Automobiles have long been seen as status symbols, with the earliest examples being owned only by society’s most affluent members. While stylish cars have become more accessible to the masses over the years, there are still plenty of more expensive options that send a message of exclusivity, from the compact Mercedes-Ben A-Class through to the gargantuan S-Class. The same can be said of the BMW 1 to 8 Series and the Audi, Porsche, and Ferrari lineups.
Much like a fine tailored suit, these vehicles are not just meant to be enjoyed. They are designed to make a statement, letting the world know exactly what kind of person you are. People often tell you to dress for the job you want, not the one you have, and the same could be said for your car. However, buying a new suit, even a sartorial masterpiece, is not as expensive as buying a luxury vehicle. Even in their base-model guises, most of these stylish cars carry exorbitant price tags. But, as with all things, you can get great value for your money, if you know where to look.
The right fit
No two people are the same, so what works for someone else may not be what works for you. But how then do you ensure you get a car that suits you perfectly? Well, it may seem like a cliche, but the simple truth is that knowledge is power. You need to know exactly what your needs are, your limits, and your options. It sounds simple, but it can be a daunting task when faced with the huge variety of vehicles on sale in the USA, even when you focus on the premium segment only.
So, first things first, set a budget for yourself. You need to know what you can truly afford so that you don’t waste your time. This might seem restrictive, but you’d be surprised at the models’ affordability from the business’s most prestigious names. When doing your calculations, consider that you will be paying tax, registration, and licensing since these are excluded from MSRP. Also, be sure to factor in your insurance premiums since these are naturally higher on more expensive stylish cars.
Once you know your ceiling, you can start eliminating options as you start compiling your shortlist. Getting to this point means knowing what you really need from a vehicle. If it is simply going to be your work commuter, then a stylish sedan or coupe may be all you need. However, if you are already on your way to that white picket fence and have a partner in your life, you may want something a bit more spacious that can also be used for running household errands. You can probably write off a hatchback from the get-go, but there are some really nice SUVs and crossovers in the US right now that might be worth considering. A mid-size SUV could even be up your alley if you plan to get a headstart on the 2.5 kids.
If you’re after something simple but elegant as your starter car, then you might want to consider a:
- Mercedes-Benz A-Class
- Tesla Model 3
- Volvo S60
- Genesis G70
- BMW 3 Series
If you have a little more cushion in your budget, you could kick these up a notch with higher performance and/or luxury variants such as the:
- Mercedes-AMG CLA 35
- Audi S3
- BMW M3
Try it before you buy it
While it may look like a good fit on paper, you’ll never know if a car is right for you until you’ve driven a mile (or a few) in its plush leather seats. You may find that it is missing some of the key comfort features you can’t live without, and tacking them on may push you over your budget. Here is a closer look at some of the more desirable options in these price brackets to give you an idea of what to expect or look for.
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