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Hi everyone, I'm the type that views cars essentially the same as screwdrivers or any other functional tool. The issue is that my industry is highly image-conscious, and driving around in a compact is seen about the same as greeting the client in shorts, flip-flops, and a Hawaiian shirt. So with this in mind my next car purchase is going to be something that satisfies people's perception of status.

The most obvious solution would probably be a BMW five or seven series, or equivalent Mercedes. But the truth is I dislike luxury cars so much that I'd hate myself for going through with it. So I'm thinking of going another route and either purchasing a car that costs less but has high perceived value, a.k.a. a nice-looking Hyundai with the badges taken off. OR a car that's a few years older but has an appeal to it that stands the test of time. Nothing too old though.

Hopefully the car guys in the room can point me in the right direction. What would you recommend for me?

Thank you for your advice

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NoMoneyInMyWallet (May. 10, 2013 @ 11:34p) |

1990*91 Toyota Cressida, 2000 or 2001 Toyota Camry 4cyl. Lexus GS300 from early to mid 2000's.

in2dadark (Jun. 23, 2013 @ 8:29p) |

Those are just old hoopties.

dishdude (Jun. 23, 2013 @ 9:31p) |

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Crown Vic / endthread

lincoln town car. the dressed up crown vic.

Industry and location?

Industry and location?

sjwaste said:   Industry and location?
OP-- Do you drive clients around in your car? Why exactly do you need a "nice" car?

One luxury cop out car, that fits in any lot and can be purchased for in $20Ks new is a Prius.

Prius.

Infiniti G35/G37. Really good bang-for-the-buck for performance, looks and reliability. Engine is bullet-proof.

Infiniti M35. Bigger car, more bells and whistles

Look for an older luxury car. Early 2000s Infiniti M45 in the low teens, mid 2000s Audi A6/A8 in the upper teens, any 10-year old Mercedes, etc


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jb0506 said:   Prius.

This is the best answer because even when parked next to $100k cars, people will just assume you're environmentally conscious rather than poor. Just keep it in mint condition and no one will think twice. It is the only cheap car that is right at home parked by bentleys and mercedes. Have you seen Curb Your Enthusiasm? Even with a $10m house, he parks his Prius out front.

Chrysler 300 or 300M. I think this car looks like an expensive car but does not cost like one.

jb0506 said:   Prius.First post got deleted, so let me try again.

Like it or not, certain cars do project certain images. Just make sure that the car you choose conjures up the image that you want to portray.

I'm still curious about the industry. If it was so important for the company, they should be buying/leasing the car. Otherwise, I'd drive whatever I wanted. Can't really see it making a difference.

Acura NSX. Fun sports car, but not the typical perception that a Vette or other mid life crisis car would have. This will give you more status than any cookie cutter BMW, Merc, Lexus. You can pick up a decent one in the 45-50K range.

Take a look at the Lexus sc 430 hardtop convertible. I have a 2002 which looks almost identical to the 2010 the last year of production. Great looking car and reliable. A 2005 with about 60k can be had for around 22kif you can find one. I get compliments frequently on my car.

Seriously, I'd go with a Lincoln Town Car, as has been mentioned, but barring that, you can pick up a new or previously owned (Certified, from a dealer) Cadillac. A Caddy will satisfy anyone that thinks "Buy American!" and satisfy the types that expect you to drive a status luxury car in the first place. A nice, well-maintained, detailed Caddy is timeless.

I remember a time when a car really was a status symbol. These days the cars in the high school parking lot are better than the cars in the fortune 500 executive parking lot.

How about something like a restored classic car? '64 Mustang convertible or similar.

Hard to know what to suggest without knowing the industry.

Buy a fully loaded Prius (any year) or a fully loaded 2013 Ford Fusion hybrid/plug-in (looks like an Aston Martin on the front). You'll make up some of the extra money wasted with gas savings. When the client steps inside either car, he will not think you're trying to be cheap. Client will think you're trying to reduce your carbon footprint.

My sister is in another industry where image matters. She had to buy a fully loaded SUV even though she'd be happy with a FW-approved Crown Vic.

Get a BMW. But watch out when you're backing towards the curb. They're a bitch!

How about a classic convertible. Something that looks stylish due to vintage appeal

dcwilbur said:   jb0506 said:   Prius.First post got deleted, so let me try again.

Like it or not, certain cars do project certain images. Just make sure that the car you choose conjures up the image that you want to portray.

I'm still curious about the industry. If it was so important for the company, they should be buying/leasing the car. Otherwise, I'd drive whatever I wanted. Can't really see it making a difference.

I do agree that a Prius does project a certain image, but -- according to OP -- so does his less than new sub-compact.

In this case, he's replacing one image for another. The only question is whether that new image is a sufficient improvement.

You must be in real estate. Lease whatever you need and just consider it a cost of doing business. But be honest with yourself, is an expensive car *really* necessary for work or are you just succumbing to peer pressure. And if it's so vital for sales, why doesn't your company provide you with one?

Agreed, how about a 63 dodge dart convertible?

lindylady said:   How about a classic convertible. Something that looks stylish due to vintage appeal

If someone I was doing business with was driving a 60k+ car, I'm pretty sure my first impression would be "I'm going to get ripped off".

