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?

SassySask Thu 17-Jan-13 13:25:27

You can join a club and make friends.
You can do rallys, car shows, events etc.
It's something to spend your money on and be proud of.

TroublesomeEx Thu 17-Jan-13 13:26:43

It's a way of letting people know how much money you have borrowed without explicitly telling them.

CointreauVersial Thu 17-Jan-13 13:28:36

They are very well-built German cars with a good reputation and consequently a good second-hand value and some people are brand whores and are happy to waste ££ so they can be seen with the right badge.

But I'm with you, OP - my last two cars were a Hyundai and a Kia!

Backtobedlam Thu 17-Jan-13 13:29:13

The premium brands are definately more luxurious, often its cosmetic, but I've driven so many different cars, and in the cab you really can tell the difference. It's like clothes-you can get cheap clothes from primark, supermarkets etc that do the job and look fine, but if you pay for designer brands they often just 'feel' nicer. To some its worth paying the extra, others would rather spend their money on something else.

CailinDana Thu 17-Jan-13 13:32:06

Beyond a certain point it's all just status, but if that's the way people want to display their wealth then good luck to them. I know a couple of people who buy expensive cars and clothes to justify the fact that they work in horrible jobs and never see their children. It has to be worth somehow, and for them being able to buy a BMW makes them feel better.

StuntGirl Thu 17-Jan-13 13:35:57

You could say that about anything; your house, clothes, food, technology...

Jins Thu 17-Jan-13 13:37:12

Well some people are happy shopping for clothes in Primark and others prefer to go to M&S.

Cars are pretty much the same. Sometimes you get a better fit for your requirements with a premium brand. Sometimes you just prefer the look of it. Sometimes you've always wanted it, maybe it was something you promised yourself when you'd 'made it'

You still get from A to B OP, you're right.

bedmonster Thu 17-Jan-13 13:37:40

We have an 2 x5s. It's a nice size inside for 3dc in boosters and carseats along the back row. Plenty of boot space. Comfortable. It has lots of extras which arent essential but its luxurious. Which is what we paid for. We could afford it, paid in cash so no debts we couldnt repay. And dp and I drive lots to see family and friends, both in the UK and Europe and get a lot in the back.
Plus, the heated seats and self defrosting windscreen are godsends in this weather!!

bedmonster Thu 17-Jan-13 13:38:27

Not 2 by the way, don't know where that came from!

Tailtwister Thu 17-Jan-13 13:40:44

Brand loyalty? My DB has always driven BMW's, my DF Audis. Neither are particularly status cars, they are pretty common.

WileyRoadRunner Thu 17-Jan-13 13:43:17

I have a luxury car.

I don't feel bitter about not seeing my children. I am a SAHM .

I didn't buy it as a status symbol to show off.

I bought it because I like cars and I wanted it.

If you're happy with your S-Max why would it bother you what car other people buy? Why would you even think about what other people get for their money?

FWIW I once bought a Renault and I can only liken it to a sewing machine.

Why don't you borrow what you see as a luxury car on a 48 hour test drive then you would know what is/ isn't the difference yourself?

GirlOutNumbered Thu 17-Jan-13 13:44:03

Have you driven a BMW 5 series? You may not then need to ask this question.

I upgraded from a Polo to an X5. I can't tell you how much better the car is!

CailinDana Thu 17-Jan-13 13:44:06

Given that a new BMW costs at least £17,000 I think it's safe to say it's outside the reach of a lot of the population Tailtwister. It might not be a status car, but it's expensive.

Seachelle Thu 17-Jan-13 13:44:24

Well I prefer driving my little, very cheap, used car to DH's 5 series. As long as I can get from A to B and the car is roadworthy I don't care what I drive. However DH does a lot of miles and says his car is very comfortable and great to drive which makes a difference when you spend what amounts to several months a year behind the wheel.

It does have a few clever gadgets which I quite like though. He can text his car and tell it to start de-icing so that when he goes out the car is warm and no scraping to do! He can also email it destinations he wants to go to so that as soon as he starts the car it is ready to direct him. It also alerts the police when the airbag is activated so if he has rolled down a ravine somewhere the police can start looking for him (bit disconcerting when the police turn up at the door because the garage has forgotten to turn off the signal when they've been working on it though!)

His car is a company car though. He would have to drive a cheaper car if he was buying it himself.

GirlOutNumbered Thu 17-Jan-13 13:45:04

hahaha Wiley that made my laugh. I leant on a friends Clio once and the whole side panel went in!

HormonalHousewife Thu 17-Jan-13 13:45:18

Pinkyponk you pays your money you make your choices.

Your choices will be different to mine - but so what ??

BMW or Audi posh cars ? really ? really ? I set my sights a bit higher.

I drive my choice of car because they hold their residuals well.

WileyRoadRunner Thu 17-Jan-13 13:46:30

He can text his car and tell it to start de-icing

shock I want that!

FuriousRox Thu 17-Jan-13 13:47:32

Audis are supposedly v well built and reliable and all that. Not in my experience! Ours was a bit el crappo. Doing much better with a passat now. If it was just up to me we'd have a second hand Nissan micra - I prefer small cars that I can scratch and scrape without worrying.

WhateverTrevor Thu 17-Jan-13 13:48:37

I drove an X5 for a month whilst my car was in the garage, god it was lovely. I used to look forward to getting in it.
Noticed a massive difference when I got mine back.
I now understand why people have nice cars and if I could afford it, I would buy an X5 .
You are being judgemental and ignorant.

Bunbaker Thu 17-Jan-13 13:50:44

"My DB has always driven BMW's, my DF Audis. Neither are particularly status cars, they are pretty common"

Well, you do see a lot on the road, but they are still considered status cars to most of the populace. You must move in different circles to some of us.

"and self defrosting windscreen are godsends in this weather"

Yes the defrosting windscreen is brilliant. OH and I have them in our more modest Fords. grin

WileyRoadRunner Thu 17-Jan-13 13:52:18

But look at the list prices for new Fords shock problem is they lose about £3k when you drive off the forecourt.

LessMissAbs Thu 17-Jan-13 13:52:51

DH and I share a Mercedes E class and BMW X5 between us. Both were bought second hand. With both cars, you can literally drive 400 miles and get out the other end feeling as fresh as when you started. The Mercedes in particular is so smooth and silent, you feel like you are gliding rather than travelling in a car. Traffic jams no longer irritate me much - I just switch on my heated, massage seats. I don't forget to switch on my lights if it gets dark - the car does it for me. It has parking sensors so reversing is easy. It has rain sensitive wipers and a better cd player than in my own home. The seats are really comfortable, and the boot big enough to fit two bikes in without needing a roof rack. The boot opens itself, meaning you can lug your shopping in without putting it on the ground first. Best of all, I never get hassled by other drivers when I'm driving these cars - I hired a Ford Focus once and while it was quite a good car, I got hassled from other drivers, not let out at junctions so much, and it was bumpy and not so smooth. Hardly anything ever goes wrong with them, particularly the Mercedes - things just don't seem to break as long as it is serviced regularly. My previous one reached nearly 200,000 miles.

