: The BMW 5-Series is a classic luxury midsize sedan. Though the car was redesigned for 2017, the 2015 model still feels fresh. The five-passenger midsize sedan comes with a choice of several engines and trims. The 528i base model is equipped with a 240-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Leatherette upholstery and BMW’s iDrive infotainment system are standard on the 2015 model.
The 2015 BMW 5-Series earned a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and excellent scores in all crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety except for the small overlap front test, which measures a collision’s impact on the vehicle’s front corner. A rearview camera, lane departure alert, forward collision warning, and adaptive cruise control are available.
Current incentives: Kelley Blue Book researchers indicate a 2015 BMW 5-Series in good or better condition can range from $29,662 to $32,745 and has a typical mileage of about 20,000. Search local used car dealerships to find one.
2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
KBB.com Fair Purchase Price: $33,707
Why it’s worth the price: A three-year-old Mercedes-Benz E-Class can save you money while sparing the luxury. Known for one of the most upscale and spacious interiors in its segment, the E-Class comes standard with leatherette upholstery, a sunroof, and power-adjustable front seats. It’s also equipped with Mercedes-Benz’s COMAND infotainment system. The 2014 model was offered in six variants, including as a diesel, a hybrid, and a high-performance badge. The E350 base model gets a capable 302-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6.
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class four-door sedan earned top scores in crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and a four-out-of-five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Current incentives: Kelley Blue Book researchers indicate a 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class in good or better condition can range from $31,727 to $35,686 and has a typical mileage of about 47,000. Search local used car dealerships to find one.