Over the years, cars have become more of a status symbol. The sort of vehicle that a person usually drives can tell a lot about them. Another common concept that often floats around is that girls mostly prefer guys with expensive cars. Now, let's be honest—we're not relationships gurus here, but any woman who would consider a serious relationship with a man doesn't really care much about what he drives, but if that's all she cares about, then she's definitely, as the popular term goes, a gold digger.
Surely, if you're driving a Lamborghini or a Ferrari down the road, you're bound to turn a few heads, including that of the opposite gender, but not everyone has the money to afford a supercar. Luckily, there are plenty of affordable options out there now that offer both looks and performance in a single package. The good part about it? Well, if you're looking solely to show off that you have money, then these cars will definitely get the job done. Some of them might be more affordable for you than others, depending on how much you're willing to spend. So, strap in because here are 22 not-so-expensive cars that'll make her think that you're rich.
22 Hyundai Genesis
Looks definitely matter when it comes to nice-looking cars, and what’s the point if you spend a lot of money and the car you end up getting is ugly? Well, if you plan to drive a sporty-looking vehicle by not investing much, then the Hyundai Genesis is a spectacular automobile with a starting price of only $39,700.
The car comes with two options for either a rear-wheel or all-wheel drive system, and while the stock engine produces 311 horsepower, it can easily be upgraded to a 420-horsepower beast.
The newer generation of the car has been completely redesigned, and it also has good safety measures. The interior has also been redesigned this time around and five seats offer more than enough room to seat all of your friends and take them along for a ride.
21 Chrysler 300
Sometimes also known as the poor man’s Rolls-Royce, the Chrysler 300 has been around for a while. The truth is that the Chrysler 300 has more in common with the Audi A8 rather than a Rolls-Royce. Still, with a starting price of $33,010 the 300 offers quite a lot.
Chrysler makes it a priority to provide its customers with a plethora of options when it comes to customizing the 300. There are options for either an all-wheel-drive system or a rear-wheel-drive system, whereas the stock 300 comes with a 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine under the hood, which is capable of producing 292 horsepower. If that's not enough for you, then you also have the option of upgrading to a Hemi V8 that can output a whopping 363 horsepower.
20 Subaru BRZ Limited
The Subaru BRZ is a legend in the class of affordable sports cars. It has shone where its competitors like the Saturn Sky and the Pontiac Solstice failed miserably simply because they appeared to be too cheap and not worth the money.
The BRZ, despite being cheap, carries a presence, which is proof that the car deserves to be on the road. And not only that—it looks really sporty. The driving experience is amazing, and if you really know how to handle one these properly, then any lady that you have in the seat next to yours will be screaming with pure terror and joy. The Limited variant comes with a nice leather and Alcantara interior with a 6-speed transmission and 17-inch rims. The starting price is $27,495, which will prove to be affordable for those looking to get a nice ride.
19 Kia Optima
Kia seems to have figured out the formula for making a nice-looking luxury car with an affordable price tag. The situation with the Optima is the same as that of the Kia Cadenza, which was featured earlier on the list.
With a starting price of only $21,200, it's one of the most affordable cars that we have on the list, and upon looking at it, the car definitely feels like it should cost a bit more.
When Kia decided to update the Optima, they went with the whole scheme of making the car look much sportier and feature a minimalist but sleek interior. This has helped the car make a name for itself with almost every age demographic, a clear indication that most women, young or old, are impressed by it, too.
18 Infiniti QX30
The Infiniti QX30 is a beautiful car to look at. Not only that—it's filled to the brim with features that make it one of the best-looking cars around that are still affordable. It has one of the best driving experiences, especially for a car with a starting price of $29,950.
It has speed-sensitive steering, while the interior of the car is lined up with leather, which gives it a more premium look. The real fun is on the outside, however, as Infiniti has put a lot of effort into designing the exterior of the car. A deep and curving crease runs the length of the car for which, according to Infiniti, they had to adopt an entirely new manufacturing process. In short, the QX30 has a complex design, which is also affordable and will last for many years to come.
17 Ford Mustang
You simply can’t go wrong with a Mustang. This American muscle car is an all-time favorite for a lot of people because one, it performs and two, it can do that on a budget.
For the first time in 2017, the muscle cars are now coming with a four-cylinder turbo option, which is good, especially if you don’t have the money to shell out for a V8.
Prices start at $26,000, and while most car enthusiasts won't approve of getting a four-cylinder Mustang, this article is focused more toward showing off to the ladies, which is why you should mostly be fine. The car feels as good as driving the V6 variant; in fact, it has an additional 10 horsepower over the latter with a total of 310 horsepower, so this is definitely a good deal.
16 Kia Cadenza
The Kia Cadenza is one of the coolest-looking sedans on our list. The focus of this car isn't performance but luxury. Sure, it’s not from a German automobile manufacturer, but it doesn’t mean that the Cadenza sucks.
