Just because you aren’t made of money doesn’t mean that you can’t look rich when on the road, provided that you choose wisely when you're selecting a car. The key is to remember that just because someone is rich doesn’t mean that they automatically spend a ton of money on a car. Instead, many want to blend in without showing off, while others are rich partly because they’ve learned to be frugal and know that they don’t need a flashy car to be comfortable. Whether you are on a strict budget or have more to spend, here is a list of 10 cars that make you look rich (or at least like you spent more on your car than you really did).
If you are well off, but want to look rich, the midsize Maserati Ghibli might be the car for you. While it might not be cheap, with a starting MSRP of $71,600, most people probably don’t realize that you can get a Maserati for less than six figures. For that price, you get a good handling Italian car with beautiful styling and a simple but elegant interior. A 345-horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, sends power to the rear wheels and can get the Ghibli to 60 miles per hour in 5.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 166 mph. Spend more and you can get more power, all-wheel drive, and a ton of options.
Photo by Maserati
The fullsize electric Tesla Model S is currently a bit of a status symbol, and most people don’t realize just how affordable it can be, making it a great addition to our list of 10 cars that make you look rich. The starting MSRP is $66,000, but by taking advantage of tax breaks (including a $7,500 federal income tax credit) and the decreased running costs of electric cars, the Tesla might be a great buy for some drivers. The 60 has a 60 kWh battery with a range of 210 miles, a top speed of 130 miles per hour, and can get to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. If you have more to spend, you can get a larger battery with increased range, all-wheel drive and more power.
Photo by Tesla
Most people will think that you paid much more than the $55,900 MSRP for your 4C sports car, partly because it’s such an amazing looking car and partly because of the exclusivity of the Alfa Romeo nameplate. Power comes from a turbocharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 237 horsepower, sent to the rear wheels through a twin-clutch transmission. Thanks partly to a carbon fiber monocoque and aluminum subframes, the 4C weighs in at less than 2,500 lbs and has an exceptionally stiff structure. The lightweight Alfa shines through the corners and can make the most of its relatively meager power, with 60 miles per hour arriving in 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 160 mph.
Photo by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
The Cadillac CT6 manages to combine the old-school prestige of a fullsize Cadillac with the excitement of a modern luxury sports car. The exterior design is thoroughly modern, and the car looks especially good in dark colors (we’d take ours in Black Raven). Inside, you get a sleek and elegant interior filled with high-quality materials. The base model costs $53,495 and gets a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that sends 265 horsepower to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission. That’s enough to get the CT6 to 60 miles per hour in just a little over six seconds and on to a top speed of 149 mph. More money gets you more power, all-wheel drive, and even more luxury.
Photo by General Motors
Now that the Genesis brand has been spun off, there’s no sight of the Hyundai logo anywhere on the midsize G80, making it even harder for people to notice that you’re driving an affordable luxury car and one of our 10 cars that make you look rich. With a starting MSRP of $41,400, the price is still nice, and includes a functional and attractive interior, plenty of bells and whistles and a normally-aspirated 3.8-liter V6 that makes 311 horsepower and an 8-speed automatic that sends power to the rear wheels. The entry-level Genesis is a bit slower than some of its competitors but plenty quick enough with the run to 60 miles per hour, taking a little over six seconds, and a top speed limited to 134 mph.
Photo by Genesis
The midsize MKZ is a great looking car, with an exterior design that looks more like a Jaguar than your typical Lincoln, and performance to match. With an MSRP of $35,170, entry-level models are powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that sends 245 horsepower to the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission. The run from 0 to 60 miles per hour is completed somewhere in the 6-second range, and top speed is around 150 mph. Spend a bit more and you can get a powerful 400 horsepower twin-turbo V6, all-wheel drive or even a hybrid model. Thanks to these attributes and its relatively reasonable price, the MKZ makes our list of 10 cars that make you look rich.
Photo by Lincoln
The midsize XE is the most affordable Jaguar model, with a starting MSRP of $34,900, yet thanks to the prestige of the Jaguar name and styling that is similar to that of the brand’s more expensive models, most people will think that you are punching above your weight. The base model is powered by a 240-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, backed by an 8-speed automatic that directs power to the rear wheels. Thanks to an aluminum-intensive architecture, this drivetrain can get the XE to 60 miles per hour in 6.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 120 mph. More money can get you more power, all-wheel drive and more luxury, but even the base model is enough to make you look rich.
Photo by Jaguar Land Rover
In some areas of the country, owning a Toyota Prius hybrid implies that you are well enough off that you can splurge and spend money on a car just for its green cred. Power comes from a normally-aspirated 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 95 horsepower, combined with a 71-horsepower electric motor, for a total of 121 system horsepower. Performance is leisurely, with the run to 60 miles per hour taking over 10 seconds and a top speed of only 115 mph. Thankfully, with an MSRP of $24,685, the Prius is relatively inexpensive and thanks to its hybrid system, running costs are extremely low, though we’d opt to spend the extra $480 on the Two Eco model for its superior fuel economy.
Photo by Toyota
With an MSRP starting at $22,440, the Volkswagen Passat is a remarkably affordable way to get into a midsize German sedan (though it is actually built in Tennessee). Power for the base model Passat comes from a 1.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that sends 170 horsepower through a 6-speed automatic to the front wheels. The Passat isn’t particularly quick with this engine, with the run from 0 to 60 miles per hour taking nearly eight seconds and a top speed of 116 mph, though it is relatively frugal. Though the Passat’s exterior is understated, that’s part of the reason why it makes you look rich. The interior is roomy and pleasant, and the suspension is geared more towards comfort than performance, making the Passat a relaxing car to drive.
Photo by Volkswagen
The FIAT 500 is an exceptionally attractive subcompact Italian car with attitude and presence that defies its starting MSRP of just $16,995. Though it is the cheapest car on our list of 10 cars that make you look rich, most people believe that the 500 is much more expensive than it really is. The base model is the Pop and comes with a 101-horsepower 1.4-liter backed by a 5-speed manual transmission that sends power to the front wheels. Despite the 500’s looks, the run to 60 miles per hour takes over 10 seconds and top speed is around 110 mph. Spend a bit more money and you can get more power, an automatic transmission, a convertible top and even an electric version (but unfortunately no electric convertible).
Photo by FIAT