The Frugal Yuppie’s Car Buying Guide

With the economy in a funk, many young urban professionals (affectionately known as yuppies) are finding it harder and harder to project an image of success by driving an exotic late model car.

If you are one of these vain individuals who “are what you drive” but the economy has placed the most pretentious vehicles out of your reach, don’t worry, this article is written just for you!

Roll up the collar of your Lacoste polo shirt, grab yourself an ice cold bottle of Perrier sparkling water, and follow along as we review the best values in budget minded yuppie transportation each priced below $10,000.

bmw-3-seriesBMW 3 Series 1999-2001: What hasn’t already been said about the ultimate driving machine? If you’re down on your luck, and desire to present yourself as god’s gift to the neighborhood, check the local classified listings for a nice black BMW 3 series.

Prices for a well conditioned BMW 3 series will vary but you can expect to find a 325i in decent condition with average mileage for around $8000. If you really want to impress your friends, you can order decals off EBay to make your BMW 3 Series look like a BMW M3 super car!

toyota-echoToyota Echo 1999-2005: Anthropologists are becoming increasingly aware of the close association between “yuppies” and an emerging class known as the “eco-snobs”. It is for this reason that I must recommend the Toyota Echo as another top pick for the financially burdened yet environmentally conscious yuppie.

What sets the Echo apart from the other cars on my list is the opportunity to purchase the vehicle for less than $3000 while still allowing you to feel “better” than anyone else because the car gets more than 40 mpg.

Don’t be bitter because you can’t afford a $60,000 Cadillac Escalade; roll in “eco-style” and judge everyone along the way as you cruise down the highway in your gas sippin’ eco-machine!

saab-viggenSaab 9-3 Series 1999-2003: I would be amiss if I didn’t suggest a 1999-2004 Saab 9(3) as another great inexpensive yuppie car. You will score even more points with your friends if you can find a 9(3) Viggen edition! With 230hp and 258 ft/lbs of torque, your friends will have no choice but to admire you as you race down the boulevard to the Whole Foods Market to pick up that $9.00 jug of organic orange juice!

Purists argue that General Motors destroyed the prestige once associated with Saab when they bought 51 percent of the company around 1990. Fortunately for our yuppie friends, the engineering master minds responsible for the Hummer H2 and Pontiac Aztek, didn’t start messing too badly with the Saab models until after the first generation 9-3 models replaced the Saab “900” series in 1999.

audi-a4Audi A4 2001-2005: Another frugal choice for financially challenged yuppies is the Audi A4 sport sedan. Although the car’s design is almost 10 years old, it still has a refined understated elegance. Used Audi A4s have dipped below $10,000, making them an honest alternative to today’s high-falutin’ foreign imports.

If your neighbors are still not impressed with your purchase of a used Audi A4 make up an elaborate story about being in a horrific car crash back in 2001 coming back from a party at your buddies beach front home in the Hamptons. Drive your message home by stating that if you were in any other automobile other than your buddies 2001 A4 you wouldn’t be here today!

infinity-g35Infinity G35 2003-2004: At the very top of our $10,000 budget here is the Infinity G35. The recent decline in used car values has finally brought this car within the reach of those desperately trying to establish themselves in the competitive world of yuppies.

Some people might prefer the Infinity G35 in black, but I recommend silver so you don’t have to spend quite as much money washing and waxing the car every single day to hide dust, pollen, scratches, and water spots. Anyone who has ever owned a black vehicle knows what I’m talking about.

$10-15 car washes a few times a week will quickly destroy the budget of a yuppie who has fallen on tough times! Save this money and instead by a bottle of Schramsberg Reserve sparkling wine as a hostess gift; you will need it for the inevitable social soirée you and your significant other will be attending now that you have “arrived” on the scene in your new G35!

volvo-yuppieVolvo 240 Wagon: Perhaps one of the newest “classic” automobiles. The Volvo 240 wagon (and to a lesser degree the 240 sedan) has reached near iconic status among aspiring yuppies over the last few years.

Although Volvo discontinued the 240 series in 1993, its reputation as a safe and reliable mode of transportation to and from countless varieties of extra-curricular activies has earned it a special place in the garage of some of the wealthiest families in New England and beyond. It is not uncommon to see one owner 240’s with over 300K miles passed down from one generation to the next.  These vehicles have literally become family heirlooms.

You read it hear first, interest in the 240 station wagon is on the rise and I feel the 240 wagon will become a desired “collector car” within the next 10 years!

To add even more pizzazz to your Volvo 240, place a few stickers from the local yacht club, country club, or the closest exclusive private university in the rear window and watch the neighbors turn green with envy.

I hope you enjoyed my choices for inexpensive yuppie vehicles! Please let me know if you have any yuppie vehicles to add by including it in your comments below!

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