By on March 22, 2018

Image: GM

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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212 Comments on “QOTD: Putting a Price on Domestic Luxury?...”


  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    It wasn’t the initial MSRP that put me off when I was considering this question last month, it was the tumbling resale values – but even that I could get past if the interiors were up to snuff. Too much piano-black plastic and contrasting color leathers for $60k. At least the Germans don’t look like the interiors were designed by a colorblind cokehead.

    But in the end I went Italian, not German. Life’s too short.

    • 0 avatar
      Krivka

      You hit the nail on the head. I do not understand how any IP design engineer at GM has a job. Name the last great looking dash in any GM vehicle. That should be a QOTD column.

      • 0 avatar
        mmreeses

        I loved the dash of the Olds Toronado/trofeo. But i was 10 at the time.

        https://classicmotorsports.com/forum/off-topic-discussion/the-digi-dash-appreciation-thread/110188/page2/

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        The truck division at least makes interiors that look like what they’re trying to be. Even the mainstream cars aren’t _that_ bad. But Cadillac’s car interiors are an abomination.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Of course no one should pay MSRP and hopefully no one ever does for mainstrea. Brands. But this 2018 CTS 3.6 AWD is $55K but discounted $47K.

      No luxury brand is safe from exotic depreciation, not even Lexus. Edmunds longterm Lexus GS..

      “Resale and Depreciation:
      We accumulated 20,940 miles on our 2013 Lexus GS 350.Edmunds’ TMV® Calculator valued the vehicle at $47,431 based on a private-party sale. The market did not seem to support this price, as CarMax offered us $40,000 and the best we could muster from a private party was $41,000. This made for 30-percent depreciation from our paid price of $58,377. We were disappointed.”

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Edmunds made 70% on at least a four to five year old car (depending on when the article was writte as there is not citation)?

        I’d call that amazing.

    • 0 avatar
      dont.fit.in.cars

      Spot on. I have a 2014 Impala LT (Epsilon 10th gen) V6 with 61k miles. By all account a solid well rounded highway mile eating machine. Paid 31k and now worth 16k and corporate now chucks a 20 discount off MSRP.

      It’s not depreciation just no value for the coin.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        Well that is a first year all new car. Of course you paid basically full price for it as it was an all new and very well received model. 5 model years later in 2018 most cars lose close to half of their value. Currently in it’s 5th model year I can buy a new 2018 LT V6 Impala with convenience group for 25995. 2016 and 2017 used Impala’s with up to 40K miles are still going for 20K plus so I would say they are holding their value remarkably well at least in Upstate, NY. I have been looking extensively the past couple of months for a clean 2016 or 17 LT V6 with convenience group and they are all priced 1995 and above with lower miles unless they have had body work or are 4 cylinder models without that group.

        The current Impala is a good value.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          It’s a decent value if buying a 2-3 year old one. Compare it to the similarly sized and priced newer Accord and Camry, and the Impala looks old and expensive. Factor in depreciation and it gets even worse.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Astigmatism,
      Globally I do believe US vehicles have some of the poorest quality interiors, actually Chinese’esque in some cases or worse.

      Even similar models that are US made compared to say an EU and Asian, African and Asian made is very noticeable.

      Ford and GM are the US stars at sh!tty interior materials. In some cases like the aluminium wunder truck from Ford I had in the UAE last year had an interior that looked like a pile of ill fitting Tupperware was used.

      Even the Mustang has quite a crappy interior for the price.

    • 0 avatar
      Avid Fan

      That’s the biggest reason I avoid almost anything American. It’s the anvil wearing concrete shoes depreciation that just kills it for me. There are exceptions to the rule but they’re few and far between.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Your friend is on point. Domestics have burnt their brand equity to the point that they basically have no right to charge more than ~50K for a sedan. Anything beyond that, the thing better be able to tow a boat, or be truly revolutionary.

    I’m still of the mind that a Cadillac or Lincoln Model S fighter (with a range extender) would do well. It would also have to look incredible. That’s the ONLY non-SUV I could see going beyond that $50K price point and doing well.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      His friend wouldn’t pay morr than $40K but average new vehicle price is around $37K. Time to not give 28CL rides any more.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      sportyaccordy,
      You pretty much hit the nail square on the head with your comment and guess what Australia is not much different, except we have always built muscle cars with US V8s and they were able to used for more than a quarter mile run.

      The US prestige marques don’t have the reputation, the reputation they had built from prior and just after WWII and they never improved on it.

      The perception is, even in some cases not true that US prestige cars are just fancy Chevs and Fords, the vehicle of commoners.

      Size over substance. The Germans have been able to sell substance, whilst the US has only been able to sell size.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I never understood that attitude. I have a budget, I’m willing to cast a wide net and look at almost everything in my price range. It doesn’t matter if the budget is $35,000 or $80,000.

    I will reject various options for various reasons but I’m not going to dismiss an American brand with a wave of my hand because of the price.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      Agreed 100%. What does it accomplish to limit yourself in that way? The only one you’re hurting is yourself by potentially missing out on something you would enjoy more than the car you ended up with.

    • 0 avatar
      jthorner

      In the over $50k category most buyers, whether they admit it or not, are very concerned about what other people will say and think about their purchase decision. That is where the perceived value of a brand is so powerful.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      An $80K purchase is a lot less rational and value based than a $35K purchase. Brand factors into that, as does resale value. Luxury domestic sedans are very weak on both.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Yes and other luxury sedans have tremendous resale value. *eye roll*

        Heavy depreciation is not limited to Cadillac and Lincoln. Not by a long shot.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        sportyaccordy,
        If you are worried by resale why would you spend more than $20 000 on car and buy new?

        You don’t buy a car for the money it “makes”. Buying a car is like buying a fishing outfit. It must suit your needs and wants.

        When buying a car we pay a lot for the wants and little for the needs, or most wouldn’t buy huge SUVs pickups that haul air and tow less.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Resale factors in. It drives leases and purchases, and generally speaks to the desirability of the car. A lot of the Germans success and failures of others hinges on resale. A used BMW is more desirable than a new Cadillac most of the time.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      I agree, Dan. If all you’re worried about is resale value, buy a full size truck, a Tacoma or a Honda Accord and be done with it.

      Otherwise, buy what you want, what fits your needs, what sets your heart aglow (of course that includes pickups and Accords).

      • 0 avatar

        I agree. We can’t get into anything resembling a luxury car recommendation article here without all of the following:

        “Luxury cars have bad resale.”
        “Luxury cars are too expensive.
        “Luxury cars aren’t practical enough.”
        “Luxury car G isn’t as reliable as luxury car A. They shouldn’t buy it.”

        None of this is the point. NONE OF IT. Crikey.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          The Impala is as much a luxury car as its competitors – Accord and Camry.

          Outside of the breadbasket of America, the Accord and Camry require no excuses. Can’t say the same for the Impala and Chevy in general unless it has a V8.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          @John & Corey – +1000

          Our other cardinal sin in these discussions is that we tend to calculate depreciation from MSRP instead of transaction price. If MSRP is $35K but I dicker the dealer down the high $20K range and 5 years later I get offered $10K in trade-in, I shouldn’t argue that there was 60% depreciation.

          Regardless our 1st priority should be that the vehicle meets our requirements for the period of time we anticipate owning it, life is too short to buy based on resale value or how our neighbors will judge us.

    • 0 avatar
      tnk479

      I am 37 yo and all of my colleagues and friends are the target demographic for these luxury auto brands. None of us has or wants a Lincoln or a Cadillac…ever. It’s game over for these brands. I think they are mopping up the last few years of sales they can get from Baby Boomers but after that these brands will die, at least in the US.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    I am probably around the same age as your friend and have similar tastes in vehicles.

    And his view represents that of most of the generation. Cadillac, and Lincoln and certainly Chyrsler no longer have the cachet required for high price tags. They are no longer regarded as ‘top of the heap’ luxury marks that represent that you have made it and create envy among your friends/neighbours. As ‘sportyacorddy’ posted they have ‘burnt their brand equity’.

    Yet GM/Ford still have some vehicles that do that. The Corvette certainly, but also ‘top line’ pick-ups. For instance a Raptor.

    So what must the D2 1/2 do to regain this market.

    Pull out all the stops. Make a halo vehicle, even if it means that they are losing money during its initial run.

    Bigger, badder and flashier than anything that wears a German or Japanese badge (for the moment forget about German vehicles that wear British badges).

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Right, I only buy cars that prove to others how wonderful I am, instead of buying what *I* want and saying F you if you don’t like it.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        John, Most people don’t think as you do. They are concerned with buying what looks like a rental car and what it might say to their boss, neighbor, etc. Even though Camry is a rental car as much as Malibu.

