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To not understand what you get for your money with a posh car?

(223 Posts)
pinkyponk67 Thu 17-Jan-13 13:21:23

One of my friends recently bought a 5 series BMW. Friend is dithering between Audi A6 and a 5 series as well. I dont quite see what the attraction is?

I drive a Ford S Max (2 years old) and it is a great car to drive, seems very luxurious and solidly built, with all mod cons. Man from the independent garage remarked to me what a good car it was (and that was after I had paid for the service!).

Friend 2 is spending a lot more money on her 2nd hand Audi/Beemer than we did on the S Max. (I realise not exactly the same type of car). But I really don't see what you get for your extra money apart from the posh badge with a "prestige" car brand- am I missing something?

pugsandseals Sat 19-Jan-13 21:47:33

Oh I'm not assuming people generally buy new. My DF is the worlds worst at always buying the same - another Vauxhall anyone? I do think it's rare that people look at another brand other than the one they're trading in. Those of us that sit wading through What Car? magazine trying to come up with an impartial shortlist are few & far between.

pugsandseals Sat 19-Jan-13 21:48:59

Badge Slaves is what I call them grin

LessMissAbs Sat 19-Jan-13 22:46:40

pugsandsales sorry to keep picking you out! But I do think you're as much a car snob as I've met! :-) In the way that you decry anyone who doesn't like your particular obscure favoured brand, and you try and claim that you're in some way cleverer than the poor mugs who don't know this.

Good reason for sticking to one brand - you learn what things go wrong and how to fix them yourself where possible, without having to take it into the garage.

And never underestimate the quality of Mercedes, particularly old ones. You can buy something very decent and comfortable, which unless you are very unlucky, will give you a couple of years of virtually trouble-free motoring, if you know what you are doing, for £1000. There a reason that Africa is full of 200,000 plus mileage Mercs.

You make the assumption that people buy by badge. I find that a bit insulting, as my horsebox is a Renault Master. You get so much better value in 3.5 tonne vans than you do in cars. I've also got a shared BMW X5, and did have a Jeep Grand Cherokee (but got fed up with it - that engine you keep going on about, the one that Mercedes tune to a certain standard higher than they do in the Jeep which uses the same one - thats what you get with Mercedes). The Merc is my favourite because its the most comfortable. I don't drive to get thrills or a driving experience, as I say, if I want that, I take my foot off the accelerator, my weight on my own legs and get out for a bike ride or run.

Racing drivers may differ.

pugsandseals Sat 19-Jan-13 23:10:53

I was asked what defines a luxury car & I argued that it was about fun, tech & comfort. I happen to have an 'obscure' make of car at the moment & I love it. I don't reject other brands of car without good reason. I mentioned Merc as I test drove & it was boring! That is not to say I will never test drive one again, just that they didn't fit my requirements.
I really don't see how this makes me a car snob. A petrol head who enjoys driving maybe but that is a totally different thread entirely! I was asked what was special about my car TO ME & I answered the question what is wrong with that?

pugsandseals Sat 19-Jan-13 23:13:20

& I don't decry anyone who doesn't like Mitsubishi, I decry anyone that disregards any brand before they test drive it. There is a big difference!

Hmm, now you see I'd call an SMax a luxury car and wonder what on earth justifies the price of even a second hand one.

We run a Peugeot 406 estate with 3 kids and go camping loads every year. It was 10 years old when we got it 3 years ago for less than £2k and never needed any work. I can't understand why anyone put another £10k into a car when there are so much more fun things to do with that kind of money.

freddiefrog Sat 19-Jan-13 23:28:33

Car makes are wasted on me.

As long as my car is comfortable to drive, gets me from A to B with the minimum of fuss, and doesn't bankrupt me in the process, I don't care what make it is

Some of my friends are really into their cars and will bang on for hours about the merits of a Subaru, another ones mouth waters whenever he sees an Evo. Its just their thing, they're interested in cars.

