7 Cheap Awesome Luxury Cars That Look Expensive

2005 maserati gransport

The price of used cars this year getting you down? Feeling like you’ll never be able to get out of your beater? Ready to move up in the world? Well, we have a list of 7 cars that won’t break the bank, but will also make it look as though your home business has taken off.

From the perfect high-roller villain car to supercar sounds on a budget, these cars will look like they’re worth 10 times what they cost. These are the 7 cheap luxury cars that look expensive. 

Mercedes S-Class – German Depreciation

mercedes s class

So, of course, there’s only one place we can start and that’s with the “mac daddy” of all luxury cars: the Mercedes S-Class. The S-Class has been the top-of-the-range luxury car from Mercedes since its inception in 1972. Mercedes loves to adorn the S-Class with all the bells and whistles! These same features became standard on cars many years later, making even a 10-year-old S-Class feel just as current as any other car, but with far more class.

We saw an S55 AMG with under 100,000 miles and listed for under $11,000. That is a huge bargain from the $100,000 it cost new, especially when you start negotiating. With 355 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque, this naturally aspirated V8 will blow away other cars while keeping you feeling fly.

Active suspension makes this Autobahn-bruiser ride softer than the Napa leather sports seats you’ll be sitting in. “But a used German luxury car with a handbuilt motor? You must be joking! The costs to service that will be ridiculous!” Sure, there is a stigma to used luxury cars, but with some research, good buying skills, and the willingness to turn a wrench yourself, you’ll save you tons at the repair shop.

This stigma is the whole reason you can find well-taken-care-of examples for pennies on the dollar from their MSRP. Of course, a German Autobahn-bruiser may not be your style. Maybe you need to carry around your dog and still look as good as they get. Say hello to the Lexus RX450h.

Lexus RX450h – Green Lux

lexus rx450h

Lexus has become synonymous with luxury. This hybrid SUV is no different. Packed full of tech- and leather-adorned surfaces, the RX will impress anyone, including your passengers with reclining rear seats and a banging audio system with AUX and Bluetooth in 2011. For being 10 years old, this premium SUV punches up there with brand new cars. Add the 295 horsepower hybrid drive with 30 miles per gallon combined and you’ll be passing others with ease (and passing the gas stations along the way).

We found an RX450h in all-wheel drive for under $15,000 with less than 100,000 miles on the odometer. I’d say that’s a pretty good deal for a car that costs $50,000 new and comes with Japanese reliability.

Do cargo space, efficiency, and reliability not get you going? Would you rather be loud, brash, and flashy? Then this next car is right for you.

Maserati GranSport – Italian Swag

maserati gransport

It’s the Maserati GranSport. Nothing evokes passion and supercar luxury like the Italians and that is certainly true here. The curvaceous body and leather-lined interior all wrapped around a Ferrari 4.2-liter V8 and Cambiocorsa F1 paddle transmission. This 2+2 luxury coupe will turn heads from the sound alone and keep them looking your way with its beautiful looks.

Yes, of course, owning a used Ferrari-powered car is likely not going to be nice to your wallet, but you will impress everyone when you turn up to your local car meet. Plus, they don’t have to know that you bought this $105,000 supercar for less than $20,000 with under 70,000 miles on the clock. That has to be one of the best deals we’ve seen for so much car.

But, maybe you want to be more like Brad and get some of that V8 Audi sweetness, but without that supercar price tag. Look no further than the Audi A8L.

Audi A8L Quattro – Super Saloon

audi a8l quattro

If you thought the S-Class was nice, wait until you sit in one of these. While this 4.2-liter V8 puts out slightly less power than the Mercedes, the exhaust is where it really comes to life. Yes, this engine is nearly the same as the R8 but shoved in an all-wheel drive super-saloon. Add together some of the finest tech and luxury items in the automotive industry and you have a truly epic ride whether you’re driving or being chauffeured.

Even the rear seats on the Audi A8L are electrically adjusted, heated, have their own mirrors, and have separate rear dual-zone heating and air conditioning. This would be the best option for impressing your new girlfriend’s parents when you take them out to dinner and max out your credit cards.

