Figuring out the prestige position of brands is completely subjective. However, I’ve noticed that where a brand positions its executive sedan seems to give a clue as to where they view themselves within the most competitive market in the auto industry. Thus I have created very rough estimates for where brands view themselves using real and imaginary 2WD, approx. 240hp/240 lb-ft producing turbo 4-cyl variants of their middle management sedans. I think the results are...interesting.
Very rough estimates mind you, but the prices do allow you to see how close brands are in prestige for model year 2017 or how huge of a distance there is between say Porsche and the rest. Enjoy!
Porsche - $61,000 (est. 4-cyl)
Maserati - $55,000 (est. 4-cyl)
Mercedes - $52,150
BMW - $50,200 for 2016 (est. $51,400 for 2017)
Audi - $47,600
Volvo - $46,950
Lexus - $46,310
Cadillac - $45,560
Infiniti - $45,300 (est. 4-cyl)
Alfa Romeo - US Pricing Not Yet Announced
Genesis - $39,000 (est. 4-cyl)
Lincoln - $35,170
Acura - $31,900
Mazda - $31,400 (est. Turbo 4-cyl)
Toyota - $31,370 (V6)
Buick - $31,365 (est. Offers at $28,615 and $34,115)
Chevrolet - $30,975
Honda - $30,895 (V6)
Hyundai - $30,475 (est. offers at $26,600 and $34,350)
Nissan - $30,340 (V6, est. Offers at $27,990 and $32,690)
Subaru - $30,140 (V6, est. w/AWD)
Kia - $29,940
Ford - $28,665 (offers at $26,620 and $30,475)
Chrysler - $28,085 (V6 offers at $26,605 and $29,595)
Dodge - NA
Mitsubishi - NA
I would love to eventually attempt to figure out where brands such as Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, and McLaren would fit in here. Though these are fudging estimates they do lineup with other observations:
1) Honda and Acura being too close as well as Chevrolet and Buick.
2) Volvo is really gunning for full luxury brand despite the layout
3) Maserati and Jaguar haven’t been able to keep up with how quickly the German brands are moving up.
However, looking at the huge jump Chevrolet has made with the Malibu, there is a high-likelihood that Toyota will move the next Camry to $34,000 which will move the entire segment up. That will give Mazda room to offer a turbo 4-cyl without becoming a Premium brand. It will also pretty much destory Acura namely due to Honda surpassing them unless they make some wild changes. Ford is already taking advantage of this through offering the Fusion Sport about two years ahead of the market’s trend (making it a niche offering).
*Edit: I’ll have to use midsized 2-row SUVs for v.2 and check it against this list.