Also OP - my money, I work hard for it and like any little luxury in life, a nice car gives pleasure. btw theres nothing "posh" about it, its simply more functional than cheaper cars because it does the job of being a car better.

LucilleBluth Thu 17-Jan-13 13:53:50

I always thought the same as the OP but last year I traded my Ford Focus for a C Class Estate ( we needed a bigger car what with the arrival of DC3) and the difference in everything is amazing, better drive, de ices in no time, loads of space.......it's not a particularly posh car but its posher than what I'm used to driving......and I must add that I am not vain and I don't give a shit what people think when I blow them off with my massive engined Merc wink

FellatioNels0n Thu 17-Jan-13 13:54:09

You usually get a better build quality for starters, and a better track record of reliability. Much faster engines, better torque, smoother gearboxes, more elegant styling, better quality interior trim, better suspension, more comfortable.....er, all this is a bit obvious isn't it? Like the difference between a made to measure suit for Savile Row and an off the peg one from BHS.

Of course it all depends on the model and spec you buy, and some cars are renowned for being in nightmare in spite of being expensive, but generally speaking you get what you pay for - like everything else in life.

wonkylegs Thu 17-Jan-13 13:54:16

Test drive them and you'll feel the difference.
On a practical level yes both get you from A to B but if you actually get any pleasure from driving then you will understand.
We have 2 cars a Yaris & an Audi A4 - tbh the Yaris is in a lot if ways the better car. It's amazingly practical, reliable, cheap to own, run & buy, very cleverly designed, parks fantastically and is fab in snow, but for pure driving experience the Audi beats it hands down.
The Audi is also for long drives (dh does a long daily commute, I do long business trips) better equipped with an amazing sound system, cruise control and climate control.
Some people also buy for the prestige fwiw I'd never buy another ford after the debacle of dealing with them over our focus lethal engine fault. (they eventually did a recall )

ENormaSnob Thu 17-Jan-13 13:55:56

Horses for courses innit.

You could say the same about any item from knickers to houses.

HousewifeFromHeaven Thu 17-Jan-13 13:56:58

I drive a Mercedes, but prior to this I always had astras. I loved them and never had any problems with them.

It was what we could afford at the time.

FellatioNels0n Thu 17-Jan-13 13:57:13

I used to drive a 3 litre BMW 5 series, which I sold when I moved abroad. When I go back to the UK now I drive a 1.6 Ford Focus, which I spent a lot of time researching to make sure I got something reliable and good value for money. I wasn't expecting it to be quite as good, but I was expecting it to be reasonably decent.

It's like driving a shopping trolley in comparison!

HousewifeFromHeaven Thu 17-Jan-13 13:58:32

Fwiw my car is rubbish in the snow grin

atthewelles Thu 17-Jan-13 13:58:53

I think, up to a certain point, I would spend more if I could afford to for a comfortable car. But there's definitely a point beyond which I wouldn't be prepared to go as, to me, a car just isn't that important as long as it goes from A to B.
But some people are really into cars. I can see it already with my nephew who's only 11 and not a bit status or label concious, but he just loves nice cars.
Others just see it as a way to show off in the same way they always make sure to buy clothes by the 'right' designer and eat in the 'trendy' restaurants etc.

ivykaty44 Thu 17-Jan-13 14:01:16

I have a third hand car, it is 14 years old and the seats are sagging, the heater is naff and the windows get misted up all the flipping time.

Tell me Op why do you have a posh car? and would you like to swap me your car for mine - no extra charge wink

SaraBellumHertz Thu 17-Jan-13 14:02:34

Like most people I have driven shit cars. I started out with a mini metro circa 1995 FFS grin

I now have a nice car, not Aston Martin or Maserati nice but nice nonetheless. There is nothing I don't like about it. I have been given a courtesy car, same brand, lower class lesser spec and there were things I didn't like.

I imagine it would be worse in a car that cost 1/3 of the price so I disregard buying one. Like I disregard the idea of buying shoes in shoe express - sure they're fine but not what I would choose all things being equal

Why do you care what other people spend their money on? Do you feel superior in your choices or something?

I drive a fiat - it is cute, but utterly pants in every other way. I'd like something better tbh, but can't justify the cost at the moment.

Runoutofideas Thu 17-Jan-13 14:08:21

We have an X5 and an S-max. I know which one I'd rather drive in the snow predicted for tomorrow.... Both are nice cars though, but the X5 does definitely feel more luxurious - plus it is better for towing our touring caravan.

FellatioNels0n Thu 17-Jan-13 14:10:24

The other thing is all the lovely extras you can get by spending more, like heated seats, electric/memory settings for seats, all electric windows, central locking, integral satnav, headlights that move with the car to follow the road on tight corners, etc. Those are the things that really make the difference when you spend a lot of time in a car. You probably also get more airbags, higher NCAP ratings as well. And the 0-60 mph is really important to me, not because I want to drive fast all the time much but I want the ability to accelerate away from roundabout and tricky junctions quickly and efficiently, and to be able to accelerate out of the way of danger.

NotMostPeople Thu 17-Jan-13 14:17:14

We have a large luxury car (Lexus) and a smart for nipping about in, love them both. We bought them because each one was the right car for the job.

Twattybollocks Thu 17-Jan-13 14:17:32

I technically have a posh car, and it was expensive, but when you realise the amount of design that goes into the systems to make it do what it does (land rover) its worth it. It will get me and 6 passengers where I want to go in just about any weather conditions over pretty much any terrain you can think of barring cliff faces etc. it really is a beast. Of course it doesn't look particularly posh as its normally covered in mud and the inside is liberally strewn with child related guff, and smells of horse, but hey, I did say technically posh!

Tailtwister Thu 17-Jan-13 14:18:36

Some cars which are seen as fairly average are actually quite expensive once they are loaded with the optional extras. Some people like to change their cars each year and drive something cheaper, whilst others would rather have a second hand 'status' car.

We own 2 cars, one is a BMW 5 series (great for a family) and the other a VW Polo (with an engine the size of a hair dryer!). Both have their uses and are fun to drive in different ways. I would much rather take the BMW on a motorway journey though.

Also, a lot of the more common status cars are company cars.

mindosa Thu 17-Jan-13 14:20:22

Same as posh bag, shoes, clothes, furniture. Something that does a basic job as well as much cheaper alternatives but looks better, feels better, is often better designed and most importantly has managed to position itself for a market who will pay waaaaayy over the odds to belong to a 'pack'

EuroShagmore Thu 17-Jan-13 14:25:16

Seashell what car is it that you can text and email??? <Is a complete sucker for gadgets>

I have a 'T' reg Nissan Micra and dh has a 'W' reg Fiesta! I would lurrrrve a bigger flashier car with things like air con and that thing that tells you the weather and how many miles in takes until you run out of petrol and more seats etc. Our ex next door neighbours were car obsessed ands had really expensive brand new cars every five minutes, but, we knew they didn't 'own' them. We just couldn't afford the finance for new ones sad

WileyRoadRunner Thu 17-Jan-13 14:25:32

most importantly has managed to position itself for a market who will pay waaaaayy over the odds to belong to a 'pack'

That's bullshit though. A brand new S Max starts at a list price of £22,600. In 2 years with average mileage it will be worth about £12,000.

