Cars Under $20,000 That Make You Look Rich


Want to pull up and make people’s JAWS DROP for under $20,000? Of course you do! We’re going to show you some cars that’ll make people think that you’re rich and famous. And you won’t have to break the bank to drive one!

On this list we got a Bentley that could be yours for less than $15,000! We got a Maserati for under $16,000! We even got a Rolls-Royce for under $20,000!

You think I’m lying? You wish! Here are 8 cars under $20,000 that are gonna make you look rich. 

Bentley Eight: 6 Figure 8

Wikimedia Commons

Looking for a swaggy classic-style cruiser that bears a Bentley badge and will make all your friends think you’re rolling in the dough? Well, if your friends don’t really know jack about cars, that is. They’ll have no idea that this is hands down the cheapest Bentley ever.

With steel wheels, and fabric lined interior, Bentley snobs might scoff, but no average person will care when they see that Flying B on the hood. Or bonnet? That’s what Bentley people call it right?

Let’s just start off by acknowledging that this exterior is as classy as they come. This car says old money, like you inherited it from your grandfather who was the Duke of Wales. Does Wales have a Duke? I don’t know. Doesn’t matter. 

The point is that your average Joe walking down the sidewalk is going to assume this Bentley is transporting someone important. But joke’s on them! You paid less than $15,000 for this certified swagmobile!

What’s the catch? Well, you’re probably going to have to shell out another $15,000 or more on repairs to this old bucket. The Bentley Eight is notorious for developing super-jerky transmissions as they go up in mileage, and their handbrakes have a reputation for, well, breaking. But not in the good way. 

At the end of the day, the only way you’re going to get a Bentley Eight that’ll last is if you or the seller pours a bunch of money into it. But even if this car is a pool of quicksand gobbling up your bottom dollar, it’s still going to make people think your stashin’ a mil in the bank. 

Find a cheap Bentley Eight on AutoTempest!

Maserati Quattroporte: Fun When It Runs

Mecum Auctions

Do you want people to assume that you’re hiding millions of dollars in an offshore Swiss bank account? Well, the Maserati Quattroporte looks like a full-bred Italian Stallion, and will make people think you’re sitting on some serious cash. 

It’s hard to argue when you see that chrome trident shining on the front grill. People will probably pull over for you and you might even get a police escort if you play the part well enough. 

What nobody needs to know, though, is that you paid less than $16,000 for this cash magnet. And we call it a cash magnet for two reasons: For one, people are probably going to start handing you checks and asking you to make investments for them if you’re driving one. But you’ll probably have to start using these checks to repair your Maserati, because the Quattroporte requires more care than a nursery full of newborn babies. Hence the second reason it’s a cash magnet.  

Transmission and electrical problems are a guarantee if you decide to buy a Maserati, so you might as well triple the up-front purchase price. My advice: probably better to just stay away altogether. Or maybe take one for a test drive to hear that sweet exhaust note!

Find a cheap Maserati Quattroporte on AutoTempest!

Mercedes-Benz W221 S-Class: Class Warfare


Buying a Mercedes has always been a great way to lord over your neighbors even though you live on the same street, belong to the same tax bracket, and have pretty much the same salary. And while Doug next door bought a Volvo to keep his kids safe when he’s driving them to and from school, you could be cruising around and lookin’ fly in your Mercedes S-Class

But since Doug isn’t much of a car guy, he’ll think you bought the car because you just won the lottery, when in reality, this Stuttgart stunner cost you less than $14,000. That’s some serious good looks for the low. 

Or is it? Well…yes and no.

The S-Class is always Mercedes-Benz’s top-of-the-line luxury liners. They call them “continent shrinkers”, big boats with big engines designed to crush miles of open road in short time, all while giving passengers the pinnacle of refinement and comfort.

And the W221 delivers that, but if you’re buying a used one, with over six figures on the clock, just be prepared to spend a little coin keeping it perfect. Electrical issues, faulty brakes, and constant headlight and taillight trouble are just a few of the common complaints about this beautiful breakdown-waiting-to-happen. 

That said, the engines are stout, so for a few grand you could grab yourself an S-Class, cruise for miles sitting on top of a twin-turbo V8, and just ignore those blinking lights on the dash. 

Find a cheap Mercedes-Benz W221 S-Class on AutoTempest!

Rolls-Royce Silver Spur: Born With a Silver Spoon

Classic Cars

Oh man, this whip is just a straight-up pimpmobile. That Spirit of Ecstasy symbol perched above that double-R? That is stylish! And the Silver Spur is the long-bodied Silver Spirit, so you’ve got plenty of room for all your admirers in back.

Plus, the thing about Rolls-Royce is that any normal person on the street is going to think your Silver Spur costs somewhere north of $100,000. But you and I know, that pimped-out paddywagon cost you a little under $20,000. That’s what I call ballin’ on a budget! 

