Buying a luxury vehicle versus a premium one: Yes, there is a difference


• Luxury and premium vehicles are not the same thing.
• The global pandemic has allowed consumers more time to research the market extensively before purchasing a vehicle.
• Buyers can now opt for a luxury vehicle instead of a high-end premium. 
• For more motoring stories, go to

All that time in lockdown hasn't been wasted! It has meant that already well-educated car buyers have had more time than ever before to do their research before buying their next car. Accordingly, Covid-19 has turned an already well-researched car buyer into an expert one.

The pandemic has also made consumers thriftier – and, whether they are in the market to buy a small run-around or looking for a more expensive car, they are hunting deals and demanding value like never before.

One of the things that these highly informed and extremely selective buyers are discovering is that they can now set their sights far higher – a luxury car is no longer out of their reach. In fact, buyers no longer need to settle for a premium car; they've discovered that they can consider a luxury car because there's often little price difference between the two.

But what is the difference between premium and luxury? Aren't we talking about the same thing? Most certainly not. 

Volkswagen Tiguan

VW Tiguan - Image: Quickpic

A vehicle such as the Volkswagen Tiguan Highline is considered a premium car – because it's the highest trim level within that range (the lower trim levels are called the Trendline and Comfortline).

Luxury car brands such as Volvo come standard with luxury features – even at the lowest trim level. Luxury cars also boast high-end features that go above and beyond the average necessities. At the same time, they typically have better performance capabilities than premium cars, lavish interiors and all the latest safety and technology features.  

Take the Volvo XC40, for instance. It boasts an important safety feature that comes standard called City Safety, which is unique to Volvo. It identifies other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and large animals ahead, warning you if a collision is imminent. If you don't react in time, then the car brakes automatically to help avoid or mitigate a collision.

volvo xc40

The Volvo XC40 was a finalist in the Autotrader SA / SAGMJ Car of the Year competition last year. Image: Autotrader

Or take the XC90 which comes standard with full leather seats, individual leather dashboard and door panel inserts, a seven-seat configuration, as well as a four-zone climate control system with a cooled glove box!

The best aspect of these lavish and extravagant vehicles is that they're surprisingly affordable. Take the Swede's price tag; you could pick up a brand new Volvo XC40 starting from R554 800. We deliberately say "from" because over and above the luxury features that come standard, you may just be lured to add that futuristic heads-up display feature.

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