KBB rates 10 most comfy cars under $30K

Not only are premium features working their way down from luxury cars into mainstream models, but comfort and refinement are, too.

Kelley Blue Books' KBB.com car-shopping and industry tracking site says, "Today's mainstream money can buy some of the quietest cabins on the road, along with many of the comfort-oriented features that debuted upmarket just a few years ago."

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The site selected 10 more-or-less mainstream models priced less than $30,000 that it judges to be extraordinarily comfortable. "Mainstream" in this case includes two brands generally considered premium, if not outright luxury — Volvo and Buick — but all hew to the $30,000 cap.

"For many car shoppers, comfort is among the top factors in their choice of a new vehicle, especially with so many Americans spending countless hours commuting," said Jack Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley's KBB.com. "Totally redesigned for 2014, our No. 1 pick on this list — the Chevrolet Impala — proves that the big, comfortable, affordable American sedan is alive and well, and now it is stylish and modern, too."

Mario Tama | Getty Images

While big cars top the list, midsize and compact models also show up.

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Here's the KBB.com list of most comfortable mainstream models that have real-world prices less than $30,000, according to KBB.com's survey of actual transactions and real-world discounts.

1. 2014 Chevrolet Impala, KBB.com price $26,605

2. 2014 Volvo S60, KBB.com price $29,529

3. 2014 Chrysler 300, KBB.com price $29,923

4. 2014 Buick Regal, KBB.com price $27,602

5. 2014 Toyota Avalon, KBB.com price $29,320

6. 2014 Nissan Altima, KBB.com $21,020

7. 2014 Honda Accord, KBB.com price $20,434

8. 2014 Volkswagen Passat, KBB.com price $19,325

9. 2014 Buick Verano, KBB.com $23,507

10. 2015 Volkswagen Golf, base sticker price, $18,815 including shipping. Newly on sale, insufficient data to calculate real-world pricing.

Source: General Motors

By James R. Healey and Fred Meier, USA Today