2017 Cars That Look Expensive (But Aren’t)
2017 Honda Civic – MSRP $18,740: For decades, the Honda Civic has set the standard for simple, reliable, inexpensive transportation. Now it raises the bar for what an economy car should look like too, with a better design than ever before. Sharp angles and subtle curves combine to give the Civic a futuristic look, aided by a sleek profile that improves efficiency. Chrome trim and LED headlights come standard, but options like spoilers, center-exit exhaust pipes, and a punchy turbocharged engine boost the Civic’s style and sportiness for not much more money. Long-term costs are low too, with under $7,000 in maintenance over the first 10 years of ownership. The car comes in sedan, coupe, and hatchback body styles, so whatever your needs are for a car, there’s a Civic that suits them.
2017 Mazda CX-3 – MSRP $19,960: If you’re looking for a small SUV that’s inexpensive, stylish, and fun to drive, the Mazda CX-3 might be the one for you. The CX-3’s wide grille, strong curves, and lifted ride height make it look big and brawny, but you’ll be reminded of its compact dimensions whenever you parallel park it. Blacked-out window trim and pinched exterior lights give it a sporty, modern style. The interior looks premium too, with leather, brushed metal, and carbon fiber trim covering the simple yet functional dashboard. Mazda emphasizes driving dynamics in all their vehicles, so whether you’re standing outside or sitting behind the wheel, the CX-3 is sure to make you smile.
2017 Chevrolet Colorado – MSRP $20,055: Pickup truck shoppers are usually limited to options that prioritize utility over style, but the Chevrolet Colorado does a great job of combining both. There’s no question that first and foremost it’s a pickup, with multiple bed and cab configurations to meet a range of needs. The Colorado’s high ride height, boxy wheel arches, and upright grille give it a powerful, rugged look, but it’s not all about brute force: the body still has enough curvature to provide broad appeal. With over 7,000 pounds of towing capacity, available four-wheel drive, and optional torquey diesel engine, the Colorado offers major utility along with style that no other truck can match.
2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport – MSRP $22,485: Hyundai’s Elantra is available in a variety of trim levels, but the Sport model gives upscale style and features to the already sharp small sedan. Big two-tone multi-spoke wheels unique to the Sport look far more expensive than the hubcaps found on lower trim levels, and LEDs in the headlights and taillights look complex and dimensional. Big air inlets on the front bumper, twin exhaust tips at the rear, and a small red “Turbo” badge on the grille hint at the upgraded powerplant under the hood. The Elantra Sport proves that you don’t have to shell out big bucks to have a car that’s as good looking as it is exciting to drive.
2017 Jeep Compass – MSRP $23,000 (est.): Jeep started from scratch with the 2017 Compass, and paid equal attention to making the car look great and capable on trails. It wears Jeep’s trademark seven-slat grille, but also has modern design touches like trim that flows above the side windows and wraps around the rear glass to the other side. The headlights give it an aggressive presence, and the spacious wheel arches have plenty of room for knobby off-road tires. An optional black-painted roof provides great contrast against lighter shades of paint on the rest of the body. The Jeep Compass is going to look great whether you need a car to run around town or tackle rocky roads.
2017 Toyota Prius – MSRP $24,685: The looks of the Toyota Prius have always been dictated by making the car as aerodynamic and efficient as possible. The car has been a sales hit, but it’s safe to assume that MPG figures has been the main selling point, not styling – until now. Toyota did much to banish blandness from the current Prius by giving it a futuristic and highly polarizing design. The body is heavily sculpted, with complex surfacing and deep cutlines, and the headlights and taillights really catch the eye. It’s up for debate whether the design of the 2017 Prius is a success or failure, but what can’t be refuted is the car’s fantastic fuel economy: over 50 MPG makes fill-ups few and far between.
2017 Ford Mustang – MSRP $24,915: The Ford Mustang has been a classic since its introduction in 1965, and the stylish 2017 model continues that tradition. Even though the current bodystyle has been on the road for a few years, it’s still a head turner. No doubt it’s the sleekest muscle car available today, with a design reminiscent of European exotics. There’s a huge catalogue of optional extras – including spoilers, decals, wheels, and exhaust – so Mustang drivers can personalize their ride’s looks. A variety of powerful engines are available under the hood, but despite its sporting credentials, the Mustang isn’t known for its reliability: It costs almost $12,000 to maintain in its first decade on the road.
2017 Kia Sedona – MSRP $26,800: If all you need your car to do is carry as many people as possible, a minivan is your best bet. With the Kia Sedona, you can maximize your people-moving capacity without sacrificing style. It won’t ever be mistaken for anything but a minivan, but with a chrome-lined grille, LED running lights, and uniquely-shaped side windows, the Sedona’s handsome looks will help it stand out in the school drop-off line. The well-laid out interior is as stylish as it is spacious, too. Ultimately the Kia Sedona has premium design that makes it look expensive compared to other minivans on the market.
2017 Infiniti QX30 – MSRP $29,950: You could stare at Infiniti’s QX30 crossover SUV for hours and still find new features in the striking exterior. Its dramatic, curvaceous, and flowing body really catches light and draws the eye in to take a closer look. Infiniti claims that entirely new manufacturing processes had to be developed to build the QX30’s body panels, so clearly they made no concessions in the car’s styling. Chrome trim abounds but isn’t overdone, and the raised ride height gives it an authoritative presence. Overall it’s an organic design, with headlights clearly inspired by the human eye. Drivers ready to put a luxury car in their driveway will be attracted to the QX30’s style and price point.
2017 Buick Cascada – MSRP $33,065: Want a car that lets you feel the wind in your hair? The Buick Cascada convertible is a great-looking and reasonably-priced option. The car is a major departure from Buicks of old, with European-inspired styling that’s sure to turn heads. A crease running along the side of the car makes it look long and low, while the angular headlights and taillights break up the otherwise smooth design. A palette of bright and subdued paints are available, so you can choose whether you want your Cascada to stand out or be more subtle. Don’t let Buick’s oldschool reputation stop you from giving the Cascada a closer look.