        With a few exceptions (trucks and Corvette, and arguably Camaro), GM has absolutely torched it’s brands. This is the result.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Caddy and Ford have demonstrated the folly of halo cars very recently. Remember the XLR? Hell the current Continental is kind of a halo car and it’s getting cancelled. It’s not the 60s-80s; companies can’t afford to plow resources into cars nobody is going to buy. They should put that effort into making the whole lineup better.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I hate to defend Cadillac, but XLR was actually profitable per unit because it shared production with Corvette. These sorts of ventures are worth doing even at lower volume. How Ford spent $1 billion on a LWB CD4 to be sold as Continental is bizzare. I wonder if the whole CD4 platform was where the billion was spent and this is just not being clarified in media/by Ford?

        Putting money into a “lineup” sounds wise, but I believe money into automation and reducing production costs is wiser. Ghosn and Marchionne are probably correct, the industry will experience consolidation because much of it cannot survive the tug of war between the central planners and reality. Central planners: “We demand electrification no matter the cost”. Market: “We want big stonking Trucks/SUVs with V8s”. Automakers are stuck in the middle, they have to devote huge monies for R&D in order to build unprofitable products most of their customers don’t want and won’t buy. But they also have to devote R&D to profitable product which allows for the margin to stay in business. If Conti could have been profitable, it would have been wise but it clearly could never be.

        I’d also point out Ford has a history of cutting its losses on dud products where GM historically ran everything for a four or five year generation. Ford will probably pull the plug toward the end of this year or halfway through the next (so they can call them MY20s).

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Arthur, US manufacturers fail to fully use their primary advantage: Big inexpensive but very desirable V8 engines they already build for profitable trucks. Almost any car is better with LS V8. Cadillac should shoe horn Corvette engines into absolutely everything they sell. V8 engine rumble is the fastest path to more value to justify higher transaction prices.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Arthur Dailey,
      Corvette still tries to market the bang for buck against it’s Euro competitors.

      I think this is the biggest downside to US vehicles. Whilst you chase bang for buck, things like quality, image, etc becomes more distant.

      Another thing is for your bang for buck, simple dolled up pickups are making the US manufacturers their living, so while these products are protected the manufacturers have little need to improve. There is no competition for the large US pickups and pickup truck station wagons, ie, Tahoe/Suburban.

      I do believe the US manufacturers had opportunity to create a prestige marque that should of been proportionally as big as BMW, MB, Audi, Jag, Volvo, etc.

      Is it to late for the US to create a true prestige brand? You can’t use Cadillac or Lincoln as a brand, especially for export. One brand that could of been used by GM was HSV for export. It had a good reputation in some global markets as a Euro competitor. But, that was blown away by GM.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    What constitutes “luxury”? Insulating the driver from the road? Real wood trim? Gadgets? My Charger has everything, power/lumbar/hot/cold/memory seats, power adjustable steering wheel/pedals, hot/cold cup holders, etc…the car even told me my key fob battery was low the other day. Yeah, it’s a Dodge, it’s got panel gaps and some cheap plastic here and there but it’s also got a 5.7L and AWD. I like to feel the road and if I want wood there’s some in my garage, an extra $20K for a badge and a smoother ride? Too rich for my blood.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      What constitutes luxury? Snob value.

      The ability to show off, to impress your neighbors (or at least successfully deluding yourself that you’re impressing your neighbors), to look cool, flash, and highly desirable.

      Back in the days when you had to buy a car, rather than lease one, if you saw somebody driving a Mercedes-Benz, you knew that guy either had money, or a good enough credit rating to get someone to loan him the money, to buy that car. Today, not so much due to leasing – but the image is still there. To someone who doesn’t know the market (and that something like 70% of all BMW’s are leased), you still think that somebody who drives one of those impressive brands is better off than you.

      The name on the hood is everything. Just rough guessing, you can probably buy a fully tricked-out, every-option-available Chevrolet Impala for the same money that a bare-bones BMW 1 or 3 would cost you. And in that Chevrolet, you’ve probably got a more comfortable car, a more reliable car (if you’re going to keep it past the warranty period), and a better car for 99% of the needs of the average car buyer.

      But it still says “Chevrolet” on the hood. Which don’t mean crap.

      Yet that bare bones, overpriced car with “BMW” on the hood – that’s cool, man. That’s desirable.

      Thus, Cadillac’s problem. The name don’t mean crap anymore. And it hasn’t for awhile. And it doesn’t matter how good a car they make, the name on the hood isn’t desirable anymore.

      Right now we’re watching a two-brand race to oblivion: Cadillac and Harley-Davidson. The one threw away it’s brand equity ages ago. The other kept it’s brand equity, but only to a certain age group, and turned themselves into poison for any other possible customers.

      It’s a race to the bottom, and I’m wondering if either brand can pull itself out of the dive. My money’s on Harley-Davidson.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Given how cheap Cadillacs are, and how more and more of them are getting blobby and flabby designs without strong details, I agree with your friend. Why pay E-class money for a slighly fancy Malibu that has mismatched interior materials and a dashboard design that simply polishes up the Chevy’s shapes? If Cadillac would build S-class fighters like they did in the…’60s, they might get some respect. Simply raising the price to compete with Mercedes without making a better car does not work.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      IBx1, you really do sound like someone who has not driven thr Alpha platform.

      • 0 avatar
        IBx1

        Driving dynamics are not what I want in a big Cadillac; I want comfort and opulent, coherent, edgy designs. The ATS on the alpha platform screams cheap, especially on the gauges that are front-and-center of the person who spent their money on it. Doesn’t matter how good it drives, because there are other cars that drive far better.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        The Alpha platform Cadillacs have small back seats compared to others in the segment.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          “The Alpha platform Cadillacs have small back seats compared to others in the segment”

          The ATS for sure. It’s a real cram for me. Alternatively, I can sit behind myself (6’2″) in my Giulia in reasonable comfort. I didn’t think that would be the case.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            How do you like the Giulia so far? I love how they look, but because I have a freakishly long torso, I had a hard time fitting in. The Stelvio’s a different story.

            Did you compare those 2?

          • 0 avatar
            seanx37

            But is the seating in the tow truck that is taking the Giula back to the dealer comfortable?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      PLEASE tell me which Cadillac is a slightly fancy Malibu. Because if you think its the CTS featured here, you might as well turn in your auto enthusiast card. As much as we would all praise a RWD Malibu, that just isn’t reality.

      The larger FWD Caddy is based off the Impala (itself a stretched version of the Malibu’s platform) ironically outsells the Cadillac-exclusive cars, so even if you were talking about that car (which is still not direct version of a Malibu), your logic doesn’t follow the facts.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      In fairness, the Alpha Cadillacs are not Malibu clones. Cadillac attempted to do a unique offering and for a time was the only GM marque using the Alpha platform. Good idea, poor execution, management, quality control, interior design, styling etc.

      “Why pay E-class money for a slighly fancy Malibu that has mismatched interior materials and a dashboard design that simply polishes up the Chevy’s shapes”

  • avatar
    ATLOffroad

    I tend to see all vehicles unbiased. As long as the car or truck I’m interested in fits my 6’5” frame comfortably I’ll consider purchasing that vehicle. Whenever I go to an auto show I will sit in a vehicle from every manufacture, my wife however will not waste her time sitting in any domestic vehicles. She says, “I will only buy Japanese.” Her reasoning is, “They are just better cars.” I’m pretty dumbfounded with that reason, but that is how we, in our mid-30s, grew up. Detroit cars break and Japanese run for ever.

    It is going to be a generation before Detroit will regain their loyalty.

    • 0 avatar
      jthorner

      Statistically your wife is correct. Not that every make, model and example fits the mold … but if you want a simple rule to increase your odds of low hassle motoring … buy a Toyota/Lexus.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The domestic generalization it is.

      https://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/2018/02/14/jd-power-2018-dependability-study/333275002/

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        NormSV650, that JD Power survey is laughably bad. In the fall of 2017 they compiled survey responses from owners of 2015 model year cars. Owner reported problems after 2 to 3 years of ownership doesn’t tell you much about repairs after 8 years of ownership plus the survey didn’t adjust for usage during those 3 years. If the Buick sample had a lot of drivers who drive fewer miles per year, their experience may be different than brands with owners who drive more miles in that time period.

    • 0 avatar
      tnk479

      It’s going on two generations at this point.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I don’t have a “brand cap” or anything like that.

    If it is notatruck, is RWD, and offers 8/10/12 cylinders (maybe an I6), then the only limit is what I can afford.

    I don’t care if it is built by Cadillac, Ford, Kia, Honda, BMW, Saab, or Dacia.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Funny as the GM is probably more reliable than the two German brands listed.

    • 0 avatar

      This is not the only concern for the luxury buyer. I don’t know why more people can’t understand this.

      Prestige. PRESTIGE.

      Do you understand?

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        The people who ignore reliability end up leasing a German luxury vehicle. Three years later they realize their next downpayment will be eliminated by lease penalties and depreciation so they take the buyout. Then they pay maintenance bills for another seven years, which prevents them from accumulating enough cash to acquire a new German luxury vehicle. Ten years gone.

        Others buy CPO German luxury cars and they fight with their wives for 5 years to divert increasingly large amounts of money from family vacations to the car maintenance budget.

