Best Small Luxury Cars to Buy in 2023

18th May 2023

Small Luxury Cars

Small luxury cars continue to be ultra-popular, and it is not hard to see why.

Although small premium cars have technically been around for decades, it seems we are now properly spoilt for choice, with the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and MINI now tempting customers away from other mainstream car brands.

In a world where roads seem to be getting busier, tax costs continue to rise, and more buyers are not wanting the hassle of a large, expensive fuel guzzler; the small luxury car is very much in high demand.

Discover our pick of the best new and used small premium cars available below.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Mercedes-Benz A-Class

It was the S-Class which showcased Mercedes-Benz technology first; a car renowned for state-of-the-art features and automotive excellence. This would then get shared with other models in the range, or diluted slightly depending on where the model sat.

However, it was the A-Class which first showcased the brand's move towards a striking fully-digital instrument cluster, infotainment set-up, and a brand-new cutting-edge interior style. The new vibe certainly has many admirers too, with an ambiance you would only really expect to find in cars at a much more expensive price point.

Highlights include state-of-the-art plug-in hybrid models, along with high-performance AMG models. Due to its entry-level point in the Mercedes-Benz range, the A-Class is rather affordable and therefore offers a properly attractive proposition, whether you opt for a new or used model.

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BMW 1 Series

BMW 1 Series

The BMW 1 Series is the direct competitor to the aforementioned Mercedes-Benz A-Class. Both cars offer very similar packages and are the entry-level models for their perspective brands.

Launched originally in 2004, the 1 Series gave buyers an attractive way into BMW ownership, being great for admirers of the brand and of course boosting sales for BMW by appealing to new customers. Today, the 1 Series is properly sophisticated with sharp looks, five doors as standard, a large boot, and an ultra-modern interior.

The 1 Series incorporates cool gesture controls along with voice commands in its fully-digital interior. There are a range of models available when buying new and used, allowing you to tailor a 1 Series to your exact requirements.

M Performance M135i models of the 1 Series offer enhanced style and performance that is not too far behind some BMW M models - meaning they are rather popular with those wanting a performance bargain.

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Audi A1

Audi A1

Although the Audi A3 competes directly with the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and BMW 1 Series mentioned previously, Audi offers an even smaller premium and luxury package, in the form of the Audi A1.

With striking exterior looks and a smart digital interior, the A1 is a superb-looking small hatchback. It has become a lot more sophisticated than its predecessor, and it also features five doors as standard, making it more practical too.

If you are in the market for a new or used luxury supermini rather than a luxury hatchback, the A1 is well worth a look.

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BMW i3

BMW i3


BMW already got well ahead of the game with the i3, launching back in 2013. With a few facelifts and updates along the way, the i3 still looks fresh, and being 100 percent fully-electric, running costs are low. We would go as far as saying that the i3 is without doubt one of the best small premium electric luxury car out there, and it has been for some time.

This is thanks to a strong standard specification and eye-catching upgrades like the stunning 19-inch alloy wheels. The interior also features beautiful digital design, with recycled materials used where possible, to excellent effect.

With the i3 offering around 190 miles of range, and performance similar to some of the best small hot hatches on sale, the i3 set the foundation for just how good BMW electric cars are, and will be joined by many new BMW electric models soon.

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MINI Hatchback

MINI Electric

You simply cannot ignore the MINI hatchback when talking about small luxury and premium cars. After all, the original 'Mini' from 1959 was enjoyed by the rock and roll elite and even royalty, despite being an affordable car made for the masses.

It is fair to say, however, that the current MINI created by BMW is far more luxurious than the original and due to its status, it makes our small luxury and premium car list with ease.

Today, it provides a funky and stylish package that can easily compete with the Audi A1 mentioned previously. With a scope for customisation, nimble handling, and multiple models available, including an all-electric version, this MINI ticks all the right boxes.

The MINI hatchback is perhaps the most quirky example on our list too, with most models being personalised, making them quite unique in their specifications. Interiors also follow a retro feel, complemented by a large circular infotainment screen and digital instrument cluster in the latest models.

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Discover your perfect small luxury car with Stratstone

We hope our list of small luxury and premium cars has given you a clear insight of just how good the cars available are.

One thing is for certain, the Germans are leading the way in this segment and although technically the MINI is British, being owned by BMW, the German connection is strong in all five cars that make our list.

See something you like? Contact your nearest Stratstone retailer to arrange a test drive, or why not browse our complete selection of used cars, or new car offers.