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What Makes a Luxury Vehicle?


Here at Right Buy our ultimate goal is to provide our customers with affordable premium pre-owned luxury import automobiles with un-beatable rates.  The long and short of it is, we want to treat our customers the way we would want to be treated when shopping for a new vehicle. Contrary to belief luxury doesn't have to be insanely pricey though....which begs the question what is defined as a luxury vehicle?

What Makes a Luxury Vehicle

Luxury vehicles typically represent the leading edge of comfort, performance, safety, and technology, and a good luxury car has an innate quality that goes beyond leather upholstery and wood trim. Materials should be of a higher grade than those in mainstream vehicles, with plush carpets, rich fabric, and quiet cabins. Basic power amenities, automatic climate control systems, and uplevel audio systems with Bluetooth connectivity are expected. Many luxury models also offer all-wheel-drive and can be had in sedan, coupe, SUV and convertible body styles.

What You Will Pay
Prices can run the gamut. For example, the Acura ILXAudi A3, and Mercedes-Benz CLA are priced in the low $30,000s. From there, true luxury models can reach up to $200,000 and more. The most expensive car Consumer Reports has bought is the Tesla Model S P85D ($127,820), and the most expensive SUV we've tested is the Land Rover Range Rover ($88,000).

Key Things to Consider
Luxury cars can be so comfortable and enjoyable that once you've experienced the luxe life, going back to a mainstream car feels like a major downgrade. But this exclusive driving experience comes at a price, literally, in the form of the initial purchase and ownership costs, both of which typically far exceed those of more humble vehicles. Before committing to a luxury model, realize that nearly all of today's mainstream models are better equipped than luxury cars from just a few years ago. Many offer uplevel comfort and safety features that were once the exclusive domain of prestige-brand models. These well-equipped mainstreamers cost thousands less than luxury-branded models, but often lack the thoroughness of design, special atmosphere, and prestige of a proper luxury car. Ultimately, it's an individual choice as to how your money is best spent. Luxury cars tend to do very well in our tests due to their performance and comfort, but so do some well-appointed models from non-luxury brands.

When buying a luxury car, one must look carefully at the standard equipment list, especially on European cars, which sometimes offer little more than brand cachet in their lower-spec models. Features you might expect to come standard, such as metallic paint, backup camera, and genuine leather upholstery, may be offered as extra-cost options, and high-end, high-tech features are often bundled in expensive option packages. Most of these optional extras are priced far higher than similar features in mainstream cars, and we've seen several models which offer enough high-priced options to nearly double the price of the car. If you want to avoid option confusion, consider American and Japanese brands. They tend to offer a few trim levels and a minimum of options and packages. The German manufacturers take the opposite approach, with multiple versions or trim levels, plus extensive lists of options and packages

Note, though, that some high-end features add more complication than real functionality. That said, the rapid advances in active safety systems are well worth your attention, as many systems are helpful (blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert) and some a proven lifesavers (collision-mitigation systems). Once the lone purview of the luxury class, these systems are becoming widely available. It is best to try any unfamiliar features before putting much weight on them in your purchase decision. Your salesperson should be able to explain and demonstrate any features.

Luxury Comes in Different Shapes and Sizes
Midsized luxury cars and car-based SUV models, priced from $40,000 to $60,000, are generally a sweet spot in the market, offering driving enjoyment and interior refinement without the fussiness or large footprint of a large vehicle or the complexity of cutting-edge features.

Large and heavy V8-powered luxury models tend to also cost you at the pump. Hybrid, turbocharged, and diesel powertrains are offered in a growing number of luxury sedans and SUVs to improve fuel economy, although the hybrids and diesels often come at a significant price premium. Generally, this isn't a category to explore if saving money is a primary goal.

Traditionally, most large luxury sedans employ rear-wheel drive. It is the preferred set up for ideal weight distribution, handling agility, ride comfort, and noise isolation. But rear-wheel drive is not the ideal setup for foul-weather driving, and many rear-drive luxury vehicles offer all-wheel drive as an option.

