Luxury for Everyone
The concept of a luxury car means different things to different people, and often it depends not only on price point but also on personal perspective and perception. The driver of a 15-year-old econobox might think any new car is a luxury, while someone used to piloting a $100,000 Mercedes might be slightly harder to please. Let’s consider what a luxury car might look like for those within just about any new-car budget. Keep in mind that vehicles listed here are within ranges — final prices could be slightly higher or lower than the range shown.
Hyundai Elantra Limited — $23,185
There was a time when the idea of a product akin to a luxury vehicle from Hyundai would have been considered preposterous, but the market has changed. Now the entry-level sedan from this Korean brand can be configured with plenty of high-end features formerly confined to luxury vehicles. All new for the 2017 model year, the Elantra possesses styling cues similar to higher-level models in the Hyundai lineup. The top-level Limited trim comes with heated leather seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, a power sunroof, dual-zone climate control, an 8-inch color touchscreen display with HD Radio, Bluetooth streaming and support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The 17-inch alloy wheels along with optional HID headlights and LED running lights complete the package.
Jaguar XE Prestige — $45,095
The XE sport sedan is all new for 2017 and takes its place as the entry vehicle in the Jaguar lineup. Those who remember the X-TYPE from the early 2000s will be happy to hear that the XE is nothing like that early sedan. Sporting the same stylish grille as the higher-end XF and XJ, the XE offers the luxury expected of a Jaguar without the associated price tag. The XE Prestige comes loaded with 10-way power heated leather seats, power lumbar support, mood lighting, dual-zone climate control with solar sensing, a power moonroof, rain-sensing wipers, a power-adjustable steering column, voice control and a Meridian 380-watt sound system. Jag XE buyers have a choice of three different powerplants, although to achieve the price point listed here the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine putting out 240 horsepower would be the only option.
BMW 3 Series
Lincoln Continental Reserve — $65,140
Lincoln is finally returning to the large-car luxury market with an all-new Continental. As the brand’s flagship, Continental represents a new design language for Ford’s luxury brand. Just walking up to the latest Lincoln starts the experience — detecting the key fob, the car activates front and rear LED lighting, illuminates the ground around the front doors and turns on select interior lights as a welcome. Once inside, passengers will enjoy the “Bridge of Weir” soft leather seats, 24-way power-adjustable front seats that are heated and cooled, tri-zone automatic climate control, an 8-inch touchscreen display and a 10-speaker premium audio system.
Audi A6 TDI
BMW 5 Series
Infiniti Q70 Hybrid
Audi S7 Prestige — $82,900
Audi builds some of the most beautiful cars on the road, and the S7 is one of them. Even at night the S7 stands out with LED headlights and taillights. Extensive use of aluminum keeps this large car relatively light; add in a turbocharged 450-horsepower V8 engine and quattro all-wheel drive and the result is stellar performance. Passengers will be lapping up the luxury in Valcona leather seats with contrasting diamond stitching, wood inlays, 4-zone climate control, heated 12-way power front seats and a 630-watt Bose surround sound audio system. The S7 has a unique look via its fastback design, providing increased versatility for hauling luggage or other cargo.
BMW 7 Series
BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe
Tesla Model S
Maserati Quattroporte S — $103,400
Readers might think that once this luxury list hits the $100,000 mark, whatever gets highlighted would be rather exclusive. Not so. But if exclusivity is important, we suggest the Maserati Quattroporte. The flagship of the Maserati line, the Quattroporte is handmade in Modena, Italy, and features an elegant interior with fine Italian leather and real wood trim. In addition to the traditional niceties, the coachbuilder has embraced technology with a Maserati Touch Control screen, adjustable pedals, a rearview camera and an optional 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system, as well as a WLAN-based Wi-Fi system. Best of all, under the hood lurks a Ferrari-built V8 engine that emits a sound so amazing even those who aren’t looking will know something special is motoring by.
Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG
Porsche Panamera Hybrid
Tesla Model S P85D
BMW ALPINA B6 Gran Coupe w/Executive Package — $126,695
When luxury-car shoppers seek a vehicle that combines luxury and performance, BMW is often the brand of choice. Taking things a bit further, we suggest the ALPINA B6 Gran Coupe. The ALPINA resides at the top of the 6 Series Gran Coupe lineup and, in addition to its subtle exterior styling differences, the B6 boasts a 600-horsepower turbocharged V8 engine. Combine that with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system and this 4-door sedan will rush to 60 mph in a mere 3.6 seconds. But this car is not simply about going fast — inside are soft Nappa leather seats, a sport steering wheel with LAVALINA leather and hand stitching, Myrtle wood trim and a full-color digital instrument panel. With the addition of the Executive Package, seats are heated and cooled, controls are ceramic, the driver gets a head-up display, and an individual production plaque indicates the exclusivity of this special car.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe
Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG — $145,625
An automotive aphorism used to be, “If you want performance, buy a BMW; if you want luxury, buy a Mercedes.” The folks at AMG have proven that Mercedes can offer both in the same car. Drivers will be thrilled by the S63’s hand-built 5.5-liter biturbo V8 engine, which puts out 577 horsepower and stays under control via a full-time 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. This huge sedan can hit 60 mph in under 4 seconds. Being a passenger isn’t so bad, either — power-adjustable sport seats are heated and covered in fine Nappa leather. Elegant ambient lighting uses 300 LED lights, and rear-seat passengers enjoy multiple climate zones as well as heated armrests. The S63 even features an “active perfuming system” designed to enhance the interior with a luxurious olfactory experience.
