December 15, 2012, 9:41 am
Originally Posted by bmw_or_audi
Here is my take on the luxury part.
In the US, BMW is considered a luxury brand. The 3 is considered an entry level luxury car, but that still mean luxury though. Although one has to wonder about the fact that the most common configuration seems to be no-line with plastic seats, often with plastic silver trim. How luxurious is that?
And here is my take on the Luxury part: The BMW 3 Series is two cars, not one.
$36,000 Entry Level Stripper
$50,000 Luxury Sport Sedan
Those spending $349 for a base model and those spending $599 for a loaded model are two completely different people driving two completely different cars for two completely different reasons. The $349 people are competing with Honda and Volkswagen, deliberately choosing the de-featured option of the group. The $599 people are competing with Mercedes and Lexus, choosing full comfort/luxury features as BMW intended.
It's been this way for awhile, not exactly rocket science, but in this forum the streams get crossed and the discussions get animated because we've got a bunch of 50 year old's driving $50,000 Luxury models, some 40 year olds in $45,000 Sport models, and a whole bunch of 30 year olds in $36,000 base models. We're all talking at once, we're all seeing things from our own points of view, we're failing to see the big picture.
When you step back, you'll see that to the "average" non-BMW owner, we're all driving "yuppie luxury cars" from their perspective.
When you step back, you'll see that the $50,000 F30 driver and the $36,000 F30 driver are the same people just at different ages and life stages. 15 years ago I was a $36,000 driver and bought CPO and kept my cars for 5 years. Now I'm a $50,000 driver and lease because I know better.
So when you say "the 3 is considered an entry level luxury car", it depends on who is looking at it. Is it a family in Boise who makes $49,000 a year in annual income? Is it an executive with a net worth of $4M? Is it a college kid in Buffalo whose moving up from a Mini? Is it a spendthrift in Massachusetts driving a 10 year old car into the ground?
The 3 Series is many different cars to many different people. That's really the beauty of it. BMW has built it in such a way that it can be whatever it's customers want it to be- something we should all be embracing.