Did you know Expats have only 4 brands to choose from? Why the SUV craze?

Hi Hackrs,

I’m an expat who has moved here on work for 4 years and on checking around with fellow expats I realized in the first 6 months ( till you build up a credit history) you can only choose from BMW, Mercedes, Audi or VW - surprisingly all European brands for leasing. Aren’t the American brands missing a trick here? All of them charge an MF of 3-4 % too.

Why the SUV craze - Am I missing a trick for all the single guys and girls buying an SUV? Is sedan not an option for a reason?

The forum has really helped understand American leasing terms and rip-offs. Thanks.

Americans are dumb and have been brainwashed into thinking they need SUVs by marketing


Why not? The downside of an SUV has dwindled in recent years. Now you cam get one just as efficient as a sedan, yet larger boot and easier ingress/egress. I have many options (sedan, coupe, minivan, and SUV), and the SUV has the smallest footprint, best mileage, and 2nd best utility next to the van. The only advantage with the sedan is performance. If I’m going out for fun, the sedan gets the nod, but the SUV is the better everyday vehicle.

Marketing. Americans will gladly pay a significant amount more for leasing base American suvs than the European or even Japanese competition.

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Interesting how certain words are innately ethnocentric: as an American I only think of expats as Americans working abroad (having dealt with/accommodated many) - to us, you’re here on a work visa. Either way, welcome from wherever you expatriated from.

I’m not aware of it being just a euro-brand. I’m aware of several Japanese brands whose captive lease to work visas as long as:

  • you have established credit history, and
  • your visa is valid during the term of your lease (many many captives and lenders were burned in 2003 and 2008 by folks who parked their cars at the airports and just went home)

Ehh. With 6 months credit history on a visa you shouldn’t expect A-tier/Tier-1. That said, you get a score like anyone, and land on the rate sheet accordingly. BMW only has 1 MF, VW can very across make and model.

If you can lease, you can lease anything you want. Fat Americans like big cup holders, “riding up high”, and buying a vehicle for the least likely scenario (not unlike buying a house for the dining room because Christmas and Easter).

Better said. Because when gas is cheap, Americans want to drive Tahoes and Suburbans, most are built here or as close to here to reduce shipping costs and currency risk. Why BMW builds all the X models in South Carolina and MB builds most SUVs in Alabama (also: non-union labor in their case).

Enjoy our fast food and vaping :v:t2::v:t2:


Have you driven a wagon? Car handling with SUV room. Only missing the easier egress.

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That is the problem. Most of us need a car right away and can’t wait 6 months. I feel the other companies are missing an opportunity to sell. You can always verify how much you make with your employer and every category of visa has a minimum pay grade, which makes it easier.

Ha… ha… that is universal. Marketing gets you to buy aspirational stuff and pay for features you don’t need.

What about in the looks department? I agree it is a great car, but I’m not sure if it is the first choice for single men and women. What do you think?


Definitely a bad look if you’re trying to stay single, I agree


Then write a check. You driving around in the captive’s collateral, and by the objective measure they use and model risk, you return NULL.

The car has to come back in 24-39 months in very good/resell-able condition. You don’t have a credit score so how do they model that risk?

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I enjoy the sleeper. Hide your wealth rather than flash it. If you disagree, see RS6 above :smirk:

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Are you from Europe, perhaps UK specifically? Bear in mind that the Euro brands are able to consider your UK or EU credit history largely because, well, that’s where they’re from and have a deep well of credit based knowledge of.

For other manufacturers, I wouldn’t say they’re ‘missing a trick’, more that it isn’t really worth their effort and the credit risk to vet out non-US credit history for what is, overall, a fairly small market base.

Of course. I have owned a few and love them. But they are rare here and command a premium. Due to supply and demand, an SUV is often cheaper than a wagon.


Better question to ask is what are the clear disadvantages of an SUV?
Money talks - people buy, manufacturer makes.

Who would have thought there would be an X3M competition? …Competition what? Who will make it home first from soccer practice?


Agreed! Also (for OP), probably best to not pursue “love” based on how much they like your car.

(In this picture, I actually prefer the look of the wagon over the F Pace)


Is that true?

I had no idea. Good tidbit.

Really? That’s all you have. That is an absurd statement. Are there dumb Americans, sure just like there are dumb people from every country. There is more innovation in just about every field of study coming out of the US than any other country.

Americans like SUVs because it gives them more room. Gas is cheap here compared to the rest of the world so fuel economy isn’t a concern and parking is ample aside from most big cities so the large cars aren’t an issue.


And, people drive like @$$hats/always looking down at their phones, so I want my wife and child in the biggest vehicle possible. I have no problem admitting that.

While a Hyundai Veloster may have good scores according to US News, I’d take our Land Rover in a head on collision any day.

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Ingress/egress claims made by SUV advocates don’t really hold water IMO. Otherwise minivans would be way more popular than 3-row SUVs.

It’s a “lifestyle choice” yet people try to make postfacto claims about how rational they were