These 2000s Status Symbol Sports Cars Are Now Cheaper Than A Prius

Some cars’ main reason for existing is showing off. Yes, they may be great to drive, have good options, and are on a track, but none of that really matters to most owners. Simply being seen in a status symbol car elevates one’s social ranking – something that is not possible in a $25,000 Toyota Prius.
These days, status symbol cars have been put into a class of their own as there are so many competing to be the best. In Europe, these types of cars range from high-end Jaguars and Range Rovers to Bentleys and – the ultimate status symbol car – Rolls-Royces. In China, European carmakers have created special China-only versions, which are long-wheelbase cars as this is considered flashy there. Even the Audi A3 has been stretched to accommodate this trend.
In the US, status symbol cars range from the Ford F-150 Platinum to the ever-popular Cadillac Escalade – which has been the king of flashy SUVs since 2004. Here are some 2000s status symbol sports cars that are now cheaper than a new Toyota Prius (and better in every way).

10 Maserati Quattroporte

Black 2007 Maserati Quattroporte
Via Los Angeles Times

The Maserati Quattroporte as a whole is an amazing car. The first generation of the modern Quattroporte still has the best sounding V8 engine ever put into production, with its throaty roar that reverberates against walls. The Quattroporte models after it are still good, but they do not quite possess the same spirit as their predecessors.

2008 maserati quattroporte sport gts
Bring a Trailer

With the Quattroporte being available on the used car market for around the $20,000 mark, it is an extremely tempting alternative to the traditional Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi offerings that are usually selected. The Quattroporte is so much prettier than any of the German cars and makes a sound that could only be compared in harmony with a Lexus LFA. Quite a good status symbol then.

9 Maserati Coupé

Maserati GT Cambiocorsa
via Wikipedia

The Maserati Coupé was the massively successful GranTurismo’s predecessor and was the first Maserati to feature the absolutely beautiful Ferrari F136 V8, which produced 385 hp. It was available with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automated-manual gearbox, with drive going to the rear wheels only.


The Coupé was a true 2+2 and was larger on the inside than its main rivals, the Jaguar XK and Porsche 911. The Maserati Coupé was an Italian GT sports car that looked at home both in a city’s financial district and on the Italian Riviera . Today, Maserati Coupés are available on the used car market for less than a new Prius. Just beware the maintenance and running costs.

8 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG

Mercedes SL55 AMG
Via: Wikipedia

The Mercedes-Benz SL has been the go-to luxury GT convertible ever since it gained popularity in the 1980s. The fifth-generation SL was undoubtedly the best, thanks to its reliability and a massive range of engines. The first AMG version was the SL55 AMG, which was fitted with the company’s 5.4-liter supercharged V8, producing 510 hp.

2004 Mercedes SL55 AMG

The SL55 AMG has some more elegant styling upgrades over the standard SL and thus adds to the whole status symbol look. Another feature to add was the fact that all SL models – bar the SL65 Black Series – were strictly convertibles, showing whoever was driving to the whole world.
Related: Here’s What Made The Mercedes SL55 AMG Special

7 BMW 6-Series

2012 BMW 6-Series Convertible Sports Car
Via: NetCarShow

The second-generation BMW 6-Series was a much-improved version of the model. It followed a more traditional BMW design language instead of the wilder and more controversial E60, E63, and E65 models.

2012 BMW 6-Series 2-Door Convertible Sports Car
Via: NetCarShow

The 6-series was available with a choice of a twin-turbo straight-6 or a twin-turbo V8, both in various states of tune. It was a pretty good alternative to the likes of the Mercedes-Benz SL or CL if a sportier coupé was wanted. Currently, the 6-Series coupé can be bought for less than a boring hybrid.

6 Jaguar XKR

Front 3/4 view of the XKR
Via Jaguar

The last generation Jaguar XK was introduced around the same time as the Aston Martin V8 Vantage and was considered to be a good (less expensive) alternative. It was only available with V8 engines starting with the 4.2-liter in both naturally and supercharged aspirations carried over from the previous generation. This was later upgraded to a 5.0-liter supercharged engine in XKR, XKR-S, and XKR-S GT trims.

