Cars have been a symbol of status and money since the early 1920s. When automobiles first became available to the public, only the wealthy were able to afford them. Automobiles were a rarity back then and those that were driving around in cars were seen as the wealthiest people in town.
Much has changed with cars in the last century, yet there is still a sense of wealth and status tied to vehicles. The luxury car market, which is considered as a car that goes above and beyond the basics, is kind of unbelievable. In 2019, luxury car sales generated an estimated $10,657M and accounted for just 6% of the US car market. That’s a whole lot of money for a small percentage of sales.
Luxury cars are thought of as only being for the rich and famous, but that’s not necessarily true. If you’ve always dreamed of rolling through town in Beamer or pulling up Porsche, but thought that dream is way out of your budget, think again. Buying a used luxury car can be a game changer.
Here are ten rich cars that you can buy on a budget:
Mazda MX-5 Miata
The Mazda MX-5 Miata has always been the best of both worlds. It’s an inexpensive, sporty two-seat convertible with excellent handling and balance. It’s been a favorite for weekend warriors and amateur racers since its inception and is truly one of the best cars money can buy. You can find the new Mazda MX-5 Miata for under $30k, with used prices averaging just below $16k.
There’s four generations of the MX-5 Miata and though there are differences between each generation, you can’t really go wrong. The original is arguably the most charming model with a drop top fabric roof and pop-up headlights. The second generation brought fixed headlights, a rear window and nice interior upgrades. Mazda started back to the basics for the third generation, upgrading the car’s foundation and re-styling its look a bit, adding in features like a power retractable hardtop roof and automatic climate control. The fourth generation, which includes the brand new 2020 MX-5 Miata, is shorter and lighter than its predecessors yet still keeps the sleek minimalistic feel that the MX-5 Miata is known for. The latest models have an upgraded engine, interior and technology upgrades and the latest safety features.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata is a classic luxury car for many good reasons — the price point is just the cherry on its drop top.
2019 BMW X1
BMW has long been synonymous with wealth. However one of the most affordable options from the brand, the 2019 BMW X1, can be found used for around $30k. It boasts a spacious cabin, good fuel efficiency, a powerful engine and more advanced safety features than the two previous model years.
A potential downside is the interior synthetic leather upholstery isn’t quite as luxurious as competitors. If you’re set on owning a BMW, this is the perfect budget-friendly Beamer.
2008 Jaguar XK
Though it’s a bit past its prime, the 2008 Jaguar XK is a classy car that has all the luxurious touches without being too flashy. You can pick one up used for $10k to $20k, depending on condition.
On top of being a head turner, the Jaguar XK is incredibly fun to drive and keeps sports car fans coming back for more. The powerful V8 engine makes it easy to go from calm city cruiser to graceful sports car in seconds. Despite being fabric, the convertible top is well insulated and keeps wind and noise to a minimum. Inside you’ll find stitched leather upholstery and wood interiors that ooze elegance without going overboard. A great option for those that want a modest luxury vehicle that doesn’t skimp on speed or power.
2013 Cadillac ATS
Cadillac is another brand that has made its mark in the luxury vehicle world. The 2013 Cadillac ATS is a luxury sedan that rivals the BMW Series 3 and challenges the thought that Cadillacs are exclusively large, businessman cars. The ATS features standard rear-wheel drive, eight airbags, rear automatic braking and some sweet bells and whistles like hands-free connectivity, Bose speakers and automatic climate controls. Upgrades are seemingly endless and vary based on which of the four available trims you go with.
For a car that started at $35k, you can find a used 2013 Cadillac ATS for less than half of the original price tag, right around the $10k to $15k.
2020 Audi A3
The only brand new car on our list, the 2020 Audi A3 is right in the sweet spot of super cool and super affordable. Starting at $32k, the 2020 Audi A3 has an incredible price point for all that it offers. The A3 has a long list of impressive standard features, a lavish interior cabin and powerful engine options. The biggest criticism of the Audi A3 is lack of trunk space and a rather small back seat. But hey, maybe that’s your excuse to leave the kids at home for the weekend getaway.
