What car looks way more expensive than it is?

With automakers these days seemingly striving to capture market-share in every possible vehicle segment, the lines across brands are becoming increasingly blurred. It used to be that if you wanted a dirt cheap econo-car, you bought a Hyundai, or a Toyota. If you wanted an expensive, luxury barge, you bought a Mercedes or a BMW.

Nowadays, you can buy a $60,000 Hyundai Genesis with massaging rear seats, or you can buy a (just barely) sub $30,000 Mercedes CLA. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly difficult for common folk to judge the price of a vehicle solely based on the badge that it wears.

My BRZ is a great example of a vehicle that punches way above its class in the “first impressions” department. I often get the same reaction from people: “Wow. I wish I could afford that.” Then I ask them what they drive, and it’s usually a Lexus, or some other vastly more expensive vehicle. Sometimes I can tell they wonder how I managed to acquire this thing, and I’m almost positive most people think it was bought for me by my parents (I’m 26, but I arguably look 15 at best.)

Not every sports car has this problem. Everyone knows Mustangs are cheap sports cars. If I was in a Miata, people wouldn’t think twice. But those are ubiquitous, and people know about them. The Toyobaru is rare enough that people don’t recognize it, and so they assume it to be some sort of rare, expensive exotic. Which is cool in a way (I’d rather my car look expensive than cheap), except that when you’re young like me, you often get the impression that everyone is judging you.

So, what other cars imply a much higher sticker price than they actually command?


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