Rear 3/4 view of the XKR on the move
Via Jaguar

The XK is a beautiful car that’s great to drive and comfortable to cruise across continents in. It is also an excellent model to look flashy in, especially a black XKR which accentuates the car’s lines and R-specific details.
Related: Here’s Why The Jaguar XKR Is Now A Performance Bargain

5 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet

Porsche 996 911 Cabriolet
Via Porsche

The Porsche 911 is probably the best way to show people how wealthy one is – certainly with the current line-up. Luckily for us car enthusiasts, the 911 has depreciated to such a degree that it may be possible for anyone with a reasonable budget to be able to afford one.

Porsche 996 911 Cabriolet
Via Porsche

The 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet may be lower down on the 911 hierarchy, but it still has all-wheel drive and came with a manual transmission mated to an always awesome Porsche flat-6. What better way is there to look well-off than in a convertible Porsche?

4 Aston Martin DB7

Front 3/4 view of a silver DB7
Aston Martin

The Aston Martin DB7 was a car that was surprisingly never driven by James Bond, however, it was driven by Johnny English – a rather fitting alternative. The DB7 had much in common with the first-generation Jaguar XK and used much of the same running gear – apart from the engines.

2001 Aston Martin DB7 Vantage Volante 2-Door Convertible In Dark Blue
Via: BringaTrailer

The DB7 was available with Aston Martin’s amazing 5.9-liter naturally aspirated V12 mated to a choice of a manual or an automatic transmission. Another engine option was a supercharged 3.2-liter inline-6 ​​which produced 335 hp. Want to show off at a party? What about an Aston Martin DB7 for less than $25,000?
Related: How The Jaguar XJS Influenced The Aston Martin DB7

3 BMW Z4

Red 2011 BMW Z4 sDrive30i Roadster
Via Bring a Trailer

The BMW Z4 has not been at the top of anyone’s lists in terms of looks, performance, or reliability. However, the E89 model Z4 had a lot going for it. Whilst the 2.0-liter turbocharged i4 was available in a range of tunes, it was the 3.0-liter twin-turbo i6 in the sDrive35is which was the most impressive.

Black 2011 BMW Z4
Via Mecum Auctions

The sDrive35is produced 335 hp and was only available with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. It featured much of the handling components from the 1-Series M Coupé. The Z4 sDrive35is also featured an ‘overboost’ function which activated at full throttle when changing gears. Regardless, it was and still is a great sports car.
Related: 10 Reasons Why Every Gearhead Should Own A BMW Z4

2 Mercedes-Benz CLK

Via Mercedes-Benz Classic Archive

The Mercedes-Benz CLK was designed to be the coupé version of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. It was available with many engine choices ranging from a 1.8-liter i4, all the way to a massive 6.2-liter V8. The mid-range CLK500 was the most popular option, featuring luxurious leather seats and enough grunt to keep up with the faster cars.

Mercedes CLK350 - Rear
Via Bring A Trailer

The CLK500 was changed to the CLK550 for the American market after the mid-cycle facelift and the introduction of the CLK63 AMG. The CLK550 produced 382 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque, with power going to the rear wheels only via a 5-speed automatic transmission.

1 Lexus SC 430

2010 Lexus SC430 Sports Car
Via: Lexus

The Lexus SC 430 has been called ‘the worst car in the world’ by some, but it is still sold rather well, especially in the US. The SC 430 was fitted with Toyota’s 3UZ-FE 4.3-liter V8 engine, producing 300 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. The SC 430 was designed to be a GT with a convertible twist, but the car could never properly decide its own purpose.

Top Gear Lexus SC430
Via Lexus

The SC 430 was eventually replaced by the LC 500 – a car better in every single way. Despite this, the SC 430 is still talked about in motoring circles and is either praised or mocked. Regardless, they are great value for money today, offering a good ride and a smooth Lexus V8 under the hood. So even if it is the worst car in the world, it’s still a bargain at less than a hybrid hatchback.

1997-2004 Porsche Boxster 986
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