Can I get a premium SUV on a budget?

Hi John,

Range Rover Sport - quite nice, in principle (except for the price...)

We need to update our family car. We have a 2006 Ford Territory 7 seater Ghia. As a part-time sales rep, I really need blue tooth capabilities for safety reasons, as well as easy to use sat nav and good servicing, fuel consumption etc. I get a car allowance to assist with costs. 

I love the Range Rover Sport but realise the cost of upkeep and servicing is not in our budget.

What's your opinion the 2016 Toyota Kluger Grande? I can appreciate the value of the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorrento, just don't like the brand.

In this Range Rover, Porsche and BMW world we live in (but cannot afford) your wise, witty words of advice would be most welcome. Thank you for the truthful approach.

Regards, Nicola

Hello Nicola,

Kluger is too expensive, and not nearly impressive enough. Perhaps you could put all this in context by reading this report: 

That basically cuts the seven-seat SUV market up. You could check these reports as well:

Basically I think you are suffering from what I call SWS Syndrome (sex with a supermodel syndrome). Thats when the idea of doing something is a lot better than the reality of doing it. I’m not trying to be crass; if there were a better analogy, I’d use it. That idea of owning that Range Rover or Porsche you lust over is a lot better than owning it. Trust me: at the very best, the law of diminishing returns is in play. 

Here’s an example: Audi Q7 versus Hyundai Santa Fe. Q7 is $100k+. If you want adaptive cruise control - they bend you over for an extra $4075. Santa Fe Highlander comes with it standard for $55k. (And the allegedly German Audi is actually built in Bratislava in the Slovak Republic, not Germany…) Panoramic sunroof ($4k in the Audi) and heated front seats ($2k in the Audi) are also standard in the Santa Fe and Sorento. The asking price of the premium brands is really just the starting point of a huge, orchestrated 'upselling' process.

Kluger Grande is $75k drive away (recommended price) in Vic. That’s 50% over your budget. There’s no way you’re getting one for $50k - just doesn’t happen. Santa Fe Highlander or Sorento Platinum: Closer to $50k is looking like a distinct probability. More features, too: longer warranty, longer service interval, etc., as well.

Sincerely, JC