QOTD: Putting a Price on Domestic Luxury?
I took a friend out for a spin last night, as there’s no Nor’easter action happening up here, strangely enough. This friend’s automotive tastes fall mainly on an area that’s rapidly fading from the automotive landscape: premium rear-drive sedans, personal luxury coupes, and brawny muscle cars. No crossovers, no SUVs, no roadsters. The Seventies, as he’s been known to say, may have been the last great decade. Mind you, he wasn’t talking about the economy.
Given that his top choices in domestics include the Cadillac CTS (the Dodge Challenger tops the list in the two-door category), I figured he wouldn’t turn down a quick jaunt in the CTS I’m driving right now. For some reason, there was a 3.6-liter, all-wheel-drive model in the local fleet. Out we went. Groceries were purchased, and the Caddy took the long, winding way home.
As a long-time fan of the CTS’ styling (the current model, while it lasts, remains a fantastic design, IMHO), my friend soon inquired as to its price. I ballparked it. “What? No, sorry,” was the reply. “For that money I’m going German.”
It seems that, while a fan of the Caddy’s sharp edges, robust V6, and long-hooded RWD proportions, my friend isn’t willing to fork over 57,190+ hypothetical dollars for the chance to add one to his driveway. Nor is there any inkling to rise above a certain price point in order to take home a Challenger SRT Hellcat. An R/T, sure, but not a Dodge with a price tag starting north of $65k.
“What would it take to get you into a CTS?” I asked.
“Well, it would be used, and I wouldn’t go above $30k,” he said.
As much as he liked the Caddy’s traditional lines, in his view, serious money calls for a universally respected badge. Meaning BMW or Mercedes-Benz. Heading past $40k, it’s Deutschland or bust, apparently. A 4 Series coupe or maybe a slightly used 5 Series would take this friend’s premium dollars, but what about you, B&B? Do you harbor a similar sentiment towards high-end domestics?
For some, the Chevrolet Corvette might be the sole exception; in other cases, a sky-high horsepower figure might top all other motivators. But there’s a whole range of Detroit iron that falls outside this narrow swath of the automotive world. What’s your price ceiling on locally grown automobiles, and why?
[Image: General Motors]
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