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You can buy one of these luxury brands for about the same price as an intermediate car

Lexus CT 200h ($30,950 base): Largely based on the Toyota Prius, this up-market hybrid is affordable and stylish.

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Lexus CT 200h ($30,950 base): This Lexus gives luxury buyers a “green” and very affordable choice.Bill Petro

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Audi A3 ($34,100 base): A nimble and comfortable small hatchback, the A3 is the entry-level car in Audi Canada’s lineup.

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Audi A3 ($34,100 base): What Audi needs, however, is bring the A2 and even the A1 to Canada. We can only hope.

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Buick Regal ($31,990 base): Buick is threatening to become a full-blown luxury brand and the Regal helps here. Based on a Opel model designed for Europe, the Regal is handsome and fun to drive.

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Buick Regal ($31,990 base): Based on a Opel model designed for Europe, the Regal is handsome and fun to drive.GM

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Chrysler 300 ($32,995): This rear-wheel-drive sedan has bold looks and the performance of a premium car, though the Chrysler brand is not really very strong when pitted against the best brands out there.

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Chrysler 300

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Hyundai Genesis ($38,999 base): Hyundai dipped its toe into luxury cars with the Genesis a couple of years ago, and while not a great sales success, the car is a solid player even if the Hyundai brand is by no means premium.

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Hyundai Genesis

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Infiniti G25 ($36,390 base): One of the nimbler and better-looking entry-level premium sedans, the G25 is for driving enthusiasts with its quick responses and tight steering.Guy Spangenberg/Spangenberg Phot

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2011 Infiniti G25Guy Spangenberg/Spangenberg Phot

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Lexus IS250 ($32,900 base): While on the small side, this Lexus sedan offers some surprises in the ride and handling department.Bill Petro

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Lexus IS 250 ($32,900 base): Good value, though Lexus has a product renaissance coming next year and the IS 250 is expected to be part of it.Bill Petro

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Lincoln MKZ ($38,400): As quiet as they come, the MKZ is reliable and comfortable and, with discounting, very affordable.Ford

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2011 Lincoln MKZFord

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Mercedes-Benz B200 ($29,900): The B has been a key piece in the Mercedes push to become the No. 1 premium brand in Canada. Very practical.Daimler AG

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2011 Mercedes-Benz B-ClassDaimler AG

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Volvo C30 ($30,995 base): Volvo Canada has spent almost nothing to promote the C30, but what an interesting car this is from a design perspective. Worth a look for the buyer who wants something different.

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Volvo C30

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