Cheaper alternatives to expensive luxury cars

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The 2008 Fiat 500, seen at the PS-Show in Wels, Germany.

The Fiat 500 is a cheaper alternative to the Mini Cooper. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Michi1308/Flickr)

Want fashionable luxury cars but hate paying premium prices? If you know what to look for, fine alternatives to expensive cars are available. Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press, the following are cheaper cars that sacrifice sticker price, but not quality.

Want a Mini Cooper? Try a Fiat 500

While a Mini Cooper gives you an air of retro chic, starting price exceeds $20,000. For only $16,000, a Fiat 500 is also a small hatchback with the same amount of interior room – plus ride comfort is reportedly superior.

Want a Honda CR-V? Try a Kia Soul

If you’re in the market for a four-cylinder crossover SUV and think the Honda CR-V is your best option at $22,705, consider a more affordable alternative in the Kia Soul. The Korean SUV seats four comfortably, and five is possible. The rear seat offers lots of leg room, and cargo area is ample.

Want a Lincoln Navigator L? Try a Ford Expedition Limited

If you want a top-of-the-line luxury SUV like the $63,725 Lincoln Navigator L but want to save $10,000 for a Cristal champagne service, try the $51,590 Ford Expedition Limited. Options are very similar, and the Ford has a 310-horsepower V8 under the hood. Tow up to 9,200 pounds, or weave effortlessly through nighttime city traffic.

Want an Acura TL? Try a Honda Accord EX-L

Save another $10,000 by switching from the Acura TL to the Honda Accord EX-L. This V6 goes for $32,600 with all the options in place from Honda’s Technology Package. Plus, the Accord is 1 inch longer, yet weights 125 pounds less.

Want an Audi Q7? Try a Ford Flex Limited

While the Audi Q7 is stylish and roomy, the Ford Flex Limited is no slouch in those departments, either. Responsive all-wheel-drive handling and an optional turbo V6 make the Flex Limited a great choice at $37,325, yet again about $10,000 less expensive than its counterpart.

Want a Chevrolet Corvette Convertible? Try a Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible

A muscular American sports car like the Corvette inspires automotive fantasies, but Chevrolet has done quite well with the Camaro, too. Both cars have a 6.2-liter V8 engine, and horsepower is nearly identical. While the Corvette goes for $55,500, the Camaro costs $38,800 – and the SS has a backseat.

Want a Mercedes-Benz CLS? Try a Volkswagen CC

Want to save over $30,000? The Volkswagen CC is described by the Detroit Free Press as β€œan automotive designer knockoff” of the Mercedes-Benz, and that’s a compliment. A 280-horsepower, six-cylinder engine provides a fine power boost. It can’t overpower the 402-horsepower Mercedes, but in terms of style, you can’t go wrong with either car.

Formula One driver Mark Webber test drives three cheap cars


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