Buying a new vehicle is one of the most important decisions you can make in your life. For many, the ultimate dream is to go one step further and buy a BMW, Mercedes Benz, Porshe, or another top luxury vehicle. Before you head down to the showroom, though, you need to ask yourself – is owning a luxury vehicle worth every penny? These are the reasons you should or shouldn’t buy a luxury vehicle to help you decide whether it’s time to get behind the wheel of your dream car.
Luxury Vehicles Are Not Budget Friendly
If you’re hoping to buy a brand new luxury vehicle, prepare for your bank account to take a hit. The chances of finding one under $30,000 are nearly non-existent, and most models will start no lower than $40,000.
Before pulling the proverbial trigger on your purchase, ask yourself, “does this fit into my budget?” Remember, a luxury vehicle is exactly that – a luxury. You can get around in your daily life just fine in an economy car, such as Toyota or Honda.
Resale Value Is Limited
If you want to buy a Benz with hopes to sell it in a few years get ready for a reality check. After driving off the lot, your brand new luxury ride will immediately lose 15 percent of its value. After three years, it will be worth roughly 40 percent of what you paid for it.
In comparison, a non-luxury vehicle like a Toyota is only estimated to depreciate by 50 percent after three years of ownership. And as you drive it off the lot, it will only lose 10 percent of its value.
The Cost Of Repairs Could Leave You Crying
Another questionable reason to go all-in and buy a luxury vehicle is the cost of maintenance. Once your warranty expires, you’re stuck paying for everything, and it’s not cheap.
To start, an oil change, which costs anywhere between $50 and $100 for a Honda, will be double that for an Acura. As for the other repairs? Because you now own a luxury vehicle, the prices for replacement parts and labor will be suited for a king.
Peak Performance Can’t Be Beat
On the plus side, when you invest in a luxury car you pay for the best performance your money can buy. What’s underneath the hood of your car matters, and luxury automakers go all out with the best engines that push the limits of power.
Even older luxury cars tend to out-perform their non-luxury counterparts. The powerful engines, as well as the sleek lines that turn heads on the freeway, are undeniable advantages to choosing a Lexus over a Toyota.
A Used Luxury Vehicle Is Still A Luxury Vehicle
If you are dead-set on getting a luxury car, but a new one isn’t quite in your budget, then it’s time to consider the secondary market. You already know that a luxury vehicle will depreciate by 60 percent or more in three years, so why not buy a three-year-old-model?
After only a few years you are essentially buying a new car for a fraction of the price. You get all the performance, the sleek good looks, and the heads being turned on the freeway at a price that won’t make you cry on the inside.
High-End Safety Features Usually Come Standard
Another advantage of choosing to buy a luxury vehicle are the safety features. Not only are you getting high-end performance out of your new ride, but you are also getting top of the line safety features without having to upgrade.
Common safety features on most luxury vehicles include a full set of airbags, a reliable anti-lock braking system, and traction control. These automakers know that because you are choosing to make an investment in them, they need to make an investment in you as well.
You Can’t Beat The Tech Included
Another convincing reason to buy luxury is the tech included. Similar to the vehicle’s safety features, a number of high-end tech accessories will come standard including wi-fi hot spot capability and in some case in-headrest TV screens.
It’s no secret that drivers want tech-friendly cars today, and luxury makers like Mercedes have made sure not to let anyone down. The German manufacturer even has some cars that come with voice control!
Luxury Vehicles Will Increase Your “Social Standing”
If you are the type of person who wants to turn heads when you step outside of your car at a restaurant, then you will want to own a luxury vehicle. Even if your income places you in a non-elite class, owning a Porsche will instantly up your social standing.
On the other side, if how society sees you is not your top concern, then window shopping for luxury is about all you should do. After you’ve seen the best, it’s time to head to your local Ford dealer.
It Can Be Harder To Find The Best Repair Shops
While you already know that owning a luxury car means that you need to be willing to accept a higher cost of repairs, there is one more thing you need to be okay with. Not every auto-garage or repair shop is certified to repair luxury vehicles.
Depending on where you live, you may have to drive several miles out of your way just to get your car repaired. Now getting your auto fixed is just costing you money, it’s also costing you time.
Luxury Vehicles Aren’t Always The Best For Families
If you are a parent and you are considering upgrading to a luxury vehicle, remember that kids will add cost. Sitting in the back seat and playing, the wear and tear on the interior of your new car could be immediate.
