Cheapest ‘expensive-looking’ cars

We get it, you want to look wealthy and successful but you’re not all that keen to spend loads of cash on your new car. Luckily, there are a few cars in the used market that exude wealth, success and sophistication that were once very expensive and are now, well, very affordable…to buy.

5. Mercedes-Benz S Class W220 (1999 – 2005)

The S Class has long been a symbol of subtle affluence. The fourth-generation W220 S Class, produced from 1999 to 2005, marked Mercedes’ transition from bold, straight-line styling to a more swoopy and curvaceous aesthetic. Even today, it looks expensive.

 

The real bargains of the W220 S Class range are the S320 and S430 models, which can be found in Australia for as little as $9000. In 2005, a brand new S430 cost around $230,000 in Australia, making the current price tag a steal.

4. Porsche Cayenne Turbo (2003 – 2010)

Luxury SUVs are designed to exude wealth, but the Porsche Cayenne Turbo takes it to another level. With its Porsche badge and Turbo designation, people will assume you spent a fortune on it.

 

The first-generation Cayenne Turbos, produced from 2003 to 2006, are the real bargains. In 2021, the $230,000 price tag when new would be equivalent to $347,000, but today you can find them for as little as $15,000.

 

It’s worth noting that running costs and potential repairs could be expensive, but for the price, it’s a lot of car.

3. Range Rover Voque (2002 – 2021)

In third, it’s the Range Rover Vogue, a beloved luxury SUV that has become an icon in the automotive industry.

 

While the newer models can set you back a pretty penny, savvy buyers can find great deals on used models from 2002 to 2012, particularly the Vogue Supercharged models from 2002 to 2006.

 

Originally priced at around $175,000, these models can now be found for as little as $9,000. Of course, keep in mind that maintenance and repairs can be costly, but if you’re willing to take the risk, the Range Rover Vogue offers an affluent image that’s hard to beat.

2. Maserati Quattroporte (2003 – 2012)

In second, the Maserati Quattroporte. A sleek Italian car that exudes cool sophistication. With styling by Pinninfarina and power by Ferrari, this car is truly a work of art.

 

While new models can cost over $320,000 in Australia, you can find used Quattroportes from 2003 to 2012 for around $25,000. Sure, maintenance costs can be high, but the feeling of driving a V8-engined Italian super saloon is worth the investment. And trust us, it even smells expensive.

1. Rolls Royce Silver Spirit MKI (1980 – 1988)

When it comes to cars that exude wealth and luxury, there’s only one brand that truly stands out – Rolls Royce. And within the brand, the Rolls Royce Silver Spirit takes first place.

 

Despite its age, the Mark 1 Silver Spirit still emanates the same class, sophistication, and affluence that Rolls Royce is renowned for. Imagine the prestige of telling someone, “I drive a Rolls Royce.”

 

In the early 1980s, a brand new big Roller in Australia would cost around $300,000. Adjusted for inflation, that’s approximately $965,000 today. However, nowadays, you can own a Rolls Royce for as little as $15,000.

 

Yes, a $15,000 Rolls Royce may require significant maintenance and repairs, and keeping it running smoothly can be costly. But let’s ignore those details for a moment – the fact that you can own an actual Rolls Royce for $15,000 is remarkable.

 

In the market for a used car? Check out all our ReDriven Cheat Sheets.

 

Find all our video reviews over on YouTube.

 

NOTE: This article was originally published in August 2021, so some pricing information may have changed.

Bargain Supercars

Supercars and bargains – two phrases that aren’t often used together. However, we have scoured the market to find some exceptional vehicles that offer great value (ignoring maintenance and upkeep costs, of course). For the purposes of this list, we define a supercar as a street-legal, high-performance luxury sports car.

Note that we have only included globally available models, so apologies to fans of TVR, Corvette, and Elfin. Anyway, here are our top five bargain supercars.

 

5. Aston Martin V8 Vantage (2005-2017)

Representing the front-engined rear-drive coupe category, we have the gorgeous Aston Martin V8 Vantage. This car is special and the Aston Martin brand is synonymous with luxury. With a 4.3-4.7 litre quad-cam 32-valve V8 engine, the Vantage was priced at around $250,000 when new in Australia.

