The Pros and Cons of Buying a Luxury SUV

Heated steering wheels, parking sensors, and leather-trimmed seating are just a few of the enticing features of luxury SUVs that have been loaded with sophisticated upgrades and luxurious design details. But with a high price tag, many prospective car buyers are wary of dropping that kind of cash on their next car. Is a luxury SUV really worth that kind of money?

Like with most decisions, there are pros and cons for each side. If you buy a top-of-the-line SUV, then it's likely that you will have higher costs to consider. However, depending on the features and upgrades of the SUV, the high price tag might be a worthwhile tradeoff if you want the additional benefits of a luxury trim level.

If you're interested in SUV shopping but aren't sure if an expensive trim level is right for you, we'll go over the pros and cons of luxury SUVs to help you make a clear decision. We'll also detail popular Honda SUV models and their high-end trim level specifications.

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Better Performance

In general, high-end trim levels tend to outperform lower trims. The Honda CR-V Sport Touring Hybrid option is the highest trim level available for the model. Along with additional upgrades, the Sport Touring Hybrid has a 204-horsepower two-motor hybrid powertrain. In comparison, the base trim for the same model (EX) has a 190-horsepower turbocharged gasoline engine. With more power and better fuel efficiency, the higher trim level has noteworthy advantages over the base trim. 

More Safety Features

When you're shopping for a new family car, often one of the most important features that you consider is safety. Luxury SUVs make a particularly excellent choice for families because they are packed with the latest safety technology features that can help you in the event of an accident as well as help to prevent one from occurring. 

The Honda Pilot is an excellent family car with seating up to eight passengers. In addition, to standard safety features, the higher trim levels are equipped with low-speed braking control, front and rear parking sensors, and an advanced multi-view camera system. 

If you are looking for a slightly smaller SUV than the Pilot, then the HR-V is a good choice. This option also has a ton of safety features included in the model. In the Sport and EX-L trim levels, you'll have the useful blind spot information system with a cross-traffic monitor. In addition, on the EX-L trim level, you'll also have front and rear parking sensors and low-speed braking control.

Comfortable and Stylish Upgrades

Though comfort and style may not be at the top of your list in comparison to safety and performance, having upgraded features may suit your preferences and lifestyle. Most high trim levels are equipped with the best materials, an emphasis on aesthetics, and convenient technology features to make your riding experience top quality. 

The Pilot has a few high-end trim levels available. The Trail Sport, Touring, and Elite trim levels all have sophisticated aesthetic features, like a powered moon roof, leather-trimmed seating, an in-car PA system, and a nine-inch touchscreen display. Additionally, in the highest trim levels, Touring and Elite, there is a Bose sound system, Wifi hotspot capability, a satellite-linked navigation system, and multi-zone audio. 

On the HR-V, though there are only three trim levels to choose from, there are noticeable differences between the base trim (LX) and the highest trim (EX-L). On the EX-L model, you'll have convenient features like wireless charging, a dual-zone automatic climate control system, and an automatic dimming rearview mirror. Besides convenient features, you'll also get to enjoy comfortable and aesthetic upgrades, like a leather-trimmed heated steering wheel, ambient lighting, and leather-trimmed seating.

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Higher Upfront Costs

While there are many pros to buying a luxury SUV, there are also some cons. One of the biggest deterrents to potential buyers is the high upfront costs of a luxury SUV. Compared to the base trim levels, a luxury SUV could potentially cost as much as $12,000 more. For instance, the Honda Pilot's base trim level costs $39,150, while the highest trim level costs $52,030. 

It's important to understand how much you can afford before considering a luxury SUV. The price points will also vary between models, so it's important to check out different SUV options, as you might find that you can afford a luxury SUV with a different model.

Higher Insurance Costs 

You should also consider the ongoing costs of affording a luxury SUV. Because it's a more expensive car, insurance companies will need to charge more to compensate for potentially having to pay to replace or repair it. The actual annual fees will vary from person to person due to driving histories, your state, and a lot of other factors that insurance companies consider. 

Higher Registration Fees

Depending on the state that you live in, you may need to pay more in registration fees based on the value of the vehicle. For instance, a newer luxury car will need to pay a higher registration fee because its value is high. In addition to value, some states may pose a higher registration fee on vehicles over a certain weight limit. It's a good idea to check with your state's guidelines on registration fees, so you aren't taken by surprise at an unexpectedly high cost.

Overall, buying a luxury SUV comes with a lot of fun and helpful perks. If you are interested in particular safety features or performance capabilities that are common in high-end trim levels, then going with a higher-priced vehicle may be worth the additional cost to you. However, if you are on a budget, then buying a luxury SUV may be trickier. One way to offset the cost is by buying a luxury SUV that has been previously owned. A used luxury SUV will still have all the features you want at a lower cost. At Brickell Honda, we have both new and pre-owned luxury SUVs available.