Used Cars: 10 Exotics under $35k

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Dream on

What better method of impressing the guys and gals at the office than whipping into the parking lot in a wildly exotic automobile? Lay aside all of the excuses running through your mind about not being able to afford an exotic automobile because those are just nonsense. By taking advantage of today’s used car buying tools you can have a head turning automobile with tons of curb appeal and not pay a lot of dough for it. So, whether you are adding to your inventory, focusing in on a daily driver, or looking to purchase a cherished keepsake, used car websites like can help you to find exactly the right used exotic auto for under $35k.

2002 Bentley Arnage R

2002 Bentley Arnage RNothing says “I have arrived” quite like a Bentley. The Arnage screams Bentley with the prototypical Phantom style front grille, long sleek hood adorned with the highly recognizable Bentley wings, and elegant deeply etched lines. These cars are readily available in the used market; many with very low mileage. Bentley offers consumers an amazing assortment of color options both for the exterior and interior. By taking advantage of an internet used car website, you should be able to find a combination to suit your taste. The Arnage is equipped with a 6.8-liter engine that smoothly produces 400-horsepower. The interior is, in a sense, unrivaled among automobiles; with finely crafted wood, leather, or carbon-fiber accoutrements. Passenger seating in Bentley automobiles is unbelievable; with colors ranging from basic black to lime-green leather and patterns from supple Corinthian to diamond tufted.

2003 Aston Martin DB7 Vantage

2003 Aston Martin DB7 VantageIf it is grand enough for oo7, then it is fit to impress, indeed. This Aston Martin has found a way to tastefully straddle the line between high-performance and elegance. Powered by an enormous 5.9-liter DOHC 48-valve V12 engine, this DB7 can dash from 0 to 60 mph in only 5-seconds. It has a horsepower rating of 420 and makes 400 lb.-ft. of torque. With an electronically adjustable four-wheel independent front and rear wishbone suspension system, the DB7 handles like a racer in sports mode yet offers a comfortable ride in comfort mode. Interior features are abundant and include all of the power amenities, leather and suede dash and seating surfaces, fine wood grain trim in a variety of shades, and premium audio, communication, and connectivity functions. The DB7 comes with premium braking, as well. It is outfitted with ventilated cross drilled rotors all around and four-wheel antilock brakes.

2008 BMW Z4 M Coupe

2008 BMW Z4 MAs far as first impressions go, this car seems as though it cost much more than $35k. Despite being armed with only a six-cylinder engine, this little coupe can really move. The M-Sport version vehicles are always well heeled and this one is certainly no exception; its 3.2-liter inline six-cylinder manufactures 330-horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque and uses a six-speed manual transmission and electronically controlled rear-differential to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in only 4.9-seconds. The twin kidney shaped grilles and elongated hood of the Z4 give way to a trim fuselage with a low roof line. With only two passenger seats, the Z4 is rather a compact automobile. Interior trappings are rich and sturdy, befitting a fine performance machine. Seating is both firm and comfortable with supple leather surfaces and exquisite stitching. Instrumentation is competition grade, including a motorsport spec tachometer with variable redline and a 180 mph speedometer.

2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe

2011 Cadillac CTS-V CoupeTo say that a Cadillac is exotic may be slightly misleading but it is fast and luxurious. It is a classically elegant automobile, with all of the latest accouterments, mounted upon a race car chassis. Under the hood a Lingenfelter supercharged 6.2-liter V8 churns out 556-horsepower and 551 lb.-ft. of torque. It supplies power to the rear differential through a six-speed manual transmission, though a six-speed automatic is available. Zero to sixty is achieved in a mere 4.2-seconds and the adjustable suspension with adaptive dampers allows you to cruise in Touring mode or “skin it back” in Sport mode. As expected the interior of the Caddy is opulent with state-of-the-art communication, audio, and connectivity. Plush leather seating with slick wood and carbon-fiber accents are skillfully arranged alongside LCD touchscreens and dual-zone automatic climate control systems to deliver an unforgettable driving experience. These hot Cadillacs are must drive entertainment if you are looking to buy a high quality exotic used car.