It's none of my business what they spend their money on. I don't think they're showing off, they save hard for them and they love their cars. If they can afford them, good for them.

pugsandseals Sat 19-Jan-13 23:30:47

We also have a battered old Peugeot estate 'Starlight' but we needed a 2nd car & I got to choose which was fun! Nothing wrong with battered old Peugeots at all, the diesel engines run forever - over 150k on our clock now grin . Bits fall off, DH scrapes walls down the side & still they keep going! I'm actually really sad that they started tuning up smaller & smaller HDI engines so that I don't think more modern engines would run for anywhere near as long. You wouldn't find a 2 litre 90bhp being made anymore which is such a shame.

LessMissAbs Sat 19-Jan-13 23:37:52

Which model did you test drive, PugsandSeals? If you ever get offered a drive in an S class, try it!

I test drove 4 4x4s before deciding to get the BMWX5. Actually thought the Toyota Land Cruiser was great, but it didn't compare well on fuel efficiency and residuals. Our X5 is petrol but has an LPG conversion, something which is fairly easy to fit in the X5. I ended up buying a Jeep Grand Cherokee originally but got fed up with the rough, poorly tuned engine, even though it is the same one as used in the equivalent age Mercedes E320 CDI.

The Mercedes M Class is renowned as being a bit rubbish, even by Mercedes fans! And I didn't get a Mercedes chassis to convert into a horsebox because the Sprinter sits too high off the ground to give adequate head height. I'm anything but a brand devotee!

Also have found Mercedes dealers very willing to give test drives and in fact lend new cars to lone female prospective customers, which is a big plus. I got given the M Class and a new E class recently for several days each to test drive. I'd consider test driving most brands if looking for a specific type of car and they manufactured it but tbh my cars are bought for cash a few years old and to last for quite a few years. Mercedes gives you a badge for each mileage milestone, and its kind of nice to see longevity encouraged in a brand.

If you look at things such as buyer satisfaction though, I belive the BMW 1 Series wins hands down.

I would say though that my criteria for a car are comfort, quality, reliability, longevity, image, fuel efficiency, boot space (I got an American style frige freezer in an E class estate boot once) and residuals, and I don't care if that means in the UK thats defined as luxury, though I would argue that the S class and some higher spec E classes are the only luxury models. Or Maybach...

Noddynomates Sat 19-Jan-13 23:38:35

You don't drink champagne to quench a thirst

A friend of mines husband drives an Audi R8 convertible, he let me drive it into town I have to say words fail me. It was very impressive

pugsandseals Sun 20-Jan-13 00:07:05

Ahh now fast cars are a totally different thing 'Noddy'. I once has the opportunity to take a Porsche around a race track & I've never had so much fun grin
I didn't try the s-class 'LessMiss' as it didn't have either of the boot space for lugging around my work gear or the park'ability' for the stupid little car parks I regularly have to battle into. I didn't like either of the B-class or M-class I drove though. Nice to hear about the brand loyalty that goes on in your branch. However, my branch did the hard sell on a hire-purchase for a 2nd hand B-class & showed absolutely no interest in wanting to actually sell me a car, it was more like a hire-hire agreement TBH with a view of "nobody buys cars outright anymore" with extortionate interest rates & an expectation that I wouldn't keep the car for more than 2 years hmm - no I actually came in to buy a car,I didn't just walk into Hertz!!!
Once I had decided what I was going to buy I took great pleasure in telling the idiot his B-class & M-class were boring & I wouldn't be recommending them to anyone. Answer? "But Madame, it's a Mercedes how could you possibly prefer anything else?" - I chose that moment to put the phone down him!

FellatioNels0n Sun 20-Jan-13 05:33:56

I think some people just have a default setting of hating BMWs and hating anyone who drives one, as if it says something about them as a person. hmm It appears to be quite a common and bizarrely intransigent position. If asked to define exactly why, I doubt they'd be able to come up with any kind of logical justification.

Wanting to drive 'luxury' or high quality as I prefer to call it, is no different to wanting eat, drink or wear it, or sleep in it or sit on it. Some people just aren't very discerning and they profess to not being able to tell the difference. But then perhaps they have never experienced the difference enough to be able to make a serious comparison. I think this is probably more true of cars than of anything else. If they can't afford to experience the difference then that's fine. But to justify that by telling other people that they are somehow stupid or shallow for appreciating quality really gets on my tits. It doesn't matter whether you are talking about the difference between an entry level 1.1 Ford Fiesta with no frills, or a top of the range S-Max with a superb engine, or an BMW v. an Aston Martin. It's just a simple case of understanding that you get what you pay for.

