If the six-figure price tag of a luxury car is out of your budget, these tips will help you find a vehicle with similar features for less.
Luxury cars are increasingly prevalent in today’s automotive landscape. As high-end brands like Mercedes, BMW, and Porsche have increased the level of creature comforts, buyers have enjoyed options like rear-seat massagers and heated armrests. Many of the high-end luxury cars have handcrafted features, allowing the fusion of the latest technology with some of the richest, most sumptuous accoutrements on the market.
However, all these features, while impressive, come at a price — and usually a steep one. Climbing into the six figures, such cars aren’t in financial reach for many drivers. So, what can you do if you want a luxury car without paying a luxury price? Adjust your expectations, do your homework, and you might be surprised how much luxury you can afford.
What’s in a Name?
One of the first things you’ll need to do is recognize the difference between prestige and luxury. Prestige brands, such as the models mentioned earlier, cost more and fall into an elite category. If you’re looking for the prestige of owning one of these automobiles, you’re going to have to pay the price.
However, if you’re willing to look at brands that share the DNA of lower-priced cars, you can easily find a vehicle with the lush leather interior, cutting-edge technology, and smooth ride that make many of the higher-priced brands so attractive. Household automotive names, including both American- and foreign-born makes, now offer high-end models that compete well with prestige brands but without the extravagant price tags.
What to Consider
When looking for a luxury car in your price range, you’ll have to determine the driving force behind your decision. Is it the body style or what’s under the hood, or perhaps the luxury of the interior? You can find each of these elements in a lower-priced vehicle, but you may not find all of them in the same vehicle.
For example, if you’re smitten with the Mercedes E-class, but the base price ranging from $52,000 to $72,000 is out of your price range, you could look at Hyundai’s Genesis G80, which hits all the high notes when it comes to looks, style, and comfort, but for several thousand dollars less. It also scores a home run for safety and handling, with such features as adaptive cruise control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, blind spot monitoring, and much more. It will leave a smile on your face when it comes time to sign on the dotted line, as the base price comes in at an MSRP of slightly more than $41,000.
Apples to Oranges
Other comparisons can be found across the board, whether you’re looking for a sportster or an SUV. Want the super-charged performance of a Ferrari 458 without spending more than $200,000 on your car? You might be surprised to learn how well Chevrolet’s Camaro Z28 fits the bill — and saves more than $120,000 in the process.
If you’ve been eyeing a high-end SUV like the Porsche Cayenne, but you don’t want to pay $60,000 or more, turn your attention to the Audi Q7. It doesn’t have quite as much muscle under the hood, but it makes up for it with extra cargo room and third-row seating with a luxurious interior while shaving more than $10,000 off the asking price.
Determining what you want from a luxury ride and then looking at more affordable options that provide similar luxuries is the perfect compromise to get the kind of car you’re dreaming of with a price that won’t keep you up at night. What’s your favorite luxury vehicle? Visit our Facebook page and tell us all about it.