        Prestige is a bear trap into which upper middle class Americans insert their heads for the entertainment and amusement of European plutocrats. The thinking man looks on in utter bemusement as people pay for the privilege of being snared. Usually free bait is required, but not in the German luxury car market.

        It’s doubly perplexing when you realize the ladies and lords who operate these companies are essentially the same nobles our ancestors sailed around the world to escape. Let them be serfs.

        • 0 avatar

          Then they will appear prestigious as they drive to the theoretical divorce court.

          The constant cry of the ICE “that’s not reliable enough” simply does not matter to anything in this segment.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          Well said TW5.

          I want to pay more money now AND later, just so people will know how special I am. NOT!

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          German cars are pricey to maintain out of warranty vis a vis their Japanese and American counterparts. They are the ultimate lease machines.

          Even worse, they don’t address nagging and recurring problems year after year, refusing to acknowledge problem areas.

          BMW: window regulators, entire cooling system (incl the stupid electric water pumps that last maybe 65k miles), blower motors and electrics in general.

          My seat of the pants sense is that American and Japanese autos are better at fixing recurring problems generation to generation.

        • 0 avatar
          Felix Hoenikker

          Sir,
          You wind the interwebs today.

      • 0 avatar
        Sub-600

        Sorry is the fool who trades his soul for a Corvette / thinks he’ll get the girl, he’ll only get the mechanic. – Pearl Jam “Soon Forget”

  • avatar
    ricnalli

    I will never again spend north of $40k on any car, much less a disintegrating example of “fine Teutonic engineering.” You know , like my dearly departed A4 Avant that Sajeev addressed here: https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2017/10/piston-slap-escaping-four-rings-hell/

    Nope, I am now the happy owner of a 2015 CTS V-Sport with 30k on the clock purchased from Carmax for $38k including 5 years of warranty to 100k milles. It’s a blast to drive, comfy to sit in, spacious, and not an overpriced time bomb like each of the five Audis I previously owned.

    • 0 avatar
      jthorner

      “… 2015 CTS V-Sport with 30k on the clock purchased from Carmax for $38k including 5 years of warranty to 100k miles.”

      That is exactly the way to buy in this category. Congrats.

    • 0 avatar
      ernest

      “I will never again spend north of $40k on any car, much less a disintegrating example of “fine Teutonic engineering.” +1 for those thoughts- it just isn’t necessary to spend that kind of money to get automotive goodness. The last car I’ve driven that truly felt like a “luxury car” through and through was a Mercedes S550. The chances of me spending that kind of money for a car are just about zero, though. The combination of breathtaking depreciation and high maintenance costs just serve to highlight those feelings.

      Put another way, the sticker price of that CTS represents just about what I paid for the Camry AND the Charger. Nope- not seeing the value in the Cadillac… or anything else in a sedan for that kind of money.

    • 0 avatar
      tnk479

      There are so many stories of Audi’s having big problems that it ultimately stopped me from spending 45k on a new A4 a couple of months ago. It’s a very nice car but it just doesn’t feel like it is worth 45k. The Alfa also tugs at my heartstrings but, I don’t trust Fiat Chrysler and the Alfa infotainment needs another couple years of development.

      A major problem that all of these luxury cars have is that they have not aligned on a technology platform that can last the life of the vehicle. You are spending a lot of money and you know the technology will be out dated in 3 years. You go out to your car and your Bluetooth doesn’t sync. You call the dealer and they have no idea what is wrong or whether it will ever be fixed. And so on.

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        Alfa owner here. The infotainment system should be taken out back, beaten with a rusty pipe, strangled, shot with a large-caliber rifle, burned, and then dropped in the ocean. At least the Bluetooth is seamless, because the Carplay (without a touch screen) is a joke.

        That said, the car is the most fun I’ve ever had driving, by such a large margin that it’s not worth figuring out second place. I got comfortable with the reliability issues by spending $3k on an extended warranty, figuring that by the time it runs out seven years from now, I’ll probably be selling the car anyway. And just look at it: https://www.kellyalfaromeousa.com/new/Alfa+Romeo/2018-Alfa+Romeo-Giulia-841ea67b0a0e0ae8444af5cd0d2c4b29.htm

        To quote a noted, car expert, it is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.

        • 0 avatar
          tnk479

          Are they promising any updates? Have you had any other problems with it?

          • 0 avatar
            Astigmatism

            No; it’s not that it’s buggy (a few other people have had buggy episodes, I haven’t), it’s just that the interface is woeful. It’s so convoluted that it’s basically unsafe to operate at speed, other than a few very basic functions that I can do from memory with the scroll wheel. The fact that they put this abomination in the car when they had UConnect sitting on the shelf, and in everything from the Dodge Ram to the Masterati Ghibli, is infuriating.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “The fact that they put this abomination in the car when they had UConnect sitting on the shelf, and in everything from the Dodge Ram to the Masterati Ghibli, is infuriating.”

            The reason the Guilia has the garbage infotainment system is because all the neckbeards from Motor Trend and Youtube threw hissy fits over Maserati using the uConnect interface.

    • 0 avatar
      seanx37

      My dad has a 2018 V-Sport. He is on his 5th CTS. He is of the generation that grew up thinking men of a certain age should be driving a Caddy.
      I really like it.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    I don’t think domestics need to apologize on price if the product is truly world-class (questionable perhaps for the CTS, but there are plenty of good American vehicles that fully justify a price tag above $40k) For me personally, I’m not simply buying a badge. A car to me is so much more than just making a statement. Would some people judge me differently if I had bought a 911 instead of a Viper, or a C300 instead of an SS? Probably so, but then I would have been less satisfied, and those people’s opinion of me is not something I spend a lot of time worrying about.

    • 0 avatar
      jthorner

      A Viper communicates one image of you, the 911 another. Like it or not, your subconscious cares and is communicating to others through your decision. Odds are that you want to communicate dominance and machismo rather than faux refinement.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        Or maybe his subconscious is telling him that he needs to go against the grain or dig deeper into the substance of vehicle ownership and operation so that he is not a captive of group think and social norms.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Agreed Jack, and spot-on again TW5.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    The Detroit Three, which had a 90% market share in 1965, died of corporate arrogance, union intransigence, and abject disdain for customers. They took every last dime out of the cars for profit, pushed crap out the door, and made hapless owners unwilling victims. Mistreated consumers in their millions ran away and are staying away.

    GM trumpeted a new commitment to quality and customer care saying it would increase its key parts MTTF from 130,000 to 160,000 kilometers coincident with introducing a 160,000 kilometer 2007 powertrain warranty, still well short of the 200,000 kilometer major repair free life purchasers expect. The promise was shortlived. By 2010 the warranty had been downgraded.

    No Detroit vehicles rank in the top ten of the 2018 Consumer Reports’ “Brands That Deliver” list. U.S. automakers must offer substantial incentives to sell their vehicles, which kills resale value.

    • 0 avatar
      MeJ

      This is why I switched to Japanese.
      By switching the warranty back shows me they have no confidence in their own products, or they were losing too much on repairing their products. Either way, no thanks.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “By switching the warranty back shows me they have no confidence in their own products, or they were losing too much on repairing their products. Either way, no thanks.”

        Honda and Toyota both have shorter warranties. By your logic they have no confidence either. I smell confirmation bias.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      “still well short of the 200,000 kilometer major repair free life purchasers expect. ”

      XD

      In my experience, consumers don’t think anything should break ever, or ever have to pay for anything including so called maintenance.

      Honda and Toyota dealers in particular are better than the rest at convincing their customers that they need to maintain their cars, however. This is in measurable service retention, not anecdotal.

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        And to further this point, it seems that domestics (and captive imports) are designed with this in mind. People just don’t care for their cars here like they do in other places. Repair rather than maintain is the mantra of most people here in the US. And it should never need fixed in many peoples eyes, nor should anything wear out.

        “That’s just a suggestion” from my Dad about service intervals. A man who spent his career as an aircraft mechanic for a major airline. Many people, many who are much less educated about machines, take his viewpoint. German cars don’t appear to work this way. It’s not recommended, it’s you will or it will break. You can argue either way on this and yes, they do seem to take engineering chances that aren’t probably great in the long run.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    Lets be honest…European cars have been built differently for decades….they cost more because, generally, they are better in many ways.

    Now excuse me while I go find a used CTS V-Sport.

  • avatar
    ricnalli

    and as for German quality, let’s consult the actuaries.

    My Cadillac warranty set me back $2,100. Just for fun I asked what the same warranty would cost on an Audi. He ran it on an A3, and hit a whopping $4,900.

    • 0 avatar
      mmreeses

      you hit the nail on the head of ‘what does quality mean’

      For a cliche German: quality = can I drive at 110mph for straight 3 hours in comfort. designing a car around that isn’t cheap

      For a cliche American: can I drive 20,000 miles a year in comfort over third world roads without being stranded on I-5.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      There’s no truer indicator than an insurance matrix.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        Quality is defined by the consumer. Can’t think of anyone who plunks down thousands for a car and thinks, “Glad I bought a car of poor quality”.

