Cheap Cars That Look Expensive

From Audis to Kias, there are lots of cars that look expensive but are actually much cheaper than the average luxury car.
Written by Jason Tushinski
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
Jan 1, 2019
From very recent BMW SUVs and road-owning Cadillac sedans to playful Italian sports cars and classic British luxury vehicles, there are plenty of expensive-looking cars that you can now find for an affordable used price.
It’s okay to admit that you fantasize about zipping down the street in a head-turning, eye-popping, jaw-dropping luxury vehicle. If anyone’s had the gall to tell you that you’ll never be able to afford a gorgeous motor car, think again! Before you know it, you’ll be turning the taunters into slack-jawed gawkers with one of these expensive-looking used cars.
Whatever (kinda-) pricey vehicle you get your hands on, you’ll have to protect that valuable ride with
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To get the inside info on the best cheap cars that look expensive, keep reading!

2020 Audi A3

2020 Audi A3
Price: $27,000 to $32,000
A trendy German sports car at a decent price? Guten Tag!
The Audi A3 sports a powerful line of engines, as well as a stylish, sleek interior. Additionally, it boasts quick acceleration and responsive handling. It’s very well-built—it is German, after all—although this model does have a smaller back seat and a rather cramped trunk.
The A3 is Audi’s smallest model, but you’ll be able to get it even cheaper as a used model.

2019 BMW X1

2019 BMW X1
Price: $27,000 to $32,000
A sleek BMW SUV from the makers of the world’s ultimate driving machine.
This BMW offers a big cabin, solid fuel economy, a muscular engine, and lots of high-tech safety features and driver-assist technology. The interior is not quite as nice—synthetic leather doesn’t measure up to the X1’s rivals (or BMW’s lofty standards) in the highly competitive luxury SUV space.
Still, this is a very budget-friendly BMW that no one will know you got on the cheap—you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to pull the woolly lederhosen over your friends’ eyes.
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2019 Genesis G70

2019 Genesis G70
Price: $29,000 to $35,000
From Hyundai’s luxury division, the Genesis G70 sedan offers zippy handling, quick acceleration, and a luxurious interior.
The G70 offers a powerful line of engines, strong brakes, reliability, and lots of high-tech features. Its fuel economy isn’t great though, and both the rear seat and trunk are tight. The 2019 model is nearly as nice as more recent models, and you can get this one for closer to $30,000.

2017 Kia Cadenza

2017 Kia Cadenza
Price: $19,000 to $25,000
A big, fancy, stylish sedan from Kia that looks expensive (but isn’t).
Kia only sold about 30,000 of these smooth operators, so if you find one, you’ll have one of the more unique vehicles on the road. The Cadenza offers a smooth, angular design with sublime details, including awesome “Z” patterns within the headlights. This Kia is a very comfortable ride inside as well.

2014 Mercedes S-Class

2014 Mercedes S-Class
Price: $30,000 to $38,000
Feel like The Grand Burgher of Prussia in this classic, high-end German luxury vehicle.
Be charmed by the S550’s wood accents, leather seats and Burmester surround sound system, twin 12.3-inch screens, push-button start, navigation system, massaging seats, heated cup holders, and cabin air purification system. The S550 offers a twin-turbocharged V8 engine with seven-speed automatic transmission.
Who likes feeling fancy? You do, apparently—and with the S550, you’ll still be able to pay your mortgage! You can get a used one of these road-yachts for under $40,000.

2013 Cadillac ATS

2013 Cadillac ATS
Price: $10,000 to $15,000
You don’t have to be a casually dressed middle manager to get your hands on some sweet, American-built (used) luxury.
The ATS features rear-wheel drive, eight airbags, automatic emergency braking, and hands-free technology. It also boasts Bose speakers, an automatic climate control system, and other goodies.

2011 Porsche Cayman

2011 Porsche Cayman
Price: $24,000 to $32,000
You’ll no longer have to joke to friends that “the Porsche is in the shop” because this Porsche will be in your driveway.
This roadster is lots of fun, and who can get enough of that famous Porsche mystique? The Cayman offers amazing handling, balanced steering, and tremendous power.
The interior is tight, even for just a driver and a passenger, though. The Cayman is probably not the best car for family road trips—or even grocery store runs.
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2008 Jaguar XK

2008 Jaguar XK
Price: $10,000 to $20,000
Grab this road-growler from a classic British carmaker without paying too many pounds and pence.
The Jaguar XK is lots of fun to drive with its animalistic V8 engine. Even with its convertible top, the Jag XK is well-insulated and provides a quiet, but lightning-fast, ride. Drive in luxury with understated-but-elegant stitched leather upholstery and wood accents.

2005 Cadillac Escalade

2005 Cadillac Escalade
Price: $5,000 to $10,000
Drive around like you're a big shot in this big, imposing Escalade.
The Escalade was the height of luxury SUVs when released with a $55,000 price tag. Now, get it for a literal song for under $10,000 used. You’ll find a luxurious interior with lots of features for this premium (if slightly old) ride.

2002 Maserati Spyder

2002 Maserati Spyder
Price: $25,000 to $30,000
A two-seat convertible with lots of power and that Italian panache. You deserve some Italian panache in your life!
This Spyder is rare—only a few hundred were released in the U.S. market, so you could have a collector’s item on your hands. It’s equipped with a fine leather interior, not to mention the beautiful and stylish exterior design. Get one used for under $30,000—if you can find one.

Mazda MX-5 Miata

Mazda MX Miata
Price: $26,830 starting MSRP (new), $12,000 to $18,000 (used, 2015)
An inexpensive yet sporty, fun ride that is the epitome of cheap thrills.
The original Miata is known for its drop-top fabric roof and pop-up headlights. The second generation offered a rear window, fixed headlights, and an upgraded interior. The third generation offered a power retractable roof, an upgraded body, and automatic climate control.
The current generation sports upgraded engines, new technology, nicer interiors, and the newest safety features including driver-assist technology. It also carries a shorter, sleeker, and lighter exterior. The Miata handles beautifully and is a balanced ride.

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