The grille sort of resembles that of a Maserati, but the styling is on par with most modern luxury cars.
With a starting price of $32,000, the Kia Cadenza offers a comfortable interior with the ability to seat five people, and the styling is further amplified by dual exhaust ports and beautiful multi-spoke wheels. It’s definitely not built for performance, but since there aren’t a lot of these on the road, there's very little chance you'll run into someone else driving a Cadenza.
15 Fiat 124 Spider
At first look, the car seems to resemble one of those old Jaguars, but there's a reason why the Fiat 124 Spider has such a classic look and feel. It was one of the more well-known models produced by Fiat back in the 1970s, and now, it's been redesigned with a modern touch, which makes it perfect for anyone looking to own a classic but with all the modern features.
It certainly doesn’t look like any ordinary car, which means that it'll definitely end up impressing the ladies. How much does it cost, you ask? Well, the Fiat 124 Spider starts at $24,995, which is well within the budget range of most people who are looking to buy a performance car. It shares the same platform as the famous Mazda Miata and carries a turbocharged motor under the hood.
14 Alfa Romeo 4C
The Alfa Romeo 4C is one of the trendiest and most upscale cars that you can go out and buy without having to spend the supercar sort of money. With a starting price of $55,495, it’s not exactly cheap, but what you’re getting for the price is excellent performance and the looks of a performance car, which is more than enough to woo the ladies.
Driving the Alfa Romeo 4C will let you experience what it feels like to drive a Ferrari.
Now, of course, it can’t replace a $300,000 Ferrari, but it's the closest thing you can get for less than half the price. It has a turbocharged DOHC 16-valve inline 4 under the hood that's capable of producing 237 horsepower and can push the car from 0 to 60 in a whopping 4.5 seconds.
13 Mercedes Benz CLA-class
You can never go wrong with a German automobile, more specifically, if you’re looking to get something that'll not only woo the ladies but also cost you around the same amount as an average sedan. Unlike popular belief, Mercedes has plenty of models for those who aren’t willing to spend a lot of cash.
The Mercedes-Benz CLA class is one of these, and while it may resemble the more exotic and expensive S Class Coupe, it costs only a quarter of the price. It's definitely not a powerhouse since it only has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that can produce 208 horsepower, but then again, the base model has a starting price of only $32,425, and it comes with a Mercedes badge, which is what really counts here. The interior is quite classy as well, and you won’t feel like you’re riding in some average sedan.
12 Audi A3
Once again representing the German automobile manufacturers is Audi. This not-so-expensive car from the Audi family that's the Audi A3 can be easily bought for under $30k. It perfectly represents the Audi tagline for the car, which is “Not just a small car—a small Audi.”
It has a number of variants, such as the regular sedan or the sport-back version, which carries more than enough storage capacity, thanks to the hatchback design. Once again, because it's an Audi, the signature styling is still there, and the interior looks really nice as well, which is more than enough to show off to any ladies that you have a really nice taste when it comes to cars.
11 Fiat 500 by Gucci
We’re pretty sure that ladies know about the Gucci brand, and while getting your lady a Gucci bag is a nice way to show that you might be rich, it's still not as amazing as driving a car that's been styled by the famous fashion brand.
The cheapest handbag that you can currently find on the Gucci website will easily set you back a grand, and the more expensive ones go for $15,800.
That compared to the $23,750 starting price of a Fiat 500 by Gucci makes the car seem like a much better and affordable deal. Plus, you also get the bragging rights of owning a car designed by Gucci—just make sure you don’t talk much about it in front of any car enthusiasts since it would be impossible for them to understand the reason behind your purchase.
10 Ford Fusion
One thing about the Ford Fusion that really stands out is that the car looks premium. Ford seems to have something for everyone in this car, whether you’re looking for a daily driver or the more posh Platinum trim.
With a starting price of $22,995, it's quite affordable, and there are hybrid versions available, too, for those who are looking out for the environment. The stock Fusion comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 175 horsepower. However, for those looking for that extra performance boost can opt for either a 181-horsepower engine or the more powerful 245-horsepower turbo four. A turbo sport variant is also available for those who are willing to spend some extra cash, and it comes with a 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6 producing an amazing 325 horsepower.
9 Buick LaCrosse
Over the years, the Buick LaCrosse has been endorsed by celebrities like Tiger Woods; however, that's nothing new since celebrities endorse products all the time. The LA Crosse is different in this case because the car actually delivers on what it promises.
It has the perfect balance of style and luxury, which not only entices new buyers but has also been successful in retaining the Buick loyalists. With a starting price of $30,490, it might be a bit more expensive than let’s say, the Ford Fusion, but it also comes with features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. Oh, and 4G LTE Wi-Fi is also included. The stock motor is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, but it can be upgraded to a 3.6-liter V6 capable of producing 310 horsepower.
