The Playbook For The Modern Man

Australia’s Coolest New Cars To Buy Under $80,000

The coolest cars you can buy without breaking the bank.

When it comes to changing your car, it’s fair to assume we all want to aim as high as possible. It’s human nature to have aspirations, and to have the latest or the fastest car sitting on the driveway is a perfect way to show off to your neighbours. But did you know, owning a cool car doesn’t necessarily have to mean expensive?

We’ve rounded up 17 of the coolest cars you can own in Australia right now, all of which fall into the $60,000 – $80,000 price bracket. Of course, if you have the extra cash, we’d like to point your attention to the coolest cars under $100,000. But if not, all of these four-wheel wonders will get you from A to B in style.

Sedan / Wagon

Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce

Advertisement

Year: 2019
Fuel Economy: 6.1L/100km
Price: $79,000 Drive Away

The current generation Giulia was first unveiled way back in 2015 as Alfa Romeo’s badass and rebellious answer to the BMW 3-series, Audi A4 and all manner of other sales rep saloons. This Veloce variant followed in 2016, with rather simple engine options: a 2.0L petrol producing 276hp or a 2.2L diesel producing 207hp. Neither can quite compete with the company’s M3-killing Quadrifoglio variant, but at half the price, we’re certainly not complaining. For the money, you’re still getting what can only be considered as car pornography in terms of design, backed up by an exciting drive. Plus, it’s an Alfa, and you can’t get much cooler than that.

Chrysler 300 SRT Pacer

Year: 2019
Fuel Economy: 13L/100km
Price: $78,000 Drive Away

If it’s a super limited edition vehicle you want in return for your $80,000, look no further than the Chrysler 300 SRT Pacer. Limited to just 50 models, the Pacer edition has been produced to celebrate 50 years of the Valiant Pacer – an Australian-built, fast, four-door sedan from 1969. It doesn’t offer any performance upgrades over the standard 300 SRT, so you still get a 6.4L V8 producing 350kW/470hp that says ‘up yours’ to fuel economy, but in a much cooler-looking body with plenty of Pacer badging, paying homage to the original car, as well as some stripe decals.

Audi S3 Quattro

Year: 2019
Fuel Economy: 6.5L/100km
Price: $77,000 Drive Away

If you have to have something from Germany, the Audi S3 is a fine choice. Available in sedan, hatchback and wagon variants, it can appeal to any prospective buyer. The current, third-generation is powered by 2.0L engine producing 213kW/280hp (a fourth-generation will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2020). While the price may seem a little steep for a compact sedan (compared to the likes of the Alfa, at least), you get a quick-accelerating engine and a whole bunch of standard equipment including a Bang & Olufsen sound system, wireless phone charging, and a number of driver-assistance technologies. Yes, a fair few are owned by young lads who spend their salary on monthly finance repayments, but Audi’s S-series cars still more than earn their cool status.

Advertisement

BMW 3-Series 320i M Sport

Year: 2019
Fuel Economy: 6.3L/100km
Price: $76,000 Drive Away

What if we told you that you could own the best car in Australia for under $80,000? It’s true. Carsales awarded the BMW 3-series with the gong for the year 2019, ticking the boxes for everything “from quality and comfort to driving enjoyment, resale value and running costs.” This 320i M Sport model delivers 135kW of power from its 2.0L engine (the 330i produces an extra 55kW from the same unit, but you’d have to pay more than our $80,000 budget) but you still get the same ride quality and BMW’s comprehensive iDrive infotainment system inside the cabin. As with the previous Audi, BMWs (and their drivers) do often attract their fair share of negativity, but we know that you’re not like them, so you can drive a 320i with pride.

Kia Stinger GT Carbon Edition

Year: 2019
Fuel Economy: 10.2L/100km
Price: $69,000 Drive Away

And now for something completely different; the Kia Stinger GT Carbon. The South Korean-based manufacturer is best-known for producing afforable cars with reserved styling and performance. The Stinger GT turns that mantra on its head entirely, boasting a 3.3L engine and 272kW of power, meaning it’s no slouch. The best part for us though, is that Kia has packaged it all in a great-looking car, and this limited-run Carbon Edition, various carbon fibre accents on the exterior looks even better.

Coupe / Convertible

BMW 2-Series 230i M Sport

Year: 2019
Fuel Economy: 5.9L/100km
Price: $75,000 Drive Away

If you don’t yet have a family, or you want a car that you can enjoy solo or with your better half, the BMW 230i M Sport is a solid choice. First introduced in 2016, the 230i offers plenty of gusto from its 2.0L engine, along with generous equipment as standard. The M Sport variant also receives lower suspension and sports seats over the other models in the range, as well as sportier external styling. It may not have the boy racer appeal of the M2, but that car is around $20,000 more expensive. For the budget, going fast doesn’t look much better.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class C200

Advertisement

Year: 2019
Fuel Economy: 7L/100km
Price: $79,000 Drive Away

We featured the C-Class C300 on our list of coolest cars under $100k, and its smaller sibling makes an appearance here. It’s powered by the same 2.0L engine as its bigger brother, albeit with a little less power output, but you still get sleek styling and, in our opinion, one of the best looking cars on the road. You can also revel in the fact that the C-Class C200 has been a previous winner of the best luxury car under $80,000 at the annual Drive awards.

