So you are a young entrepreneur and you need to look experienced. It’s time to move up in the world and let it be known you are successful. You can’t pull up to the clients office in a Dodge Neon, just like you can’t tell people at a conference you are staying at the Econo Lodge. If you want to be in the game you have to give the appearance you belong there. Your business relies on your image, but you want to be sensible. Check out these Under30CEO picks for the most affordable, classy vehicles.
Exotic: Lotus Elise
Want a car that will really turn heads? Check out the Lotus Elise. Nobody will know it starts at under $48,000. You will absolutely look like a dot com mogul, with or without the removable hardtop. Although cargo room is next to none, you’ll stand out far better than anyone with a Porsche or BMW Z4. If you are looking to make a statement do it with something exotic.
High Performance: Infinity G37
Looking for horsepower? You can have 327 of them for a mere $37,250. Available in AWD you can get to the ski slopes in style. The G37 is certainly the most bang for your buck, while it’s competitors like the C-class Mercedes and the 3 Series BMW don’t have nearly the power at this price point. Don’t forget–the biggest factory upgrade you can purchase are the wheels, think about upgrading the 17’s to 18’s or 19’s.
Luxury: BMW 528
With the long classy luxury look this sedan will turn some heads. Starting at $45,000 it out does the competition at the price that includes the Cadillac DTS, Lincoln Towncar and Audi A6. The coolest part about the 528 is the fully searchable Google Maps option built into the dash. BMW has thought of everything with an available Lane Departure function, that tells you if you veer from the road if you doze off.
Sport Utility: Mercedes-Benz GLK
The new 7 speed automatic Mercedes GLK starts at $34,000. Sitting on 19″ rims with 268 horsepower standard how could you go wrong? Be careful adding options as this is where Mercedes makes it’s money in the luxury field. It’s smaller size is made to look like you are driving a much larger vehicle as it’s lines imitate the Mercedes GL and Lexus LX. The fact that you drive a Mercedes SUV says you are in the game.
Hybrid: Toyota Prius
“Tell me something I don’t know” you are thinking. If you are going for the green look, the Prius is the only car people recognize as a hybrid. Buying any other hybrid simply will not bring you the recognition you are looking for. Driving Honda, Mercury or Saturn’s environmentally friendly options, people will simply think you are driving something off the Budget Rental Car lot. The 2010 is the 3rd generation Prius and will be your best bet if you want a gas/electric car with all the bugs worked out. Don’t forget however if you are looking for a manual transmission compact car to make the commute in the Prius is operated only by a two speed automatic.
Sports: Mini Cooper S
Built by BMW, Mini’s British roots gives your image a classy appeal. Fantastic gas mileage and a sticker price starting at only $22,000 you can’t go wrong. Most 6 speed sports cars will be twice the price and the turbo charged engine really accelerates nicely. Ladies–put down the top and your girlfriends will be envious. Guys–while it’s not super masculine, chicks dig the Mini.
Premium Vehicle: BMW 128
Want to drive a Beemer but don’t want to spend $50k+? The BMW 128 is your vehicle. Available in 6 speed automatic or manual, with 230 horsepower this inline 6 has some serious power for a small car. Upgrade to the convertable and get pop up roll bars. The German engineering is sure to impress any potential client who is questioning your experience level. Be careful as you upgrade; the iPod adapter alone will cost you $400.