Here are 7 New Cars and SUVs That Are Cheaper Than They Look
“Cheaper” isn’t really a term used all that much nowadays. However wild the new car market has become, there are still some good-looking cars out there that look much nicer than they actually cost. From luxury sedans to slinky little sports cars, these seven new cars and SUVs are cheaper than they look.
Several factors lead to cars being expensive. Typically, the features that make an expensive luxury or sports car come down to comfort, aesthetics, and performance. Despite the cheaper prices, the cars on this list offer a variety of comfort and performance options and features that might surprise you for the price.
7. Lexus IS ($39,000)
The Lexus IS is a triple threat. It is beautiful, quick, and comfy. Part of what made this little four-door sports car a bit cheaper is that it’s been a bit old-fashioned, if we’re honest. While the IS 300 is still a beautiful sporty little spud, Hot Cars notes that Lexus just updated the model to include the properly hot IS 500 trim with a V8.
The IS 300 might not have a V8, but the 255-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four isn’t a slouch either. That power through an eight-speed automatic transmission send to the rear wheels makes for a fun package if you know how to use it.
The Lexus IS starts at $39,000 but can quickly go up with options and added features.
6. Toyota GR86 ($32,000)
The Toyota GR86 is a proper, old-school sports car. It sports a simple and sleek design that exudes the same subtle but aggressive attitude that surrounds the Miata. Aside from the wonderfully simple aesthetic design, the new Toyota GR86 also features some updated mechanicals.
These upgrades include a bigger engine – a non-turbocharged version of the Subaru FA 2.4-liter – producing 230 hp. All that spunky power goes to the rear wheels only via a choice of a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic. That means you can get a proper sports car with a six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive that looks like this, starting at $32,000.
5. Jeep Grand Cherokee ($40,000)
The newer model Jeep Grand Cherokees are a bit divisive amongst Jeep people. However, the rest of the more tamed automotive world seems to like them plenty. I imagine this is because the Jeep Grand Cherokee is cheaper than it looks.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee competes with luxury midsize SUVs like the BMW X5 and the Audi Q7. Despite its lack of performance compared to those models, the Grand Cherokee does wear a fancy wrapper that earns it a place on the “fancy-for-cheap” list. While its competition can run well past $100,000, the new Jeep Grand Cherokee starts at $40,000.
4. Hyundai Santa Fe ($29,000)
Hyundai has been a long, slow burn, but the blaze has finally caught, and Hyundai is a know marque for quality and comfort. That said, the Hyundai Santa Fe is on the bigger end of the Hyundai lineup. The Santa Fe is roomy and comfortable, yet modern and chic from the outside.
The Hyundai Santa Fe base model comes with a 2.5-liter inline-four that makes 190 hp, paired with an 8-speed automatic, powering the front wheels. There is an even more powerful turbocharged version for those looking for a little more giddy-up. The Hyundai Santa Fe starts at $29,000.
3. Toyota Supra 2.0T ($44,000)
The Toyota Supra dropped in 2020, and immediately the battle lines were drawn. With such a well-loved nameplate, the Supra was also going to be divisive. Despite some upsetting choices like no manual transmission option, the Supra still fits well on this list. Just look at it.
The new batch of Supras is brilliant to look at and a hoot to drive. The 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four from BMW offers plenty of power, and tuned suspension and chassis make the squiggly bits a riot. Although the Toyota Supra isn’t cheap, it is cheaper than it looks at first glance. The Toyota Supra starts at a reasonable $44,000.
2. Cadillac CT5 ($36,000)
The Cadillac CT5 isn’t the most exciting car in the world to drive, but it is insane that such an iconic marque can make such a nice-looking and comfortable car for only $36,000. Most people would argue that the CT5 feels like it should be in the same place as a C-Class Mercedes, but the CT5 starts at $6,000 cheaper.
The base CT5 has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, producing 237 hp, but the engine can be upgraded to a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, producing 335 hp. The Cadillac CT5 is a hard luxury sedan to beat for the price.
1. Chrysler 300 ($32,000)
This is far from our favorite car on this list. In fact, if this list weren’t about looking like your balling, it may not be here. But, it is a hard one to deny; the Chrysler 300 is the King of looking like you’ve got money while still being a regular working stiff.
The Chrysler 300 has mastered looking more expensive than it is. For the uninitiated, the 300 can often be mistaken for something of the upper crust like a Rolls Royce. Although the 300’s popularity is dwindling, it is an iconic car that gave middle-class folks an opportunity to ball out on a budget.
With the car market in the state, it’s in, these cars and SUVs give us a little bit of hope that we don’t all have to become wildly wealthy to drive a car, truck, or SUV we are proud of.