I pulled up to the bank yesterday and parked nose to nose with a Mercedes-Benz.
It was kind of weird at first glance but I only looked for a moment and didn’t give it a second glance until I passed it again, on foot, on the way into the bank.
The car was an “Anniversary Edition,” at least according to the crudely applied stickers near the front fender. That’s when I paid more attention and realized the car wasn’t a Mercedes at all.
It was a Kia.
That first glance made me think the car was a 2004 E-Class, nothing particularly special, but nice. The second glance is when I noticed it was an Amanti, which I didn’t even know was around long enough to have an anniversary edition.
I was a little disappointed in myself because I consider myself a car guy, and car guys don’t mistake a Kia for a Mercedes.
Times have changed since the era of the Amanti, but the little encounter got me wondering if today’s Kias could compete with any of the luxury players. A quick search led me to an entertaining blog post on the topic, in which the writer said,
… the reason Mercedes-Benz feels pressure from mainstream brands is simple: they’re rapidly making technology seem a lot more accessible.
That’s a great point. Up until now, the luxury automakers had advanced technology that others didn’t. Adaptive cruise control, heated steering wheels and heated rear seats are now showing up in vehicles that are considered economy cars.
Today, a Kia won’t be mistaken for a Mercedes on first glance. However, it’s possible that buyers will gravitate to mainstream brands over luxury brands because they can get the same technology at a fraction of the price.
The trade-off, of course, is the performance, interior quality, sound and overall driving experience.
It’s probably worth looking for a used luxury vehicle so you can get best of both worlds.
What makes more sense, assuming both have the same technology: a new Kia or a used Mercedes-Benz?
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Used Kia Amanti
Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class