2008 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG

2008 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMGWhen the logo says “AMG” you know that it goes fast and feels luxurious. This Mercedes features handcrafted quality from bumper to bumper and especially underneath the bonnet; here a gargantuan twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V12 provides all of the power needed to give this large luxury sedan cat-like reflexes. It delivers 604-horsepower and 738 lb.-ft. of torque, propelling this craft from 0 to 60 mph in an unbelievable 4.2-seconds. Transferring all of those ponies to the pavement is a sport tuned version of the five-speed automatic transmission used in the S600. The exterior is typical of Mercedes-Benz; classically done in an assortment of beautiful colors with chrome grilles and accents.  The interior is spacious and sensuous yet functional — a true driving enthusiasts dream.

2010 Jaguar XK

2010 Jaguar XKThere is just something sexy about a Jaguar. They are not particularly fun to work on but they are a ton of fun to drive and they roll with a great degree of eye appeal. The ’10 XK models are fairly easy to locate and, if you utilize your used car websites, you can find the color and trim that you really like. These cars have the coolest shifters that I have ever seen. Once you start the engine the shifter rotates upward and into your hand. Turn the engine off and the shifter rotates down and away for storage. You will either love it or hate it. This Jag comes with a 5.0-liter V8 engine that makes 385-horspeower and 380-lb.-ft. of torque. Whether or not you like Jags, you cannot deny that they handle well during challenging driving maneuvers. This XK is particularly impressive between the automatically adjustable suspension system constantly optimizing handling capabilities and the all-aluminum body composition providing reduced body-roll.

2012 Land Rover LR2 HSE LUX

2012 Land Rover LR2 HSE LUXTwo things to note about the Land Rovers: first, they are plentiful in the used car market and second, they are posh. You are talking about an SUV that someone paid a premium price for, only two years ago. Today, you can get it for less than $35k. The LR2 is a mid-sized luxury SUV equipped with a 230-horsepower 3.2-liter V6 engine, six-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drivetrain. Land Rover is known for luxurious interior spaces and this truck definitely has one of its own. Rich full grain leather seating surfaces are abundant and every technological gadget known to the automotive world is present in this cabin, not to mention a huge cargo hold in the rear. The exterior is boxy and sporty at the same time in that unmistakably Land Rover fashion that just seems to exude class and prominence.

2005 Lotus Elise

2005 Lotus EliseIf pure driving pleasure is your bag, then this is the car for you. Who would have ever thought that you could own an exotic mid-engine powered British sports car, manufactured in the last decade, for under $35K? While this Lotus is not what you would call comfortable or spacious, this little roadster is terribly fun to drive. Don’t let the inline four-cylinder fool you; this hot rod is ready to roll. Powered by a 1.8-liter DOHC engine that produces 190-horsepower and 138 lb.-ft. of torque, the Elise can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in only 4.9-seconds. Interior seating is leather and cloth and pretty cramped to be quite honest but, then again, this car is not really built for comfort.

2006 Maserati Gran Sport

2006 Maserati Gran SportMaserati is not the other Italian car maker. It is owned by Ferrari and the engines that equip the Maserati are Ferrari engines. Did someone say under $35k? This is a whole lot of car for the money. This thing is set-up like it is ready for a day of canyon racing. A 4.2-liter V8 Ferrari engine sends 400-horsepower and 333 ft.-lb. of torque to the rear wheels via a “cambiocorsa” (Italian for racing gearbox) F1 style six-speed automated clutch transmission that is controlled using steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. The cambiocorsa transmission offers four shift modes: Normal, Sport, Auto, and Low Grip. It has a top speed of 180 mph and can jet from 0 to 60 mph in 5-seconds. The interior features fine Italian hides stunningly sewn with all of the craftsmanship due a luxurious supercar from a country so rich in culture.

2008 BMW M6 Coupe

2008 BMW M6 CoupeThis full-sized German luxury coupe is absolutely designed with the driver in mind. With a huge V10 engine that generates 500-horsepower and 383 lb.-ft. of torque emitting a melodious tone whenever you press the accelerator in the slightest and a power mode setting on the seven-speed automated manual transmission, this car could be the single most addictive substance on the planet. Supple, yet firm leather seating, dash, and door panels seem to wrap you in elegance and every available electronic convenience is at your fingertips. Despite being a large luxury coupe the M6 handles like it is riding on rails. The M-Sport suspension package, electronic stability and traction control, and speed sensing adaptive power steering form the very definition of driving pleasure and large cross-drilled and ventilated brake rotors help to bring you safely to a stop — assuming that you ever want to stop.

S.M. Darby

S.M. Darby

I am a freelance author with over 25 years of experience as a professional, ASE certified automotive technician and shop owner, muscle car enthusiast, avid street racer, and classic car restoration specialist.