Who among us can say they haven’t dreamed about being filthy rich and living the lifestyle of the rich and famous? Many of us dream of owning that giant mansion with our dream garage filled with Italian sports cars, traveling the world on private jets and 5-Star hotels, and truly living the life of conspicuous consumption. We have also had to come back to reality a few moments later and tell our selves "one day". What if you can have a small part of that dream by driving a luxury or exotic car for around the same price as a new Toyota Camry?
Thanks to AutoTempest, our team of writers and enthusiasts at the Supper Club were able to put together a list of the top five cars that make you look rich for under $30,000 and you wouldn’t believe the level of opulence you can buy.
1. Aston Martin V-8 Vantage
First on our list is the Aston Martin V-8 Vantage. Designed by the iconic automotive desgner, Henrik Fisker, the V-8 Vantage was, along with the DB-9 (also designed by Fisker), the car that finally brought Aston Martin into the modern era. The Vantage V-8 was produced from 2005-2017 and remained mostly unchanged with the exception of some face-lifts and upgrades. It isn't as flashy as its Italian counterparts, but the elegant lines and beautiful exotic styling will have you looking like a Million bucks driving one of these around town.
We were able to find a clean example 2008 Vantage at just under $30,000. Although it has slightly higher mileage at 98k, the car is listed on eBay for $28,500 OBO. That means, there is a chance you could snatch this up for around the mid $20,000s and that is a DEAL! You will definitely want to get a pre-purchase inspection with a car like this, as with any other luxury or exotic on our list. Also, be sure to have a deep savings account on the side to be able to absorb any standard Aston Martin breakdowns and/or service which can put quiet a dent in even the most thrifty saver's bank account.
2. Bentley Continental Flying Spur
The Bentley Continental Flying Spur is quite simply a luxury saloon that is a pinnacle of luxury of its time. This car can still hold its own against the latest and greatest, which is why it's on the list. We were shocked to find that you can get a clean title example for under $50,000, let alone $30,000. To put the Continental Flying Spur and its class into perspective, Rolls Royce developed the Ghost in 2010 to compete directly and only with the Flying Spur.
This car hasn't changed much in styling, interior design and finish over the years, so when we found a 2006 Flying Spur offered at $29,000, we couldn't believe the year or the price. Being a 14 year old car, it's amazing to see that it still looks like a modern luxury vehicle and can keep up in luxury and options. If you decide to acquire one of these, definitely get it inspected by the dealer or take it to a specialist. Any serious motor or transmission work and you are looking at paying close to what the car is worth to get it fixed, but then again, if you own one of these, money is no object to you. At least that's what people will think.
3. Maserati Ghibli Q4S
The Ghibli may be a bit controversial on this list, but after all, it is an Italian luxury sedan that has an 3.0L twin-turbocharged V-6 engine built by Ferrari. At a base MSRP of $70,000, well optioned models would have cost you around $90,000 from the Maserati dealer just six years ago. Doug DeMuro did a fantastic review of this model where he pointed out how lazy Maserati was in designing and putting together the interior and the infotainment system, however, to be fair, the car drives and handles pretty well,
One thing you will want to be careful of is the maintenance. As we mentioned, this Maserati has a Ferrari engine and with that comes Ferrari repairs if things go south. Do your research, get a PPI, and consider a 3rd party warranty if you are going to pick one up like the 2014 Ghibli S Q4 that we found through AutoTempest for only $20,000.
4. Jaguar XJ
The Jaguar XJ one has to be one of the most underrated luxury cars on this list and on the market for the price. As a flagship full-size luxury sedan in the Jaguar line-up since 1968, the XJ has undergone numerous facelifts and changes, however, the one we fell in love with is the practically the latest model running from 2010-2019.
We found a clean example 2012 Jaguar XJ with only 60,000 miles for under $17,000 using our AutoTempest search. Just look at it! From the modern LED tail lights, sloping body lines, length, beautiful interior styling and tech, and the sheer presence, there are no bad angles on this car. At this price point, there are no comparable vehicles you can buy that will even come close to what Jaguar offers on the XJ.
5. Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen
The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen is one of the oldest and most iconic vehicles ever built. What is even more amazing is that it hasn't changed much since it was first released in 1979. The biggest overhaul to the vehicle was just completed, four decades later, for the 2019 model year where the car saw a major suspension, technology, and modest design changes.
Another amazing fact about the G-Wagen is that they hold value tremendously well as they age despite being grossly overpriced when new. We found a 2003 G500 nearing 200,000 miles for around $26,000 which makes our find that much more impressive.
Which brings us to our amazing find of a 2005 G500 4Matic with 121k miles for only $28,950. If a PPI finds this vehicle to be mechanically sound, you are looking a car that is, in relative terms, the least expensive car to maintain, that will last the longest, will not depreciate much (and could possibly appreciate depending on how you maintain it). For under $30,000 this is our top pick as the best investment and a vehicle that will definitely make you look baller.
There are so many other great cars that didn't make this list. We would love to hear about some of your finds in the comments below!