But hold on… after you pull this British beauty off the lot, you’re almost definitely going to find a heap of problems with it. The Silver Spur’s V8 engine seems to welcome corrosion and dirty oil damage, that pristine woodwork in the interior is probably gonna start peeling, and repairs to the hydraulics can end up costing you as much as you paid for the whole damn car. 

So before you get all giddy about the dope Rolls that you picked up for only $20,000, make sure you give the car a thorough inspection. That deal might end up being more bitter than sweet.

Find a cheap Rolls-Royce Silver Spur on AutoTempest!

Porsche Cayenne: Wealth Adjacent

The Car Connection

This car is the kind of thing you would expect the wife of an NFL star to be rolling around town in. But even if you’re not married to Peyton Manning, the Porsche Cayenne gives people the idea that you’re someone who’s come into a lot of money, whether or not that’s actually true. 

In reality, you could be married to an arena football player who makes only a little more than a public school teacher and still afford one of these swanky-looking machines. However, the average person is going to see that black-and-red Porsche emblem with the black horse in the middle and assume you paid WAY more than $16,000 for it. 

And the Cayenne isn’t gonna burn you like cayenne pepper, it’s actually a pretty nice ride. It handles like a luxury sedan, it’s got ample storage space but isn’t too bulky, and the interior is up to snuff with what you’d expect from Porsche. 

That being said, Cayenne drivers have reported problems with recurring engine seizures that can cost a pretty penny to repair. But overall, this pretty Porsche is actually pretty decent, and people will think you know your way around the red carpet if you drive one.

Find a cheap Porsche Cayenne on AutoTempest!

Lotus Esprit Turbo: Looks Like a Countach

Bring A Trailer

If you’re looking for a car that looks like it’s built for hitting top speeds on the highway and will impress all your friends who aren’t schooled in the way of the car, the Lotus Esprit Turbo is certainly dressed to impress. 

It’s got that old school exotic car look that you can throw a spoiler on the back of and it doesn’t look tacky. And when you pull up, park it, and drop those pop-up lights, people are going to assume you got money in the bank, baby! 

So how much are these new-age arrows going for? That’s right, you could ride off into the sunset in a Lotus Esprit Turbo for a little under $20,000! 

And guess what? This Esprit isn’t just all looks. It’s also got solid acceleration, especially in the mid-range, and it handles like an samurai sword. And it’s got a vacuum-assisted resin injection fibreglass shell that makes the body and chassis of this sharp-edge street cruiser super strong and durable. 

Buyers should be wary, however, of the coolant pipes and power steering pipework, because they’ve been known to be problematic in this model. 

For the most part, though, the Esprit Turbo is a STEAL at this price, and people are going to assume you paid a whole lot more for it.

Find a cheap Lotus Esprit Turbo on AutoTempest!

Jaguar XJL: Driver, Take Me Home

The Truth About Cars

The Jaguar XJL has the same sleek and smooth design language that makes Jaguars look high-class and high-performance. And that shiny front grill with the Jaguar emblem stamped on it is sure to turn a couple heads as you cruise through your city. And this being the “limousine” model, the sheer size of the car will make a good impression wherever it goes. 

With the price being slightly north of $15,000, you might be ready to hop off the couch and hop in a Jag right now. 

But let me finish. While you might imagine yourself smooth sailing down the coast in your very own Jag, driving one of these things is actually the opposite of fun. The main problem is really that they’re just TOO DAMN BIG! 

If you’re looking for a sedan, you probably want something that’s going to be able to duck and dodge through traffic, but driving an XJL feels like you have a permanent trailer attached to the back of your car. 

There’s a reason that rich people hire people to drive their limos, because, quite simply, driving long cars sucks. So while the world around you may envy your stylish ride, you’re going to be kicking yourself for ever buying it.

Find a cheap Jaguar XJL on AutoTempest!

Alfa Romeo Giulia: Alfa Dog


With all the hype in the U.S. over foreign cars, an Alfa Romeo is exactly what you need to make people think you’re sitting on a massive pile of cash. The thing is, people in the US more often than not have never even heard of Alfa, and we have a tendency to assume things that are exotic are expensive. 

However, you can get your hands on a nearly new Alfa Romeo Giulia for less than $20,000! And with the sick styling on this bad boy, everyone is going to think you dropped somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000 on your new wheels. Plus, if you ever meet a girl named Giulia, you can tell her you named your car after her! 

The Giulia isn’t just a wealth symbol, it’s actually an absolute blast to drive too. With its lightweight body and super-comfortable steering guided by a relatively-thin steering wheel that fits perfectly in your hand, you can’t help but smile when you’re driving a Giulia on the highway. 

Unfortunately, problems with the electronic throttle are common in this model, and repairs on Alfa Romeos aren’t the cheapest. But overall, Giulia’s a good girl, she might just let you down every once and awhile.

Find a cheap Alfa Romeo Giulia on AutoTempest!

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