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These people buy more expensive cars than they can actually afford

For some, a car is mostly about common sense: Getting from A to B, and preferably spending as little money as possible on car maintenance.

For others, the car is much more than this. It’s no secret that many go to great lengths to be able to buy the car they want. We see this, among other things, in the development of car sales in Norway in recent years. Never before have so many people bought such expensive cars.

There are also big differences here depending on the car brand we drive. In the survey AutoIndex 2022, 13,773 Norwegian car owners gave their opinion about cars and car maintenance. They have answered over 200 questions. Among these is whether they are happy to pay more than they can actually afford – to get the car they want.

The answers are on a scale from 100 to 1,000.

Class trip

Can you guess which brand tops here? There are actually two: Mercedes and Audi get exactly the same score, at 479.

It is interesting in several ways. Mercedes has a long tradition as a premium brand. In the last couple of decades, they have greatly expanded their model range and also become more popular. But many still stretch further than they can actually afford – to get a Mercedes.

So do some of those who buy Audi. Here, the development has in many ways been a bit opposite to Mercedes. Audi started out as a fairly popular brand, but in the 1970s set in motion what must be called a solid class journey. The objective was to come up to the level of Mercedes and BMW. We can probably go a long way to say that they have succeeded.

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The electric car e-tron has been an extraordinary success for Audi in Norway. Many of the buyers have probably also gone to great lengths to buy a car that quickly costs around NOK 800,000, fully equipped.

Volvo has become more exclusive

Here in Norway, the electric SUV e-tron has been a fantastic success. This became Norway’s best-selling passenger car in 2020. With an average price of around NOK 800,000, it is sensational. Never before has such an expensive car sold so much in this country, this is also unique on an international scale.

In third place we find another brand that has gone in an exclusive direction in recent years, namely Volvo with a score of 473. When they were sold from Ford to Chinese Geely back in 2010, they started anew in many ways. They developed new platforms, while Ford technology was phased out. The second generation of the large SUV XC90 was first out, it gave the “new” Volvo a perfect start.

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The second generation XC90 was the start of the 'new' Volvo, after they got a Chinese owner in 2010. Since then, the brand has gone in a more exclusive direction, which is also reflected in their prices.

The second generation XC90 was the start of the “new” Volvo, after they got a Chinese owner in 2010. Since then, the brand has gone in a more exclusive direction, which is also reflected in their prices.

Citroën on the bottom

Lexus also has owners who have gone to great lengths to buy their cars. They have a score of 453 in the survey. Fifth place is perhaps suitable for surprising more, namely Toyota with 440.

Facts about the survey

AutoIndex covers 22 Norwegian car brands, each of which is represented by at least 100 responses for the years 2021–2018.

The car owners have answered an internet-based form with over 200 questions.

The answers are on a scale from 100 to 1000.

If there is one brand that is perceived as popular in Norway, it is probably Toyota. At the same time, it is also quite possible to spend quite a lot of money on a new Toyota. Perhaps we are talking here about car buyers who pay a little extra to buy a new car, with a warranty and the security it entails?

So what does it look like at the other end of the scale? Yes, Citroën owners are the ones who have at least stretched themselves further than they can afford. They end up with a score of 354. Kia is not far behind with 358, while Nissan ends up at 371. The average in the survey is otherwise at 417.

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Nissan owners rarely go all out when buying a car.  The Leaf electric car has been a great success for two generations.

Nissan owners rarely go all out when buying a car. The Leaf electric car has been a great success for two generations.

This is how the various brands score:

1. Audi/Mercedes – 479

3. Volvo – 473

4. Lexus – 453

5. Toyota – 440

6. Ford – 432

7. Honda – 429

8. Suzuki – 426

9. Mazda – 422

10. Tesla – 421

11. Volkswagen – 417

12. Subaru – 414

13. BMW – 411

13. Skoda – 399

14. Opel – 388

15. Renault – 386

16. Mitsubishi – 384

17. Hyundai – 377

18. Peugeot – 375

19. Nissan – 371

20. Let – 358

21. Citroën – 354

All figures from AutoIndex 2022.

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