If you’re looking to drive something with more wood paneling than scratchy plastics, you might think you have to drop some serious cash on your next car. But not every luxurious daily driver has to cost the earth.
To find out what some of the most affordable fancy cars are, we asked you what luxurious cheap cars are out there right now. And you did not disappoint.
“Honda Accord is the answer. It can be had with luxury kit such as heated & cooled leather seats, and a heated steering wheel. It has a powerful two liter turbocharged engine, and a spacious back seat. All of this for less than $40k MSRP and far less than the average new car price! Can anyone else point to heated & cooled leather seats for less than $40k?”
Honda’s midsize sedan is a great choice when you want a bit more for less. Starting at $26,000, even the top of the line Touring variant comes in below the asking price of an average new car in 2022.
Suggested by: pmb2012
3 / 12
“You want to travel in comfort? Get yourself a car that has a long wheelbase — the Chrysler 300.
“Chiseled looks, even Bentley-ish, a strong V8 under the hood, been building them forever so you’re bound to find one in your budget range.”
Also, it has some great color choices beyond just black, white and silver.
Suggested by: the1969dodgechargerguy
4 / 12
“Although I’m not a fan of crossovers, that new Tucson has an amazing interior for a sub-$30k ride.
“I sat in one and was flabbergasted at how good it’s become. Easily better than the more expensive Volvo XC40 that my wife tried.”
There was a lot of love for Hyundai in the comments today, with many agreeing that the Tucson was a solid option. This SUV has been on the market since 2004 and has only improved with age.
Suggested by: squirmish
5 / 12
“This might speak to my incredibly low bar for luxury, but the VW Golf (or at least the MkVII). For a ~$20k car, it’s got a ton of nice little touches, padded bins, well-dampened moving parts, decent materials, and relatively solid build quality (the doors might not go full classic Mercedes bank vault, but they’re pretty good).
“Plus, it’s a comfortable enough car that drives fairly well. You’ve got to spend a good deal of money to start getting something that feels nice enough to justify the premium.”
In the same way that we all have our own bar for what’s cheap, we all have our own measure of luxury. And, for this poster, luxury is an excellent German hatchback. In America at least, you’re now stuck choosing between the Golf GTI or the Golf R, and with $14,000 difference, the GTI is the only real option here.
“Buy a X308 chassis XJ8 for $5-6K. That kind of money will get you one that is not ragged out, but assuredly has the check engine light on. Spend another $3-4K sorting out the vacuum leaks and fuel system issues that it will absolutely have.
“I did exactly this a few years back. 2000 XJ8, black over black. wasn’t running because of a fuel pump issue. I did some repairs myself, and had a shop figure out all the vacuum leaks. Refreshed all the fluids, new shocks all around, and she was a runner. I owned that car another two years after that, and never had another repair. Found a set of XJR wheels to put on her, and she was sweet.
“Sold her in a moment of boredom, and have regretted ever since. I’d buy it back in a second, but the current owner will not sell.”
Built between 1997 and 2003, I always thought of this as the Jaguar. There was a pale blue one on the street I grew up on, and god damn did I want it! So, while an early 2000s Jaguar (and any Jag for that matter) might bring with it ample heartache, it’s a classy way to jazz up your drive.
Suggested by: leftfield6
7 / 12
“Mazda 3 premium sedan starts at $27k, the only luxury features it lacks are a heated steering wheel and vented seats.”
Closely following Hyundai in the popularity stakes today was Mazda, and specifically the Mazda 3. The fourth generation of this compact launched in 2019 and now starts at $20,800. The top of the line Turbo Premium Plus will cost you just under $35k.
Suggested by: Erik Nilsen (Facebook)
8 / 12
“The Lincoln MKT is the little-known, fully loaded hoighty-toighty cousin of Explorers and Flexes. They all come with the twin turbo Eco-Boost, a panoramic sunroof, and all the tech you’d expect, but very often can be found for less than the Ford cousins that are comparably equipped. And with the original owner being a Lincoln customer, they are more likely to be used gently and properly maintained.”
Discontinued in 2019, if you want to opt for an MKT to add a bit more luxury to your day you’ll have to negotiate the second-hand market. Heck, if you’re feeling really fancy you can even pick this up as a limo for the cost of a new Chevy Spark.
Suggested by: reverberocket
9 / 12
Any 1960s Cadillac
Any 1960s Cadillac
“I define luxury cars as being a breed apart. It isn’t just options, it’s something unique about the car that makes it almost a completely different animal. As such… 60-76 Cadillac.
“Caddies were real luxury cars from when they fired Henry Ford until when GM decided that putting a different badge on a high optioned Chevy was still a luxury car.
“Caddies were always one of the cheapest ways to get into pure luxury cars and the ‘60-’76 versions haven’t done great on holding value. Today, you can get a Caddy that is in perfect shape from this era for around what a new high optioned Chevy costs. And sure the Chevy will have more options, but they won’t be special like the last of the REAL Caddies.”
Some true American class right here, the majestic Cadillac. Elegant styling and a glowing reputation saw Cadillac thrive in the 1960s and early 70s. Just don’t enter into this realm of high society living unless you’re happy to lift the hood from time to time. Or, maybe you have a butler that can do this for you.
Suggested by: yeardley68
10 / 12
“10th Generation Chevy Impala. It could be a verse in an Alanis Morissette rewrite of Ironic. GM finally built a brilliant sedan when sedan segments died.
“It is by far one of the most comfortable, luxury cruisers – with or without a badge – built in the last 10 years and they are CHEAP (relatively in the market). Travel in comfort without the cost of the earth? Impala.”
Marketed from 2013 to 2020, the 10th generation Chevrolet Impala is this commenter’s idea of luxury. Sadly, declining sales of sedans killed off this humble car.
Suggested by: futuredoc
11 / 12
“I’m going to set my mark for ‘cheap’ here at $25,000. (Let us assume you put down $3,000, and you finance $22,000. With decent credit, that means your car payment comes in just under $400 per month at 60 months.)
“With that qualified, the most luxurious cheap car is the Lexus ES350. What? You haven’t considered a gussied up Camry lately? Imagine for a moment that all the passion was gone from your life. You’re at a point where even having missionary sex once a month counts as fireworks. A date night involves looking on Groupon for a $30 for two, surf-and-turf special, and you’re headed back home to mindlessly consume CNBC late night market-watch.
“What I’m saying is it’s cheap in the sense that you’re a cheap bastard, not that you’re broke. You want something nice, but you’re not paying more for luxury. This fuzzy backup camera does the job, right? Luxury should be leather, and reliable for 250,000 miles. Luxury is not talking to a service advisor at the Mercedes counter, because your sunroof motor burned out and made the whole car smell funny.
“Here it is: Marietta, Georgia camouflage. You tuck this ride into the side of your two story grove-style red Georgia clay brick garage in Dogwood Acres, and fire up that laptop you can never seem to figure out. Call your son and complain about your printer, you cheap bastard. While you’re at it, tell him he overspent on his BMW. ‘You know, I have all the luxury you have, and I paid one third of the price. All that extra money could have gone into an annuities account.’
“Real luxury, the clinking sound your glass makes when the spoon is stirring in the Metamucil. That feeling of knowing satisfaction is just hours away.”