Small but practical vehicles are all the rage in India right now, and why shouldn’t they be? Being able to maneuver around the city while still attending to all your daily needs is a boon, and the affordable price tag associated with these cars is just icing on the cake. But where does that leave luxury products like the BMW X3? It shares many of the desirable traits of its SUV cousins, such as spacious rear seats and a decent amount of cargo capacity. However, it is far more expensive and doesn’t boast the same level of fuel economy as budget models.
Of course, when you are spending that kind of money, gas mileage isn’t really a concern, and you probably might only need to do some light shopping since you have your monthly groceries delivered. What you are sacrificing is worth it, in exchange for the supreme comfort and luxury you get in return. But while premium vehicles certainly have their advantages, do they deserve a spot amongst the best crossovers on the market, when you take everything into account? However, the better question might be whether or not it is possible to get the best of both worlds.
The allure of luxury
For most of us, an executive sedan or high-class coupe is aspirational. More than just modes of transportation, they are symbols of status and accomplishment. These are what successful business people and celebrities drive, right?
When you buy such a vehicle, you expect a glamorous exterior, with sexy lines and large rims. Inside, a stylish cabin comprising top-grade materials and the latest gadgets for comfort and safety complete the package. Of course, a symbol of power needs the guns to back it up, so a strong engine is guaranteed. Some automakers, like BMW and Audi like to go the extra mile and add sporty handling, but this isn’t always a concern, since Mercedes-Benz sells just as many units by focusing purely on opulence and style.
However, not everything that sparkles is gold. Upon closer inspection, you may notice that the glitzy veneer of these automobiles hides their shame. More often than not, practical concerns such as cargo capacity take a serious hit in the name of luxury. As mentioned, fuel economy is also neglected, and the most expensive cars forego proper safety tests, so we have to rely on the manufacturer’s word that their products are up to spec.
Peace of mind as part of the flock
People may say that being a sheep is a bad thing, but there is safety in numbers. Affordable vehicles sell more units, naturally, but with greater numbers comes a greater sense of security. There must be a reason these cars are so popular. It’s definitely a question worth asking, but it also pays to think for yourself and do the research.
Just because everyone else is driving a Maruti Suzuki Swift, it doesn’t mean you have to. While competition is stiff at the top, it is even fiercer at the bottom. Just about every brand has an SUV or crossover in every segment, with some presenting multiple options, such as the Mazda CX-3 and CX-30. They all share similar pricing and try to persuade you by boasting of third-row seating or expandable trunks. Others, like Hyundai and Kia lure buyers in with their extensive warranty coverage.
Needless to say, it is easy to get lost in the crowd. Finding a product that stands out for the right reasons can be hard, but it’s not an insurmountable task. Many automakers have stepped up their game as shoppers become savvier and more discerning. And then there are new brands popping up, like Genesis, who try to deliver the same level of quality as premium labels without the price tag.
Meeting in the middle
This only goes to show that it actually is possible to get the best of both worlds, but Genesis may not be the best example of this. The automaker strives to compete with top tier European cars, so it does have to err on the side of luxury. Subsequently, its vehicles are still rather pricey. However, more established brands, like Mazda and Kia, have seriously improved their products without pushing the cost up very much.
Some are aspiring to move out of the economy bracket and break into the premium segment. Others are happy where they are and just want to refine their offering. The Kia Telluride is a good example of this, as well as the Toyota RAV4. These brands are the ones to keep an eye on, as they will undoubtedly be delivering the best quality vehicles at the lowest prices in coming years.