        We all think/hope/pray we bought something of quality regardless of what State Farm says and regardless of whether we bought a VW or Acura.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    In that class of vehicle an off-lease 2-4 year old example with under 30k miles is the way to go no matter the badge. Those vehicles depreciate at an unreal rate, and good ones are still good for another 150k+ miles but with over half the depreciation hit already done.

    Given that scenario, I wouldn’t want to buy German because they get really expensive to maintain after the warranty runs out. ‘merican, Korean or Japanese for me :).

  • avatar
    KixStart

    For the same price, I’d buy a CPO Lexus over a Cadillac or any of the other luxury cars.

    But I’m willing to consider a Cadillac over the German choices.

    And Cadillac has one feature that intrigues me: SuperCruise. If GM really can lead in autonomous driving for owner-occupied cars, I’d be very interested.

  • avatar
    e30gator

    When I see low mileage, slightly used domestics that have lost 50% or more of their value in less than 5 years, it turns me off. Not that the Germans are much better in that regard.

    Anyone who is willing to fork over that kind of loot for a car is probably not going to keep it past 5 years, and the new car MSRP for a Lexus or BMW is within spitting distance of a Caddy anyway.

    Why not buy a car that will yield you a better deal on trade in the next time you’re ready to go car shopping? A Cadillac is a poor value for non-diehards.

    That said, if I were looing for a second-hand bargain, I’d absolutely look at a Cadillac sedan, especially when a nice, late model example with a CPO warranty can be had for Hyundai money.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      A car that holds more than 50% of it’s original value in 5 years is by far the exception industry wide. Only perhaps the top 7 models can achieve this, and none of them are euro makes. Top resale awards go to Detroit and Japanese trucks and SUVs.

      German luxury sedans suffer similar high depreciation to Cadillacs, but the issue here is whether the buyer is willing to suffer that depreciation for a “lesser” marque.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      5 years? After 3 years the ATS and CTS have lost half of their value:

      https://www.thestreet.com/slideshow/14247792/1/these-cars-lose-half-their-value-in-three-years.html

      They’re not alone in terms of steep depreciation, but they top this particular list. E class, C class and 5 series round out the top 5. It’s the double whammy of being way overpriced for what they provide and not being Xuv’s.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I thought most people in the market for a luxury vehicle leased them. So as long as the lease payment is on point, who cares what the MSRP is?

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Ding ding ding! Germans play hardball with leases, to the point that it doesn’t make sense. But even still, for the same lease payment (forget MSRP) people are going to go German over American every time.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      I’ve been anti-leasing for a long time, but I’m starting to come around. I looked at the 2-3 vehicles I’m considering for my next ride, and thought “which of these do I want to own more than 5 years?” The answer “none of them” slapped me in the face and I realized why the heck not lease? Same payment minus the massive down payment, and no fear of long term ownership costs.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    My Golf is a great car. It does many things well and few things bad. Sure, there’s things to improve, but that’s any vehicle. Now, it’s still new and no VW gremlins have shown up yet. Heated seats, V-tex ( I’m fine with that) decent audio system and power moonroof are all the “luxury” I need. It had a 22k sticker and I did not pay that for it. In short, it feels like it’s worth what I paid.

    My previous car was a ’16 Cruze LT. It was an OK car in many regards, but it didn’t have any of the “luxury”, feel or refinement of my Golf. It had the same window sticker price and had I bought it instead of leasing it, I would have paid close to the same money as the VW. It would not have been worth it and the new Cruze (’17+) somehow feels worse.

    All vehicles are parts bins. But the bin stuff in my 22k Golf looks fine in a 40k Audi. But the bin stuff from a Malibu doesn’t look right in a Cadillac or even a Corvette. There’s more refinement and such to be had in a Cadillac than a Chevy, but you’re really paying for it. The difference between a VW and an Audi is much less stark and while you’re still really paying for it, it somehow seems worth it. And that’s not even talking dynamics or drive, on which the Audi delivers even more.

    I’d rather pay 50k for a Ford F-150 Lariat or whatever versus 50k for a Cadillac or Lincoln. But 40k for a basic 3 series isn’t worth it either. In the end, buy what you like and enjoy it, but to me, it’s not worth the premium to get into a Cadillac over a really well equipped Chevy or Buick. Poor domestic resale is a killer too.

  • avatar
    BryanC

    No mention of Tesla in this story?

    Tesla’s selling surprisingly many expensive American cars in places where American cars have long been in the minority. I just bought one last week. It’s amazing & I’m super happy, despite the high price tag.

    • 0 avatar
      e30gator

      My theory is that Cadillac stopped selling “true” Cadillacs years ago.

      Instead, they’ve chose to go after BMW, making sport sedans, etc.

      If a BMW knockoff costs the same as the real deal, why not just spring for the Bimmer?

      I’m not saying Caddy should go back to tailfins, but having a few models (other than the Escalade) that are unapologetically American and do it well, might help to restore their tarnished brand image.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “My theory is that Cadillac stopped selling “true” Cadillacs years ago.”

        They did. Cadillac was most successful when it built Cadillacs. They’ve let the competition define them.

        • 0 avatar
          e30gator

          “[Cadillac] let the competition define them.”

          Absolutely. And it all began IMO with the Catera. Here was a car that looked like a ’97 Malibu, was priced like a BMW, and somehow managed to be worse than both.

          In trying to “out zig” the Euros, they lost everything that defined the company and instead built over-priced knockoffs.

          Aside from the odd bargain-seeker who buys one at a heavy discount, most people wouldn’t prefer to buy a car with BMW envy when for a little more $$$, they can get a BMW, or better yet, buy a Lexus that doesn’t instantly drop in value like a lead weight.

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        “If a BMW knockoff costs the same as the real deal, why not just spring for the Bimmer?”

        Have you driven a new 5-series? It feels like driving a computer – and not like a nice one, like one running on Windows 8.

        • 0 avatar
          e30gator

          “Have you driven a new 5-series? It feels like driving a computer – and not like a nice one, like one running on Windows 8.”

          Aside from dedicated sports cars and exotics, I think you could make the same argument about most new cars.

          The days of repairable, mechanical components with knobs and switches connected to something other than computers are mostly gone.

          I’d say if you don’t want to drive a computer, you’d be better off with a cheapo Mitsubishi Mirage than a BMW or Cadillac.

    • 0 avatar
      mmreeses

      in my neck of the woods, the Model S has killed off its sedan peers—A8, 7, S-Class, LS. maybe 10 Model S : 1 other.

      great car, overvalued stock [if you’re an old school textbook fuddie duddie].

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Your friend is smart, definitely get the used Caddy. Let someone else take that hit and get all that value at a low price.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Your friend is why I would be leaping off a roof if I had to figure out how to market a car to people. There’s just no logic here.

    Buying any $50K premium/luxury brand sedan in 2018 is an exercise in daunting depreciation (even Lexus to some extent), so I’ll set that aside right at the beginning.

    The question then becomes whether the Germans offer anything better at the price point. You’re looking at an entry level 2-liter turbo for the MSRP of a CTS V6, and none of them seem to be paragons of driving pleasure, value, reliability, or ownership cost. If he likes the Cadillac, rub the wretched sales figures in the salesman’s face and haggle it down.

  • avatar

    Cadillac and Tesla are the bright spots for the US car industry. Ford has become the biggest disgrace in the motor city.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    I could really be a Cadillac diehard, but I shouldn’t have to get a CTS-V (or a used Cadillac) to get a V8 sedan. And it shouldn’t have to be a firebreathing race car, 35-series tires, etc.

    For sure I’m not buying a high dollar Cadillac sedan (or coupe) with a cheesy V6 or wheezy I4. Pathetic. That’s what BMWs are for.

    When the V8 is a $25K+ option, it’s not an option. There’s no excuse.

    • 0 avatar
      ricnalli

      There is an answer – V-Sport.

      twin turbo V6, 420 hp, 430 ft.lbs., magnetic shocks, brembos up front, comfy ride in touring mode on reasonable tires. off lease premium models at 30k miles available for $35k to $40k including extended warranty. looks like Batman’s ride (the current 5 and 7 series looks like haus frau rides).

      Go American, which I just did for the first time. Do not fall for the “German’s make great cars” crap. If you do, get ready to become close friends with your mechanic.

      • 0 avatar
        MeJ

        @ricali
        “Go American?”
        Just because you’re an American (which I have to assume, because no one outside of America would ever say that) doesn’t mean you’re getting the best car. I’ve owned American cars and German and now Japanese, and the fact is American cars aren’t built as well. Period.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        I’ll spell it out. I just want a V8. This isn’t about HP/TQ. I don’t care if I sound irrational. A V8 sedan/coupe means quality to me. Or maybe it’s “substance” I gotta have, but a 260 hp V8 would work for me just fine.

        I don’t feel I’m getting my money’s worth even if it’s a triple turbo V6 fire breather. I don’t want to set the Nurburgerkingring on fire either.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        ric,

        It will be interesting to see how costs compare to ze Germans now that Cadillac has adopted a lot of tech. Will those mag shocks be pricey to replace and how long will they last? Turbos, brembo brakes, etc… those aren’t cheap.

