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Luxury Autos: Not Just for the Rich Anymore

They turn heads. They set daydreams into motion. They have even been known to cause jealousy. Luxury autos have long been some of the most powerful attractions on the face of the earth. People come for miles to see and drive luxury cars. Kings have even been know to misappropriate funds to buy them. Why? Because luxury autos are more popular now than ever.

New England (U.S.A.) holds an annual rally for luxury cars with V-12 engines. The "Forza Mile V-12" is a five-day, 1,000 mile rally exclusively for V-12 powered cars. Every year owners of Mercedes, Astons, Cadillacs and other luxury autos join together for this highly popular road rally that celebrates high-powered luxury cars.

Those of royal status also crave luxury. In fact, Nepal's king was reported for taking £1.5 million from his election budget to purchase a Jaguar, a Rolls Royce and another unnamed luxury auto. Around the globe, from sedans to roadsters, everyone seems to be in on the luxury car craze. When did it all start?

In the golden days of luxury cars, names like Rolls Royce, Bentley or Cadillac were only uttered by those with names like Rockefeller and Windsor. That's because luxury cars were driven exclusively by people who lived a lifestyle of luxury. Not so today.

The luxury auto market is still largely made up of officers and executives of companies. However, people from other classes and income brackets are fast becoming owners of luxury sedans and SUVs, too. In fact, a Land Rover Freelander starts at only around £23,700 and a BMW 318i Coupé starts at only around £27,200 making luxury more affordable than it has ever been.

Even automakers formally known for producing economical vehicles are getting into the luxury car act. Volkswagen is a prime example. For years, the most expensive sedan produced by Volkswagen was the Passat, which started at a mere £19,500. In recent years, VW has produced a luxury SUV (Touareg) starting at £38,000. Volkswagen also produced a luxury sedan (Phaeton) starting at £45,000. Companies such as the JCB Group car dealers in Kent have seen an increase in sales of VW's in recent years and predict the trend is going to continue for a while yet.

Other well-known brands such as Audi and Mercedes also offer models that start below £25,000 making them affordable to middle-class buyers.

Why the Luxury Car Craze?

Luxury car owners from every class have long cited their motives for driving luxury autos like those from BMW, Lexus or Infiniti. Some of the most common reasons include:

Styling - Body styles are attractive and distinguished. Generally, changes in styling are subtle from year to year so cars don't look outdated as frequently.
Performance - Luxury cars simply drive better. Handling and speed are always cited as benefits by executives who drive luxury autos.
Features - Oftentimes, the most advanced features are only available on luxury autos. For example, where else but on a luxury car would you find a "W-12?" (Two conjoined V-6s.) Or 493 horsepower? Or electric seats with 18-position memory? A navigation system with voice recognition? Or a Bose 10-speaker, surround sound stereo?
Better Manufacturing - Survey after survey has repeatedly shown that luxury autos require fewer repairs on average and perform with consistency over longer periods of time.
Prestige - Of course, owning a luxury auto means you get the prestige associated with its brand. There's just something about driving a car with an impressive brand name that leaves you feeling more successful.

As the Baby Boomer population demands more for less, automakers are listening. This generation is known for getting what it asks for. In addition, the costs of producing exceptional vehicles with advanced technology is decreasing every year.

If you've been craving a luxury car, check with your local car dealerships to see if lower-priced models are available. Chances are, you can have a luxury sedan or SUV - and all the benefits that come with ownership - for less than you previously thought.

Catherine Lennon is a copywriter and a contributing editor for www.SearchandGo.com, a special features portal and directory that provides up to the minute information on every subject imaginable. If you need info… Search and Go!

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