You lose much more money on "average" cars than prestige cars (with the exception of Minis).

Of course though you need to be in the position of being able to afford a more expensive car in the first place.

Dawndonna Thu 17-Jan-13 14:26:16

I drive a Qashqai. I love it. I've done posh, I've done cheap. So far this is my favourite. But that may well be me, it's what I wanted.

CaroleService Thu 17-Jan-13 14:26:20

A heated steering whell.

I would kill for a HEATED STEERING WHEEL <<bitter>>

pinkyponk67 Thu 17-Jan-13 14:26:31

LOL at small cars that you dont mind scraping being a good idea, that is so true for me as I cant park to save my life.

Just to clarfiy my OP I was asking what the difference is to the user (eg comfort, drive, reliability, whatever else people want) nowadays between a mid market type car eg a Ford and a comparable size "higher end marque" which costs a lot more.

I personally think the gap has closed a lot in the last 20 years. Cheaper cars have become much more reliable in general. IMHO I do not think the build quality on certain German makes is what it used to be. All taxis in Europe used to be Mercedes as they would run forever but I am not sure this is still the case?

Even I can figure out the differences between a Micra and an Aston Martin...

pinkyponk67 Thu 17-Jan-13 14:31:54

Thank you Runoutofideas you are probably the ideal person to answer my question! I love the look of the X5 but haven't driven one.

PS I would never buy a brand new car, especially not a Ford, terrible value for money. We got the S-max 6 months old with 5000 miles on the clock for £10 000 off the list price, but thats another story. Will probably run it into the ground.

Heated Steering wheel?? Blimey I thought that 'thing that tells you the temperature' was the height of sophistication!

greenpostit Thu 17-Jan-13 14:35:51

Expensive cars often have really nice features. I would definitely have a nice expensive car if I could afford it. I am envy at some of the cars ive seen. They have features that just make things so much easier - the aforementioned defrosting button, inbuilt satnav, parking sensors and cameras, engines you start by touching a button without needing to get the key from your bag, comfort features, bluetooth to connect eith mobile phone etc. I would have all these lovely features and enjoy them if I had the dosh!

pinkyponk67 Thu 17-Jan-13 14:36:57

Seachelle DH's can text his car and tell it to start de-icing so that when he goes out the car is warm and no scraping to do!

Sold!

Enjoy driving my XF, great on long journeys you get out still feeling fresh. Need to look to repalce DWs car (Micra) that's small but also DS 1 & 2 can drive without costing an absolute fortune. Still enjoy nipping around town and parking in the micra but its not funny when you forget you need to manually change, similarly DW sometimes asks what happended to the clutch pedal in the XF as she drives off.

Would really like the F type, once the DCs have all left!

flowery Thu 17-Jan-13 14:42:10

AIBU to be mightily peeved that my new Audi doesn't come with the magic text-to-de-ice windscreen? hmmangryenvygrin

TheFallenNinja Thu 17-Jan-13 14:47:14

Drive one, then you'll know smile

bureni Thu 17-Jan-13 14:47:23

Just go for a Volvo, they do not need to be told to de- ice the windscreen or mirrors, they know it needs done.

theodorakisses Thu 17-Jan-13 14:49:54

comfort, style, safety, not having gaffer tape holding the bumper on, not embarrassing your kids. I grew up with a Lada then a Citroen 2CV as family cars. I would never do that to my family. Or what about not being dead in a serious accident? That ranks fairly high with me as well.

bureni Thu 17-Jan-13 14:54:48

Yes, safety and practicality are my main priorities when buying a car which is why I always drive Volvos and certainly would not buy a German built car. I do love the old Citroen 2CV though, super practical little wagons.

cathpip Thu 17-Jan-13 15:01:04

My dh has just brought a mercedes e class, yes he is a mercedes snob (always has been) but he does a lot of miles, he put 175000 miles on his last car in 6 years. Just out of interest he had been pricing up cars over the last 2 months and as mercedes are bringing out a new style e class they were doing seriously good deals, you could not buy a Golf or a Citroen Picasso for the monthly payback price that he is paying for his luxury car.....

theodorakisses Thu 17-Jan-13 15:12:30

I hate Citroen 2CVs. They bought it brand new from the factory and it never, ever, ever started. Not once. I had to push it down a busy road every morning and was always late for school. When I'm rich enough I am going to buy one and slowly torture it to death.

theodorakisses Thu 17-Jan-13 15:13:22

And what about automatics? After being in the Middle east for 12 years I would never have a manual, why would you?

atthewelles Thu 17-Jan-13 15:14:29

I think 'not embarassing my kids' would be pretty low on my list when choosing how much to spend on my car. Safety, useful extras and practicality yes, but not that.

SaraBellumHertz Thu 17-Jan-13 15:14:45

Re safety I did totally reconsider my choice of BMW the first time I had to drive it in the snow. TOTAL. FECKIN. DISASTER

lurkerspeaks Thu 17-Jan-13 15:21:04

I went from (allegedly) prestige brand to Ford and when I change the Ford I will willingly head back up market.

The Ford is fine - it goes from A-B, it is cheap to run and it is quite pleasant to drive. What marks it out is the totally shit cabin quality (nasty plastic galore) and really poor design - an example would be that the second charging point for electrical goods in in the centre console. The ipod in socket is in the glove compartment. If I get in the car long haul and my ipod isn't fully charged I end up in wire spaghetti. It drives me mad.

In addition isofix is an optional no cost extra on ford. WTF doesn't want isofix? Even if you don't have kids it doesn't do you any harm to have it. All the premium marques have it as standard.

lurkerspeaks Thu 17-Jan-13 15:21:42

Oh and I know a lot of non posh cars do too. This seems to be a Ford area of weakness.

IfNotNowThenWhen Thu 17-Jan-13 15:30:46

I always thought the point of having kids was to embarrass them as much as possible...?

Anyway, I am reading this with interest while watching Top Gear...and I don't even have a car! grin

IfNotNowThenWhen Thu 17-Jan-13 15:33:01

When I do get a car I was thinking- would it be better to go for a newish Micra or an old Mini?
I do think Minis are nice to drive, but there is something a bit smug about the way they look to me.
(An Audi is not ever going to happen!)

AnEventfulEvening Thu 17-Jan-13 15:35:44

I had a skoda fabia and a fiesta which both got me through snow without problems for years. New car is yet to be tested but has done ok on ice so far.

