QOTD: Best All-round Small Luxury Sedans in 2020?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

Reflecting on the numerous sedans which passed away at the end of the 2019 model year, we recently asked you to pick the best all-round offerings in sizes small, medium, and large. In each size grouping, we excluded premium and luxury offerings, and each time someone complained that the list lacked premium offerings.

It’s 2020 now, and as always at TTAC we aim to please: Today we select the best sedans from premium and luxury marques. Small cars are up first.

The list below is comprised of premium-marque sedans that range in size from subcompact to the larger side of compact, per U.S. News. Only real sedans with four doors and a trunk are included.

Acura ILX

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Audi A3

Audi A4

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

BMW 3 Series

Cadillac CT4

Genesis G70

Infiniti Q50

Jaguar XE

Lexus IS

Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Mercedes-Benz CLA

Volvo S60

Slightly less than the 19 cars from non-premium brands, there are still 15 small sedan offerings for the luxury customer in 2020. Most of the names here are familiar, apart from the brand new 2 Series Gran Coupe. Unlike other silly Gran Coupe offerings, the 2 has a traditional trunk opening and not a liftback.

For the best all-round vehicle here, I’m going with the lone Korean option. The Genesis G70 is by all motoring press accounts a great car to drive. It’s available in rear- and all-wheel drive variants, with four and six cylinders, and with manual and automatic transmissions. One simply does not find that sort of choice in the modern automotive world.

The styling, inside and out, is more cohesive than the slice-and-dice Lexus IS, and I’ve got more faith in Hyundai build quality, materials, and power plants than I do in the Volvo S60. I think the G70’s where it’s at in this segment; customers must just be okay with the (for now) second-rate badge.

Let’s hear your selections for the best all-round small premium sedan.

[Images: BMW, Genesis]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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2 of 78 comments
  • Emineid Emineid on Jan 04, 2020

    My top choice: BMW 440i Gran Coupe. Rented it via Turo last summer, drove on the Taconic Parkway in New York on the way to Lake George. This is my idea of a nicely driving modern sedan with impeccable handling. Too bad it does not come in a stick. My top choice with a stick shift: G70. I bought it in September. Took it on the Tail of the Dragon. Unflappable handling. The feel of the manual shifter reminds me of the 2007 Porsche 911 Carrera. It is a precise shifter but it feels too "bone-on-bone" without the cartilage. None of the newer cars duplicate the steering feel of the 2002 BMW 325i with stick shift that I have. The heavier steering with the "feedback" is something that none of newer cars duplicate. The steering feels like a fine old-school hydraulic machine. Doesn't feel like a video game controller. By the way, none of the above-mentioned cars are as nice to shift as my 2008 Honda Accord. For around-the-town stop and go traffic, the Honda Accord shifter and clutch are extremely forgiving (least likely to get "blocked" going into a gear, least likely to stall).

  • HuskyHawk HuskyHawk on Jan 06, 2020

    I missed this the other day. Bought a BMW 340i (F30 from 2017) in November. That B58 engine is spectacular. Sold the car. Interior is typical dull BMW but everything is overbuilt and very high quality. Handling is great, steering is not as good as my Mazda CX-5. Sad that. But they cheaped out and offset the pedals and even tilted the seat towards the A-pillar. So I must now sell as the stupid car gives me sciatica. Mind boggling that they built it this way. So I really wish I'd gotten a G70 instead.

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