HOW TO FIND THE LUXURY CAR THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU
Today, there are many features distinguishing a “luxury” car from an “ordinary” one. They include:
– A noticeably higher level of automotive craftsmanship that’s evident in every aspect of the car.
– A powerful, but whisper-quiet engine, auto-stabilizing suspension, multi-speed automatic transmission, and other performance features resulting in superb handling.
– A roomier, more comfortable interior in which natural materials (for example, leather and wood) are often present. Other superior interior features typically include seating – both front and rear – that is adjustable, heated, ventilated, and massaging.
– Advanced safety features, for example, rear camera mirrors, blind zone and lane change alerts, adaptive cruise control, front and side air bags, and automatic safety-belt tightening.
– Abundant and easily reconfigurable storage areas, both in the passenger cabin and in the trunk area.
– State-of-the-art entertainment features using the latest and highest-quality components.
– Other advanced technology features, for example, Heads-Up Displays that project vital information on the windshield, configurable digital dashboards, internal Wi-Fi hotspots, and wireless charging functionality.
Finding the right luxury car
Today, luxury cars come in a wide range of body styles, configurations, and price points. There are luxury sedans, luxury coups, luxury SUVs, and luxury mini-vans. There are even multiple subcategories of the “luxury” category, including “personal luxury,” “sport luxury,” “entry-level luxury,” and “ultra-luxury.”
These distinctions may be more useful to those marketing cars than they are to luxury car buyers. That’s why – to find the luxury car that’s right for you – it’s important to focus on the precise kind of luxury that makes you happiest. Here’s our advice on how to do it:
– Analyze your motivations for choosing a luxury car. What particular aspect of the luxury car experience is most important to you? Hand-sewn leather interior fabrics? The latest in driving- assist technology? A peerless handling and ride experience? The most advanced safety features? While the “perfect” luxury car would excel in all of these areas, in real life, you’ll find that one luxury car will meet your expectations better than another.
– Weigh how important the brand is in your decision-making. Is it important – perhaps even essential — to you that you own a car of a particular brand? Or would Brand “A” yield to Brand “B” if the features and pricing of the latter were superior? If your answer is “no,” then your decision-making is very simple – you want a Cadillac, a Rolls, or a Bentley – and just need to settle on a model and options package, then haggle for the best deal you can get. If your answer is “yes,” you’ll have more work ahead of you: visiting multiple luxury car dealers and evaluating each car on a feature-by-feature basis – but your efforts will pay off with greater satisfaction in your luxury car purchase.
– Think about how you’ll use your luxury vehicle. Be honest with yourself about your intended use for your luxury car. Is your primary goal to acquire an exquisite object in order to impress others (for example, guests, clients, friends, co-workers, neighbors)? Or are its high-end luxury features primarily intended to be “practical,” in the sense that they’ll make your driving tasks easier, comfortable, and more enjoyable?
– Understand the dynamics of the luxury car market. The super-wealthy generally frown on buying pre-owned vehicles, choosing instead to lease new luxury cars and exchange them after a short period of time elapses in order to acquire newer models as soon as they become available. Consequently, each year a glut of high-quality luxury cars – often driven very lightly and immaculately maintained – enters the market, pushing prices down.
So if you’re not finicky about driving a pre-owned luxury car, you can reap real savings. For example, CheatSheet.com recently noted that buyers of a Hyundai Genesis that cost $52,000 in 2014 could obtain it for just $35,400 one year later – a $16,600 savings. By carefully timing your purchase to happen after the first year (typically, the year in which most luxury car depreciation occurs), you can get “more car” – and more luxury – for the same money.
– Consider the total cost of ownership. Another important factor that causes luxury cars to depreciate quickly is the rising cost of repairing aging vehicles. With certain foreign luxury cars – especially those produced in limited quantities – the cost of parts can explode as time progresses. To avoid these costs, many buyers trade them in relatively quickly – typically, after three years. If you’re shopping for a pre-owned luxury car in the U.S., the general rule is that you’ll pay less for parts if you go with a domestic manufacturer — for example, Cadillac — with a large parts inventory that’s not located halfway across the world. Doing this will reduce the cost of acquiring needed parts in the future.
Pay attention to the cost of ownership and choose a luxury car whose operational costs aren’t themselves “luxury-priced.”
Your dream luxury car is out there, and may be more affordable than you expect. By evaluating the luxury features most important to you, understanding the peculiar dynamics of the luxury car market, and taking account of the total cost of ownership, you’ll be in the best position to find a great luxury car that will make you very happy.
By the way – all the interior features we named at the beginning at this article are available in the latest Cadillac Escalade luxury SUV.