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Why are so many inferior vehicles considered status symbols?

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Comments

  • vchiuvchiu Posts: 565
    >I think the cut-off for eternal damnation should be 100K and should be increased at the same rate as the annual inflation rate.

    I agree. Lest us pray the Almighty to send to hell anyone buying for less than 100k. The uneducated, helpless mass buys cheaply produced cars that clog our roads and look anonymous. Only those who value the cars enough and pay the real money should be allowed to have a taste of Heaven.

    This should exclude anorexic reasons.

    Of course, the 2CV is exempt...
    :)
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,764
    Of course, the 2CV is exempt...

    I would suspect that being stuck with a 2CV is the equivalent of purgatory.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I don't think BMW makes inferior vehicles that are considered status symbols. They arene't exclusive, they are good mainstream vehicles. I know that when I plunk down $42 large for a loaded E90, I can get better vehicles such as the Expedition, Jeep Grand Cherokee, maybe evan an IS350.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Well don't tell the 3 series fans that. They think BMW's are inferior status vehicles. ;)

    Rocky
  • vchiuvchiu Posts: 565
    Thid depends on what you mean by "stuck". If stuck means the vehicle has broken down, then (at least in France) the repair bill may be much cheaper with 2CV than many other brands.

    Depending on what one means with "inferior" and "Status symbol", it seems this car really enters the category. Owning one is Hype but will be always regarded with sympathy (if not compassion) in that country.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "I think the cut-off for eternal damnation should be 100K and should be increased at the same rate as the annual inflation rate."

    I had a talk with the almighty and he said the cutoff is now $20K. It was conveyed to me, and I was asked to spread the word that we should all be driving Hyundais. I suspect that once word gets out about this Land Rovers should be available for a mere pittance.
  • ayyateayyate Posts: 53
    Well put. The original message suggests that reliability is the primary reason to choose a particular vehicle. I rank uniqueness, performance, pride of ownership, above reliability. After all, that's why God invented warranties. As long as Audi will repair my A8 at no charge and give me a loaner car, I will not be concerned about the occasional problem. Furthermore, owners of the allegedly less reliable BMW's, Range Rovers, and others listed probably have another car in the garage.
  • ayyateayyate Posts: 53
    It is a reasonable question. One that has been asked long before there was a Lexus or an Acura.

    Part of the answer is effective marketing on the part of those manufacturers. That is one reason why Rolex watches and Mont Blanc pens are so often thought of, by the uninformed, as the best in their respective niches, when they are clearly not.

    And who says reliability should rank first anyway? Isn't that what warranties and loaner car programs are for?

    I have no answer for the existence of the Hummer, however. That one baffles me.
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,078
    would you consider a Scion xB as a status symbol (or even Frugal Symbol) now that Kelley Blue Book has listed it as the #2 of top 10 hottest / most wanted vehicles?

    Odie
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,764
    I wouldn't call a $17,000 car a status symbol.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,859
    It might be one in high school or something

    At the same time 17K can buy a vintage car that the layman will think is much more expensive.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,764
    When I was in high school what made status was how many cars you could keep behind you ;)

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    LOL..... Ain't that the truth for your generation. :D

    My Generation was all about who had the most "bass" and how many times did it make your heart skip beats. :shades:

    Rocky
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,859
    I think that all comes back to the idea/fact that some vehicles have status to some and none to others. When I was in school, it was measured by the loudness of your exhaust or the jacked-up-ness of your pickup. My school was kinda redneck.

    Something tells me a DTS with a carriage top is a status item to 80 year olds.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,764
    Right now I think status for kids is how stupid they can make their car look.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    LOL. Why do old folks like them fintail ?

    Rocky
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,859
    I think because these oldsters were hitting their peak earning power around 1972, when such things were in style.
  • ayyateayyate Posts: 53
    From one oldster who was there at the time, fins hit their peak in 1959. Even then, people knew it was ridiculous and would not last. By the way, the manufacturer of the car with the "distinction" of having the highest fins was GM.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    "I think that all comes back to the idea/fact that some vehicles have status to some and none to others."

    Relative status indeed...I knew a friend of a friend who, upon inheriting a decent amount of money from a recently-deceased uncle, immediately went out and bought himself a fully-loaded Pontiac Firebird. He was esp. happy it had a 6-disc cd player so he could put all of his Def Leppard cds in at once... ;)
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,707
    a Pontiac Firebird.