        • 0 avatar
          ricnalli

          It will be interesting, but the big items will be funded by Carmax thanks to Doug DeMuro’s coaching. That was an essential part of the deal when I took note of the twin turbos, electronic dash, CUE screen, etc. Again, note that in terms of expectations this warranty cost me $2100, while the same warranty on an A3 – yes A3 – would have been $5000. there is good cause for this.

          As noted in my post above, my A4 effectively died at 105k miles. But not before Audi bought a new set of pistons and rings, and I bought a $1500 turbo, $1500 of sensors and smog equipment, control arms, front end bushings, etc. having ignored Sanjeev’s sell it now advice, the last straw was its need for a $1200 CA specific cat convertor, $700 water pump, and $800 carbon removal job.

          Count me “wieder” when it comes to german prestige.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        ricnalli,
        I don’t think your comment ““German’s make great cars” crap” is accurate. It’s more like the Germans make a better car, there is a difference.

        Your comment highlights the fact you are just biased towards German cars. It’s your choice, but open you mind and try to understand why German cars are so popular not just in the US, but globally. There must be a reason.

        The US is good at building basic, cheap, large vehicles with V8s. This doesn’t mean a 4 cylinder or even a 6 is a lesser vehicle.

  • avatar
    mmreeses

    Domestic interiors [ex. Tesla] just aren’t in the same league as its competitors. See the ATS-base XT5 gauge cluster.

    Everything from odd instrument panels, to cumbersome touch interfaces, to odd looking fonts. [obviously ymmv as taste is subjective]

    Cadillac-Lincoln needs to put more money into interior design. Go hire the Tesla or Volvo interior design team. Base the interior design in Europe if you have too.

    • 0 avatar
      Sub-600

      They should base the interior design team in East L.A., those cats know style.

    • 0 avatar
      Middle-Aged Miata Man

      Check out pics of the interior of the XTS V-Sport C&D reviewed recently. Notice how the color of the lower door panels doesn’t match the color of the lower dash.

      https://www.caranddriver.com/photo-gallery/2018-cadillac-xts-v-sport-quick-test-gallery#32

      I have to think that even a GM shill like Norm would be a bit irked to discover something like this after he’d signed the loan papers for his new Cadillac.

  • avatar
    CincyDavid

    I was just pondering this same thing…rented a brand spankin’ new Cadillac XTS last week…had 4 miles on it. I was captivated by the ventilated seats, so I got on the Cadillac website. $53K in that trim level?!? And the CTS and ATS aren’t a heck of a lot cheaper. I realize domestic cars are discounted from MSRP but that’s just silly. The last rental I had was an Impala LT with the same drivetrain as the XTS, but vinyl & cloth seats instead of leather. I could never, ever justify spending “luxury car” money, I’m just too thrifty.

    Just like GM crowded Olds and Pontiac out by going upmarket with Chevrolet, I simply don’t see the value in getting a Cadillac when the Impala is 90% of the car for a lot less than 90% of the money.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      It’s not just Cadillac. Option up a Jaguar XE with the nicer interior and a decent engine and you’re past $50k. A 6-cylinder 3-series or C-class can hit $60k. Luxury car prices are one thing, but even what used to be considered the baby models of the Euro brands are now either $50k+ or poverty-spec if you keep them below that.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    I am not a fan of the CTS styling but as a whole I would not go over 50K for any car, could I afford it maybe, but why would I? There are plenty of great choices used and new with real world prices of under 50K, I have bought new cars when used car prices made very little sense ( 2011) and the spread on a new car was just a few grand more. I would rather have a top of the line accord than a CTS. I have a Saab 9-5 now one of the last made , the interior is not what 50K car should have in 2011 , it stickers right at 49k IIRC but used it is fine, I would like same for a caddy.

  • avatar
    MoparRocker74

    Have your buddy check out a 300S Hemi in that metallic red. Perfect blend of luxury, class, presence but capable of sheer mindless fun. There’s good reason FCA barely promotes this 13 year old car and yet its STILL a strong seller.

  • avatar

    A Cadillac? I wouldn’t buy one at any price.

    As far as any domestic, I’d fork over $40,000 for a Camaro SS 1LE (if I could find one) or a Ford Mustang PP2 (if they would build me one).

    I’d hit $50,000 for a GT350 but around here the dealer markup rockets them into the high 60s.

    No reason to buy a new Corvette when you can buy a slightly used one for pennies on the dollar.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Nearly all luxury seems to have become disposable, domestic or foreign.

    A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Stratospheric depreciation is certainly not relegated to domestic luxury vehicles only. My business partner has a 14′ 650i M sport, purchased in late 16′ for 59k with 11k miles on the clock, CPO. This car MSRP’d for somewhere in the 118k vicinity. That is patently unacceptable to me. Now the car is worth in the neighborhood of 35k with all of its 29k miles and 1 year left on the CPO.

    For me, the pre-owned domestic luxury or not represents a superior value. My 14′ Lacrosse Premium AWD was 20k plus tax January of 17′ with 34k on the odo. I believe the car was msrp’d for 42k ish.
    At this point in my journey I like to keep my purchase price figures at the 20k range mainly because I can trade or sell on my own the previous unit and only have to come up with a few grand to cover the difference. No payments means more to the college fund junior 1 & 2 and perhaps an opportunity for me to retire in something that does not resemble a cardboard box.

    I do not understand the belief that zee germans produce superior luxury cars that hold their value better when my eyes tell me they are de-contented sedans that all share the same dashboard (bmw) and don’t seem to spend any less time in the shop than a domestic.

  • avatar
    Ultraviolet Thunder

    To me Cadihack is simply a total waste – it is not luxurious at all – its design language is stale and tacky – the interiors look remarkably cheap (especially the Seedy Six with that cheap gray plastic surrounding the touch screen).

    Right now if I were shopping a luxury vehicle, I’d go with a Lincoln Navigator or Continental for a domestic, or I’d save money and by one of the new Genesis products.

    Or, I’d find a fully restored domestic luxury vehicle from the 1960’s and allow it to appreciate in value – something that cannot be said of anything made right now.

  • avatar
    crtfour

    I used to drive pretty much only fullsize pickups and primarily Silverado’s. My last new vehicle purchase was a 2002 Silverado Z71 at $32k and to me at that time seemed like sticker shock.

    Then I ended up buying a 2006 ML500 in 2009 with 25k miles for half of sticker price and since then have had 2 Jaguars and currently have a Land Rover LR3 and a Jaguar XKR.

    I would say that for the most part, domestic luxury vehicles are “better” in terms of reliability, but I feel that European vehicles are “better” in terms of engineering and craftsmanship (especially interior quality which someone mentioned earlier). Now that I have discovered the value in 3-5 year old low mileage European vehicles, it’ hard for me to justify any domestic vehicle for the same price. And fullsize domestic pickups have passed the price point to where I will probably not consider another one.

    In my case personally, the Europeans (even the Jag and Land Rover) have been more mechanically reliable than the Silverado’s that I had.

  • avatar
    bkrell

    AMEN! I learned this the hard way. I used to buy cheap used European cars then transitioned to Hondas. A 2014 Mustang GT lured me to American cars but I had to give it up after 1.5 years due to surgery that left entry/exit painful. Well, I got a GREAT trade on the Mustang. It held its value well. But I sunk that trade-in into a 2015 Lincoln MKC. I genuinely liked the car. Got it with the 2.3l EcoBoost. But with the top engine and otherwise mid-level trim, it set me back $45,000. I figured it wasn’t a huge deal because a similarly spec’d BMW X3 or Audi Q3 would have been $50k or more. Well, I have a 130 mile per day commute. Flash forward 2.5 years and 90k miles later and I have a car with a trade-in value in the teens. I’m well upside down and stuck with it. I LOVE my MKC to this day. But to know that I’m virtually stuck with it just takes all the joy out of ownership. Since at this point in my life I don’t really have time to deal with a used car’s inevitable issues, given the rate at which I accumulate miles, I’ll probably just go back to small, cheap Japanese cars until I retire or change jobs.

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      BKRELL,
      To be far almost any thing you would have bought would be worth almost nothing with those miles, I feel for you I drive at least 25,000 miles a year and I kill cars bc of it, now I get a very nice car allowance to offset it. I almost always buy used and pass the car down to my kids when they need it. If you like your MKC drive it till you run it into the ground and enjoy it, with the miles you drive you gotta know it kills any resale. The Audi or BMW may be worth a little more but I am sure the Lincoln cost less to service.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Both the Audi and BMW have high depreciation as well, *and* will cost more in maintenance, and/or when they have issues, than the MKC will. If you like your MKC, don’t feel stuck. You’re driving something you like that, although with a turbo engine and presumably AWD, isn’t immune to major repairs, is far cheaper to keep going than a similarly depreciating Euro equivalent.