I did not laugh as I passed all the Mercs, Audis and BMWs with snow unfriendly wheels and front wheel drive that had got stuck. Much

I drive a Skoda Superb estate which is exactly the same build spec as the Audi A6, just with slightly different cosmetics and - oh yes - about half the price.

I would never consider an Audi having been put off by the sales rep who suggested my only contribution to the purchase of a new car should be choosing the colour. Pathetic.

charlieandlola Thu 17-Jan-13 15:39:57

Can you really text a Bmw to start it defrosting ?
Brilliant !
Must look at an X5 when our xc90 dies.
Mind you, my focus in 1999 has heated windscreens

Bunbaker Thu 17-Jan-13 15:40:05

"WTF doesn't want isofix?"

I don't and nor do most people I know. I am past that stage in my life and so are my friends and family. I don't know anyone close to me with a baby.

sydlexic Thu 17-Jan-13 15:44:15

Goes fast, stops fast, comfortable, safe particularly if the worst happens.
Easy to drive, easy to reverse and park.

i have never repaired a BMW, never broken down in a BMW.

LadyFlumpalot Thu 17-Jan-13 15:49:04

My car was posh in her day (she's 13 now) and for the money you get 6v's 2.5 litres, 279 horses and a heck of a lot of torque pounds. grin

WileyRoadRunner Thu 17-Jan-13 15:54:35

BMWs with snow unfriendly wheels and front wheel drive that had got stuck.

I think you'll find its rear wheel drive that causes issues in the snow!

AnEventfulEvening Thu 17-Jan-13 15:57:14

Whichever it is! I forget. They are shit in show!

WileyRoadRunner Thu 17-Jan-13 16:00:11

Sorry wasn't meant to sound picky it just tickled me for some odd reason.

I remember when I had a C4 Picasso I know, I know and my neighbour in his BMW told me "you'll never get up there love". He threw his now shovel on the ground as I merrily manoeuvred around his stuck 3 series.

SaraBellumHertz Thu 17-Jan-13 16:44:03

anevent beyond shit grin

Ten years ago I had to abandon mine in islington (hardly rural grin ) and get a bus because the bus could cope with two inches of snow but my 25k car couldn't.

pinkyponk67 Thu 17-Jan-13 17:25:43

Yes my friend with the 5 series has had a nightmare trying to drive it in snow because its rear wheel drive. What is the point of rear wheel drive? She used to have an Audi but got rid as it was always breaking down....

Loveweekends10 Thu 17-Jan-13 17:25:52

We have a Madza 6. It's not the cheapest but it is the most reliable car ever. We have spent far less on this car maintenance than any other cheaper car we have had.

duffybeatmetoit Thu 17-Jan-13 19:54:09

Once you have something that is safe and reliable there's no justification for spending more money. Unless of course you think it will make you feel better about yourself.

WileyRoadRunner Thu 17-Jan-13 20:09:57

Once you have something that is safe and reliable there's no justification for spending more money. Unless of course you think it will make you feel better about yourself.

Ummm yeah ok. confused or it could be because you like it and want it and can afford it.

And as has been said you could apply that theory to clothes, houses etc.

pinkyponk67 Thu 17-Jan-13 20:21:32

Quite a few luxury car owners here have mentioned gadgets as a reason to buy, but my current car and previous (2004 plate) Ford both have heated windscreens, automatic windscreen wipers, automatic headlights and vg audio systems. just sayin. current one has bluetooth too. (Not heated seats though as they make me feel like I've wet myself.)

To the poster who said their Ford has a plasticky interior, what model is that?

I do like the sound of a car that knows when to defrost itself however.

pinkyponk67 Thu 17-Jan-13 20:26:13

Forgot to mention for the gadgetlovers, the s max has parking sensors front and back, adaptive cruise control and bizarre keyless start button.
Ok I'm boring myself now...

Everybody remarking about expensive cars that can't manage a bit of snow - you do realise on the Continent they are fitted with Winter Tyres for the snowy/icy season?

My DH had them fitted to his BMW (company car - but he works for BMW) and it made a big difference...

tigerdriverII Thu 17-Jan-13 21:42:47

When I first started driving 30 a few years ago, most cars driven by ordinary Joes were pretty crap, and the posh cars really stood out. And most cars broke down a lot. Nowadays brand new cars of virtually any sort are reliable and have mod cons. I don't drive a luxury brand, but I do have a decent car - have had Subarus for years (apart from a brief and short lived infidelity with a Focus) as they suit me and where I live. I wouldn't buy a high end car for the sake of it but if I had unlimited funds I might have a nice stable of unsuitable motors.

Boggler Thu 17-Jan-13 21:46:34

I never understood why anyone would pick a BMW over a ford until dh got a BMW 5 series for his company car some years back. It was foisted on him as he always had bad things to say about BMW drivers so he wasn't overly keen. Anyway we we actually blown away by it, it was so comfortable, quiet, easy to drive and it wasn't even loaded up with high tech gadgets. After that we have always bought the best car we can afford for dh as he drives trillions of miles with work, I still have a ford fiesta though which I love too envy

SparkyDudess Thu 17-Jan-13 21:48:08

My DH has a Lexus hybrid big thingy. I have a 9 year old polo.

I won't spend the money on a 'nice' car because I drive maybe 10 miles a week, sometimes not even that. DH's car is a total pleasure to get into, and feels plush and luxurious and just lovely. My car goes - that's about the best that can be said for it grin

MrsShortfuse Thu 17-Jan-13 22:41:54

Completely agree OP! Except that even a Ford is too posh for me. I have a cheap Hyundai, it's mega-reliable, it's fast and comfy, it has the maximum safety rating, it has a radio, CD player and aircon, what else do you need?

CointreauVersial Thu 17-Jan-13 23:02:08

Well, tomorrow we can all laugh at all the rear wheel drive Beamers struggling in the snow. Last year I particularly enjoyed the sight of my next door neighbour doing donuts in his BMW, while I sailed past in a stately fashion in my ship-like Hyundai people-carrier.grin

bureni Fri 18-Jan-13 00:00:56

LOL, all they have top do is put a few concrete blocks in their boot. I have to do the same with my volvo until I bought a set of snow chains from Lidls.

pamish Fri 18-Jan-13 00:16:20

There was a piece on the radio today about cloned car keys, and a new spate of thefts of BMWs etc. as the toe-rags can now buy the cloning gear no questions asked. They interviewed a woman from Kingston whose car had gone from her driveway one morning. It had cost fifty thousand pounds.

I really did not know things had got to that stage.

tigerdriverII Fri 18-Jan-13 00:20:48

My BIL had his car (I think a BMW) nicked from his drive when he left it there warming up on an icy morning. Insurance company not pleased at all - keys in ignition. Thank goodness for country living - any opportunist car thief would be solid by now here!

pugsandseals Fri 18-Jan-13 00:23:08

FWIW, my car does practically everything these top end cars do except the heated windscreen & is very comfortable to drive. You can pick up a 2nd hand one for £13k & I hardly ever see another one on the road making me rather unique! I won't tell you what it is because then you'll all want one & I won't be so unique anymore, but I will say it will get me through the ice & snow whilst waving at the x5's & q7's that are all stuck going nowhere grin . Oh yes, & it's not German & boring either!!!

sydlexic Fri 18-Jan-13 08:26:32

It is not difficult to drive a BMW with traction control in the snow, unless it is an automatic.

theodorakisses Fri 18-Jan-13 12:07:20

Sometimes on MN it feels as if anyone who has anything nice should be scoffed at. Of course nice cars are more likely to be nicked, who would want to take a people carrier full of spew and crumbs?

