The Best Luxury Cars Without the Luxury Badge

When someone buys a luxury car, he or she is not just buying heated rear seats, autonomous driving capability, and an overly complicated infotainment system. The buyer is investing in a little thing called prestige.

Prestige is what you get when you buy a high-end Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Lexus, Jaguar, or the like. Prestige is the thing that makes people look at your car and think, “I wonder what that guy does…”

When non-luxury automakers attempt to build a luxury car, they can fill it with all of the luxury features and goodies they want, but it will never have the prestige of the luxury brands.

If you want all of the luxury that modern vehicles have to offer but could pass on the prestige, check out these cars. 

Genesis G80

Hyundai is trying really hard to create something prestigious. It’s fledgling Genesis brand has a good start, but its vehicles are still Hyundais wrapped in new sheet metal and a fancy new logo. Prices start below its more prestigious competitors but offer just as much, if not more, luxury fare.

Ford Fusion Premium

It looks like an Aston Martin, performs like a Ford, and has the luxury appointments of a Lexus. If you don’t mind the Blue Oval staring back at you while navigating stop-and-go traffic on the highway, this could be the luxury car for you.

Nissan Maxima Platinum

Opt for the Platinum Maxima and get 18-inch wheels, a 360-degree camera system, and Nissan’s Driver Attention Alert safety system. You’ll also get premium Ascot leather seating and heated/cooled front seats in addition to Nissan’s head-turning good looks.

Honda Accord Touring

This is not your momma’s Accord. Honda has taken the Touring version and made it into a virtual Starship Enterprise. In addition to the largest backseat in its class, the Honda gets LED cluster headlights, woodgrain interior accents, heated front and rear seats, remote start, navigation, and a suite of technology that includes a lane keeping system, adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, and road departure mitigation system. This car has it all… even though it’s still a Honda.

Subaru Outback/Legacy

Subaru is known for its outdoor acuity but knows how to bring the luxury when flannel and Birkenstocks are no longer appropriate. Adaptive cruise control, a quiet interior, HID headlights, low-profile roof rails, a heated steering wheel, navigation, and it’s outstanding Eye-Sight technology make Subaru models a solid all-weather luxury contender.

GMC Denali

The Denali brand is quickly gaining a prestige factor and could almost stand on its own as a premium luxury brand. GMC has graced Denali versions of its vehicles with machined aluminum wheels and acres of chrome on their grilles, side mirrors, window sills, and door panels. Inside, Denalis get heated and cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel, and triple door seals to minimize road noise. Finally, the Magnetic Ride Control suspension system makes a Denali drive nearly as smooth as a luxury sedan.

Ford F-150 Limited

Five words: Massaging seat for the driver.

Do you want your luxury car to have a prestigious nameplate?


Find Certified Pre-Owned Cars and Used Cars in your area at CarGurus.

Used Genesis G80
Used Ford Fusion
Used Nissan Maxima
Used Honda Accord
Used Subaru Outback
Used Subaru Legacy
Used Ford F-150

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