If you’re considering a luxury car, chances are you’re contemplating “common” luxury brands such as BMW, Cadillac, Lexus, Mercedes or Lincoln. But if brand isn’t as important as substance, there are plenty of other options that offer just as much luxury without imposing a premium for a high-end hood ornament. For those willing to expand their perception of what a luxury car can be, new models from Ford, Kia, Honda and others offer plenty of luxurious features and style. Click through to discover some uncommon luxury cars from mainstream brands.
2017 Chevrolet Impala Premier Midnight Edition
Although some drivers might only be familiar with Impala as a full-size rental car, not all Impalas are the created equal. As the top-level trim, the Premier comes well equipped with perforated leather seats, heated front seats, remote vehicle starter, HID headlamps, dual-zone climate control and a rearview camera. The Midnight Edition stands out with a black bowtie, blacked-out grille and 19-inch special-edition wheels with black pockets. Impala Premier also features the latest advanced safety technology, including forward collision alert, rear cross-traffic alert and lane departure warning. Under the hood resides a 3.6-liter V6 putting out a plentiful 305 horsepower.
2017 Chrysler 300C Platinum V8
A typical formula for a luxury car is a powerful engine and rear-wheel drive (since RWD is a rarity nowadays). The Chrysler 300 is one of the few models from a non-luxury brand with this setup. The big sedan can be equipped with a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine generating 363 horsepower, but the 300 brings much more to the table. The top-level Platinum includes luxury amenities such as quilted and perforated Nappa leather seats and door panels, hand-sanded natural pore wood, French accent stitching, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a 900-watt Harmon Kardon audio system with 19 speakers. Exterior appointments include platinum-chrome accents and 20-inch polished aluminum wheels.
2017 Ford Explorer Platinum
One of the best-selling SUVs in America, the Explorer offers a spacious interior with proper off-road capabilities. Choose the Platinum level and head off-pavement in style. The Platinum differentiates itself from the standard Explorer with a unique satin-chrome finish grille, dual chrome exhaust tips and 20-inch bright-machined wheels with dark-painted pockets. Inside, passenger enjoy Nirvana leather with micro-perforation and quilted inserts, a dual-panel moonroof and heated front- and second-row seats. Providing excellent performance is Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 producing an impressive 376 horsepower.
2017 Ford Fusion Energi Platinum
The Fusion receives a complete makeover for the 2017 model year, and this Platinum plug-in hybrid is the top-level version. In addition to the LED headlights and fog lights and optional 18-inch aluminum wheels, the Platinum features leather power seats, heated and cooled front seats, dual-zone climate control, leather-lined and quilted door trim panels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a leather-wrapped dashboard and a power moonroof. The advanced hybrid powertrain provides an all-electric range of 21 miles and a total output of 188 horsepower.
2017 GMC Yukon Denali AWD
One of the largest SUVs on the road, the Yukon can accommodate seven passengers with enough extra space to carry all their stuff. When outfitted as the top-level Denali, Yukon passengers ride in an elegant interior featuring perforated leather seats, burnished aluminum trim, contrasting stitching, genuine poplar woodgrain inlays and an advanced infotainment system with a high-end Bose Centerpoint surround-sound system. With a big V8 engine, more than 8 inches of ground clearance, a locking rear differential and an automatic 4-wheel-drive system, the Yukon is certainly up to the task of either staying on or straying from the pavement.
2017 Honda Accord Touring
Even though Accord may be one of the most popular passenger cars in America, that doesn’t mean it can’t be configured as a luxury sedan. The Touring resides at the top of the Accord lineup, featuring leather and wood trim, power front seats, heated front and rear seats, rain-sensing wipers, LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, and a 7-speaker 360-watt audio system. Also standard on the Touring trim is Honda Sensing, which includes advanced safety features such as a Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist System, Road Departure Mitigation, and Adaptive Cruise Control.
2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit
Jeep has a deserved reputation for building vehicles with impressive off-road capability, and the brand’s flagship has a new luxury trim — the Grand Cherokee Summit. Tackling deep snow and other tough terrain lands right in the Grand Cherokee’s wheelhouse. The Summit’s Quadra-Trac ll 4WD system features a 2-speed transfer case and can sense tire slippage and compensate almost instantly, sending as much as 100 percent of the torque to the axle with the most traction. All this capability gets wrapped in a luxurious package with the all-new Summit, featuring heated leather seats throughout, a wood- and leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a high-end Harmon Kardon 19-speaker sound system.