Clothes for example; it's about the way they are cut; the way they hang, the quality of the stitching on the seams and the hems. Do I waft around in beautiful haute couture all day? No. Because I'm too fat so I think I don't deserve it or do it justice, and I don't go to enough places where it would be appreciated or seen. But if I lost three stone and went out more, and I could afford it - you betcha I would be head to toe in lovely designer gear. I could practically orgasm just thinking about it.

But I can drive nice cars and wear a nice watch and cook with great quality pans and knives and sleep on great quality sheets because I don't need to be a size 8 to do that. grin

Take cheap washing machines for example. It'd easy to think that washing machines all do the same thing - why pay 700 quid for one when you can pay 250? Well it will be quieter, it will use less water, it will have a greater range of programmes, it will not rip/snag your clothes, it will have a higher spin speed to remove more water so clothes cost less to dry, it probably last you 10 years instead of 3, the build and the components will be better quality, it will be more energy efficient and cost less to run etc., etc.

Some things just look far more beautiful for being expensive, but other things actually do the job better and last longer. A decent car does both.

FellatioNels0n Sun 20-Jan-13 05:35:53

I think some people just have a default setting of hating BMWs and hating anyone who drives one, as if it says something about them as a person. hmm It appears to be quite a common and bizarrely intransigent position. If asked to define exactly why, I doubt they'd be able to come up with any kind of logical justification.

Wanting to drive 'luxury' or high quality as I prefer to call it, is no different to wanting eat, drink or wear it, or sleep in it or sit on it. Some people just aren't very discerning and they profess to not being able to tell the difference. But then perhaps they have never experienced the difference enough to be able to make a serious comparison. I think this is probably more true of cars than of anything else. If they can't afford to experience the difference then that's fine. But to justify that by telling other people that they are somehow stupid or shallow for appreciating quality really gets on my tits. It doesn't matter whether you are talking about the difference between an entry level 1.1 Ford Fiesta with no frills, or a top of the range S-Max with a superb engine, or an BMW v. an Aston Martin. It's just a simple case of understanding that you get what you pay for.

Clothes for example; it's about the way they are cut; the way they hang, the quality of the stitching on the seams and the hems. Do I waft around in beautiful haute couture all day? No. Because I'm too fat so I think I don't deserve it or do it justice, and I don't go to enough places where it would be appreciated or seen. But if I lost three stone and went out more, and I could afford it - you betcha I would be head to toe in lovely designer gear. I could practically orgasm just thinking about it.

But I can drive nice cars and wear a nice watch and cook with great quality pans and knives and sleep on great quality sheets because I don't need to be a size 8 to do that. grin

Take cheap washing machines for example. It'd easy to think that washing machines all do the same thing - why pay 700 quid for one when you can pay 250? Well it will be quieter, it will use less water, it will have a greater range of programmes, it will not rip/snag your clothes, it will have a higher spin speed to remove more water so clothes cost less to dry, it probably last you 10 years instead of 3, the build and the components will be better quality, it will be more energy efficient and cost less to run etc., etc.

Some things just look far more beautiful for being expensive, but other things actually do the job better and last longer. A decent car does both.

FellatioNels0n Sun 20-Jan-13 06:08:10

Oops, sorry for double post.

