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Affordable Luxury Cars for Middle Class Workers

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A car is totally different from many other possessions and this is why it is the most public status symbol we all own because it is a large piece of property that is mobile and sometimes, shows the status of a person. It is seen by many different people on the roads daily when we go to work when we stand at our balconies or even when we run a quick errand. Our homes, furniture, and belongings within our homes are not as out in the open and in most cases, only people in our inner circle see the insides of our homes. When we see a person driving a Bentley, most of us think of that person as successful, wealthy, and maybe even proud. This is because most of us see luxury cars as items that are only affordable to certain individuals. But does this mean that only people of the high class can own a luxury car? The answer is, not every luxury car has a six-figure price tag. Some luxury (or luxury-looking) cars are even affordable to the average person. 

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This article is a compilation of 5 top cars that look expensive but is affordable for the average and middle-class worker. The 20/4/10 method was used, which utilises a 20% down payment, 4 years of financing, and 10% of income (after car insurance) to determine an affordable vehicle. Based on Statista, on average, the monthly cost of living for an individual in Nigeria amounted to 43.2 thousand Nigerian Naira, which equalled roughly 111 U.S. dollars. On the other hand, this figure added up to 137.6 thousand Naira for a family, about 354 U.S. dollars.

AFFORDABLE LUXURY CARS

What type of luxury car can you buy in the N10.2 million to N15 million range these days? You may be surprised to find out.

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2013 BMW X1

Starting Price: N9.4 million

2013 bmw x1
2013 bmw x1

The BMW X1 falls in between smaller, agile crossovers like the Mazda CX-5 and larger, more luxurious crossovers like the Audi Q5. The vehicle effectively combines a useful passenger package with the driving dynamics you expect from a BMW. If you are looking for a small, luxury SUV with decent fuel economy, this is a pretty good option. The base version of this vehicle, the sDrive 28i, in pre-owned condition sells for as low as N9.4 million. The base model comes with features like a leather-wrapped steering wheel, split and fold-down rear seats, and even HD Radio.

You can add extra bells and whistles like backup cameras and satellite radio with surround sound. Keep in mind that this is a compact SUV, so if you’re looking for something that will fit several people, you may want to go with a larger SUV. Also be careful adding those features, because an N12.4 million price can quickly become an N15 million price.

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

Starting Price: N13 million.

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

The 2014 CLA-Class marks a departure for the German automaker. It is a front-wheel-drive sedan infused with the premium furnishings of a traditional Mercedes-Benz but priced far lower than the rear-drive C-Class. The CLA is longer and wider than the current C-Class sedan. It has a sleek and aerodynamic shape that brings to mind the larger CLS four-door “coupe” and Mercedes says that the CLA is more aerodynamic than a Toyota Prius, which should benefit fuel economy. The CLA-Class sedan’s curvy roofline does cut off on passenger space, however. Anyone over 6 feet tall should not even bother trying to get comfortable in the backseat. With a strong turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a quick-shifting transmission and sure-footed handling, the CLA drives like a proper Mercedes, too. Meanwhile, the rip-snorting CLA45 AMG should right most of the base CLA250’s wrongs with its incredibly swift straight-line performance. 

With the launch of the 2014 CLA-Class, Mercedes brings an early offence to a budding class of compact luxury sedans. The 2015 Audi A3 is its closest rival in terms of price and design. The A3 offers more rear-seat space and more polished and comfortable ride quality. The standard model of the CLA-class comes with rain-sensing windshield wipers, cruise control, excellent fuel economy (26 MPG city run/38 MPG highway run), Bluetooth, and a power driver’s seat. You can upgrade and add options, like heated seats and surround sound if you like for premium looks at an entry-level price point. 

