2021 SUVs Offer Big Bang for Your $50,000 Buck

Tyler Vonnahme is a client adviser for BMW of Des Moines.
Writer: Steven Dinnen
Can you get a good car for $50,000? You actually can get a great car for that much money—with a comfortable ride, sharp looks, and enough bells and whistles you may end up like my sister-in-law—in a class trying to learn from the dealer how to drive your new acquisition.

The 2021 model year heavily features SUVssport utility vehicles  which these days account for 50% of all passenger cars sold nationwide. So let’s look at SUVs, like perhaps a black sapphire BMW X3 xDrive30i SAV on offer at BMW of Des Moines for $50,385. It has heated front seats, air conditioning for front and rear, a navigation system, and a parking assistance package that features active parking assistance controls and surround view with 3D view.

“It’s like a drone for you,” said Tyler Vonnahme, a client adviser at the Urbandale car lot. “The X3 is a very popular car for us.”
The X3 is in the middle of the main BMW lineup of SUVs. There also are X1s, the entry level, and fully kitted-out X5s, which have a third row of seating.
Across the street from BMW of Des Moines lies the sprawling Willis auto campus, where you can choose from a slew of foreign and domestic vehicles. We looked at one of the XT5s, which “is by far the most popular” selling Cadillac, said Josh Dreyer, marketing director. A model we chose was crystal white in color, with a black interior and all-wheel drive. It has a power liftgate, remote starter, lane departure warning device and emergency backup braking that will come in handy at a grocery store parking lot. Willis seemed to be in a good mood on this vehicle, marking down the $48,935 MSRP to $43,435.

Bouncing back across the street, Mercedes Benz has its GLA 250 series of SUVs in the low to mid-40s range. Typical powerplant is a four-cylinder engine, which manages to produce 221 horsepower. One we spotted at $45,625 featured eight speakers, a decent 30 miles per gallon highway rating, and rain-sensing wipers.

A Lincoln Nautilus at Stivers Ford Lincoln in Waukee can run from the low $40,000s to $52,310 for a splashed-out Nautilus Reserve version we spotted online. That will get you heated rear seats to keep passengers comfy in the winter.

Dealers are reporting difficulty keeping up with demand on some models. A short supply of necessary semiconductors has hampered production, as well. So be patient.

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