Expensive cars may impress some people, but a car doesn't have to be pricey to be cool. Some of the coolest cars are not the ones you have to take a second mortgage out on your home to drive off of the showroom floor. With advances in technology and styling trends changing more often than twenty years ago, cars depreciate in value very quickly. That may not be ideal for anyone buying a brand new car, but it's great news for people who want to pick up the car they always wanted second-hand.
Here's a look at 10 of the coolest cars that you can (usually) pick up for under $15,000.
10. 2010 Dodge Challenger R/T
The Dodge Challenger looks more like a something from the 1970’s that was fabricated into a six-figure custom car, than a modern mass produced street machine. Only hints of aerodynamics can be seen in the retro-styled body, which is what makes the coolness factor so high for this model; that it does not look like every other car on the road. It certinaly doesn't look like it was released in 2010!
The 2010 Dodge Challenger model equipped with the “Road and Track” or R/T package and 6-speed transmission puts the car at 370 horsepower... for between $12-$15,000. With the factory pistol grip shifter to grab the gears, you’ll be the coolest cat on the block with money left to spend.
9. 2015 Ecoboost Mustang
The coolness factor of a Mustang is impossible to dispute. Aside from the gas crisis Mustang II years and the rumored 4-door model coming into production, the rest of the Mustang line just oozes cool... and this one is also impressively affordable. To be able to purchase a 4-year-old car powered by a 2.3-liter turbocharged engine that puts out over 300 horsepower would have been unbelievable a decade ago. Adding cool points, the 2015 Mustang has some of the best styling the modern Mustang has ever had making it a very cool car for under $15,000.
8. 2012 Subaru Impreza WRX
In the world of performance cars, the 2012 Subaru Impreza WRX stands out as one of the greats. Any rally inspired car demands cool points, after all. The WRX’s all-wheel-drive setup is standard along with sport-tuned suspension, 5-speed manual transmission, and snug bucket seats (for comfort, as well as style and speed). The WRX makes for a very practical year-round cool daily driver so you won't have to store it during the winter like a number of other fun cars.
7. 2006 Pontiac GTO
With a 6.0 liter V8 capable of 400 horsepower, those in the know will be drooling over this car and envying its capabilities. The rest may see the 2006 Pontiac GTO as nothing more than a loud, sporty, two-door, version of the Grand Am, but to own a Pontiac powered by the Corvettes LS2 engine and wear the GTO badge is definitely worth the $13-15,000 you will usually pay for this remake of a classic. Cool points are included in that price, of course!
6. 1993 BMW 8 Series 850Csi
One of the coolest cars in BMW’s lineup over the years, the BMW 850ci borrows some of its looks from BMW’s Lamborghini collaboration of the M1 in the early eighties, and it looks absolutely phenomenal. Of course, if the 850ci‘s looks don’t do it for you, popping the hood reveals BMW’s 5 liter V12 engine, and that's something that should make any gear head happy. Thsi car can be purchased from around $7-14,000 and it is worth every penny to drive such an eye-catching classic.
5. 2002 Chevrolet Corvette
Chevrolet's iconic American sports car is eye-catching in every model, and the name alone garners respect from everyone - whether they are a gear head or just someone who has heard the Corvette name in pop culture. A number of models of the Corvette are now available for under $15,000 dollars, but to get the best bang for your buck, the 2002 model would have to be the coolest for the price. It's not just the name, either. This car has the specs and the performance to go with those cool points.
4. 2006 Porsche Boxster
Even if it is an entry-level Porsche, it is still a Porsche! In the tradition of the 356, the Boxster takes the small convertible sports car and made it into a head turner, whether sitting still or on the track. The car shares a number of parts with its 911 big brother, most notably from the A-pillar forward along with the engine architecture (known as the M96). Sticking with the same classic, sleek, bug-eyed, design most onlookers will not notice the difference between the Boxster and the higher performance (and higher priced) 911.
3. 2003 Mercedes-Benz SL55
Nearly five hundred horsepower is enough to make anything cool and Mercedes did not stop at sheer power with the SL55. Classy, stylish and precision German engineering make the 2003 Mercedes-Benz SL55 one go the coolest cars with a price tag under $15k. Even in today's new car market that level of horsepower is hard to come across, so anyone would be happy to snap up a car like this second hand to get this kind of power under the hood.
2. 2008 BMW M6
At only 12% of the original price (yes, 12%!) you can drive around in a car that might have cost more than your house ten years ago. If you can find a well taken care of model there are a number of 2008 BMW M6’s available under $15k that won't break the bank with repairs. Cool points don’t only come from the high price prior owners will have paid for the car. The 500 horsepower V10 would give Aston Martin's Vantage a run for its money, and the styling sets it apart from every other BMW out there.
1. 2008 Jaguar XKR-S
A competitor on performance and price to the BMW’s M6, Jaguar has always produced cool cars. What makes this one cooler than the rest, you might ask? The supercharger. While high performance naturally aspirated power is great, superchargers tend to add more cool points to a car, and turning out around 500 horsepower, the 2008 Jaguar XKR-S is one of the coolest cars on the road. The classic styling, comfortable interior, and power (if you need it) makes the Jaguar XKR-S one of the coolest cars you can purchase for under $15,000.