Cheapest expensive looking cars

After a car that looks modern, expensive and stylish without breaking the bank? Here are our picks for the most expensive looking cheap cars

Chris Rosamond
Feb 7, 2022

Everyone likes to get a great deal when it comes to buying a new or used car, and when browsing the advertisements for your next purchase it can be tempting to look at the more luxurious, sportier and not to mention expensive options. A car can be a fantastic way of expressing yourself, but many of the stylish and premium motors currently on sale have eye-watering price tags that are out of budget for most people.

However, if you are dreaming of a car with modern styling, up-to-date technology or even something sporty, we believe that there are some expensive-looking cars for affordable prices which offer great value for money. Thanks to PCP finance, luxurious and premium-feeling cars are now much more accessible with affordable monthly prices, meaning it's easier than ever to get behind the wheel of your dream car.

So what are the cheapest cars that look expensive? We have put together this list of affordable but expensive-looking cars currently available on BuyaCar. These sophisticated looking vehicles will be the envy of others without burning a hole in your pocket.

Cheap expensive-looking cars

1. Audi A1

Previous-generation version deals from £7,800
Monthly finance from £205*
Current-generation version deals from £16,291
Monthly finance from £0*

When it comes to superminis, for many years the Audi A1 has been the upmarket small car choice amongst the ranks of Ford Fiestas, Vauxhall Corsas and VW Polos, which are cheaper and sell in higher numbers, but don't offer the same feel-good factor in the cabin.

A new A1 model arrived in 2018, and while it’s even more grand and grown-up than the previous version, aping the style of bigger Audi models, it is also still quite pricey and so the previous-generation model that was discontinued in 2018 gets you more car for your money.

In fact, if you’re looking for an upmarket feel on a budget, the new model’s arrival is good news, as it has resulted in falling prices for the older version. But the older A1 launched in 2010 remains a distinctive option that retains its premium feel and will still feel to many like a more impressive option than a newer, more mainstream rival.


2. Mercedes A-Class

Previous-generation version deals from £10,090
Monthly finance from £220*
Current-generation version deals from £16,995
Monthly finance from £344*

The junior Mercedes - the A-Class hatchback - has rightfully claimed a place at the head of the upmarket small car table, thanks to its classy styling, impressive in-car technology and its distinctive cabin, which helps it to stand out from cheaper hatchbacks, like the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.

The newest version arrived in 2018 and does a great job of maintaining the model’s classy image with a slick media system and sophisticated voice controls, but being relatively new prices are still a little high, so the previous generation A-Class offers much better value for money.

Launched in 2013 the A-Class in question still looks sharp inside and out and it sold well, so there are plenty of used models to choose from. When new it was leagues ahead of most rivals in terms of its sophisticated technology and design, and that advantage stays with it in the used car market where it now looks like a truly appealing option as an upmarket car on a budget.


3. Infiniti Q30

Used deals from £8,690
Monthly finance from £0*

The Infiniti Q30 is a unique choice, but if you want a plush machine that looks and feels expensive but costs little then it’s a smart choice. It's not an obvious choice for used car buyers, so second-hand values are low and it offers great value.

The Infiniti Q30 is a car from Nissan’s luxury brand designed to take on upmarket rivals such as the Mercedes A-Class, BMW 1 Series and Audi A3. The Infiniti brand is huge elsewhere in the world but never managed to get noticed in the UK where German names including Audi, BMW and Volkswagen stand out. As a result, Nissan pulled the plug on the Infiniti brand in the UK in early 2020.

The Q30 has plenty of premium feel though, especially at the prices being asked for used examples. It’s slightly higher than average ride height makes it quite imposing for its size, decent equipment levels and great build quality impress too. Despite the brand no longer being present in the UK, Nissan should continue to look after Infiniti drivers.

4. Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport

Used deals from £8,990
Monthly finance from £190*

It wasn’t long ago that a large Vauxhall said that you'd arrived, with many high-achieving business people cruising around in cars from the brand. Before the obsession with upmarket German brands really took over in the UK, a Vauxhall was seen as a discerning company car choice for management execs. Sadly, for a number of years, Vauxhall standards slipped while the likes of Audi and BMW created ever more sophisticated machines.

