This 2013 BMW 320i Starts At $32,550, Although This Melbourne Red Paint
Adds $550 And Optioning Up From Leatherette To Leather Costs $1450. The Only Non-M
3-Series Sedan With A Base Price Above $45,000 Is The 335i xDrive, At $45,150
In order to better display which cars well-off Americans are buying, GoodCarBadCar has severely altered the format of the monthly U.S. best-selling luxury vehicles list. The format is explained below the table, but it should be noted that the main reason for exploring this new way of defining “luxury” is based more on cost and less on alleged brand image. In fact, it’s based exclusively on cost and not at all on brand image.
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When Americans choose to spend at least 50% more than the average new car buyer spends, the money is often spent on a Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Compared with January 2012, E-Class sales rose 34% last month. Buyers choose between a sedan, coupe, convertible, and wagon. Mercedes-Benz USA also sold 553 CLS-Class sedans in January, a decline of 5%. Audi sold 698 A7 hatchbacks to go along with 1259 A6 sedans.
The BMW X5 outsold the Mercedes-Benz M-Class by 1156 units in January as X5 sales shot up 57% and M-Class sales fell 27%. The X5 was thus America’s “best-selling” luxury SUV, although the inclusion of less costly premium brand utilities would show the $39,660-$46,310 Lexus RX at 5394 sales. As for less expensive premium brand cars outselling the pricey ones in this group, Mercedes-Benz’s own C-Class ($35,350-$62,330) posted an 11% jump to 7214 sales in January 2013.
Source: Manufacturers & ANDC Red font indicates year-over-year declining sales $45,000 USD (before delivery) is an arbitrary borderline, but if GCBC was to follow this new system of designating only expensive vehicles as luxury vehicles, adding approximately $15,000 to the average new car transaction price seemed like a fitting place to begin. Plenty of less expensive vehicles with specific models feature prices above $45,000 – M, RS, and AMG models come to mind, specifically – but in the case of this list, we know that none of the registrations were of cars priced at $32,550, as would be the case with the new BMW 320i, which costs less than a Honda Accord V6 Touring. The list has been cut from 30 to 15 – 30 “best sellers” would have made up a large portion of the 50-odd vehicles on sale in America with base prices above $45,000 and would have therefore diluted the “best-selling” message. The biggest problem with a $45,000 minimum price of entry? Cars like the Cadillac XTS, which starts at $44,075, and SUVs like the $44,655 GMC Yukon XL.