      • 0 avatar
        bkrell

        This is true. My Hondas seemed to have fared marginally better, though. I get no car allowance. As a matter of fact, I even get penalized for my long commute whenever I travel for business. They deduct my commute time from my time on the clock. Sigh…

        The MKC was a pleasant surprise. Most enjoyable seats I’ve ever ridden in. Torquey engine, too.

        I’m seriously contemplating something cheap and fun for my next car like a Fiesta or Focus ST. Although, I had a Civic Si once and that left me wanting something faster….which led to the Mustang.

        Speaking of repairs, no, they aren’t expensive. BUT, the thing I don’t like about the Lincoln is I have to go to a Ford dealer. They see a gillion F-150s a day and probably 3 Lincolns. They have a dedicated Lincoln adviser, sure, but I just don’t feel like I paid for a luxury experience when it’s service time.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          I would like to see separate Lincoln stores, you shouldn’t have to get your $80k Navigator
          bought and serviced with the same experience as your step-daughter’s $12k Fiesta SE.

          • 0 avatar
            bkrell

            Exactly. My city’s stand alone Lincoln dealer shut down 20 years ago, about the time people started migrating en mass to SUVs.

          • 0 avatar
            gearhead77

            This rings true, even though it’s kind of class-est to say. Today, 30k is the new 20k and so on and I had this thought while my Cruze was in the shop once.

            The waiting room at this allegedly “#1 in the area by volume” Chevy dealer was awful by modern standards. Cramped sitting room with uncomfortable seats, lousy WiFi and by the pot coffee. The Honda store we got our Odyssey from had a much better waiting area, a coffee machine and decent WiFi. Same with the local Mazda dealer.

            Now, I’m not buying a car based on the dealership or it’s service waiting room. I’m hoping to never see the place again once I drive off. But if I do, I want it to be decent because I generally wait for my cars if I can. I don’t want burned coffee, to sit in awful seats,etc.

            Now, imagine you spent 90k plus on a Corvette. Or maybe 70k on a Silverado or Tahoe etc. And you are in the same waiting area for the person who bought a 10K used Spark.

            One reason Lexus did so well initially was because they pampered their owners when their cars were in for service. I don’t know how much of that they do anymore, but it makes you feel better as a customer when the company you paid big money to makes its dealers treat you better.

  • avatar
    Peter Gazis

    “Breaking News”
    Luxury cars are expensive!

    1. Most people go into “Sticker Shock” when they find out the price of any Luxury vehicle.

    2. 50% of new Luxury vehicles are Leased not bought!

    3. The new generation of Cadillacs are holding their value better than the old generation. Driving down the cost to lease.

    4.A Tidalwave of off lease German and Japanese luxury cars are flooding the used car market. Driving down resale values. Forcing up the cost to lease.

  • avatar
    Peter Gazis

    “Breaking News”
    Luxury cars are expensive!

    1. Most people go into “Sticker Shock” when they find out the price of any Luxury vehicle.

    2. 50% of new Luxury vehicles are Leased not bought!

    3. The new generation of Cadillacs are holding their value better than the old generation. Driving down the cost to lease.

    4.A Tidalwave of off lease German and Japanese luxury cars are flooding the used car market. Driving down resale values. Forcing up the cost to lease.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      Shout out to all those Californians too good to buy Cadillacs. When all your new Tesla Model 3s come in. What car will you be getting rid of?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      1. Perhaps.

      2. Probably true.

      “3. The new generation of Cadillacs are holding their value better than the old generation.”

      Oh sir you’ve got to have some figures to back up that wacky assessment. Firstly, because Cadillac uses such ridiculous MSRPs it is difficult for us to calculate ATP. Resale valuations for leasing would have to be calculated for ATP, not MSRP, otherwise whomever is holding the Cadillac residuals is going to get buried. Secondly, Cadillac sales YoY from 2016 to 2017 ***dropped*** 28.6% in USDM. The year 2016 (as an MY17) is the first year the CT6 and hail mary XT5 were offered, and while XT5 was up about 80% give or take in 2017 vs 2016 (CT6 up about 10%), the marque still recorded the before-mentioned 28.6% drop in USDM. China had significant growth which allowed the overall brand to grow 15.5%, but we’re not talking about China are we? The simple truth us the “new” 2017 Cadillac models did not sell better than the 2016s regardless if they were better or not (they’re not).

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_XT5

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_CT6

      http://media.cadillac.com/media/us
      /en/cadillac/news.detail.html
      /content/Pages/news/us/en/2018/jan/0105-cadillac-sales.html

      “4.A Tidalwave of off lease German and Japanese luxury cars are flooding the used car market. Driving down resale values. Forcing up the cost to lease.”

      All market resale has been significantly overvalued for at least the last seven years. I have been saying for at least the last two years every valuation on average is 30% higher than reality. Morgan Stanley agrees with me with its projections for 2017-2021. Here’s the kicker, for at least the last two years as the 11/12 leases have come in, financing companies, new car dealers, and probably factory sales have been quietly colluding to keep a percentage of the tsunami of off lease vehicles from hitting the retail market. Why? No one wants to take a hit because many of the lease return valuations were not accurate. I highly doubt the financing arms of Audi of America, BMW, and Daimler AG will allow for a crash of their residuals. They will export the vehicles or find other ways to keep enough of them off the market to create a supply glut.

      zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-31/heres-why-used-car-prices-may-crash-50

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        28-Cars-Later

        Let me make this simple for you.

        New Escalade more popular than old Escalade
        Crossovers still popular
        ATS,CTS -sold in small numbers and popular among enthusiasts
        XTS – the ones sold to livery fleets never make it to the used car market.

        Add upgraded certified preowned program and rinse

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Those are so popular they led to a 28.6% decline in sales between 2016 and 2017 in USDM. Zee Germans would love to be so popular.

          I hope you didn’t pay msrp for yours, we’re getting toward the end of MY18 and the MY16s have already depreciated $23K mostly in extra clean condition. MY15s average $22,3/38K otc.

          I could see simple supply and demand kicking in this year as sales have fallen sharply yet demand from people wanting pre-owned Alpha is perhaps greater than supply, which would lead to resale stabilization BECAUSE of prior years sales/production shortfall. This is good for leaseholders, (and not so good for those looking to buy) but its not growing sales – its chasing customers in a shrinking market. If these things were popular as new, sales would be growing YoY. Have fun when yours starts to go north of 60K miles!

          2016 Cadillac CTS Sedan MSRP: $53285
          Based on the Luxury Auto AWD 5-passenger 4-dr Sedan with typically equipped options.

          https://www.edmunds.com/cadillac/cts/2016/sedan/

          MY16 Cadillac CTS AWD V6 “Luxury”

          Date Price (USD) Odometer (mi) Condition Engine Transmission Exterior Color Type Region Auction In Sample Year Make Model Style
          6/14/2017 $30,000 13,276 NON Regular West Coast Seattle No 2016 CADILLAC CTS AWD V6 FFV 4D SEDAN LUXURY
          6/14/2017 $30,000 10,149 NON Regular West Coast Seattle No 2016 CADILLAC CTS AWD V6 FFV 4D SEDAN LUXURY
          5/4/2017 $30,000 9,110 4.4 6G Automatic Red Regular Midwest Detroit No 2016 CADILLAC CTS AWD V6 FFV 4D SEDAN LUXURY
          4/26/2017 $29,000 22,158 4.2 6G Automatic Red Regular West Coast Seattle No 2016 CADILLAC CTS AWD V6 FFV 4D SEDAN LUXURY
          4/12/2017 $30,400 21,970 NON Regular West Coast Seattle No 2016 CADILLAC CTS AWD V6 FFV 4D SEDAN LUXURY
          4/12/2017 $30,400 11,382 NON Regular West Coast Seattle No 2016 CADILLAC CTS AWD V6 FFV 4D SEDAN LUXURY
          4/12/2017 $30,400 11,810 NON Regular West Coast Seattle No 2016 CADILLAC CTS AWD V6 FFV 4D SEDAN LUXURY
          4/12/2017 $30,400 14,664 NON Regular West Coast Seattle No 2016 CADILLAC CTS AWD V6 FFV 4D SEDAN LUXURY
          4/12/2017 $30,400 11,516 NON Regular West Coast Seattle No 2016 CADILLAC CTS AWD V6 FFV 4D SEDAN LUXURY
          4/12/2017 $30,400 12,209 NON Regular West Coast Seattle No 2016 CADILLAC CTS AWD V6 FFV 4D SEDAN LUXURY
          3/22/2017 $31,500 7,515 6G Regular West Coast Seattle No 2016 CADILLAC CTS AWD V6 FFV 4D SEDAN LUXURY
          3/9/2017 $29,500 21,274 4.2 6G Automatic Black Regular Midwest Detroit No 2016 CADILLAC CTS AWD V6 FFV 4D SEDAN LUXURY

          • 0 avatar
            Peter Gazis

            28-Cars-Later

            Wait you price quoted a dozen cars. All 2016 CTSes all with ~10K to 20K miles and all about $30K. OK!