For a lot of people, that’s not ideal when it comes to high-quality leather seats. The good news is that more and more luxury companies are designing cars for families. Lincoln even recently started an ad campaign with the slogan, “Luxury should be lived in.”
Some Non-Luxury Brands Use Luxury Parts
Before committing to buying that brand new Cadillac Escalade, first consider this: While the Escalade is brandished with the Cadillac name and logo, it actually shares a lot of parts with the Chevrolet Tahoe.
Essentially, if you want luxury quality, but aren’t as worried about social branding, the Tahoe is a more affordable option. Always research before buying to make sure you are getting exactly what you want at the price you want to pay.
A Luxury Vehicle Could Help Ease Back Pain
Because of the superior build quality of luxury vehicles, several models could actually help ease back pain. According to best-selling health author Darren Zeer, six of the ten cars with the most comfortable seats belong to luxury brands.
Still, he warns, “During long drives, it’s important to pull over at least every two hours and take a walk and stretch break. Move around, shake your body, and stretch. This will help your back but also get you refocused and wake you up. As you stretch focus on breathing, slightly activating your core and belly muscles.”
Just Because Some Features Come Standard, It Doesn’t Mean They’re Functional
As tempting as all the high-end tech in luxury cars might be, it’s important to remember that just because a trendy feature comes standard, it might not be functional. We’ve already mentioned that the tech is one reason to consider a luxury vehicle, just make sure you know what that tech is.
The Remote Touch system that Lexus included in the 2016 model of the RX 350 was notoriously dysfunctional. BMW’s iDrive system has had similar complaints since being introduced.
Luxury Vehicles Have Shorter Warranties
Every new car you buy, and even used cars in some cases, come with warranties. Depending on how in-depth your warranty is, most repairs are covered and you won’t have to pay for them.
Compared to luxury cars, mainstream vehicles tend to have longer warranties. The less time you have to worry about the maintenance, the better as far as we’re considered. And if you’re buying used, depending on how old the car you’re looking at is, it may still be under warranty.
Fuel Efficiency Isn’t Always Top Priority
With so much packed under the hood of a luxury vehicle to improve performance and power, it should come as no surprise that these autos tend to be less fuel-efficient. Would you rather fill up your gas tank once a week or every two weeks?
A question like that is important to consider when buying a car, especially if you are in the SUV market. The fuel efficiency of a Cadillac Escalade is about two-thirds of what the fuel efficiency of a Ford Escape is.
A Smoother Ride Comes With A Cost
One of the top features that helps distinguish luxury vehicles from economy models is the overall smoothness of the ride. Luxury makers tend to put more care into the quality of “harshness” engineering.
That means the luxury car will almost always have a better suspension system and sound-deadening materials than their mainstream counterparts. For the price you pay, you end up getting a smoother ride with less tire and wind noise as you drive down the freeway.
They Sometimes Share Chassis With Mainstream Cars
Earlier we noted that some luxury brands share components with their more affordable counterparts. What we didn’t reveal was that they often also share chassis. For example, Ford owns Lincoln, so many models share bodies.
The Lincoln MKZ shares the same basic design and chassis as the Ford Fusion. While some angles might be changed, and some parts might be upgraded, this is one way that Ford can keep production costs down while maintaining, or even increasing MSRP.
Mainstream Tech Is Catching Up
As the years go by, the tech features being included in mainstream vehicles are beginning to catch up to luxury models. We’re used to seeing Bluetooth connectivity as a standard feature in luxury vehicles, but not elsewhere without an added charge.
Not so anymore. A Honda Civic comes standard with Bluetooth. As cars like the Civic or Corolla catch up, they become viable options for any drivers looking for top-of-the-line features at a reasonable price.
There’s A Difference Between Premium And Luxury
One of the ways mainstream auto brands will try to compete with luxury brands is through a premium label. Be warned, however, that this label does not mean everything you think it might.
Typically, the premium version of a vehicle model is just the base version with the highest trim level added. By the time you look at the price tag of a premium Kia Optima, it may cost the same as a Lexus.
Make The Choice You Want To Make
At the end of the day, only you know which car is the best one for you to buy. If you have your heart set on a luxury vehicle, the best advice we can offer is to do your research. Make sure you know what it is you want so you don’t get tricked into something you don’t.
Amazingly, the same advice applies if you are buying a mainstream car. Do your research, go for a test drive, and know what features you want and want vehicles can offer you the best value for it.