8 Ford Explorer
The Ford Explorer is the one that started the SUV craze, and its modern iteration is proof that an SUV can be affordable but also look good at the same time. At first glance, it seems as if some of the design cues were taken from the Range Rover Evoque; however, with a starting price of $32,985, the Ford Explorer has a lot more to it.
There has been a lot of focus on the interior this time around, and it has quite a premium feel overall. Both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive options are available along with either a 290-horsepower V6 or a 365-horsepower twin-turbo V6. There's also a sport variant if you’re willing to spend the extra cash, which will get you a sport-tuned chassis and an all-wheel-drive option.
7 BMW 230i
If you’re looking to get noticed by the ladies, then you can never go wrong with a BMW. While some of them can be quite expensive, the German automobile manufacturer also has plenty of options for those who usually don't have a hundred thousand dollars to spend on a luxury car.
The BMW 230i is perfect for those who are looking for both performance and luxury in an affordable package. The base model starts out at $32,850 and carries pretty much all the features that you’d usually need, with the exception of a sunroof and a Harmon Kardon sound system. There's a 2.0L engine under the hood, producing 248 horsepower, coupled with an 8-speed automatic transmission as well.
6 Chevrolet Colorado
A pickup truck is usually the last thing that comes to mind when thinking of an exotic, but there are plenty of ladies out there who prefer a pickup truck rather than a sleek sports car. This is where the Chevrolet Colorado comes in. It features practicality and nice looks at the same time.
While some might think that the Colorado looks a bit more rounded compared to other pickups out there, that's not entirely true since it looks equally as good in the city as it does on some dirt trail. Not only that—it's also extremely useful since utility is something pickup trucks heavily focus on. A starting price tag of $20,995 makes it an excellent choice for a lot of people.
5 Chevrolet Camaro
The Ford and Chevrolet rivalry is an old one, so it’s not a surprise to see that some of the Chevrolet fans would be reluctant to go anywhere near a Mustang. For them, it's all about the Camaro. If the American muscle cars do one thing absolutely right, it’s that they offer you the best bang for your buck.
For those on a budget, two variants of the Camaro are available. A four-cylinder turbo producing 275 horsepower and a V6 producing 355 horsepower.
So many other aspects such as the suspension and handling of the car have also been improved, making it a car that's now much better at going around corners rather than just going in a straight line.
4 Dodge Challenger
Out of the legendary trio of American muscle cars, the Dodge Challenger seems to be the only one to not have a four-cylinder variant. The Challenger has always been noted for its incredibly muscular appearance and road presence, and the newer models definitely don't disappoint.
For the budget-friendly folks, there's a V6 version of the Dodge Challenger with a starting price of $28,390 that's capable of producing 305 horsepower from a 3.6-liter engine.
Just because it's a V6 doesn’t mean that it's a slouch. Surely, once again, many car enthusiasts won't approve of your decision to get a V6, but the whole point of getting one of these is to impress the ladies.
3 Mazda MX5 Miata
The Mazda MX5 Miata is an all-time favorite for a lot of people when it comes to affordable sports cars. There's a reason why it's one of the best performance cars that you can buy when on a budget.
While its 2-liter four-cylinder engine only produces 155 horsepower, this doesn’t mean that the Miata is underpowered by any means. The car is super light, meaning that the place it really shines is when it's out on a track and around corners, easily making up for its small engine. Not only that, the Miata looks amazing too, which will definitely make any ladies think that you’re rich. It has a starting price tag of $25,000, and we recommend going with the 6-speed manual configuration for the most amount of fun.
2 Alfa Romeo Giulia
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is one of our favorite cars around here, not only because of how it performs but also because it's a sight to behold. While it may cost a bit more compared to some of the other entries on the list, it can still perfectly justify its $39,000 starting price tag.
Under the hood, the Giulia has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that can produce an amazing 280 horsepower, courtesy of its turbochargers.
How does that make it perform? Well, the Giulia can go from 0 to 60 in a mere 5.5 seconds. This means that any women that you take out on a date will be in for a ride of their lifetime, and if that's not enough, the beautiful exterior and a luxury interior are sure to wow them.
1 Nissan 370Z
The Nissan 370Z was the successor and upgrade to the famous Nissan 350Z. The iconic styling of this sports car was a hit with a lot of people, and since it isn’t a slouch when it comes to performance, it's still popular even to this day.
The stock 370Z comes with a pretty powerful V6 under the hood, capable of producing 332 horsepower along with a 6-speed manual transmission.
The biggest advantage of the 370Z, however, is the number of customizations that can be done to it, both aesthetically and performance-wise. With a price tag of $29,990, it's definitely well within the budget range that most cars are on this list are—well, except for our very last entry on this list.