 

However, today you can pick up a 2007 or 2008 model for around $80,000. In the US and UK, it’s even cheaper at $45,000 and $35,000 pounds, respectively. The Vantage can go from 0 to 100km/h in under 5 seconds, and boasts superb chassis balance, a luxurious leather interior, and an iconic design. Plus, it’s now more affordable than the base model AMG Mercedes and RS model Audis.

 

4. Porsche 996/911 Turbo (2000-2006)

No supercar list is complete without a Porsche, and our pick for this list is the 996 Turbo. While the 996 Carreras are more affordable, the Turbo offers genuine supercar performance with a 0-100km/h time of just over 4 seconds and a quarter-mile time in the 12s. As a 911, it’s easy to use daily, reliable, and all-wheel-drive for outstanding dynamics in any weather condition.

 

The price started at around $300,000 in Australia, but nowadays you can get behind the wheel for around $120,000. In the US, you only need to spend around $50,000, and in the UK, you’ll be in the mid-40,000 pound region. Although it’s aging, the 996 Turbo is hard to beat in terms of value and luxury.

 

3. Audi R8 (2006 – 2015)

The Audi R8, produced from 2006 to 2015, is a timeless supercar that delivers outstanding driving dynamics and a stunning mid-engined design. It was designed to compete with the Porsche 911, and it arguably outperformed it in many ways. The R8 has an understated coolness that makes it stand out, and its impressive chassis balance and driving dynamics are matched by its brilliant 4.2-litre V8 engine.

 

When the R8 was first introduced in Australia, it was priced at just under $300,000, but nowadays, you can get a first-gen R8 for as little as $110,000. In the US, the price is around $70,000, while in the UK, it is approximately 40,000 pounds. Although early R8s have some faults and may come with the controversial R Tronic automated transmission, they are still incredible vehicles that are worth considering.

 

2. Lamborghini Gallardo (2004 – 2014)

Coming in at second place on our list is the Lamborghini Gallardo, an Italian supercar that has become a household name. Although it might be stretching the definition of “bargain” a little, the Gallardo is an incredible value considering its capabilities. In Australia, you can find a Gallardo for around $150,000, which is a steal compared to the $450,000 price tag when it was new.

 

In the US, the Gallardo is even more of a bargain, with prices under $100,000. In the UK, pricing starts from around 60,000 pounds. Although you’ll likely have to settle for an E Gear-equipped base model Gallardo at this price, you’ll still get to experience the incredible naturally aspirated V10 engine that makes this car so special.

 

1. Lotus Evora (2010 – 2021)

While many car enthusiasts immediately think of a Lamborghini or Ferrari when discussing supercars, we believe the Evora deserves recognition as a true bargain supercar.

 

This Lotus model boasts impressive performance that matches the acceleration of high-end supercars such as the Gallardo and 911 Turbo, while outperforming the R8 and Vantage. The mid-engine rear-wheel drive layout, combined with its extroverted design and leather interior, gives the Evora a unique and special feel.

 

What sets the Evora apart from other supercars is its affordability. In Australia, you can own an Evora for around $75,000, making it nearly $100,000 cheaper than the flashy Italian models. Even when new, the Evora is a bargain compared to other supercars, with pricing averaging around $190,000 depending on year, trim level, and specs. In the US, early models can be purchased for less than $50,000, while UK buyers can get behind the wheel for as little as 28,000 pounds.

 

Finally, the Evora’s Supercharged Toyota V6 power plant ensures reliability, meaning that you won’t have to worry about high maintenance costs. Despite being overlooked by many, the Lotus Evora proves that you don’t need to spend a fortune to experience supercar performance and style.

 

In the market for a used car? Check out all our ReDriven Cheat Sheets.

 

Find all our video reviews over on YouTube.

 

NOTE: This article was originally published in August 2021, so some pricing information may have changed.

Luxury SUVs under $50,000

 

We understand you’ve worked hard and you want an SUV that you’re proud of. Something that exudes class and sophistication. However, just because a car has a luxury badge, doesn’t mean it’s reliable or will provide years of trouble-free motoring. So, we asked mechanics, car dealers, and motoring journalists to find the top 5 most reliable luxury SUVs for under 50 grand. Here’s our list.

