Did you use to dream of owning a luxury car as a kid? If so, you definitely weren’t alone.
Luxury cars have long been a symbol of prestige, especially in the United States. If you were too young to drive one, you played with die-cast micro luxury cars that made you want a luxury vehicle even more. But as an adult, is there anything to gain from spending top dollar on your vehicle as well?
Once you look at the facts and figures surrounding luxury cars, the answer to this question is a little bit more complex than you might think. But more importantly, we have to answer a pressing question first: what is a luxury car?
In truth, there’s no rulebook that will tell us whether or not a vehicle is a “luxury vehicle.” On the more material side of things, a luxury vehicle might have features like premium upholstery (like leather), state-of-the-art technology, and high-quality parts under the hood. From there, we start to get into more subjective, immaterial features. These include a more responsive drive, higher levels of comfort in the interior, and super sleek designs. There can be other stipulations depending on the vehicle, but otherwise, this is what you’re getting in a luxury vehicle.
Since these features can be hard to define, the term “luxury” is generally defined by the person selling the vehicle and not the person buying it. In other words, if a vehicle’s a luxury vehicle, you’ll know one way or another.
While all the assets of luxury vehicles sound amazing, basic economy cars can give some luxury vehicles a run for their money. The automotive industry has advanced leaps and bounds in the past decade, and once futuristic-sounding features are now standard fare. Nowadays, any new car you look at will have backup cameras and full smartphone integration, among other advanced features. Even cheaper upholstery can be made to resemble a luxury car (usually under names like “leatherette”). In short, if there’s a specific feature in a luxury vehicle that you really want, you might be able to get an approximate equivalent in an economy vehicle.
This brings us back to the “immaterial features” that make a luxury vehicle what it is. Sure, you might find some super fancy technology in a specific car that you can’t get anywhere else (at least for a few years). But overall, the value of a luxury car comes from how you feel driving it. If you love the way a car drives or your friends and family love riding in it, then a luxury car is worth the cash. If you like the way a car looks either on the inside or out, then yes, walk into the dealership and see about getting a set of keys. Even if you are on a budget, you can still find an agreeable deal on a used luxury vehicle. The sky’s the limit as long as you have a good car salesperson by your side.
To put it briefly, think of a luxury vehicle like a lobster dinner. Some people absolutely love the flavor and think the experience is worth the price. Others don’t see the appeal and are just as happy ordering any other item on the menu. Neither of these people is wrong in their opinions, and you just have to know which group you belong to. So, feel free to walk into your local dealership and book a test drive or two, because the best way to find your tastes is to sample them yourself.