    A most natural thought, indeed! ;)

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,859
    Yeah, I was talking about carriage/landau tops though, not fins. Fins are cool compared to vinyl tops.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,026
    cars had enough creases to them, and other intricate details, that they could wear a vinyl roof with some dignity. Now a carriage roof is a whole 'nother story. IMO there are only three designs that I've ever seen that could pull off a carriage roof...

    1) 1980-85 Cadillac Seville
    2) 1979-85 Eldo/Toro/Riv
    3) 1980-83 Cordoba/Mirada

    One thing these cars all have in common is frameless door windows. Their styling is also very crisp and angular. And except for the Seville, none of them have a B-pillar. In the case of the coupes, it actually does a semi-reasonable job of making them look like a convertible with the top up. And on the Seville, which is a neoclassic design anyway, it somehow seems to work.

    Still, I'd prefer any of these cars WITHOUT the carriage roof!

    However, once cars started getting more rounded and aero, and especially with the advent of limousine-style doors that cut up into the roof and do away with those traditional rain gutters, the vinyl roof just doesn't work. I think another factor is the beltline and C-pillar area. On many modern cars, the sheetmetal flows, relatively unobstructed, down the C-pillar and into the quarter panel, and the beltline basically stops right at the rear side window. However, on many older designs, the beltline would carry on out to the back of the car, creating a bit of a "hip" at the base of the C-pillar. On cars like this, a vinyl roof and especially a carriage roof look really out of place. I think that with older cars, the raingutters, "hips" at the base of the C-pillar, and other various chrome trim helped provide a sort of visual frame that could effectively be filled with vinyl.

    It just doesn't work with newer cars, though. Although with something like a Chrysler 300, it could wear a vinyl roof much better than, say, an Intrepid or Concorde!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,859
    The carriage roof is the thicker version, right?

    I still remember seeing a Sable and even a Topaz (!) with a thick vinyl top.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,026
    a carriage roof as a treatment that simulates a convertible with the top up. Kinda like this Mark V or this Cordoba LS

    In contrast, a vinyl roof often came in many styles, with varying degrees of padding. There were styles that covered the whole roof of the car, or landau styles, which just covered the roof from the B-pillar back, or in the case of many hardtops, from the C-pillar back. Landaus were usually used on coupes, but Chrysler found a way to force them onto sedans starting with the 1979 New Yorker, and culminating with perhaps the 1993 Imperial, or maybe the last (1995?) LeBaron sedan. Then there was kind of a reverse landau style, where the rear part was metal and the vinyl just covered the area in front of the C-pillar or B-pillar.

    Here's an example of an aftermarket roof on a car that simply does not need it. I guess I'd classify it as a thickly padded landau roof. There are also a few other things I'd classify it as, but I don't think they're printable. :P
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,859
    Aaah OK. I mix the terms.

    I remember when I was a kid someone in town had a current (mid 80s) Mustang with a carriage roof. Even then, I would call it the "fake convertible".

    It seems most modern cars to get vinyl get it padded pretty thick. Maybe it would be less revolting if it was thinner, as I think was more common on 70s mainstream cars. Less revolting, but not tolerable.

    I just can't see how this stuff can exist today.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,026
    like that Grand Marquis I posted, it seems like the vinyl portions are too thick and too squared-off, and just don't flow with the rest of the car.

    I agree, that if they just made it thinner, it would help alot. Not as much as just going with a plain steel roof, but still better than that thick stuff!
  • ubbermotorubbermotor Posts: 307
    How about "pop art" paint, red-line tires, under dash record players, continental kits. Would that be a sweet xB? :D
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,764
    a sweet xB

    a sweet xB? isn't that an oxymoron? I mean when I see one I expect it to say "when I grow up I want to be a Brinks truck". Ok I will admit that everyone has the right to make a ugly car, but Toyota is abusing the privilege

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    I think one of the things that separates "insipired ugly" from just plain ugly is intent. The xB was designed to be purposely outrageous, and as such, it kinda works (it's not my thing, but I can kinda see it...)

    But take something like the Aztec, which Pontiac earnestly thought was going to be the next big thing in SUVs, and it's just terrible.
This discussion has been closed.