Porsche Panamera Turbo
Maserati Quattroporte GTS
Maserati Gran Turismo Convertible MC — $161,070
If you’re looking to attract some attention in your luxurious ride, this special-edition Maserati Gran Turismo might be the car for you. Built to celebrate Maserati’s 100th anniversary, this gorgeous 4-seat cabriolet features the traditional Maserati oval grille with black louvers and a red trident in the center. Headlights are also in matte black and 20-inch alloy wheels complete the special look. Inside, occupants are surrounded by high-end materials such as the finest Italian leather by Poltrona Frau, Alcantara and carbon fiber trim. All four head restraints feature a stitched Trident logo. A Ferrari-built V8 engine ensures driving thrills galore to complement the stunning looks of this Italian masterpiece.
Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG
Porsche Panamera Turbo S — $180,300
Luxury and performance never blended so well than in this top-level Porsche Panamera. The most powerful of the Porsche lineup, the Turbo S is truly a 4-door sports car. With a 5.7-liter V8 engine producing 570 horsepower, the Panamera Turbo S will reach 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and boasts a top speed of 192 mph. Since it’s a Porsche, the Panamera handles better than many 2-door sports cars and leaves most sedans in the dust. Unlike typical sports cars, Panamera is roomy inside for both passengers and cargo, and comfortable individual rear seats provide lateral support during fast cornering. Panamera’s unique duality allows it to tear up the track during the day, then adorn valet stands of the finest restaurants by night.
Aston Martin DB9
Bentley Continental GT
Aston Martin Rapide S — $203,295
Like the Porsche Panamera, the Aston Martin Rapide S could also be called a 4-door sports car. Although it doesn’t quite achieve the performance levels of the Porsche, the Aston more than makes up for it with incredibly good looks. No one would ever call the Aston underpowered — it sports a 6.0-liter V12 engine with more than 550 horsepower and a top speed exceeding 200 mph. Stunning from every angle, the Rapide S is even more impressive inside. Customers may choose from more than 100,000 variations of leather, diamond-quilted leather, perforated leather and Alcantara in a variety of colors to personalize this luxurious sedan.
Bentley Flying Spur
Bentley Continental GT Convertible
Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible — $263,400
This Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible is more than just a muscular luxury convertible — it is the fastest production Bentley ever. With more than 600 horsepower coming from its hand-built twin-turbo W12 engine, the GT Speed redefines open-air motoring with a top speed of 206 mph. To ensure that people know this isn’t simply a run-of-the-mill Bentley Continental, the GT Speed features a dark-tinted matrix radiator grille, dark-tinted headlights and taillights, chrome “Speed” badging and red brake calipers. The lowered suspension and 21-inch alloy wheels give the GT an aggressive stance. Interior appointments include distinctive diamond-quilted hide upholstery and available Dark Tint Aluminum “engine spin” finish trim.
Rolls-Royce Wraith — $304,350
No other brand exemplifies luxury better than Rolls-Royce, and the Wraith embodies a unique offering from the legendary British marque. Rather than the stately sedan we’re accustomed to seeing from Rolls, the Wraith is a fastback with sleek lines and the most powerful Rolls-Royce engine ever offered. Rolls-Royces have always been advertised as having “adequate” power — the 624 horsepower produced by the Wraith’s V12 is clearly more than adequate. Rear-hinged coach doors allow for easy entry and exit, and upon ingress you’ll be surrounded by the softest leather and Canadel Paneling. A unique feature to Rolls-Royce is the Starlight Headliner — 1,340 fiber-optic lamps are hand-woven into the roof lining to give the impression of a glittering, starry night sky.
Bentley Mulsanne Speed — $335,600
The Mulsanne Speed is a perfect example of a classically large, powerful Bentley. The car weighs almost 3 tons and stretches more than 18 feet long, but with a 6.75-liter twin-turbo V8 engine it easily reaches 60 mph in under 5 seconds. The Mulsanne Speed’s driver-adjustable air suspension can focus on comfort or stiffness to optimize performance and handling. The lavish interior features diamond-quilted leather on seats and door panels, a leather headliner, piano-black veneer with handcrafted carbon-fiber inlays, and an embroidered Bentley emblem on each seat. A 60 GB onboard hard drive stores music for the driver and films for rear-seat passengers to view on 8-inch screens. A frosted glass bottle cooler — replete with crystal champagne flutes — can be installed in the rear armrest, and power-operated tables can be fitted to the rear of the front seats.
Rolls-Royce Phantom — $417,825
The flagship of the Rolls-Royce line, the Phantom is instantly recognizable thanks to its bold grille topped with the legendary Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament. The epitome of luxury, the Phantom sits at a completely different level than any other vehicle on the road. Other vehicles have wood trim — the Phantom features wood veneer throughout, created from a single tree for each car. Thick lambswool rugs adorn the flat rear floor, and the hand-stitched leather surfaces take over two weeks to complete, with nine hides required for each interior. Hidden In each door jamb is a Rolls-Royce umbrella — in case of inclement weather. Note that this is the least expensive Phantom. For those seeking the ultimate in luxury transportation, the Phantom Extended Wheel Base starts at $492,425.