FellatioNels0n Fri 18-Jan-13 12:20:46

Actually it's quite hard to nick decent cars these days - the all have immobilisers and alarms and satellite trackers etc. Cheap/old cars are far easier to nick!

BadLad Fri 18-Jan-13 12:26:34

The only cars I have owned were a 1.6 litre Rover and a 1 litre Nissan Micra.

Much as I loved the Micra, I had the time of my life when I was allowed to take my mother's Mustang for a spin. That had a 5 litre engine, and the slightest touch of the accelerator sent it rocketing ahead.

Unfortunately I have poor eyesight, and it really isn't worth my getting a nice / naice / posh car.

countrykitten Fri 18-Jan-13 12:34:33

I currently drive a 10 year old Audi estate. It has a bale of hay in the boot at the moment and regularly transports my filthy spaniels about! It has fantastic build quality, is completely reliable and is a surprisingly good drive. When it dies (and not before) I shall get another one.

countrykitten Fri 18-Jan-13 12:35:03

Does that make me a badge snob?

VivaLeBeaver Fri 18-Jan-13 12:36:09

Someone I know had some sort of thing fitted to his ancient VW Camper van and an app so he could text his van and start it up from his bed. So it was warm and demisted by the time he got in it.

MrsShortfuse Fri 18-Jan-13 12:41:02

Theodora, I might be a proud cheapskate hyundai owner but I also waste spend a fortune on Clarins smile

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 18-Jan-13 12:45:55

I have a premium brand car - and winter tyres so it is great in this weather!

It is lovely to drive, safe, quick, pretty fuel efficient, nowhere near as expensive to maintain as you might think and holds it's value very well. We have only lost £3k in depreciation since buying it 3.5 years ago - we didn't buy it new.

Handling, feel and comfort are all massively better than on a cheaper car.

If we didn't have the money then of course we would get something cheaper, but if we are able to replace it with something from the same brand then we will.

It is nothing to do with the badge, or compensation for missing my kids hmm (I'm a SAHM) or to feel better about myself or any of the other daft hypothetical reasons listed.

countrykitten Fri 18-Jan-13 13:07:24

Yup - if you can afford nice stuff then what's the problem?

If I had the money, I would simply buy the car I feel comfortable driving, and which suits my needs (eg, ferrying DCs). I guess the key must be to test drive several cars if you're looking.

BarbJohnson5 Fri 18-Jan-13 14:22:53

Hahaha...What Wiley and GirlOutnumbered said! I have never driven anything other than German cars(vw golf & bmw's). I know they're solid and well built cars and i am confident in them. I've driven an escalade for many years, which was big, comfortable and easy to drive. I like solid cars and would rather buy that than take a risk driving my children in something less than solid.

Actually, I'd quite like a peugeot 208 (1.2 ltr, 3 cylinder to be specific). I've test driven it and it suits me for what I need. Sadly, I need to build my savings up a little before I can get my hands on one.

theodorakisses Fri 18-Jan-13 14:50:13

I have an Escalade with every extra. I love the comfort and safety. If I lived in the UK I wouldn't be able to afford it. I also have a GMC Sierra for work and an ancient Hummer for walking the dogs. So shoot me.

countrykitten Fri 18-Jan-13 18:49:21

I must confess to thinking that the Escalade is one of the most vulgar things I have ever seen. Zero points for classiness/taste. Having lovely things if you can afford them is wonderful and I am all for it...but try and have a modicum of taste along with it!

countrykitten Fri 18-Jan-13 18:50:38

But I am guessing that you are in the States....?

pinkyponk67 Fri 18-Jan-13 18:51:02

Re BMWs in the snow - the poster who said "ALL you have to do is put concrete blocks in the boot"

You have got to be kidding right???
You buy a "luxury car" and part of your luxury experience is lugging concrete blocks into the boot so that it is drive able on snow!

Why not just buy a car that isn't rear wheel drive!

Same goes for putting winter tyres on!

gimmecakeandcandy Fri 18-Jan-13 18:53:10

There is a big difference and no it's not the status thing at all. Why are some people so hung up on people who have 'posher' cars and the only reason they can come up with is that they have them for the status?! No it isn't. They drive better, feel better and yes they look great. I drive a certain 'upmarket' brand and I love it, it is so so much better than the 'cheaper' cars I used to be able to afford.

wordfactory Fri 18-Jan-13 19:01:14

I've had a five series and it was excellent. BMWs are very very reliable and comfortable.

I'm currently driving a Range Rover and it is fabulous ; like sitting at home in your favourite arm chair while driving along. The seat is heated. The steering wheel is heated. The seat remembers you and how you like it placed. Each piece of kit is well engineered and utterly reliable. I could go on. Worth the money, IMVHO.

DH generally drives a sportier car. He changes them regularly. He loves the design, the technology, the fun...

Neither of us give a fuck about status. And we most certainly do not take out loans to buy them (whoever put forward that bit of nonsense).

bureni Fri 18-Jan-13 19:17:21

Pinkyponk, I do not see my car as a luxury car just a car, I sometimes put 4-5 concrete blocks in the lower boot which cannot be seen so it bothers me little. I need a rear wheel drive car as I do a lot of heavy towing so a front wheel drive car is no use to me at all. I do use winter tyres and also snow chains if needed.

iloveeverton Fri 18-Jan-13 19:28:07

I have an older Audi it just feels so nice to drive. Have had a brand new Audi and it was fab and turned heads.

Dh had an older BMW 5series drove it all over UK and Europe so reliable and comfortable.

My parents are very well off- they love Fords. Have driven my cars but like what they have (Kuga and Focus.)

marriedinwhite Fri 18-Jan-13 19:35:08

I don't really care about cars - hell I have a Citroen C4 grin. DH cares even less - he has a GWizz blush.

We are not cool but we don't care smile.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bureni Fri 18-Jan-13 19:38:00

a Gwizz is a cool car, my mum loves her little lecky wagon.

marriedinwhite Fri 18-Jan-13 19:45:37

Thing is I wouldn't put £50k in a tin box with a padlock on it outside my house; contented that when I opened it in twelve months time there would only be £35k in there. I couldn't do it with money; so why would I let a car do it for me.

Quirky Citroen - lasts 10 years - costs about 1k a year bought at 9 months old. Repair costs are low and it does what I need it to do.

Let DH play with his GWizz and his Photovoltaic panels but so wish he would have a midlife crisis and get something fab for me to play with blush.