As Audi’s smallest model, the Audi A3 is marketed as an entry-level vehicle but hardly feels like such. Those looking to buy a luxury vehicle on the newer side, the brand new Audi A3 is the best deal out there.
At surface level, the Vaydor G35 seems too good to be true. Coming out at a total of around $15k, the Vaydor G35 is actually an Infiniti G35 outfitted with the Vaydor body kit. You start with a 2003-2007 Infiniti G35, which cost around $4k, and replace almost the entire original body with the Vaydor kit, which is priced at $11k.
While the Vaydor kit takes care of the head turning, the reliability of the Infiniti G35 is really what makes it such a sweet deal. The short list of desirable features includes a 280-horsepower V6 engine, rear wheel drive, and optional six-speed close-ratio manual transmission.
The Vaydor G35 is truly one of a kind stunner. It’s a true movie star car — The Joker drove a bubblegum pink Vayder G35 in Suicide Squad. Buying the Infiniti G35 and the kit separately is definitely the cheaper route, though you can find pre-assembled Vayder G35s for sale with a hefty price tag of $75k or more.
2014 Mercedes S-Class
Mercedes has been a leader in luxury vehicles for, well, forever. The 2014 S-Class really sticks to the definition of luxury by going way above and beyond the basics. Even with all the niceties you could dream up, the 2014 Mercedes S-Class can still be found used for as low as $30k. Though you can expect to pay more for higher trims.
With the classic Mercedes emblem adorned on its hood, the 2014 S550 comes standard with a twin-turbocharged V8 engine and a seven-speed automatic transmission. Inside, leather upholstery and handcrafted wood accents are just the tip of the iceberg. Standard features include push-button start, a 13-speaker Burmester surround sound system, two 12.3-inch displays, a navigation system, wireless connectivity, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and more. Some models have posh upgrades like massaging seats, heated armrests and doors, heated and cooled cup holders, and a cabin air purification system.
While it does scale towards the higher end of pricing for this list, the 2014 Mercedes S-Class is one of the most swanky vehicles you can buy without breaking the bank.
2002 Maserati Spyder
The 2002 Maserati Spyder marked the end of Maserati’s decade-plus absence from the US market. The two-seat convertible roadster has hardly lost its power status since hitting the US, yet the years have brought its price point way down. You can easily find a used 2002 Maserati Spyder for under $20k.
Being a renowned Italian brand, Maserati incorporated touches of Italian flair like fine leather and stylish design to the Spyder. The fully automatic soft top hides under a hardcover, adding to its sleek body design. Inside you’ll find a high-grade cockpit with top-notch interior leather upholstery that comes in 10 colors.
One thing to note is that Maserati only released a couple hundred Spyders in the U.S. If you’re able to find one, they’re an excellent luxury vehicle at a low price point.
2011 Porsche Cayman
For a fast, fun ride from a classic luxury brand, look no further than the 2011 Porsche Cayman. A true sports car, the Cayman has outstanding handling and balanced steering that demonstrates the precision that German engineering is known for. These days, you can find a used 2011 Porsche Cayman for right around $30k. Not bad for a ride that’s fast, powerful and reliable.
The seemingly only downside to the 2011 Porsche Cayman is the small cabin. It really is cramped compared to other models, but if you are looking for something you car drive solo and high speed, definitely consider the 2011 Porsche Cayman.
The Genesis G70 has been a contender for small luxury cars due to its affordable price point, sharp handling, swift acceleration and high end interior. The new 2020 model starts at $35k, which isn’t bad for a luxury vehicle. The 2019 model can be found for under $30k and shares many similarities with the brand new version.
In addition to a sleek body, the Genesis G70 has a powerful engine, awesome brakes and a long list of great standard features. It’s also scored well when it comes to reliability. It’s few drawbacks are not great fuel efficiency, a cramped backseat and small trunk space. But if it’s just you and a passenger, you don’t have much to worry about.
Found your new ride?
If you’ve found the perfect high-end car for the perfect low-end price, don’t wait to seal the deal. Use FlipRide and you’ll be able to transfer money, paperwork, and create a seller agreement quickly, so you can get through the boring paperwork and out on the open road.
Get started with FlipRide and driving your dream car today!