            Now go do the same thing with the BMW 5 series; Lexus GS; & Mercedes E class

            Hint: easier just to go to KBB type in year make and model (the 2016s are all down $15K to $20K on the low end models. Much more on premium models)

            2nd Hint: GM redid the CTS for 2014, be sure to notice the $5K price difference between the ’13 & ’14.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Kelly Blue Book is fiction. I quote MMR and I used to quote that and occasionally Black Book.

            Depreciation is similar on the MY16s for Zee Germans, although they cost more and to be quite honest I don’t know how trim packages compare to give exact numbers. I’d also point out Zee Germans generally stay close to their MSRPs unlike Cadillac.

            Granting I would have to gather more data to make this argument more sound, what are retail prices for CPO German midsize vs CTS? If I had to guess, the CTS sells closer to or below wholesale while the German CPO iron sells itself. This would be an indication of retail demand. Now does this indication matter to the initial lessee? No, but it appears with reduced production Cadillac may be able to somewhat stabilize its residuals depending on ATP vs the German competition.

            MY16 BMW 528i Xdrive Luxury

            2/13/18$33,300*14,9304.44GT/AGrayLeaseSoutheastStatesville
            9/5/17$36,750*13,0314.34GT/ABlueLeaseNortheastNew England
            8/22/17$39,400*8,0415.04GT/- -GrayFactoryNortheastNew Jersey
            8/1/17$35,000*12,2114.44GT/ABlueLeaseMidwestOhio
            7/12/17$40,000*5,1154.44GT/AGrayFactoryNortheastNew Jersey
            6/14/17$37,750*9,8902.44GT/AGrayFactoryNortheastNew Jersey
            5/31/17$38,000*10,8615.04GT/A- -FactoryNortheastNew Jersey
            3/29/17$35,000*11,3724.24GT/ABlackLeaseNortheastPittsburgh

            MY16 Audi A6 V6

            3/19/18$31,00030,3484.46G/ABlackLeaseSoutheastCentral Florida
            3/15/18$26,80040,1144.06G/ABlackLeaseNortheastPennsylvania
            3/15/18$26,20042,8414.06G/AGrayLeaseNortheastPennsylvania
            3/14/18$26,00049,9863.96G/AWhiteLeaseSoutheastCentral Florida
            3/14/18$35,7505,2724.06G/ABlackRegularSouthwestDallas
            3/14/18$25,60035,6622.06G/ABlueLeaseNortheastNew Jersey
            3/8/18$27,60042,4333.66G/ABlueLeaseSoutheastAtlanta
            3/8/18$30,75023,1364.46G/ASilverLeaseWest CoastRiverside
            3/8/18$31,00022,6812.46G/ABlackLeaseWest CoastRiverside

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Leasing a luxury car is expensive too. Despite all the $299/mo that gets thrown around here, reality is more like a minimum of $600+ by the time taxes and fees are included on the typical $50K car.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    One thing I think a large portion of us will agree on is inside the car the Germans do a much better job with interiors, I do not need a V8 CTS V I would use that engine maybe 5% of the time in metro NY but I use my interior everyday and the Caddy’s I have seen do not hold up to the Germans at all at the same price points roughly.

    From everyone who will be luxury cars used , someone needs to buy them or lease then first.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The Germans are very variable with interiors, as is the rest of the luxury segment. No one executes consistently in this area.

      Mid- to high-price Mercedes are currently great, but that’s a pretty recent development. Mercedes had a lot of years in the cost-cut wilderness. Cheap Mercedes (anything with an A in the name) are crap.

      mid- to high-price Audis are great, and mostly have been, but the B8 A4 — the mainstay of the brand for nearly a decade — was only OK.

      BMWs have almost always been ordinary in design, with variable material quality over time. Recently the 5+ have been quite nice and the 3/4 cheap-feeling.

      Oddly the best interior from Cadillac in recent years is on the only Cadillac with pedestrian roots, the XTS.

      Lincoln is killing it with design right now, but the materials are variable.

      Lexus is very good with its flagships (anything with an L in the name) but prone to cost-cutting everywhere else in the lineup. Sometimes the result is OK anyway (NX) and sometimes it really isn’t (previous-generation IS).

  • avatar
    fenwayy

    In addition to lease turn-ins, lets not overlook the benefits of the discontinued upscale model! Upon the end of a CRV lease I had been looking into a new RAM. A mid-level Ram Longhorn V6 4X4 and cloth seats would easily be around 30K.
    When the reality sits in that my only real need is AWD/4WD and comfortable seats,I looked some more.
    I managed to find a ’16 Chrysler 200S with 6K miles.Loaded,loaded,loaded with everything but Park Assist. Never thought I’d have heated steering wheel and ventilated seats!
    Awd, great Pentastar v6,upgraded HID lights,and some of the most comfortable seats evah :).
    MSRP over 37K, picked it up less than a year old for 20K.
    If it ain’t a luxury car, it’ll do for now..
    I’d probably still be in a Honda if the seats didn’t feel sitting on a park bench..

  • avatar
    gtem

    People need to be buying more Rhapsody Blue Continentals so I can scoop one up for cheap used!

    http://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/706415369/overview/

  • avatar
    TW5

    Vehicle pricing is a function of long-term ownership for me. I don’t have any particular limit, but I tend to steer clear of junk features that raise operating costs, maintenance expense, and and transaction price.

    My preferences push me towards the 3.6L V6 CT6, which is behind an $8,000 premium trim paywall. Lexus puts the 3.5L V6 behind a $4,500 paywall. The good news for Cadillac is that a similarly optioned GS costs the same. The Cadillac is bigger and much better looking. The Lexus GS has a much better reliability record, superior interior design, but one of the most hideous interpretations of the spindle grill I’ve ever seen.

    Anyway, Cadillac is reasonably priced against the competition in this comparison.

    Regarding the elitist attitude in the Northeast. It’s irrelevant. Most of those people just follow around others. If the “car people” start choosing Cadillac, the rest will follow. Status is about as durable as celebrity. You have to follow unless you set the trend.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Luxury cars depreciate the way they do because most of them become very expensive to maintain outside of warranty.

    I’ve now owned two used flagship Lexuses in a row because they change that equation just enough to be sensible. Maintenance costs are much higher than on cheap cars of similar age, but a non-neglected Lexus almost never presents you with a $10k bill the way high-end German cars like to. Fewer things break, and when they do they’re not *quite* as expensive to fix.

    Some are better deals than others. Used LSes and GSes are a steal and IMO a no-brainer for anyone who wants a sedan that’s not a corner-carver. The CUVs and SUVs hold their value better, but still represent good value in their categories. The used low-mile LX I just bought for a bit under $40,000, plus $1000 for totally new brakes and a couple of other minor maintenance items, feels much more special than any three-row vehicle you can buy for that money new.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      dal20402

      No thanks on the Lexus LX. I can’t afford to keep gas in the thing.
      Also for the price of a 2 year old Lexus GS. I got a brand new AWD Buick Regal GS. Fantastic car you should try it.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I’d much rather have the 2-year-old GS. Nicer interior, two more cylinders (assuming yours was a 2017), more features if equipped right, and a longer expected life.

        Fortunately for my wallet I only drive the big car about 5k miles/year.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          The 2016+ GS just got beat so bad with the ugly stick though

          The F-sport and GS-F aren’t as bad as the ‘regular’ versions, but that center grille protrusion is really jarring in person.

          hendrickcharlotte.com/assets/inventory/vehicles/JTHBZ1BL6JA013521/ip/2.jpg

          It is like a modern day Matador sedan.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I think there are a number of reasons German prestige sells.

    1. Reputation,

    2. Design philosophy,

    3. Dynamics

    4. Engineering, and

    5. Innovation.

    As is seen in many responses by our US brothers on TTAC a big V8, vehicle size and bling is the most sought after attributes in a vehicle. These vehicle qualities are okay, but to provide that you can pretty much get a truck and flower it up and it would sell.

    Biggest, mostest, more’est is US luxury.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The “German Prestige” thing isn’t quite what it used to be. German auto sales are steadily declining too.

      In fact if anyone is seriously looking for “Reputation”, “Design philosophy”, “Engineering”, “Innovation”, or even “Prestige”, the typical F-series truck has more of those.

      German car “Douchebaggery” thing is gaining traction exponentially though.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        DiM,
        Did I state that German luxury is what it was?

        Reputation stays with auto makers for years and even decades.

        Look at Toyota still living on past achievements from the 80s. The opposite can be said of Chrysler products and Caddy.

        US manufacturers struggle here, especially with prestige, all you have is big pickups, SUVs and a few muscle cars that a of lower quality and expensive.

        The US focuses on what I term “consumer luxury” thats how its marketed, not exclusivity as European prestige.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        DiM,
        Did I state that German luxury is what it was?

        Reputation stays with auto makers for years and even decades.

        Look at Toyota still living on past achievements from the 80s. The opposite can be said of Chrysler products and Caddy.