You don’t have to be rich to afford this four-seater super-saloon. We found a 2010 model in black with one of the best interior color combos we’ve seen for $16,000 with under 90,000 miles. Maybe we should add this to the Ideal car fleet.

Have you ever seen Audis in the snow? And it can snow here a lot in Oregon. Well, if we like it, that’s pretty good praise. Do you know what else we like? A good rebranding. And we have to give it to Hyundai for what they did with the Genesis lineup.

Genesis G80 – New School Cool

genesis g80

Genesis has been making major improvements over the last few years, battling the German Autobahn-slayers with similar luxury, but also the reliability of a Hyundai. And that isn’t saying a lot, but when you’re talking about luxury cars, a Genesis will probably cost you less to own than a 5 Series.

The best part of the G80 is that these are not “technically” Hyundais now. So, when people ask what you drive, you don’t have to say a Hyundai. This beauty packs all the gear with some oomph to go with it. It puts out the same power as a 5 Series. But, instead of a turbo inline-six, we get a nice, throaty, naturally aspirated V6.

Being the newest car on our list, the Genesis certainly has more new tech: heads-up display, big touchscreens, modern audio systems, and powered everything. While we certainly think the G80 fits the bill, you’re still stuck with the stigma the South Korean make has been stuck with since the early ’90s, and that is cheapness. You won’t see any cheapness, but you know haters are going to hate. Now, I know one car that haters won’t hate on and it’s my honorable mention. Get in on the wrong side of your very own Toyota Crown!

Toyota Crown – Honorable Mention

toyota crown

This one’s for Squidd; the dude loves a good JDM import. And you should too! We were able to find a 10th generation Crown in Texas for sale for only $10,000. Why is that a deal? Well, let me spell it out for you. Two letters: “J” and “Z”. Yeah, the Crown came packing the legendary engine code JZ, either the 2.5-liter 1JZ, like the one in Texas or, if you’re lucky, you can find one with the 3.0-liter 2JZ! It’s not the GTE but, still, either engine is bulletproof and pretty tunable.

Now, the Crown may not be the newest in tech or the most powerful, but you will stand out in a crowd. No one else will be pulling up like some high-ranking Yakuza boss to the country club. The Crown definitely has Mercedes Estate vibes, looking baller, even if a bit dated. 

Just bring a friend if you’re going to the drive-thru. Being a Toyota owner will give you two other benefits as well! One, it will be super reliable. And, while parts may take more time to get in the USA, they will be Toyota-priced. And, two, people will not pay too much attention to you on the road.

Yes, I know some people think luxury cars should shout bling-bling, but flying under the radar also means you don’t get noticed by law enforcement as much either. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Add in one of the most comfortable interiors made in a long time and you have a real contender. Someone let Ed Bolian know these exist. That would be a badass ride across the country.

Speaking of badass, or maybe more baddie, we saved the baddest for last: the Jaguar XKR Coupe.

Jaguar XKR – The Baddie

jaguar xkr

If you’ve ever wanted to play a Bond villain, then this is the car for you. Even Jaguar admitted they’re the car for every villain to drive. No one will mess with you driving this Jag; that’s for sure. And many more will have trouble keeping up with your 4.2-liter supercharged V8 producing 420 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. You’ll be able to run from M16 as fast as you need to. Though, here at Ideal, we don’t condone breaking the law.

With adaptive suspension and one of the best automatic transmissions of its era, this Jaguar will leave you feeling happy with your purchase. Topping $100,000 when it came out, the depreciation is real. But, not to worry; the electrical and build quality issues of old Jaguar models are not present. Ever since their rebranding with this XK’s predecessor, the XK8, Jaguar has done a wonderful job making top-quality vehicles.

Depending on which options were ticked when new, these came with a lot of tech: adaptive cruise control, power seats, premium sound, leather everywhere, and the list goes on. While these may not be the newest car on the block, they will turn heads and make people wonder what it is you do for a living.

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