Luxury Car Prices: Do You Get What You Pay for?
So you have decided its time for a new car. The end of summer is the best time of year for auto dealers. New car models are coming out, deal seekers looking for recent lease trade-ins, the weather is beautiful, auto dealers are pumped up to get your business.
If you are like the majority of people in a capitalistic society, there is an excellent chance you want a car that is technically considered out of your price range. Some people really do not care about cars, they view them as a tool to get to and from work and the grocery store and get from A to B.
Three are also quite a few enthusiasts who view a car as an extension of themselves. They appreciate fine craftsmanship, they LOVE to drive, maybe they would prefer to live in a studio apartment and drive a brand new BMW. And, of course, there are the lucky few that don’t have to look at price tags, but that’s not me, and that’s not you.
Purchasing a car is a huge decision, rife with emotion, the feeling of sitting in a new car releases oxytocin and serotonin, chemicals that the brain produces when you are euphoric, or in love. Car makers know this, and they spend a lot of money to trigger the ‘I have to have it’ response in your brain. The ability to choose logic over emotion is hard to master. If you have ever been to a casino, you can relate.
At the end of the 90s, money was growing on trees in the tech industry., The Internet was doing a decent job of streaming media, and, the collective consciousness of the U.S. changed. Things that at one time were written off as being exclusive to the affluent suddenly seemed obtainable. Before the credit crisis, we were told; “Hey, it doesn’t matter if you can’t pay now, just pay later!”. You know where that got us.
The auto industry was up there with the housing industry, excellent at convincing people they could live beyond their means, and like mortgage brokers, car salesman can usually be called ‘predatory’. If you had a beautiful house, you probably had a nice car. Conversely, if you drove a nice car, you were perceived as probably having a beautiful house. Project success and all that.
Enough history and psychology, you want to buy a car, and even if you go in knowing exactly what you want, and what you can afford. Unless you are educated and have nerves of steel, you may walk out with something entirely different. Again, this is not about how to negotiate, that will come in a separate article. This is about Luxury Cars and some really basic but important facts that you should keep in mind.
There are some expensive Luxury cars with atrocious track records for service, just because it’s German does not mean it’s never going to break down. Luxury or not, Japan is making some luxury cars that rival high-end German, Italian, and British automobiles, but with the reliability we expect from a Japanese car.
While trying to decide if I wanted to buy new or used, luxury or boring, I did exhaustive research and spent many hours test driving, negotiating, and frustrating my wife. I ended up with a brand new 2015 Mercedes. I am glad I did. Here are some things that I found out on my journey.
Buying a so-called luxury car is a luxury well worth the cost. Although prestige is part of the package, it is not the only selling point. Here are five reasons why a luxury car is worth the extra expense.
Luxury cars often include more safety features than their standard counterparts; this translates into better crash-test results. In fact, nearly fifty percent of the vehicles chosen as superior safety picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety are priced over $30,000. Acura 2017 models will include blind spot information, Acura navigation system with a 3D view, and SIRI eyes free as well as a host of other standard safety features.
Superior Customer Service.
Luxury dealerships take care of not only their cars but also the people that own them. Loaner cars, extended warranties, roadside assistance, special discounts and deals are just some of the perks working with such a dealership. Unlike many standard dealership’s, whose goal is to sell the most cars, luxury dealership’s goal is to make customers for life.
State of the art technology.
Historically, luxury cars have offered the best in safety features and entertainment technology. These features start in luxury cars long before the options trickle down to the masses. In the Acura 2017 models, you can get everything from 18″ aluminum wheels and pedals, 8-speed dual clutch transmission, Jewel Eye LED headlights, iPod interface, and at least a 5″ display.
Comfort and Beauty.
Owners of luxury cars appreciate increased car comfort and interior, whether they are on a cross-country drive or just heading to the local grocery store. The 2017 Acura RDX, for example, is more luxurious than ever before. The cabin has been redesigned to offer more room for passengers and storage. Heated leather seats are extremely comfortable, and the leather provides a new modern, sleek design. What better way to commute after a long day of work.
For the fourth year in a row, Edmunds.com has placed Acura as the top Luxury brand in its Best Retained Value Awards. In 2015 for example, Acura has a projected five-year residual value of 46.9 percent.
While a brand new car may not be the best idea, there is something about buying something that no one else has owned. I’ll be nice and assume you are not susceptible to the ‘cool factor.’ Maybe you have decided that your budget would allow you to buy a new average car or a used luxury car. This is where things can get tough, and you need to do some very thorough research on the exact make model and year of the used car. If the car was made in the last decade, it likely contains computer chips and requires a level of service that is far beyond the reach of the driveway mechanic.