Luxury for Everyone
The concept of a luxury car means different things to different people, and often it depends not only on economic situation 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 driving 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 the price points listed here are ranges — prices might be slightly higher or lower.
Kia Optima LX — $21,690
Kia has been at the forefront of offering great value and this Optima is a perfect example. The LX is the base-level trim, but for that low price you get a roomy 4-door sedan with Bluetooth connectivity, an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sirius XM audio system, steering-wheel-mounted controls, and even a cooling glove box. There’s plenty of grunt from the 192-horsepower engine, as well as extensive safety features. All of this gets wrapped in a very attractive exterior package — buy it in black and valets might even park you near the front of the stand.
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid w/Reserve Equipment Group — $41,005
We’re not convinced Matthew McConaughey adds to the appeal of the MKZ with his unique marketing pitch (especially after the Ellen spoofs), but the car is impressive on its own. The best-looking model in the Lincoln lineup, the MKZ Hybrid w/Reserve Equipment Group is nicely equipped with features such as 10-way adjustable heated and cooled leather front seats, genuine wood trim, a voice-activated navigation system, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats and 19-inch polished 10-spoke aluminum wheels. The gas engine-electric motor hybrid system produce 188 horsepower with an impressive 41 mpg.
Cadillac CTS V-Sport — $60,335
The CTS was completely redesigned for 2014 with fresh styling and a new range of features. Until the CTS-V goes on sale next year, the V-Sport is the top-level CTS and does a nice job of combining luxury with performance. Not only do passengers sit in comfortably heated or cooled leather-trimmed seats, they can enjoy a number of high-tech features including wireless phone charging, OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity, remote start, a full-color head-up display, forward collision alert and Bluetooth with voice recognition. Under the hood is a 420-horsepower twin-turbo V6 engine teamed with a smooth 8-speed automatic transmission.
Audi A6 TDI
Infiniti Q70 Hybrid
BMW 5 Series
Audi S7 — $82,500
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 light, which combined with the 420-horsepower V8 and quattro all-wheel drive gives it excellent 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.
BMW 7 Series
BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe
Tesla Model S
Maserati Quattroporte — $108,700
One might think once we hit the $100,000 mark whatever we highlight would be pretty exclusive. Not so. If exclusivity is important, go with 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 is a Ferrari-built V8 that emits a sound so amazing even those who aren’t looking will know you’re piloting something special.
Tesla Model S P85D
Porsche Panamera Hybrid
Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG
Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG
Lexus LS 600h — $120,440
The LS 600h resides at the top of the Lexus lineup and coddles its passengers in the utmost luxury and serenity. Sure, the driver gets to enjoy the powerful V8 hybrid system with all-wheel drive and the cool 3D navigation maps, but opt for the Executive Class Seating Package and you’ll want to let someone else do the driving. Rear-seat passengers will love the massaging heated seats — they also recline and offer five power adjustments. A power ottoman lets you put your feet up while watching a movie on the Blu-ray player, and you’ll be kept comfortable thanks to 4-zone climate control with infrared temperature sensors.
BMW ALPINA B7
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe
Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG — $141,450
Some used to say, “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 — it puts out 577 horsepower and is kept under control by a full-time 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. This huge sedan can hit 60 mph in under four 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 will enjoy multiple climate zones as well as heated armrests. The S63 even features an “active perfuming system” designed to further enhance the luxurious 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 may 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. Front 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 this top-level Porsche Panamera. The most powerful of the 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 most sports cars and leaves most sedans in the dust. Unlike most 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 nicest 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-liter V12 engine with more than 550 horsepower and a top speed in excess of 200 mph. Stunning from every angle, the Rapide S is even more impressive inside. Customers can choose from more than 100,000 variations of leather, diamond-quilted leather, perforated leather and alcantara in a variety of colors to make this luxury sedan all their own.
Bentley Flying Spur
Bentley Continental GTC
Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT Final Edition
Bentley Continental GTC Speed — $250,100
This Bentley Continental GTC is more than just a muscular luxury convertible —it claims the record as the fastest 4-seat convertible available. With more than 600 horsepower on tap, the GTC Speed redefines open-air motoring at 203 mph. And to ensure people know this isn’t just a run-of-the-mill Bentley Continental, the GTC Speed features a dark-tinted matrix radiator grille, dark-tinted headlights and taillights, chrome “Speed” badging and red-painted brake calipers. The lowered suspension and 21-inch alloy wheels give the GTC an aggressive stance. Inside is distinctive diamond-quilted hide upholstery and available Dark Tint Aluminum “engine spin” finish trim.
Rolls-Royce Wraith — $294,025
No other brand better exemplifies luxury 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 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-Royces 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 classic large, powerful Bentley. The Mulsanne may weigh almost three tons and stretch more than 18 feet long, but with a 6.75-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, it easily reaches 60 mph in under five seconds. Air suspension can be adjusted by the driver to either focus on comfort or to stiffen for greater 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 — $402,940
The flagship of the Rolls-Royce line, the Phantom is instantly recognizable by 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 lie on the flat rear floor, and the hand-stitched leather takes 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.