The Definition of Luxury Cars is Changing and the KBB Top 2012 Redesigned Vehicles Proves It
Over the past several years the definition of luxury within the car market has started to change. The biggest difference used to be size, features, and price however that is no longer the case. For example, you can get a well-equipped mainstream vehicle like a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry for around $35,000, which is slightly more expensive than an introductory level luxury Lexus CT Hatchback. As you can see, the luxury car is less expensive, smaller, and has fewer features than the well-equipped mainstream car. This has raised questions among car owners and manufacturers alike as to what defines a luxury vehicle.
The Kelley Blue Book 2012 Top Redesigned Vehicles list includes 3 luxury cars, which is more than any other type of vehicle. By looking at the recent changes, it becomes more evident what luxury now means. For example, the Mercedes-Benz SLK has redesigned the interior to make it much sexier and the exterior has become sportier. Additionally, a new high-tech feature has been added known as the Magic Sky Control. It allows you to change the amount of tint on the roof with a touch of button. The roof goes from completely clear to a very dark-smoked tint.
The BMW 6 Series has undergone a redesign as well. It has added adjustable suspension and favors sheet metal on much of the exterior. Just looking at the new interior brings a combination of luxury and new technologies to life. The Audi A6 is much improved as well. While the outside still looks fairly similar from a distance, the improvements are easy to notice once you are behind the wheel. It includes a full-color, head-up display and the ability to navigate using Google Map Data. Along with Google Map access, every passenger gets access to the internet.
Looking at these 3 redesigns, the changes in the luxury car market become more apparent. Luxury cars are now becoming part sport car. Overall performance has become a priority. Not only are luxury car buyers expecting a lavish interior and sleek look, but also a high performance vehicle. Even Hyundai, which is best known for fuel-efficient, low-cost vehicles has added a V-8 engine to its luxury cars. The Equus and Genesis both now offer 385 and 429 horsepower.
Along with heightened performance expectations, the technologies included have become a focal point as well. For several years, this was a problem for luxury cars as more mainstream vehicles added a number of features which used to be reserved solely for luxury vehicles, such as heated front and rear seats. With all of the redesigns in the luxury car market, new technologies are being introduced that have never been seen before. This jump in technology is once again starting to separate luxury from mainstream options.
There are two characteristics that have begun to be less important to luxury car buyers. The first is space. While luxury cars still tend to be a little more spacious, the mid-sized sedan is starting to close the gap. The big difference is that luxury cars seem to use their space much more effectively. This has to do with not only overall styling, but also the new technologies that are being included. Another characteristic that is starting to lose traction is the tradition of luxury car brands. In the past, the manufacturer’s history played a large role in defining luxury. However, with so many new manufacturers entering the luxury car market, this is no longer the case. Again, Hyundai has become an excellent example of this. While big brands still claim that they offer the only “true” luxury cars, newcomers to the market are gaining ground because new luxury car buyers feel like they are in on a secret that the masses don’t yet know about.