Cars I have owned btw, have been an Audi A4, a Jaguar S type (by far the best and nicest car to drive I have ever owned) a BMW 5 series estate, a convertible Mini Cooper Sport (quite the scariest car I have ever driven - like a space rocket - terrifyingly fast and responsive shock) a Land Rover Discovery, two Renault Espaces, which were really expensive compared to other MPVs but far superior in styling, comfort, safety and flexibility, even if they were typically temperamental, like all French cars. hmm

I currently drive a Kia Sportage 4x4. I like it, it's nippy, it looks good, but the engine is not refined, it's very noisy when accelerating, the build quality is lacking in places, the interior is a bit plasticky and the auto transmission is not as smooth as it could be. But I live in Qatar where the traffic is chaotic and the accident rate is shocking; regular prangs are a fact of life, and I'm in bumper to bumper traffic all day. I'm not chancing it with a fancy badge. My car has lots of airbags, a good NCAP rating and very quick acceleration from a standing start, fairly decent torque, and I can take it off road when I need to, although it is not a 'good' off-roader in any respect - but it has what I need at the moment and that's all I care about. My DH's car is a HUGE beautiful 4x4 Nissan that does everything bar cook your dinner for you. It's fabulous. but then it's cheaper to fill up with petrol here than with mineral water and we do go off road a lot. Cars take a daily hammering here, with the dust and the heat and the potholes, tyres don't last long, paintwork gets pitted - I see loads of Porsche Cayennes and Range Rovers but to be honest I wouldn't bother spending that money here.

When I eventually come home to the UK and I no longer need a battle tank all-purpose child and dog transporter I am going to treat myself to the very best VW Golf I can afford. They are the epitome of understated class and quality for me.

pinkyponk67 Sun 20-Jan-13 10:49:06

It's not as simple as you get what you pay for though, as in the example I cited below of Lexus, sales increased when they increased the list prices, as buyers perceived higher price=higher quality/esteem. Also there has been so much consolidation, and joint ventures, in the car industry that what you get under the bonnet for 2 apparently different makes can be exactly the same. For example, the Skoda which is basically an Audi A6.

It's interesting that you mention washing machines as the same is true of the white goods industry. The ukwhitegoods website explains this really well, there should be a similar one for cars! For example AEG and Bosch washing machines share parts with other cheaper makes. Value engineering means that these previously high quality "German" white goods brands do not have the differential on quality over the rest that they had 20-30 years ago. As it happens I have a 14 year old 800rpm Zanussi washing machine which does 6-8 loads a week and is still going strong. Tests have shown that the amount of extra water that is removed from washing by higher spin washing machines is minimal, their bearings just wear out faster!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pugsandseals Sun 20-Jan-13 11:05:00

Lunatic -
I was talking about the longevity of the engine. Surely it makes sense that a 2 litre diesel engine tuned to 90bhp will last for much, much longer than a 1.4 litre tuned to the same 90bhp?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

noviceoftheday Sun 20-Jan-13 11:43:41

PigletJohn, you may know lots of people with bmws that have the faulty indicators but equally (and just as validly!), both dh and I have bmws (and have done for 10 years), and neither of us had an indicator problem at all, and neither has anyone else I know who drives a bmw..

pugsandseals Sun 20-Jan-13 11:45:16

It depends how fussed you are about being environmentally friendly really. 40mpg isn't really that bad in the scheme of things. And don't get me started on the ridiculous requirements for DPF filters - hate, hate, hate, hate!!! angry

countrykitten Sun 20-Jan-13 11:47:07

pinky you are so right about washing machines. I had a brilliant zanussi that lasted me over 20 years! They have been bought out/taken over by someone else now though so apparently they will never be as good again so hang on to yours as long as you can!

LessMissAbs Sun 20-Jan-13 14:15:34

I'm not advertising Mercedes on some commission, honestly! But I fat excellent service from my local dealership and I've never bought a car from them! DH and I just order spare parts for our older models. I've even had excellent service from Mercedes dealers abroad - one near Munich welded my exhaust back onto a particularly ancient one for free! And one in the French alps was so helpful after I oranges my car.

Id be damned annoyed if they tried to sell me a supermini b class though! But they've never tried it. One salesman tried to sell DH an a class once, and he complained about him! I'm not surprised you're unimpressed with them though, if all you've driven is a b class and an m class. A lot of purists decry the cheapening of the brand by trying to conquer too many markets. But console yourself in your Lexus, as its styling will be a blatant copy of a 5 year old merc - Mercedes tolerate it as it consolidates their market leader status. Lexus are always trying to plant spy employees on merc!

As for washing machines, its Miele all the way now!

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