Is Buying a Luxury SUV a Waste of Money These Days?

The SUV market is booming in America, and automakers have many different types and trims of SUVs on the market right now. Like any other car body type, there are luxury SUVs too. That said, luxury SUVs, as nice as they are, might be a total waste of money these days, here’s why. 

Why go luxury in the first place?

As Len Penzo wrote, there really isn’t a practical reason to go with a luxury SUV to begin with. At the end of the day, spending a lot of money on something won’t change the practical value it provides you. So, if something can give you a similar practical value, there isn’t a really good reason to spend more money for it.

One of the main reasons why luxury vehicles are popular is because they’re so impressive. They have a “Wow!” factor that can turn heads and make people think highly of you. But the reality is, that’s all that it is, according to Len Penzo. Other than impressing people, a luxury vehicle probably won’t give you any practical benefits over buying and driving a regular one. This is especially true for SUVs.

The hidden costs of ownership

On top of that, buying a luxury vehicle to impress people is also financially stupid, according to Len Penzo. Not only does a luxury SUV simply cost more to buy, but there are also a lot of hidden costs to simply own and drive one. For instance, unless you go for an environmentally-conscious one like a Tesla Model X, your fuel costs will probably rise. 

Additionally, as The Hidden Dollar said, there are four big hidden costs of buying a luxury SUV. While most repair shops can easily handle repairing the average SUV, a luxury model will probably have so many features and gizmos that you’ll need to take it to a specialized repair shop. Your mileage may vary there as The Hidden Dollar says that the number of certified repair shops that can fix a luxury SUV may be very far from where you live.

Then there’s the fact that any damage to your luxury SUV may cost more to repair just because it’s full of luxury parts. This is particularly worrying for parents as, like The Hidden Dollar said, any damage or spilled drinks from your kids may cost more to fix than usual. 

On top of that, depreciation can eat up the value of your luxury vehicle over the years. The Hidden Dollar says that a luxury SUV may depreciate anywhere between 50% to 75%, and that’s a massive amount of money for any luxury SUV.

This means that after a few years, your luxury SUV may be worth less than half of what you bought it at. Regular SUVs from brands that don’t depreciate as much, like Toyota, may only depreciate about 36%, for comparison.

Lastly, The Hidden Dollar says that vehicular theft could be a big issue with luxury SUVs. Thieves may target someone who looks wealthy rather than someone who doesn’t. This could mean you may find a broken window and a missing bag if your luxury SUV isn’t properly secured. 

There are more practical alternatives

At the end of the day, practicality should matter more than impressing others. The Kia Telluride has been winning awards left and right, and it is one of the most capable and practical SUVs on the market today. But it’s not a luxury SUV, and it’s not priced like one as a result. 

Obviously, a Telluride won’t have what a $100,000 luxury SUV will in terms of gadgets and features. But for its $32,000 starting price tag, it has a lot. And the Telluride isn’t the only practical SUV that’s affordable and loaded with features, either. No matter which SUV you choose though, luxury SUVs don’t seem to be worth the money these days.