If you want a luxury car, deciding whether to choose a sedanSUV, or sporty model depends on your needs and wants. You can turn to our buying advice for those types of cars to help you narrow it down. Each category has several good vehicles to choose from, but there are several models that don't deliver on their luxury promise. Our Ratings will help you see the difference.

What You'll Spend
Entry-level compact luxury models are priced from the low $30,000s up to about $60,000 for a heavily optioned model. Midsized luxury models cover the range between $40,000 and $80,000, while the large luxury cars start around the mid-$70,000 and run well into three figures, not counting the offerings from exotic brands.

Low Rate Credit Union Financing


Today it can be stressful shopping around when getting trying to get the best rates available when making any large purchase. Here at Right Buy We understand that that why we have worked extremely hard to build relationships with several prominent lenders to be able to offer our customers the best rates possible for just about any credit situation. We really focus on our low-rate credit union financing which allows us to offer rates as low as 1.99% and as little as no money down, depending on the credit situation of our customers.*(Apply today to see if you are eligible)

To clear the air, because we know we can run into first time buyers, or people who don't know how auto financing works....we are putting forth how the process goes so people have reassurance as well as peace of mind.

Here’s how to apply online for an auto loan:

  1. Once you apply, the lender will check your credit and contact you with a decision, in some cases in less than a minute. Some lenders will do a “soft pull” of your credit, which will not damage your credit score, to pre-qualify you. Later, at the dealership, you will fill out a full credit report for final approval. Other lenders will run a full credit to get you preapproved. In both cases, the lender will offer you a amount you can borrow at a certain interest rate. Some lenders will present a range of interest rates depending on whether the loan is for a new car, a used car or an older used car.
  2. The lender will then give you a no-obligation check or email you a certificate you can take to the dealership. (Note: Some lenders have restrictions on where cars can be purchased using their loan. For example, some lenders work with a network of dealerships. Other lenders won’t grant loans to buy cars from private party sellers.)
  3. Negotiate your best deal for the car, being sure to leave enough money to cover taxes and fees. For example, if the loan is for up to $20,000, look for a car in the $15,000 range because the final price will be about $16,500 or higher.
  4. Once you pay for the car with the lender’s check the loan is finalized at the purchase amount. When using a lender’s certificate, you may be required to fill out a credit application at the dealership which will result in a slight reduction of your credit score.

Preapproval and pre-qualifying help streamline the negotiation process because you can sidestep the car seller’s favorite tactic: the monthly payment game. If you negotiate for a monthly payment instead of the price of the car, it’s easy for the salesman to obscure the real price. But when you are preapproved, you become a “cash buyer,” meaning that you can ignore the monthly payment question and concentrate on negotiating only the price when shopping for a new car.

Here are other points to keep in mind as you shop for an online car loan:

  • Apply to several lenders to find your best interest rate. Lenders who only do “soft pulls” of your credit, don’t damage your borrowing ability. But it’s still smart to make all your loan applications within a two-week period to minimize damage to your credit score that can be caused by multiple credit checks over an extended period.
  • Be sure to also check the loan terms offered by your bank or credit union. Their rates are often very competitive with online lenders.
  • Gather documents you might need before beginning the loan application process: driver’s license, bank account numbers and pay stubs.
  • Set up your loan so you pay it off as quickly as you comfortably can. Shorter terms usually mean lower interest rates.
  • Be careful: If you’re shopping at a dealership, the finance manager will probably try to “flip” you — get you to use the carmaker’s financing. It doesn’t hurt to hear the pitch, but make sure all the terms — particularly the length of the payback period — are the same so you can accurately compare the dealership’s offer to your preapproved loan.

When shopping for a car loan, it’s important to be realistic. Just because interest rates are low doesn’t mean you should buy too much car. And remember, the most important thing for you, your budget and your credit score is to keep up with the payments and get the loan paid off on time.

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