Dawndonna Fri 18-Jan-13 19:52:24

Married Brother has a birthday today, go nick his car, he'll be too busy to notice! grin

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

marriedinwhite Fri 18-Jan-13 19:56:03

Humph - expect those bears might be there dawn grin.

No idea. But it's horses for courses, I suppose, if I had 30.000 to play with, I would spend it on designers lamps, chairs and similar grin

Dawndonna Fri 18-Jan-13 20:00:17

Fair point, Married, it's a nice car though!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

marriedinwhite Fri 18-Jan-13 20:27:39

You know the bears then grin

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 18-Jan-13 20:41:40

Pinky - why does the same go for putting winter tyres on? It is a safety measure and should be compulsory here as on the Continent because they provide superior performance and breaking once the temperature reaches 7 degrees or below.

Flossiechops Fri 18-Jan-13 21:00:48

Dh got a new job last summer and along with it a new 3 series BMW. Now we have never ever had the money to waste on expensive cars but my goodness it's a revelation. Full leather seats, gorgeous to drive (smooth and fast) and just luxurious really. Had it not have been given to him we would never have purchased this sort of car but it is just lovely to have it!

Flossiechops Fri 18-Jan-13 21:02:32

On the down side the BMW has been shit in the snow today with the rear wheel drive, dh had to be towed by a lovely Plummer in his van who stopped to help!

And i thought i had made it when i got a car that the windows went up and down without me pushing working cd player works and central locking that doesnt lock itself from cold.

I may have some way to go..

sukysue Fri 18-Jan-13 21:10:19

I think you are either into cars or not me I couldn't give a JOLT what I drive s'longas I gets from A to B.

bureni Fri 18-Jan-13 21:11:56

Flossie, I put a bit of weight in the bot of my car (concrete blocks) but any kind of weight in the boot is a bonus on a beemer even cartoons of water.

MrsLouisTheroux Fri 18-Jan-13 21:16:56

It is nothing to do with the badge Hmm, I believe everything else (comfort, handling) but not this!!

ShellyBoobs Fri 18-Jan-13 21:21:17

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

Well mine's got double glazing and a TV/DVD.

It's definitely a car and not a house, by the way.

grin

bureni Fri 18-Jan-13 21:25:18

The badge is important to me as long as it says Volvo, I need a long lived, durable,reliable and safe car that can double up as a reasonable luxury car or pull a 2 tonne trailer if needed to. The whole image thing does not bother me at all and I doubt if I would have an image of splendor driving a Volvo.

Flossiechops Fri 18-Jan-13 21:26:58

Buerini, never heard of that will tell dh although I think he was shit scared when it did a 360 degree spin! He's hoping not to have to drive until its cleared a bit. We're in the west mids and it's v v deep shock

bureni Fri 18-Jan-13 21:32:47

I drive a Volvo rear wheel drive estate car which is a lot worse than a Beemer in the snow, placing any kind of weight over the rear axle will help though it does not have to be concrete blocks like I use. If there was passengers in the rear of the car you would have no problems. Try to get a set of winter tyres or chains for the rear wheels as this really does help and they are not expensive at all and easy to fit. ( snow chains from Lidls currenty 20 quid a pair)

countrykitten Fri 18-Jan-13 21:39:10

Not a fan of BMWs (too many black massive ones dropping kids off at my school) but used to have a Volvo 240 estate which did over 300 000 miles and never missed a beat. We sold it on and I hope he lives on somehwere. GREAT car.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PigletJohn Fri 18-Jan-13 23:25:29

buying a flash car is like buying Farrow and Bollock paint, or wearing a Badge on your wrist. It's for when you've got more money than you need and have to find something to spend it on that people can see.

"Your sort of people" will recognise it and know that you're One Of Them.

countrykitten Fri 18-Jan-13 23:38:44

Skodas are great cars too.

bureni Fri 18-Jan-13 23:42:37

LOL, no they are not. If you mean the current basic branded VAG cars called skodas then thats fine but Skodas are crap especially the early 1.4 litre Fabias, what a bundle of shit they are.

countrykitten Fri 18-Jan-13 23:57:57

I thought that old Skodas were all dead now - and yes they were shit. I did mean the current VAG motors - I am a big VW and Audi fan and would not be ashamed to own a Skoda. Maybe it's the badge that puts you off?

bureni Sat 19-Jan-13 00:03:36

No its not the badge since they are all the same cars but a Skoda will depreciate a bit quicker than the other german rubbish. I honestly think the old Skodas of the 70s/80s with the rear engine were good sound reliable cars that went on forever.

JoanByers Sat 19-Jan-13 00:35:17

Mostly posh cars are about the badge/status. For example, when they came out with the Volkswagen Phaeton, it was much more luxurious, higher quality vehicle than the BMW 5 series, as an example. It as more akin to a Bentley.

But, because it said Volkswagen on it, nobody wanted it, and they sell for peanuts second hand.

Pendeen Sat 19-Jan-13 00:45:03

As many have said...

Buy your clothes from Primark, get your groceries from ASDA, have uninspired furniture, eat cheap cuts, live in an estate-box house and drive a Kia.

If you have no interest in design, quality or even just the fun of driving but simply want the minimum then that’s as far as it goes.

I on the other hand I always have a little fun...

I eat Dover sole, have more than a reasonable number of shoes, wear Donna Ida jeans and drive an Alfa Romeo.

If this baffle you, then you will never understand why it all matters.

I love my Alfa…

PigletJohn Sat 19-Jan-13 00:53:44

Ah, lucky Pendeen has never been short of money.

Pendeen Sat 19-Jan-13 01:01:45

Hello PJ. Nice to see you here...

I have been short of money in the past (and never take anything for granted even now times are good) but I hope I have never been short of taste.. grin

PigletJohn Sat 19-Jan-13 01:06:32

I haven't had an Alfa since I was a young man about town, with a Bayswater GF.

PigletJohn Sat 19-Jan-13 01:12:01

...then I bought my first house sad

Pendeen Sat 19-Jan-13 01:13:20

What was it?

I'm afraid mine is a modern 159 so not exactly a classic but I do have my dear dad's old 1600duetto in the garage - in need of some TLC...

bureni Sat 19-Jan-13 01:16:31

There was no need to bring Alfa into the game, jut for that I am going to get a can of water.

bureni Sat 19-Jan-13 01:17:09

just^

PigletJohn Sat 19-Jan-13 01:20:03

Guilia.

bureni Sat 19-Jan-13 01:24:06

Lets face it, the value of an alfa depends on how much petrol is in the tank.

Pendeen Sat 19-Jan-13 01:28:23

Not this one?

<Lusts after Richard Barrett>

PigletJohn Sat 19-Jan-13 01:28:47

no need to be unkind just because it isn't a Vulvo Volvo

Pendeen Sat 19-Jan-13 01:29:28

bureni

You may have a point but that's cost not value... grin

PigletJohn Sat 19-Jan-13 01:30:06

no, far uglier.