Audi A5 40 TFSI Sport

Year: 2019
Fuel Economy: 5.6L/100km
Price: $79,000 Drive Away

Another sort of repeat entry here, as the Audi A5 45 featured on the under $100k list. The A5 40 Coupe meanwhile represents the most affordable entry into the A5 range (sedan and convertible variants are available, too) and as such, you get a slightly lesser powered 2.0L engine and front-wheel drive as opposed to all-wheel drive on the 45. Regardless, the A5 40 still comes with Audi’s S-Line styling package – making it a bit of a looker out on the road – as well as Audi’s virtual cockpit, which we feel is one of the coolest features on any car out there. It replaces the analogue instrument dials of old with a 12.3-inch digital screen, which you can use to cycle between various views such as the traditional speedometer through to maps for navigation.

Lexus RC300 Luxury

Year: 2019
Fuel Economy: 7.3L/100km
Price: $74,000 Drive Away

Lexus’ RC (Radical Coupe) range is essentially a two-door coupe version of its IS models, meaning you get luxury and performance in spades, but in an even sexier body. The latest generation takes style inspiration from the top-of-the-range LC, which includes new headlights, grille, bumpers, and alloy wheels. The Luxury variant comes with blind-spot monitoring and lane-change alert as standard and a 10-speaker audio system – an audiophile-grade Mark Levinson sound system is available as an optional extra – turning it into a nightclub on wheels.

SUV

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon

Year: 2019
Fuel Economy: 7.5L/100km
Price: $74,000 Drive Away

Advertisement

If off-roading is your thing, then you’ll definitely want to consider buying a Jeep. The company’s history can be traced back all the way to World War II, although it wasn’t until 1945 when the first Civilian Jeep branded models were produced. The hero vehicle in the Jeep lineup is the Wrangler, which has been in production since 1986, and today, you can have one in one of seven trim levels. We’ve singled out the Rubicon as it’s the most off-road focused of the range – and that’s what you’re buying it for, right? – thanks to its high ground clearance, large, 33-inch tyres and an adjustable electronic locking differential. You can even hose down the interior when it gets dirty. Genius.

Toyota LandCruiser GXL

Year: 2019
Fuel Economy: 7.9L/100km
Price: $77,000 Drive Away

The LandCruiser is another 4×4 with an extensive history, dating back to 1951 as Toyota’s interpretation of a Jeep-like vehicle. You’re practically guaranteed to see at least one every day on the roads of Australia, where its reliability and longevity have made it the country’s best-selling body-on-frame four-wheel-drive vehicle. It’s available in four trim levels: GX, GXL, VX, and Kakadu, with the GX being the most basic. Therefore we’ve chosen the GXL as our model of choice, as it adds parking sensors and a multi-function driver’s display. It’s the go-anywhere, do-it-all vehicle for the urban adventurer.

Land Rover Discovery Sport P200 R Dynamic S

Year: 2019
Fuel Economy: 8.1L/100km
Price: $77,000 Drive Away

Get past the looks and the Land Rover Discovery Sport becomes a tantalising proposition in a crowded SUV marketplace. It might not look like the Discovery vehicles of old, but the current generation has had much of its interior switched out and parts from the more luxurious Range Rover fitted in their place. It’s now offered with seven seats as standard, and Land Rover has reduced the number of trim levels to just three (the same as sister company Jaguar) to make buying one much easier. The P200 R Dynamic S gets a 2.0L petrol engine with 147kW of grunt, 18-inch alloy wheels and JLR’s InControl suite of technologies. If you want one of the most prestigious and famous names in automotive history, look no further.

Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class GLA250 4Matic

Year: 2019
Fuel Economy: 7L/100km
Price: $70,000 Drive Away

Mercedes-Benz first unveiled the GLA-Class crossover SUV at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show, with the second, current generation being launched in 2019. For the new model, Mercedes extended the wheelbase but made the overall length of the car shorter at the same time. Ground clearance has been increased, too, and there’s more space inside the cabin for people to sit comfortably. The GLA250 we’ve selected gets a 2.0L engine, delivering 165kW of power, and it further benefits from Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. As with other cars from the German company, ride quality is smooth and the interior is one of the more luxurious in the sector. It’s the body style, in particular, we deem worthy of cool status, as the crossover design offers something genuinely different to the majority of other cars on the road.

Advertisement

Electric

Hyundai Kona Highlander

Year: 2019
Fuel Economy: N/A
Price: $72,000 Drive Away

If you’re at one with the Earth, then electric power is for you. Fortunately, you don’t need to break the bank to go green, as demonstrated by this Hyundai Kona. It first launched in 2018, and at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, it won the North American Utility Vehicle of the Year, along with its non-electric counterpart. The UK-based What Car? has found it has the highest real-world driving range among five commercially available cars – up to 279 miles/450km. However, in exchange for greater range, you have to pay a higher price than other entry-level EVs on the market. Fortunately, it’s not just a box with a big battery, as the Kona is well-appointed, although the Highlander variant is the one we’d go for, as it adds LED headlights and parking sensors, a head-up display and a wireless charging pad for your phone. It’s the future of cars, today.

Read Next

NEW ON D'MARGE


Show More

Subscribe

Close

The playbook for the modern man

Get the very best of men's style, health, travel & culture delivered to your inbox.

Dont show me this again