2015 Toyota Venza

2015 Toyota Venza
2015 Toyota Venza
Brand new 2015 Toyota Venza₦11.8 Million
Nigerian used 2015 Toyota Venza₦6.5 Million
Foreign used 2015 Toyota Venza₦9 Million 

New for the 2015 Toyota Venza is an Entune infotainment system and rearview camera which became standard. The 2015 Toyota Venza comes in three trims which are the LE, XLE and Limited trims. The base Venza LE has a good list of standard features but the base engine is unrefined. The XLE is a better trim because it is available with a V6 engine.

2014 Acura ILX

Starting Price: around N11 million

2014 Acura ILX
2014 Acura ILX

Available only as a four-door sedan, the 2014 Acura ILX offers two powertrain options plus an ILX Hybrid. The base version is fitted with a rather pedestrian but thrifty 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. Driving enthusiasts will lean toward the ILX 2.4 model, which has a considerably more powerful 2.4-litre four engine that is mated only with a six-speed manual transmission. The base 2.0-litre engine does represent an affordable entry point into premium-brand car ownership. But its performance is not in the same league as the entry-level versions of its rivals. With its sport sedan leanings, the 2.4 model is enticing, but the lack of an automatic transmission limits its appeal.

The 2014 ILX’s interior is well constructed, but the materials used are not really a step up from top non-luxury sedans. Similarly, the design features Acura’s typical high-tech vibe, but it’s nowhere near as luxurious here as in the classy TSX. Nevertheless, if you are looking for high-tech features, the ILX definitely delivers. There is a 5-inch display screen topping the centre stack for the myriad infotainment functions, and smartly placed buttons and knobs to control them. A 6-inch screen comes with the navigation system, as do voice command functionality (navigation and audio) and a nice-sounding ELS audio system. This car also has decent fuel economy, with 24 MPG city run and 35 MPG highway run, and a reasonable entry-level price point. This is a very good entry-level luxury vehicle, though, and if you are looking for something larger that you can stretch your legs in, and something that will really impress people driving by, you may want to go a bit fancier.

2015 Buick Verano

Starting Price: around N9.8 million.

2015 Buick Verano
2015 Buick Verano

This vehicle is based on the same platform architecture as the Chevrolet Cruze. Its exterior styling is upscale, yet reserved in character. Its well-crafted interior features high-quality materials and an impressively long list of standard luxury and high-tech features, and generally feel like it is a cut above everyday family cars. Since this is a true compact car, the Buick’s rear seats do not provide the stretch-out legroom you might want in an upscale sedan.

It comes with a standard 180-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that powers most versions of the Buick Verano, and it provides adequate performance and reasonable fuel economy. If you want more invigorating performance, you can move up to the Verano Turbo. Its quick, turbocharged 250-horsepower four-cylinder totally changes the character of this small sedan and if you prefer to shift for yourself, the Turbo model lets you opt for a six-speed manual transmission in advance of the more popular six-speed automatic. This luxury(ish) vehicle has an enticing entry-level price. It even comes standard with cool technology like a built-in WiFi hotspot (with a 3-month trial period) and a 6-speaker sound system with a touch screen.

2015 Chrysler 200

Starting Price: Around N9 million

2015 Chrysler 200
2015 Chrysler 200

Although the redesigned 2015 Chrysler 200 is not different in size from the previous year’s 200, it is a radically different midsize sedan. The styling itself is quite striking for a car in this price range, and indeed it ushers in an all-new design language for the brand. Inside, the cabin has been overhauled as well and features nicer materials and a slick new touchscreen electronics interface that is refreshingly easy to use. In addition, new safety features like blind-spot monitoring and forward-collision warning systems put the 2015 Chrysalis 200 on more equal footing with the leaders in this class. If the upgrades on the 2015 Chrysler 200 stopped right here, it would still represent a major improvement over last year’s 200 sedans but the changes underneath are even more transformative.

This “next-generation midsize sedan” comes standard with keyless entry and start. So you can warm up the car without even getting into it. You will like this car if you are looking for an attractive vehicle with an attractive interior and decent fuel economy but if you are looking to add all the extra bells and whistles, like large touch screens and navigation, those will cost you extra.

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