        US manufacturers struggle here, especially with prestige, all you have is big pickups, SUVs and a few muscle cars that a of lower quality and expensive.

        The US focuses on what I term “consumer luxury” thats how its marketed, not exclusivity as European prestige.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        DiM,
        As you stated “douchbaggery” is what US auto makers need. Obviously there is a US market for EU luxury or in your words “douchbaggery” in the US.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          The Euro luxury car market in the US is undeniably getting smaller by the minute.

          Yes a large part of Toyota and German car sales still depend squarely on consumer ignorance, wives tales, and standing apart from the crowd at any and all costs.

          But we’re getting better. And “Prestige” is taking on new meaning.

          Car buyers know exactly what they’re getting with truck-based luxury. High prices dictate “exclusivity”, but yes panel-gaps aren’t the greatest, plastics aren’t the softest but reliability is unbeatable, along with value, “resale” or otherwise.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            DiM,
            Can you please provide supporting evidence for your outlandish comment Euro luxury is getting smaller in the US by the minute.

            Wow, why can’t you just research and comprehend.

            You are really a space cadet or druggo or something.

            https://www.statista.com/statistics/287751/midsize-luxury-vehicles-sales-by-make-in-the-united-states/

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Separately from my earlier comment, there’s a social component to this too.

    People want to fit in, and they don’t want to constantly have to explain themselves. Think about the school pickup line and what everyone else is driving and thinking. I get the sense this changes a lot depending on region, but here in an urban part of the West Coast, the vehicles that easily indicate elevated status in the school pickup line are:

    – Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Velar, in that order
    – Mercedes GLS, GLE, S, GLC, E, C, in that order
    – BMW X5, X3, 7, 6/5, in that order
    – Audi Q7, Q5, A8/A7, A6, in that order
    – Volvo XC90
    – Lexus LX, GX, RX, LS, GS, in that order
    – Acura MDX and RDX
    – Infiniti QX80
    – GMC Yukon Denali
    – Chevrolet Suburban, Tahoe
    – Lincoln Navigator (new one only)
    – Ford Expedition (new one only)
    – Toyota Land Cruiser

    Note the utter lack of any domestics or non-luxury marques except for full-size SUVs. Also notice the conspicuous absence of the Escalade. In my wealthy area, people just don’t drive Cadillacs or Lincolns, and every interaction involving one is a game of questions, either stated or unstated. That’s a lot of effort for people to go through and it makes conquest much harder.

    • 0 avatar
      MeJ

      You from Vancouver. Because I get it.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Nice post Dal.

    • 0 avatar
      MeJ

      Yeah I rarely go a day here in Vancouver without seeing something exotic. It’s interesting how quickly a Lambo or Ferrari can seem kind of ordinary after a while.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “I get the sense this changes a lot depending on region”

      This is a correct statement.

      Back when I lived in Highlands County FL (like 2013), pulling up in a brand new Cadillac would have actually signalled better than almost anything.

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      Upper-middle-class moms are the taste makers of American society (and sadly this includes the Kardashians). In my neck of the woods (rapidly growing metro area in the south) the list is very similar, but with a slight bias to the domestics because Land Rover and Audi don’t have dealers inside a 2-hour drive from here).

      Denali EVERYTHING is super popular, and I’d wager there are just as many crew cab Sierra Denali models in those lines as there are the SUV’s.

      If Lincoln indeed goes full truck/SUV, a proper Lincoln pickup is probably a guaranteed hit if they don’t do something stupid like put a tonneau cover on the bed or make it without 4WD. Throw the Navigator interior in it, give it exclusive and awesome paint colors and unique wheels and they will fly out the door.

  • avatar
    slawinlaw

    How do the maintenance and repair costs for late model Volvo’s stack up with those for late model domestic, German, and Japanese entry level and luxury vehicles?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Thoughts?

    https://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/cto/d/1999-bmw-m3-convertible/6531489154.html

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Guy probably realized the suspension mounting point got tweaked for that lower control arm he refers to, and wants to dump it on some unsuspecting sucker. I could be wrong, but the whole thing looks fishy.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Thanks gtem, if its too good to be true…

        I also seemed to recall hearing bad things about the E46 M3s years ago when they were newer used cars. I’ve never been into them myself though so my knowledge is limited.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      E36 convertibles are great, but this one screams “money pit.” It’s obviously spent a lot of time in the sun, there are no records (plan on a cooling system overhaul immediately), and it needs a lot of small cosmetic things.

      BMWs are a make where you’ll usually save money (and end up with much nicer car) by buying the very nicest and best-documented car you can find.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Thanks Dal. There was also an Audi Cabriolet conv around here too which piqued my interest but I never made the call. Evidently the old Audi 90 platform (B4?) continued on to 1997 with FWD as the Cabriolet. Claimed no rust, new roof, needed something stupid in the undercarriage like this guy, started and drove but he was willing to trade for a running beater. This model ran the VW 2.8 which I seem to recall was not too impressive and I doubt this one would have had much paperwork.

  • avatar
    22_RE_Speedwagon

    I dropped about 46K on a Chevy SS, which makes me an idiot. A very happy idiot, mind you.

    A few years earlier I passed on a new manual CTS-V wagon for 56K. Yep. Idiot.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      If that SS is a stick, you won’t feel much like an idiot at resale time. Those things are going to retain their value just like manual G8 GXPs do.

      • 0 avatar
        22_RE_Speedwagon

        It is :) And I hope you’re right, but it’s not really about resale for me but the experience. There’s a high likelihood that 415 HP manual sports sedans from Australia will seem quaint in the landscape of 1.21 gigawatt autonomous etron muskovolts

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          Sure it will but imagine downshifting to blow past a line of silent, electric, speed-limit-obeying AVs and giving them a blast of beautiful music from that LS3. Quaint isn’t the worst thing in the world…

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    The problem isn’t the price. It’s that for the price, the American makes can’t quite seem to sweat the little details. So they come off as “cheap”. Plus they are saddled with decades of baggage.

    I actually like the way Cadillacs look, and I like the way the ATS and CTS drive, but the interiors are disappointing and CUE is a disaster. And I shudder to think what the typical dealer experience is like. They also don’t make either of my preferred body styles. So why would I even consider paying the asking prices for them?

    Lincolns are even worse, as to me they simply come off as tarted-up Fords. Completely pointless.

    • 0 avatar
      LS1Fan

      It is my observation ordinary people (meaning non enthusiasts) don’t car shop with the same priorities in mind we do.

      Normal people might do some independent research,but the starting point will be which cars their peer group already has,especially their coworkers. If an office is staffed full of people with German luxury cars,odds are the next new car in the lot will have a similar badge. So it goes if the office team primarily drives domestic trucks, or foreign wagons and so forth.

      To a car enthusiast buying a 330i because their boss did sounds pretty silly- but for a normal person ,spending tens of thousands of dollars on a car is a daunting decision, so owning something already vetted by the peer group is a good way to make sure they buy The Right Car.If half the corporate managers on staff own Acme 550s, you can’t go wrong buying one too.

  • avatar
    orange260z

    I drive a 2016 CTS 3.6 AWD Luxury that I bought new in June 2016. With a sticker price of about CAD63K, I bought the car for about CAD53K with 0.9% financing for up to 72 months. Didn’t need to finance, but with the subsidized rate took the cash and invested it instead. Compared to a market rate, that 0.9% was worth at least $7-8K making the total discount a minimum of $17K or a whopping 27%.

    Although the CTS has BRUTAL depreciation, this is par for the course for any luxury car. According to most of “the lists”, the Cadillac ATS and CTS are in the top 5 for depreciation, mixed in with the MB E-Class and C-Class; BMW 5 (and surprisingly, 3-series); Audi A6, and every other luxury car. If these lists are based on depreciation relative to MSRP, I would suggest that the Caddys are actually doing better than the Germans due to the Cadillac actual new transaction prices being significantly below MSRP.

    Although it’s not perfect (none of these cars are), the CTS is a pleasure to drive every day whether I’m relaxing or driving the car in a sporting manner. Yes, the interior is not up to Audi standards; but neither is BMW. I still find the exterior look stunning. CUE is actually pretty decent, and is no worse than iDrive or MMI (I don’t have experience with COMAND so I can’t comment). The AWD system is terrific and handles winter with ease (on winter tires, of course).

    So far the build quality is pretty good, and my panel gaps and assembly are no better or worse than BMW, although not up to Lexus standards. I don’t know that any of these cars are cheap to own or terribly reliable post warranty – for longevity I would go with Lexus.

    The dealer experience at the two Cadillac/GM dealers I’ve dealt with has been as good or better than service experiences at BMW and Audi dealers. I think that there is lots of room to improve the Cadillac experience to be on par with Lexus, but I would suggest that at my dealer at least they try hard, which I can’t say for the German dealers in my area. I do have to note that my Porsche dealer, who has recently spun off their Audi business, is trying hard to improve the experience at their dealership that for many years was sorely lacking. They are the first and only German car dealership in my city to provide a decent experience.

    If I had to do it again today, I would probably still buy the same car.

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