Luxury cars, can't learn to love them

Is it me or am I on crack or something, the Range Rover velar interior feels cheap as hell. Everything is light and the ride isn’t as good compared to a q5 or a xc60.

Brands vs models is a good point. That could be missing idea for me. Perhaps I was wrong thinking that brand matters.

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Not everyone can justify the price increase for higher-end brands and even within, not every single one is created equal. Some focus on more a “luxury” feel (Mercedes) and others focus on “sportiness” (BMW). And not everyone’s butt sensor is calibrated to feel the small differences in driving dynamics. In the end, if it isn’t for you, that is okay. You will save more money sticking with non-luxury brands.

With that said, I have never driven an Outback or been in one, so I can’t comment on that. But if you are looking at sub-$90k, go and drive a Cayenne, X5, GLE, and RR Sport. If you can’t tell the difference between them, then buy whichever is the cheapest or you like the best. I would say 75% of luxury buyers buy for the name anyways.


Save your money then. If you can’t tell the power train is different or chassis then don’t bother.

Yeah, i am still to try out GLE and Cayenne. But otherwise, i see the point.

Make sure you push on the interior trim to test Mercedes’ patented “squeaky” interior. (Not a good thing BTW).


I have not driven the 2020+ (Same Forester / diff Outback) so none of this probably matters:

  • as someone who has only had 4-cyls, many with a Turbo, I found the (no longer sold) H6 to be a much more enjoyable ride (smoother, less whiny, more power). I never preferred a 6-cyl prior, in anything I drove that offered both
  • I am a car person, I prefer the Outback ride height to the Forester, no matter how similar the chassis are
  • There were slight differences in the infotainment that annoyed me in the Forester. Subaru has gotten better, but for a long time those 2 models with 4 trims meant 6-8 different radio head units and infotainment software.
  • While the safety tech is comparable, Sensus is actually wayyyy more polished that the Subaru system. LEGO va Duplo
  • The Touring has (had?) a bunch more chrome accents, and different colored roof rails, that I would have wanted chrome-deleted after. The most expensive trim looks the cheapest to me.

It comes down to personal preferences:

I understand why people like the up-high/fish-bowl ride of the Forester: not for me.

After a car accident and (now 2) back surgeries, seat comfort has never been more important. If you laugh about lumbar support being removed from the passenger seat due to shortages, know I can’t ever be your passenger (win for you). That said: of the Japanese /non-premium brands, the Subaru seats are the most adjustable and comfortable IMO, but they don’t hold a candle to the Volvo seats in a base Momentum, let alone an Inscription (I can’t sit in an R-Design more than 10 minutes).

The XC60 ride height is still more SUV than car, but akin to the Forester and the V60 rides much most like a car to me. For what was another $200+ on the lease payment (XC60 → V60 same trim/MSRP), it was a compromise I could live with.

The T6 + Polestar is a much smoother/more powerful ride than the Outback H6 IMO.

I could have been perfectly fine in an Outback Limited paying $117/mo less, but so far zero regrets on the Volvo.

Does it help/matter that the lease prior was a Ford CMax, and if they had not stop making it I probably would have leased a third? That the GTI between both CMaxes was not as comfortable and only slightly more fun to drive.

We all have different priorities and preferences. What brings us together is acquiring and renting a new one every 2-3 years, as inexpensively as possible. Just drive what you like.


You should try the 4xE…stiff upright seating will blow you mind. You’ll get in and think “well, this sucks”, but a bit later totally forget about your back.

(Seven inch scar, a few years before microsurgery)

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If you can’t tell the difference between an X5 and an Outback then I think it’s good for you actually, don’t need to spend more.

I just bought a base X5 (with just leather seat upgrade) and the ride quality is so much more refined than my wife’s XC60.


There’s no arguing that nicer trims of most mainstream brands have many luxurious features that not long ago would have been only available to the top end of the market. What’s on the top side of that blurred line that makes other makes/models ‘luxury’ depends on your priorities when it comes to performance, amenities, tech, etc.

It’s changed over the past few generations as well. Luxury used to mostly cater to the older, high-income demographic which translated to lots of pillowy leather and glossy wood trim. If you wanted high performance you bought a Porsche and put up with as much black plastic as a current generation Dodge. But high-income tastes broadened and included more focus on driving dynamics and tech. There’s no way you would have found carbon-fiber interior trim on a serious ‘luxury’ car 20 years ago. On the flip side a lot of high-income people were influenced by the ‘Millionaire Next Door’ philosophy, which told stories of CEO’s who drove used Honda Accords to be smart with their money.

With the ongoing pricing shock its a good time to be stoic about cars. If you’re happy and comfortable with the features you get in a more affordable brand, its definitely the wrong time to chase badges or stretch too far to afford something you’re ‘supposed’ to like.


Not to derail, but I won’t even take a Jeep as a rental (safety - maybe 4xe isn’t terrible, but most models are), and most (if not all) their captives/alts are on my “not in a million years” list. All aside from the fact Chrysler has been on my banned list since Cerberus left it on Uncle Sam’s doorstep in 2009, which conveyed to FCA and now Stellantis.

Yikes: my first scar was only 2”, second is maybe double that. I’m glad you found something you like that is comfortable. 99% of driver seats are straight trash.


Outbacks have CVTs and weak engines. Doesn’t really matter for highway cruising, but surely the drivetrains aren’t comparable to the options in an X5. The ZF-8 is imperceptibly smooth in almost every situation and even the base I6 moves the 5,000 pound bulk easily (at low RPMs). I don’t see how there isn’t a clear difference there.

The ride quality and overall comfort (smoothness, soaking up uneven pavement, NVH) in an X5 are much better than even a cheaper model within the brand like a 3 series or X3, even with larger wheels. Is an X5 better than an Outback in every aspect? Yes. Is it worth twice the price? Subjective. If you don’t notice a difference, then save your money.

Thanks all. I think, i got some good points, most notably brand vs model and the fact that differences in drive could not be noticeable for all.

I am content now.


I am not sure what the issue is. If you are completely happy with the cheaper cars, why would you want to know what you are missing? Use the extra money on something you know you will enjoy.


Interesting because I feel the same way in my friends 2019 430i gran coupe. Hard plastics, nasty cheap “leatherette” seats, lifeless electric steering, crappy unintuitive idrive, wheezy 4 cylinder. He and most kids my age don’t know/care about cars, so a blacked out bimmer is the ultimate status symbol only because of the badge and Instagram clout.

To me, base model luxury cars just aren’t very appealing over something like a loaded V6 Accord or Camry.

Different strokes for different folks. Most people really only care about badge superiority and feeling important about themselves.

Back in the day I think there was a bigger spread in what you get for your money. A 2006 330 is years apart from even a loaded 2006 Camry. Maybe today, not so much the case.


They are in for a rude awakening, if they still have that faculty.


This is why I caveated my first response with comparing against non-base model/low spec offerings. I agree with you that the entry level products leave a lot to be desired.

Don’t say that lol

Some people have recently made their feelings known about this in the Acura, Infiniti being premium thread


My current car has a HUD, and at first I thought it was kind of gimmicky, but now I find myself really liking it. In fact, when I am driving a car now that doesn’t have a HUD, it feels so weird having to look down so far to see your speed. If you’ve never had a HUD you wouldn’t miss, it, but once you’ve had it, it’s one of those things that you kind of want in any future car.

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What are you looking for when you say luxury ride? If you are looking for quiet, smooth, and plush, test drive a Lexus ES with the Luxury Package. Very underrated car especially at its price point.
Smooth, baby.

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