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#1 of 524 Why are so many inferior vehicles considered status symbols?
Nov 30, 2005 (11:38 am)
I don't get the trend of people buying inferior, yet more expensive vehicles to flaunt their status. Why buy a Land Rover given their poor reliability record? Why are poeple willing to spend so much money on Beemers, Benz's, and Jags when they could have just as nice of a vehicle in an Acura or a Lexus AND have the reliability too? Why do people buy Hummers when there are so many other vehicles that are better at everything and cost half as much? And I know this isn't a motorcycle forum, but why are so many people willing to put their name on a waiting list to buy a Harley when everyone on the planet knows Japanese bikes do everything twice as well for half the price? Do people actually have so much money they're willing to blow it on senseless purchases?
Replies to this message:
- carlisimo (Nov 30, 2005 11:44 am)
- merc1 (Nov 30, 2005 11:41 pm)
- snakeweasel (Dec 01, 2005 9:43 am)
- dhanley (Dec 01, 2005 11:24 am)
- omegagen (Dec 01, 2005 10:41 pm)
- inajoong (Dec 02, 2005 8:14 am)
- slavuta (Dec 02, 2005 11:47 am)
- kdshapiro (Mar 21, 2006 5:22 am)
- xkrdriver (Mar 28, 2006 5:42 pm)
- ayyate (Apr 10, 2006 1:12 pm)
#2 of 524 Re: Why are so many inferior vehicles considered status symbols? [bottgers]
Nov 30, 2005 (11:44 am)
They don't tend to be THAT bad. And they have other redeeming qualities, that (apparently) make up for it.
Otherwise, we'd all be driving a Camry. Whole lotta fun that'd be, right?
I should add that I'd buy an Alfa Romeo if they were available here (a 147gta) and happily spend a lot of time waiting for it at the shop. It's that cool.
Nov 30, 2005 (11:51 am)
Yeah I don't know about "inferior"...they might have more problems per 100 vehicles etc, but the roads aren't littered with broken down S class and 7ers.
And when they are good, they make up for their shortcomings. Resale value is usually respectable too, especially on Mercedes. If they were so awful, they'd depreciate like Jags.
Styling goes a long way too. And then there's the history aspect.
#4 of 524 Cars as "status symbol" indicates a personality disorder
Nov 30, 2005 (11:51 am)
Anyone who uses a car as a status symbol has a personality flaw anyway.
"Be who you are, regardless of your car."
#5 of 524 What does a....
Nov 30, 2005 (12:25 pm)
...Beemer or a Benz have that an Acura or a Lexus doesn't?
#6 of 524 One word...
Nov 30, 2005 (12:32 pm)
#7 of 524 Re: What does a.... [bottgers]
Nov 30, 2005 (1:29 pm)
Hmm, a Lexus or an Acura are status symbols to me (well, Lexus more so). I think I'm not looking at this conversation the way you are.
As for Andre's response, I'm not sure very many BMW/Benz owners could tell you anything about those companies' histories. But I agree that a company's heritage has a profound effect on what we think of their products. I root for Honda because of its history even though I might never own one, and I'd get a Miata over a Solstice for the same reason.
Around here, BMWs are the cars to get if you're a young snob. Most of the buyers don't know and don't care that BMWs have some advantages (balance, feel) or disadvantages (room, price). Those advantages do have a purpose - to give the 3-series a "best car in its class" title from the magazines - but hardly anyone cares just what those advantages are. Is that really "heritage"?
I think it's just a car's reputation in the last couple of decades that matters to people. When I was little, the name "Mercedes Benz" had a mythical sound to it. That's status. Cadillac, for all its heritage, didn't have that mystique at the time I was growing up - so I didn't grow up caring about them.
Nov 30, 2005 (2:26 pm)
A lot of it is, for lack of better term, "personal expression".
Perhaps more than any other single thing we own, a vehicle signals a lot of information about who we are and/or how we want to be seen. Like it or not, it's true.
When I was looking at pony cars, I considered the Camaro. Amazing bang-for-the-buck performance, decent styling and cool heritage (a biggie for me, actually). But in the end, I couldn't do it...I just didn't want to be a "Camaro Guy".
Also, in terms of cars being status symbols, a lot of it is a hold-over from the days when they WERE status symbols. That is, in times not too long ago, you had to be rich to dive a Jaguar or whatever. Leasing didn't really exist and credit was much harder to come by.
#9 of 524 Re: What does a.... [bottgers]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Nov 30, 2005 (2:35 pm)
More precision in how they drive...they drive "sharper". I just did a comparo between a 7 series BMW and a Lexus 430....both 2005 models and I could tell the difference immediately.
Will the BMW be as reliable as the Lexus? Probably not.
Would I buy either? No, too big.
But I'd by a 3 series Bimmer over a 300 series Lexus any day, because they drive sharper. I like to drive, I need "feedback"...even some noise, engine roar, that kind of thing.
The Lexus was wonderful and boring at the same time.
Oh, and IMO BMWs and Benz are better styled than Lexi, which are certainly inoffensive but not very interesting to look at.
Lexus for value, Lexus for reliability, BMW for real fun, driving pleasure and for more prestige.
As for "inferiority", both Lexus and BMW and Benz have superior and inferior qualities IMO.
#10 of 524 Status Symbols
Nov 30, 2005 (4:08 pm)
The reason why a percentage of the buying public buys "status" cars such as Land Rovers, Hummers, Mercedes-Benzes, BMWs, and Jaguars is because of their prestige and respect. You can walk into a boardroom in Asia and say "I own a Mercedes" and most people would know what you mean. Try saying "I own an Infiniti" to the same person, and they'd say "huh? Infiniti? What's that?" A Mercedes, Jag, Land Rover, or BMW has world wide respect that a Lexus, Acura, or Infiniti doesn't have.
Kinda like when I bought my I35 and my nephew (who was studying in the US) asked what new car I bought, and I responded with "an Infiniti" He asked what it was. I then had to explain that Infiniti was Nissan's luxury division that wasn't available outside of North America. If I had bought a Mercedes (or BMW) I wouldn't have had to explain. I could point to the 3 pointed star on the hood, and I'd be done.
People buy different cars for different reasons. My own son wants a Saab because he loves them and to him, there's nothing better than owning a "genuine" Saab. ( he has his eyes one of those 2000-2003 9-3 Convertibles)