5. 2012 Infiniti FX50

image of 2012 Infiniti FX50

In fifth place, the 2012 Infiniti FX50 may have polarising looks, but it’s unique and worth hunting down. With a price tag of around $115,000 when new in Australia, this funky, leather-lined, V8-powered SUV can be found for under $50,000 if you’re lucky.

 

The technology may be a bit outdated, but the 5.0L V8 engine is near bulletproof. It handles, rides, and performs just as well as many of its European rivals.

 

The interior is beautifully appointed and you’re almost guaranteed to stand out from the crowd with this unpredictable alternative.

4. Porsche Cayenne 3.6 (2013/14)

image of Porsche Cayenne 3.6

In fourth place, it’s important to note that this is a specific variant of the Porsche Cayenne – the 2013 and 2014 2nd-generation 3.6-litre petrol model.

 

Many models before, after, and around this one can be riddled with issues. However, these 6-cylinder models have proven to be reliable as long as they’ve been serviced and well maintained.

 

In Australia, this base model Cayenne had an asking price of around $105,000 when new, meaning just seven years later, you can find one for half the price.

 

While it may be the base model and may lack some of the luxury features of higher-spec models, it’s still a Porsche, which instantly gives it more brand credibility than the likes of Audi, BMW, and Mercedes.

3. Lexus LX570 (2007-2010)

image of Lexus LX570

Coming in third place, it’s the third-generation J200 Lexus LX570 is based on one of the most formidable SUVs ever and brings serious off-roading capabilities to this luxurious list.

 

While it may be getting a bit older and is essentially a Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series with a nicer exterior, it’s still a great option for those looking for a luxury SUV that can handle off-roading.

 

Forget worrying about unreliable Range Rovers, for this budget, this is the one to get. The Lexus LX570 may be built like a tank and is likely to outlast humanity, but the spacious interior is lined with leather, the 5.7-litre V8 engine gives it some serious power, and even the level of safety and infotainment technology is still impressive considering its age.

 

Plus, these vehicles were over $160,000 when new in Australia, making it a great bargain if you can find one around the $50,000 mark.

2. Lexus NX300 Luxury (2017-2018)

image of Lexus NX300 Luxury

In second place, we have the 2018 and 2019 Lexus NX300 Luxury in two-wheel drive.

 

While it may not be the most accomplished when it comes to off-roading, let’s be realistic – how much serious off-roading are you actually going to do? Even though it may not take you deep into the wilderness, it still has the raised ride height of an SUV and can easily handle anything around town as long as it’s not snowing at blizzard levels or flooding.

 

The NX300 has a funky design, a beautiful interior, is built to typical flawless Lexus standards, is equipped with the latest technology and, as a current model, will most likely still be covered under a full factory warranty.

 

The level of luxury and value for money offered by the Lexus NX300 is unmatched, until you see the top pick on our list.

1. Lexus RX350 F Sport (2016)

image of Lexus RX350 F Sport

In first place, we have another Lexus model, the 2016 RX350 F Sport. When we think of luxury, we think of quality, precision, comfort, and elegance, and the Lexus RX350 embodies all of these traits. Plus, being a Lexus, it’s likely to maintain these traits for many years to come.

 

While other luxury SUVs may be equal to the RX350 when new, after a few years of use, the fit and finish of other brands may start to deteriorate. The RX350 F Sport is the best option in the RX range, it’s powered by a quiet, refined, and proven drivetrain, the quality of the build, fit, and finish exceeds its asking price, and it’s loaded with all the technology and features you’ll ever need.

 

We weren’t expecting Lexus models to take the top three spots, but when you strip away the marketing and branding hype surrounding luxury car brands and judge these SUVs based on quality, reliability, and substance, it’s clear which luxury brand our motoring experts recommend.

 

In the market for a used car? Check out all our ReDriven Cheat Sheets.

 

Find all our video reviews over on YouTube.

 

NOTE: This article was originally published in June 2021, so some pricing information may have changed.

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