With its $3,500 price tag, the Stinger is one of the priciest cars in the U.S. The new model has been lauded by some for its durability and fuel economy, but some critics argue that it’s too expensive.

Now, a new study says that’s not the case.

“This is not a luxury car,” said Dr. David Burt, an automotive researcher at the University of Toronto.

“It’s a luxury vehicle.”

The study, published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, looked at the average price tag of the $1,495 Chevrolet Cruze SUV and $1.5 million Audi R8 and found that those models are both significantly more expensive than the new Stiggers.

Burt said the new cars have been criticized for not being as fuel-efficient as other luxury cars.

The Stinger has a range of 300 kilometres and a top speed of 170 kilometres per hour.

“The question is whether they’re being marketed with the same message as other SUVs, like a ‘you’re only getting one thing’,” said Burt.

“That’s a big difference.”

Stinger sales will take off with a higher fuel economy model, said B.C. auto expert Bruce Haggerty.

“You’re going to see a lot more people buying SUVs,” he said.

The B.S., Ont., based analyst said the Stigters performance and the price are good indicators of the company’s future.

“I think they’re doing pretty well, and the company is taking great steps to improve its quality and value proposition.”

The Stigers price tag will likely rise again, he said, when the car becomes available in the coming months.

The company has also announced a price drop on the new model in Canada and in the United States.

The SUV is now selling for $1-million, down from $2.8 million.