You don’t need to mortgage your soul to afford a car that makes you look rich. There are plenty of new cars that look and feel a lot pricier than they really are. Whether you’re looking to impress your friends with curb appeal, sporty performance or an upscale cabin, we’ve got your fix. Below are five 2010 model vehicles that don’t cost a lot, but sure look like they do (all start at less than $29,000).
2010 Kia Soul
MSRP: $13,300 - $18,195
In a class overrun with chintzy econoboxes, the Kia Soul is a breath of fresh air. This affordable small car features a cool, stylish interior design and loads of tech gadgets commonly found on higher-priced rides -- like a USB auxiliary input jack and Bluetooth wireless technology. Plus, its futuristic exterior design is a showstopper. Jalopnik writes: "It's hard to stand out in Miami given the abundance of partially undressed woman and white Lamborghinis, yet the Kia garnered a disproportionate amount of attention and not just because we were driving like tourists. It looks different."
2010 Suzuki Kizashi
MSRP: $18,999 - $26,749
The Suzuki Kizashi is a dropkick to the head that’ll leave you seeing stars. Not only is this midsize sedan fun to drive, but it looks sportier than most competitors and its interior is upscale too. "What's impressive here is the high-quality feel of the interior -- the materials used on the dashboard and door panels are first-rate, and its overall look certainly climbs a few rungs on the ladder of sophistication," writes Road and Track. Skeptical? Suzuki will pay $100 to any car shopper who buys an Audi A4 (MSRP: $31,450 - $33,550) or Acura TSX (MSRP: $29,310 - $37,950) after test driving a Kizashi first.
2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata
MSRP: $22,810 - $29,350
Flip the latch, press a button and watch heads turn. The Mazda MX-5 Miata’s hard top retracts and disappears like an Autobot -- making it seem like you’ve got money to burn. In reality, however, the Miata is one of the most affordable sports cars on the road. It’s highly capable too. According to Consumer Guide, “This Best Buy delivers as much driving enjoyment -- if not outright power -- as two-seat sports cars costing thousands more." Given its small size, the Miata isn’t ideal for daily trips to Home Depot. But with the money you save, you might be able to afford a truck too.
2010 Chrysler 300
MSRP: $27,260 - $44,865
The Chrysler 300 is the ideal ride for ballers on a budget -- especially those in the market for a big, bold sedan. It’s not particularly luxurious or fun to drive, but it definitely looks rich. In fact, many folks say it resembles a certain super luxury sedan that high rollers like P.Diddy and Kobe Bryant like to drive (hint: it rhymes with Fentley). If that’s not enough, owners can even opt for an aftermarket conversion kit that makes the Chrysler 300 look just like a Rolls Royce or Bentley. According to Playboy, “Chrysler has essentially created the impossible -- a reasonably priced car that looks like a million bucks."
2010 Ford Flex
MSRP: $28,950 - $42,465
SUVs aren’t cheap -- especially the kind that look like they just rolled off the set of a rap video. You can, however, save some dough by forgoing the Cadillac Escalade for the more affordable, yet ever-so-hip Ford Flex. With the money you save, you can option it out to your heart’s desire -- which shouldn’t be a problem given the Flex’s long list of extras. "Optioned up right, the 2010 Ford Flex SEL with EcoBoost impresses as a tech cruiser, and can haul around plenty of people or cargo in unique style,” writes CNET. Among its many optional features, the Ford Flex can be equipped with a Dual-Headrest DVD Entertainment System, Ford’s highly-acclaimed SYNC infotainment technology, voice-activated navigation, four skylights, and even a refrigerated rear console that’s big enough to chill seven cans of Crunk Juice. That’s enough to impress the Funk Master himself.