Think "Italian Job"

evansthebread Sat 19-Jan-13 01:33:42

To all those who knock a rear-wheel drive in the snow - have you ever seen or driven a front-wheeler when the front end goes on ice (or a diesel spill)? Best of luck!

I drive a 17 year old Beemer with nearly 200,000 miles on the clock. I've never had a problem with it and it's never let me down. Having said that, I look after it and drive it properly. Driving well is down to part common sense, part skill. I'm afraid to get in the car with some friends - I actually wonder how on earth they passed their tests! The same friends are the ones that sneer about Beemers getting stuck in snow (I never have) and are shocked that I drive with a winter kit and weight in the back. They're also the ones whose cars are always in the garage being repaired for some little prang they've had. I'm happy to carry some extra weight in the back when there's snow down and am happy to swap out my tyres to winter ones. To me it's as common sense as not drinking and driving.

The Beemer logo is "The Ultimate Driving Machine" and they're right - it's all about the drive. My car doesn't have any bells or whistles. It's just a damn good, safe drive. I suspect people who rubbish Beemers are not the sort that actually enjoy driving (or show any particular aptitude). As several people have already mentioned, just drive one and see the difference.

Pendeen Sat 19-Jan-13 01:39:06

Aww PJ...

grin

theodorakisses Sat 19-Jan-13 06:11:07

I must confess to thinking Audis the most drabbest of all cars

I drive a BMW for safety. Feels a lot safer driving big hunk of German metal than the light little rollerskate of a cmax that I test drove for mumsnet.

Flossiechops Sat 19-Jan-13 08:16:27

Tbh I have always thought that people who drive expensive cars are those who have company cars. Like I said dh has a car as part of his company package. Most of the people we know who have naice cars are the same. We could never have justified spending so much on 4 wheels. Yet again if you have the money and want to then why shouldn't you? I will be honest I love that car!!

pinkyponk67 Sat 19-Jan-13 09:10:48

Joan that's a good point about the VW Phaeton. Also when Lexus launched as the Luxury brand of Toyota, sales were dire until they realised they needed to put the prices UP to match the other luxury marques they were competing with. Buyers didn't want to buy a car that cost less than the rivals as they perceived it was not a luxury item! They put the prices up and sold more cars.

On another note, do people still have company cars these days now you are taxed on them? DH receives a flex allowance from his work instead.

pinkyponk67 Sat 19-Jan-13 09:12:29

Ps Of course if you have the money you can spend it on whatever you want! I am just curious to know why!

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 19-Jan-13 10:45:19

I like the Alfa Guilia. Pretty car. Was it nice to drive PJ?

I do wonder about all those saying they drive their big luxury car "for safety".
Great, you're safe, but what about the poor bugger you plough into?
I wonder whether there were fewer accidents when all cars were more rickety, and people felt rather less "safe".

countrykitten Sat 19-Jan-13 10:52:06

Here is a question for you all. I would never buy a car that I could not afford to pay for outright. This means that in my younger years I drove around in many £400 French bangers despite always having had along commute. As I said, I now drive an Audi that is ten years old which I bought it outright (obviously not new!). Do many of you go in to debt and borrow for your vehicles or do you actually own them? Or do you use the lease thing that many garages offer?

countrykitten Sat 19-Jan-13 10:53:32

And I have just remembered that when I first started teaching I bought a Ford Fiest for £80 in 1997! It lasted three months and was a horrible car but at least it was mine!

Butterycrumble Sat 19-Jan-13 11:06:58

I can choose between a merc or van, I pick van everytime. Armchair seats, great visibility and no need to collapse the buggy.

I like heated seats and the merc is quiet but I much prefer my van.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pugsandseals Sat 19-Jan-13 11:39:08

I am always shock at the presumption that a car has to be German to be luxurious! The real luxury comes from Japan NOT Germany!!! I just don't understand why others don't see it.
Stomps foot & goes off in a strop....

Rocknrollnerd Sat 19-Jan-13 12:02:15

I've always driven a lot in my jobs, until 6 or 7 years ago I drove various Fords (Escorts, Focus, CMax), they were fine, varying degrees of whistles and bells all reasonably well powered enough for the driving I do, fine in snow etc. Then after being royally fucked over by a Ford dealer over the CMax (which was a dog of a car and constantly having things go wrong, being recalled etc) I stomped home, paid off the last month finance on the CMax and went to our local Audi dealer.

On paper the Audi was not really any different from the higher end Fords I'd driven (CD changer/iPod, Climate Control, 2L Diesel etc). The difference in the drive and comfort though is amazing - I can't really describe it, it is just nicer to drive, it's a more pleasant experience. The ride is a bit smoother and quieter, the acceleration that bit better, the cabin so much more comfy and better finished. Oh and the current one I have is ultra low emissions so costs me £30 a year to tax! I've also not had any problems as regards reliability etc.

I appreciate I'm lucky to be able to afford it and I would never run a car I couldn't afford, however whilst I do the amount of driving I do and have the cash I would happily stick with my Audi.

I dunno really. In his last job DH got to order a BMW of his choice. He chose a 320 M sport. Don't get me wrong it was nice, comfy and speedy and lots of gadgets but it just left me a bit cold. Our family car at the time was a Fiat Multipla and I loved it so much. The most ridiculously ugly car but it lugged our 4 dc and 2 big dogs everywhere really well, including the South of France.

We now have a Skoda Fabia for me to get to uni and toddle around town and a Volvo XC90 for longer journeys and when we all need to go out together. Both amazing cars for what we bought rhem for. Fabia is dirt cheap to run and the Volvo has every little gadget DH wanted and everyone is very comfort able even the dc in the third row.

I am still lusting after a frog eye sprite for my 40th though smile

pugsandseals Sat 19-Jan-13 12:35:10

Sorry, I still believe Japanese is better. I would rather have a Lexus than an Audi any day! (not that I have one, but I still prefer my Japanese 'award winning in snow & ice' car to anything German). German cars are just so boring!!!

theodorakisses Sat 19-Jan-13 12:50:16

I love my American cars (Hummer was made in China though) I love the noise they make, the extra wide seats and the weight of them. I had smaller cars when lived in the UK but they were always a disappointment, shoddy and a zillion pounds a day to tax, run and insure. Just not worth it. If I were forced to live in the UK again. I would either have something I really really loved or a crappy little cheap shitheap, inbetween is just depressing and trying almost as hard as putting eyeleashes over the headlights.

theodorakisses Sat 19-Jan-13 12:53:03

I just looked at a Volvo XC90, what a beautiful car!

JoanByers Sat 19-Jan-13 13:35:53

Xc90 is not a car, it's a big fuckoff 4x4

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 19-Jan-13 14:06:03

Mine is not German, 'tis British.

Joan - what's wrong with a 4x4?

I would buy a Range Rover if we had the money. One day grin

theodorakisses Sat 19-Jan-13 14:41:29

It may look huge in the UK but it is a car by world standards. OK, what a beautiful 4x4! I think it looks lovely, fast, comfortable and safe.