RedCelicaGT said:   If someone I was doing business with was driving a 60k+ car, I'm pretty sure my first impression would be "I'm going to get ripped off".
^ This

I remember meeting a few contractors for an addition we were doing. Some of them showed up with $60K+ pickups with custom lift kits, winches and whatnot. My only thought was... guess who's paying for that? Me. I eventually went with the guy who had a 10 year old 2WD Ford Ranger (he could have had a stable of a dozen collectors cars in an air conditioned garage for all know).

Anyway, along the Prius lineage, you could go for a Lexus hybrid (RX450h, GS450h or CT200h). These cars project the "I'm sort of a baller but I still want people to think I care about the environment"

Delta223 said:   purchasing a car that costs less but has high perceived value, a.k.a. a nice-looking Hyundai with the badges taken off.

Hahahahaha, I don't think any car "with the badges taken off" is going to be perceived as having high value. They'll probably think it's stolen.

Usually Peeps that buy the base model (528i instead of 550i for example) take the badges off. But, of course, the only people who actually would give a rat's ass what emblem is on the car are the same ones who can tell the base model apart from the more powerful ones. So, really, nobody is fooled.


qcumber98 said:   Get a BMW. But watch out when you're backing towards the curb. They're a bitch!OK, I have to ask, why are curbs a bitch?

Sonofspam said:   qcumber98 said:   Get a BMW. But watch out when you're backing towards the curb. They're a bitch!OK, I have to ask, why are curbs a bitch?Why

Ha1o said:   RedCelicaGT said:   If someone I was doing business with was driving a 60k+ car, I'm pretty sure my first impression would be "I'm going to get ripped off".
^ This

I remember meeting a few contractors for an addition we were doing. Some of them showed up with $60K+ pickups with custom lift kits, winches and whatnot. My only thought was... guess who's paying for that? Me. I eventually went with the guy who had a 10 year old 2WD Ford Ranger (he could have had a stable of a dozen collectors cars in an air conditioned garage for all know).


My mom says the same thing when I ask why her and my dad don't get sport utility vehicles for their businesses and I don't understand it. If I agree on the price of a job and then see the person pull up in a Rolls Royce, why would it all of a sudden be an unfair price? If anything, I would think they must be really good at what they do to be able to afford that. A dentist we do business with just bought a Range Rover sport and her first thought was, "That means he will be charging more.".

happened to see Tesla S receiving good review; I'd go with that over the Prius.

My current RE guy drives a caddy station wagon. Rides/drives nicer than an SUV but still has a lot of cargo spaces. I liked it a lot better than being stuffed in my older RE agent's 3 series or scions.

RedCelicaGT said:   If someone I was doing business with was driving a 60k+ car, I'm pretty sure my first impression would be "I'm going to get ripped off".

That's the kind of shallow thinking that keeps poor people poor. As a business person, I want to be in the company of other successful people that has made money. If someone is helping me make money, I don't mind sharing the wealth so that he/she brings me more money making opportunities. Making these types of connections, developing a network of capable successful people, is extremely valuable.

Delta223 said:   Hi everyone, I'm the type that views cars essentially the same as screwdrivers or any other functional tool. The issue is that my industry is highly image-conscious, and driving around in a compact is seen about the same as greeting the client in shorts, flip-flops, and a Hawaiian shirt. So with this in mind my next car purchase is going to be something that satisfies people's perception of status.

The most obvious solution would probably be a BMW five or seven series, or equivalent Mercedes. But the truth is I dislike luxury cars so much that I'd hate myself for going through with it. So I'm thinking of going another route and either purchasing a car that costs less but has high perceived value, a.k.a. a nice-looking Hyundai with the badges taken off. OR a car that's a few years older but has an appeal to it that stands the test of time. Nothing too old though.

Hopefully the car guys in the room can point me in the right direction. What would you recommend for me?

Thank you for your advice


My brother in law is a banker, and his bank has rules as to what someone at his level (4th from the top) is supposed to drive. He had a G35, then G37, and finally the bank told him he can't be seen driving in cheap cars. He told them that with the car allowance they give him, that is all he can afford, when he takes into account gas, insurance, and car payments. He was driving a beat up Ford Escort before he got to the level where he was receiving car allowance, and he is not going to spend a portion of his paycheck to make the bank look good.

They bought him a $70K Audi and gave him a gas card.

If your profession/position requires you to drive a respectable vehicle, ask your employer for one.

AcidSpectrum said:   happened to see Tesla S receiving good review; I'd go with that over the Prius.

Right but now you are talking about $60k vs $20k vehicle.

Hypersion said:   My current RE guy drives a caddy station wagon. Rides/drives nicer than an SUV but still has a lot of cargo spaces. I liked it a lot better than being stuffed in my older RE agent's 3 series or scions.

And by caddy station wagon do you mean hearse?

Skipping 3 Messages...
in2dadark said:   1990*91 Toyota Cressida, 2000 or 2001 Toyota Camry 4cyl. Lexus GS300 from early to mid 2000's.

Those are just old hoopties.



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