Newer Vauxhalls are back up to scratch, though, with several of the larger models offering a real feel-good factor. The Insignia Grand Sport is one example. While mainstream large family cars are increasingly being replaced with high-riding SUVs, the Insignia is a stylish, affordable, comfortable and well-equipped hatchback that offers a much better value alternative.

The Vauxhall brand may not register highly on the brand perceptions scale as producing posh cars, but if you focus on the reality of the Insignia's handsome design, good driving characteristics, impressive specification and genuine comfort, the Insignia is surely a car that feels much more expensive than it actually is. If you want your car to look and feel good, regardless of the badge on the bonnet, this is a smart choice.


5. Suzuki Vitara

Used deals from £9,499
Monthly finance from £214*

If you want to join the fashionable SUV set, then there are plenty of choices here on BuyaCar. One that stands out for value, while offering plenty of feel-good factor is the Suzuki Vitara. Yes, the Suzuki brand isn't upmarket and the handsome looks aren't as wacky as models such as the Nissan Juke, but the fact it's less attention-grabbing means that you can get a great Vitara for the money compared with many rivals.

That’s great news for used buyers because the Vitara is actually a highly competent and likeable machine that makes a great choice as practical family transport while also delivering that all-important SUV style. It may be affordable, but it still looks attractive on the outside and feels like it should cost far more than it does when you're in the cabin.

You’ll need close to £22,000 to drive a brand new one out of a showroom, but here on BuyaCar, you can get a virtually new pre-registered Vitara for many thousands less, while 2020 models with a few thousand miles on the clock could save you a few thousand Pounds.


6. Jaguar XJ

Used deals from £12,800
Monthly finance from £535*

The Jaguar XJ is a seriously desirable large car for bargain hunters after luxury and refinement. Despite being around 10 years old when production ended in 2019, it was - and is - still one of the most comfortable and enjoyable luxury limos around.

Sadly, the lure of big and luxurious SUV rivals sounded the death-knell for Jaguar’s big saloon, although an electric-only replacement will be launched soon. In the meantime, if luxury to you means a comfy cabin and a big engine wrapped in a sleek body, the XJ offers amazing value right here on BuyaCar.

Slip into the leathery cocoon that is the XJ's cabin and you’ll be immediately rewarded with a club-class VIP feel, and Jaguar’s sporty heritage means this big car provides a driving experience that’s surprisingly athletic and agile despite its supple and soft suspension.

Perhaps the most attractive feature is the price - a used XJ could cost you a fraction of the initial £70,000 or more price tag thanks to steep depreciation.


7. Maserati Ghibli

Used deals Limited stock

To many people, the very idea of driving an exotically-badged Maserati would mean swallowing a brave pill, but the reality of owning the BMW 5 Series-rivalling Ghibli doesn’t appear to be as scary as many might fear. A scout around owners’ forums reveals that reliability is holding up pretty well, and as long as you’re not expecting to use an expensive main dealer for servicing a used example, running costs shouldn’t be too outrageous either.

So if you want your next car to look and feel expensive but cost barely more than less exciting options, the Ghibli could be a good choice. There aren’t too many about, but you should be able to find a Ghibli with a smooth and strong diesel engine for about the same as a new Ford Focus.

For that, you’ll get a seriously glamorous machine with loads of badge appeal, and the admiration and respect of all your friends when you casually lob your car keys onto the bar. Do you dare to venture where others fear to tread?

8. Audi A8

Used deals from £17,500
Monthly finance from £0*

The big Audi flagship has been admired for years, but with prices for new models starting at well over £70,000 and upwards, it’s hardly affordable for most drivers.

It’s a popular choice for companies who need to chauffeur their top execs around though, and likewise for luxury taxi companies running ‘VIP’ services, so there are quite a few around. That means that just because it's out of reach brand new, that isn’t necessarily the case if you're looking for a nearly new or used model.

In true Audi style, although the model has been significantly updated over the years, the newer versions tend to look much like their predecessors. You might even be lucky enough to find a fast S8 model.


*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.


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