I think Micras are fuckoff little imps, car snobbery is car snobbery, whether inverse, blatant or jealous.

MoominmammasHandbag Sat 19-Jan-13 15:24:25

Agree with all the posters who say driving a BMW is just a completely different experience to driving a Ford. Ours is 10 years old now, done over 100,000 miles (bought in more extravagent times) but it still makes me feel cooler, classier and more clued up than the Mums in their brand new superminis.
Agree it is shite in the snow though. Fortunately we have our ancient Discovery for that. ( Now that really is an example of style over substance).

JoanByers Sat 19-Jan-13 15:28:30

classier?

lol.

marriedinwhite Sat 19-Jan-13 15:35:20

I don't feel the need to feel cooler, classier or more clued up than any other mums though. If DH got a company car, I'd happily drive £50-£60k of car. We have to spend our own money on cars so I'd not happily drive an expensive car that is parked on a London Road or only just off it if DH doesn't need to get out before me (he needs the leccy suspply for his so has to park closest to the house smile with lots of passers by to key it or nick it.

If we needed a 4x4 we'd get a 4x4. We don't need one to get up Putney Hill or onto the A3, M25 or M1 - or even for the wonderful toll roads across France grin

MoominmammasHandbag Sat 19-Jan-13 15:37:36

Well I am really not very classy at all, and I am very scruffy compared to the designer shod and handbagged Mums in our village. But yeah, my car is quality innit?

countrykitten Sat 19-Jan-13 15:54:39

pugsand seals I love the way that you slag off German cars as being boring and then announce that your car of choice is......a Lexus!! The old man's favourite! Very funny indeed.

noviceoftheday Sat 19-Jan-13 16:15:53

What's not to love about a bmw? Nothing to do with being classy but it's just a great driving experience with all the little luxuries in the car. I was a passenger in the back of a Mercedes S Class the other day, there was a button that you could press for the seat to slide so you could sleep!

Amateurish Sat 19-Jan-13 17:17:43

I've got a lovely 5 series BMW. It cost £30k, and came as standard with leather, heated seats, cruise, etc.

If I spec an S-MAX to the same level, it costs ... £30k!

And the SMAX has less power and worse fuel economy.

The SMAX will also have much worse residuals.

So the BMW is actually the cheaper choice!

PigletJohn Sat 19-Jan-13 17:26:56

"What's not to love about a bmw?"

A lot of the ones I see have faulty indicators (never come on) and faulty rear foglights (never go off)

pinkyponk67 Sat 19-Jan-13 17:30:39

They are not directly comparable cars. the The S max is a 7 seater MPV with a cavernous boot. And what you say about residuals is right, thats why I got a 6 month old Smax for £10k off list price. A lot more car for the money that if we'd gone for a Beemer.

pugsandseals Sat 19-Jan-13 18:45:00

countrykittens -
I never said a Lexus would be my car of choice! However I did say that if I had to buy a 'luxury' car I would prefer a Lexus to anything German!!! As it happens I drive my car of choice. At least one of the less expensive cars Mitsubishi make & I much prefer it to anything German or luxury. It does absolutely everything a Merc or Audi does (apart from the defrosting front window) & is more comfortable & lots more FUN. In fact, I remember very well walking out of the Merc garage telling the salesman that I would not be buying one of his cars as they were far too boring. You should have seen his face! grin Don't knock Japanese cars until you've driven one.

My dream car? I would have 2, an Evo for fun & a Shogun for practicality. But NEVER anything boring German!!!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LessMissAbs Sat 19-Jan-13 19:44:41

pugsandseals However I did say that if I had to buy a 'luxury' car I would prefer a Lexus to anything German!!! As it happens I drive my car of choice. At least one of the less expensive cars Mitsubishi make & I much prefer it to anything German or luxury. It does absolutely everything a Merc or Audi does

Thats a bit unfortunate, since Lexus religiously copy Mercedes exterior styling down to the headlights, but a couple of years behind...

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pugsandseals Sat 19-Jan-13 20:01:04

I think you'll also find a wonderful Mitsui engine under the bonnet of many a Merc, Daimler or Dodge as well but I don't here the owners of them bragging about where their engine came from!

Part of what makes a car luxury is the fun you can have driving it. None of that in a Merc. Mitsubishi also have industry leading suspension systems, ignition systems, engines & safety systems. The chances are, if you have it on your Merc it was developed by Mitsubishi first. At risk of sounding like a petrolhead, I wouldn't mind betting that things like my world 1st VVT diesel engine will be common place in a few years time. But you wouldn't be interested in practical things like this if you buy a 'luxury' car would you?

pugsandseals Sat 19-Jan-13 20:05:11

Yes Lunatic, my car comes in 4wd. Actually all wheel drive if you want to be technical!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pugsandseals Sat 19-Jan-13 20:41:35

Active Sports Xover - best car I've ever owned! Solid, heavy, fun, keyless entry, Active suspension, Traction control, rain & dark sensors, KERS & best ever engine.
Age 19 I had a Lancer as a hire car for a couple of days which had the 1st ever demisting & electronically adjusting wing mirrors. Isn't innovation just another word for luxury?
A car needn't cost ££££££ to be luxurious! Neither does it need to be built in Germany. The German's make okay cars, but not luxury in my opinion!

pugsandseals Sat 19-Jan-13 20:43:50

Oh & don't be fouled by the stats that say it has 110bhp. It has 150bhp once the turbo kicks in but gets away with saying 110bhp for insurance purposes grin

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LessMissAbs Sat 19-Jan-13 21:16:54

pugsandseals am just puzzled why you are such a fan of Lexus when their styling copies Mercedes?

I think its only the UK and the third world where a Mercedes C or E class would be considered a luxury vehicle. Its clearly aimed at being a reliable quality vehicle - the S class is the luxury model in the fleet. The E class is the world's taxi!

And Mercedes aren't all made in Germany. My last one was made in Luxembourg.

To be honest though, I keep my fun and sports feel, not for driving on the public road, but for when I race on my own two feet or my bike. Different matter if you actually compete on the racetrack in your car, of course.

pugsandseals Sat 19-Jan-13 21:29:44

The new Dodge (out next year) will have a Mitsubishi under it's bonnet! As does a number of Peugeots & Citreon's which are not available in the UK. I was just using Lexus as an example of one of the many 'luxury' cars which are better than their German counterparts.
I don't work in the industry, just someone who drives 500 miles per week for work & wants to be safe, comfortable & have a bit of fun. Tried the Merc & hated it! I have my luxury car as far as I am concerned & I laugh at those who pay a lot more for their luxury without even considering what else is on the market. I am very proud of the fact that I test drove everything which fitted my requirements on paper & picked the best available at the time. I would never just keep buying the same brand time after time without doing this as I think it's daft! You would never just keep buying identical houses without seeing what else is on the market. Same should be true of cars.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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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