Line blurs between cheap and luxury vehicles

June 12, 2012 12:00 AM

In the past, it was pretty easy to distinguish between luxury and non-luxury cars. Luxury models typically topped $30,000 and featured a plush interior with plenty of performance to complement it. In recent years, however, the line between cheap and luxury vehicles has become blurred, according to Time.

For example, buying a pickup truck today with all of the available options can cost a driver more than $50,000, according to the news source. Pickup trucks were once seen as "no frills" vehicles, but now come with enough options to rival the price tags of major models from BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Meanwhile, it's not uncommon to look at a basic vehicle like the Ford Fusion and find plenty of luxury features available, such as leather-wrapped steering wheels or heated seats. Many of the systems that debut on luxury vehicles, such as parallel park assist, make their way to much more affordable models in just a few years.

Hyundai is a prime example of the blurry line between "luxury" and "cheap." The automaker has offered vehicles at higher price tags in recent years, while eliminating low-end models. The Hyundai Accent could once be bought for under $13,000. Now, the base version retails for $15,000 and includes standard features such as USB ports.

Whether your car is high-end or "cheap," vehicle maintenance is critical to keeping it in one piece. Be sure to invest in things like cooling system service to keep all cars running right.

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