2016 Kia K900 Luxury V8
The K900 is Kia’s flagship rear-drive sedan with a striking design that leaves a bold impression, from the vertical mesh grille to the swept roofline and high decklid. Standard HID headlights and optional LED headlights are surrounded by soft-glow LEDS and enhanced with Dynamic Bending Lights, which adjust the headlights to follow road curves. The K900 derives motivation from a 420-horsepower V8 engine mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The luxurious interior features standard heated and ventilated seats for the driver and front-seat passenger, as well as heated seats for outboard rear-seat passengers. The VIP+ package includes a 12.3-inch configurable LCD screen that allows the driver to choose different themes based on the drive mode selected; the package also includes Kia’s first head-up display.
2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature
Mazda introduced an all-new CX-9 crossover for the 2016 model year, and in addition to the many improvements available, the automaker created a top-end line called the CX-9 Signature. The Signature is elegantly appointed with Auburn-colored Nappa leather, genuine rosewood and aluminum trim, a power moonroof, a head-up display, LED accent lighting and a Bose Centerpoint 2.0 Surround Sound System with 12 speakers. With the brand’s new signature color of Machine Gray — as well as 20-inch alloy wheels — the CX-9 Signature certainly turns heads. Also standard is Mazda’s i-Active all-wheel-drive system which analyzes 27 channels of data 200 times per second to determine how to distribute torque to the individual wheels.
2017 Nissan Maxima Platinum
Completely redesigned for the 2016 model year, the Maxima features a bold design, more power and improved performance. When opting for the top-level Platinum version, buyers add considerable luxury to this sport sedan. High-end features include Ascot leather-trimmed seats with diamond-quilted leather inserts; mahogany wood-tone interior trim; an Ascot leather-wrapped steering wheel; heated and cooled front seats; a dual-panel panoramic moonroof; a power rear-window sunshade and a premium Bose audio system. The Maxima Platinum also possesses the latest high-tech safety features including Forward Emergency Braking, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Moving Object Detection.
2017 Subaru Outback 3.6R Touring
One of the first crossovers, the Subaru Outback has come a long way since its introduction in the 1990s. This latest version is the largest and most refined model ever, and the new-for-2017 3.6R Touring is the most luxurious trim level ever. The Touring comes fully loaded, highlighted by new Java Brown leather trim with contrasting ivory stitching, a heated steering wheel, unique woodgrain interior finish and piano-black switch panel accents. A dark gray grille, 18-inch wheels with dark gray accents, low-profile silver roof rails and lower cladding, and Outback badging in chrome make this special Outback stand out from the crowd.
2017 Toyota Avalon Limited
Occasionally the high caliber of comfort, safety and convenience features on certain Toyota models make it seem as if the automaker competes with its own luxury brand, Lexus. The Avalon is a perfect example. Flagship of the Toyota lineup, Avalon feels like a high-end luxury sedan, especially in the Limited trim. With Quadrabeam HID headlights, LED running lights, 18-inch chrome alloy wheels and a chrome grille, the Avalon Limited looks special even before any inquiries inside. The upscale interior has perforated leather trim, heated and cooled power front seats, heated rear seats, unique ambient lighting, three-zone climate control and a premium high-tech JBL audio system with integrated navigation and app suite.
2017 Toyota Land Cruiser
The most expensive and exclusive model in Toyota’s lineup, the Land Cruiser has been in production for more than 60 years. Every Land Cruiser comes fully loaded — there are no factory options available for this formidable off-roader. The interior boasts space for up to eight passengers, featuring semi-aniline perforated leather seats, wood trim, heated and cooled front seats, heated second-row seats, four-zone automatic climate control, a rear DVD entertainment system, a cooler box in the center console, a high-end JBL audio system and 12 cupholders. Land Cruiser is also extremely capable off-road via a full-time 4WD system, a locking limited-slip differential, Multi-Terrain Select and a dynamic suspension system.
2017 Volkswagen CC R-Line Executive
Few consumers are familiar with the sleek-looking CC — it is one of the lowest-selling models in the VW lineup, although some might call that an element of exclusivity. The attractive sedan features bi-Xenon headlights, LED running lights, side skirts and 18-inch alloy wheels. The adaptive front headlight system allows lights to turn with the car, lighting the direction of travel. Inside are comfortable power-adjustable leather seats, a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, a rearview camera and a high-end audio system. The CC Executive is further equipped with the latest safety technology, including lane departure warning and autonomous emergency braking.
2017 Volkswagen Passat SEL Premium V6
Last year Volkswagen created some self-imposed hurdles to overcome with its diesel-rigging scandal; however, the company still offers a wide range of fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive non-diesel vehicles. One of the German automaker’s most popular models, the Passat resides at the top of the VW lineup, and the SEL Premium gives customers a well-equipped sedan option. Powered by a 280-horsepower V6 engine, the top-level Passat features LED headlights and taillights, integrated fog lights, leather seats, heated front and rear seats, a 6.3-inch touchscreen display with navigation, and a Fender premium audio system.