Well, starting price of a 2wd 325i in 2003 was ~$28k, which works out just under $40k today. I've given up on my 'more expensive' argument but I'd have a tough time saying things are cheaper now, unless you want to talk price per horsepower or per feature or something like that.Bingo.
My 325i was $34,600 in late 2003. That's the same as $48,000 today, but the new 3 series starts at $40,000.
Vehicles are getting cheaper. People are just getting dumber.
There's definitely more people struggling to make car payments and longer term loans these days (and that's why a bit ago I believed cars were more expensive), but the more I think about it, the more I believe it's due to a combination of people moving upmarket and wages stagnating. In 2003, I remember the "median" person being content with a FWD, cloth-seat 4-speed Malibu...that doesn't seem to fly today.