Let’s face it: no one ever dreams about driving a minivan or a Toyota Corrolla. As reliable and practical as these vehicles may be, there isn’t much about them to set a driver’s heart racing or inspire impromptu drives down the coast.
Now, a Ferrari, Lamborghini, a Porsche, or an Aston Martin? Those are the stuff that fantasies are made of!
Unless you are among the upper echelon of wealthy individuals, however, these luxury cars are going to represent a major investment. Are they worth it? Or are you better off with a mid-priced ride? Let’s take a look.
The Pros of Owning Luxury Cars
First, we’re going to break down the advantages of owning a luxury automobile.
The most obvious pro of purchasing a luxury automobile is the very prestige it provides. These vehicles are status symbols, plain and simple. That doesn’t mean they don’t rank highly in other areas. However, anyone who argues that they didn’t choose their car based on brand recognition and bragging rights is full of malarkey.
People who drive exotic cars enjoy the attention they get — from valets and fellow drivers to passengers and passers-by. To wit, the Cadillac Escalade shares many specs and characteristics with the Chevrolet Tahoe. But which one confers more status and turns more heads?
Advanced and Extensive Safety Features
Here is an area in which luxury cars actually do best their mid-range and entry-level counterparts. Luxury autos comprise a majority of vehicles that come standard with traction control, stability control, side-front airbags, and curtain airbags.
Blind-spot warning systems, anti-lock braking systems, electronic stability control, and many other advanced safety features first made their appearance in luxury makes and models. Thereafter, they became options for cars that were more mainstream and affordable.
When it comes to safety, luxury leads the way in innovative technology. By choosing an expensive automobile, you are getting more for your money in this regard.
State of the Art Technology
Similarly, these high-end vehicles are going to be trendsetters and groundbreakers in terms of tech bells and whistles. Entertainment options like Bluetooth connectivity, in-headrest TV screens, and state of the art speakers, as well as extras such as rain-sensing windshield wipers, parking assistance, and even remote starters all made their debut in luxury cars.
If you consider yourself an early adopter of new tech developments, and you can afford to fork over a lot of money for your transportation, luxury autos are the way to go.
Smooth, Superior Handling
Another substantive advantage that exotic cars offer is superb handling. Think of James Bond steering his Aston Martin with a fingertip, deftly cornering hairpin turns and relying on his car’s responsiveness to evade his enemies.
Smooth handling may not be important to you. After all, if you drive the same routes — to your kids’ school, Costco, the Pilates studio — over and over again, you probably care more about good gas mileage, cargo capacity, and reliability than anything else. But if you truly enjoy driving and want to make the most of every minute on the road, consider a luxury car.
On to the Disadvantages of High-End Automobiles
Downsides to luxury vehicles? You might imagine that the only negative would be having to fend off all your admirers, or matching your suit to your Jaguar’s interior, but there are some drawbacks.
Cost and Depreciation
Naturally, there are plenty of folks who would happily purchase a Bugatti or Maserati — if only they weren’t so darn expensive!
Not only do these cars come with a price tag that falls under the category of “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it,” but higher-cost cars also depreciate more than lower-price wheels. And everyone knows that cars drop in value the very minute you sign the dotted line and drive off the lot.
Higher Maintenance Costs
In addition, a luxury automobile owner is going to pay more for maintenance and repairs. It’s just common sense: the parts cost more and the mechanics will charge a higher hourly rate to employ their expertise.
Of course, if you can afford a high-end car, you probably aren’t going to be pinching pennies when it comes to your oil changes or upholstery cleaning. So this disadvantage may be something of a moot point.
Target for Thieves
We mentioned earlier that luxury cars command attention, and that’s as true of car buffs as it is of car thieves. Now, criminals might not steal the luxury vehicles themselves more often than mid-range cars — after all, that makes it harder to escape detection and harder to turn a profit. But driving one is tantamount to announcing that you’re Mr. Moneybags. That means a greater likelihood that you will become a target for a robbery, a carjacking, or even a home invasion.
Some wealthy people simply don’t want to stress out about their cars, either. By driving a beater, or at least something that’s not super flashy, there’s no need to panic every time a shopping cart dings your door or a bird sullies it with droppings. Having a really nice car often means worrying about keeping it that way.
So, Are Luxury Cars Worth the Cost?
Ultimately, you will have to answer this question for yourself. There is no definitive checklist that will prove that luxury cars are a good choice, or conversely, a poor investment. It simply depends on what you, the driver, value in a vehicle.
If you have money to burn and love to drive, then yes, a luxury car could be in your future. But if you are on a budget, don’t want to be burdened with high maintenance costs, or simply don’t place a lot of stock in status symbols, you will probably be better off with something reliable and more economical.
Interested in doing some window shopping for a new car? Check out our A-Z guide to car brands!