The luxury car market is a profitable, recognizable, and totally subjective market. If you ask 5 different people to name the top 5 luxury cars you will get 5 hugely varied answers. Even defining a luxury car is next to impossible. Some people define luxury based purely on the name plate (Mercedes, BMW, Lexus), others on the type of car (large, plush, smooth) while others only on the price tag (100k or more). For my view on the top luxury cars I focused on style, smoothness, size, and a bit on status. Luxury, in my opinion, is defined by large stylish cars that look and drive smoothly. Luxury is about being pampered and feeling special, and also a bit about being recognized for the impressive luxury car brand you bought. Using these basic guidelines I focused on four tried and true brands with one surprise rookie. Here they are in no particular order.
1. Lexus LS 460
The Lexus LS is a perennial sales powerhouse and a well known car to many luxury car fanatics. The latest model, starting from the mid 60’s, offers multiple models and vast option packages to meet virtually every taste and preference. Powered by a 4.6 liter V8 making close to 400 horsepower the LS has plenty of power to move this car. More important to the luxury car crowd is what is inside the vehicle. Options and features like voice and touch command navigation, climate control for all four seating areas, mind boggling Mark Levinson sound system, parking guidance systems, and much more make the Lexus an amazing Lexus vehicle.
2. Mercedes S Class
No luxury car discussion would be complete without bringing up a Mercedes Vehicle. For the ultimate in luxury there is nowhere else to go then to the big Mercedes S Class. The S class spans a vast area of pricing from the low 90s to over 150k for the top of the line S600 sedan. For those with the money the options are available that will meet their demands. Engine choices from a sub 300 horse power hybrid to a 500 plus horsepower V12 are available. Luxury options like split screen entertainment screens for the front seat, multicolor ambient lighting, power rear seats, four zone climate controls, and adaptive high beam assist are just a few of the loads of options available.
3. BMW 7 Series
Another favorite of the luxury car fan is BMW. And no model screams high end luxury like the BMW 7 Series sedan. Large, attractive, and packed with performance and features the BMW 7 series is always on the short list of any serious luxury car shopper. Ranging from the mid 80ks to over 135k the 7 series offers a lot of choice for its shoppers. Power ranges from the base 315 horse power V8 to a 535 horse power monster V12. Performance features like self leveling air suspension, available 8 speed automatic, and climate controlled glass. Luxury features include 20 way power front seats, four zone climate control, HD and Satellite radio, and an entertainment server to name just a few.
4. Jaguar XJ
Jaguar has always been known as one of the high end luxury cars. However, in recent years its star has fallen due to an older lineup of cars that didn’t seem to measure up to the other offerings in the luxury car market. Recently Jaguar unveiled a new, improved, and decidedly more attractive XJ model. Pricing for the XJ model starts in the low 70ks and can climb to over 110k for the top of the line model, the XJL Supersport. Engines range from the impressive 385 horse power base engine to a 510 horsepower supercharged V8. Luxury features and options abound, including panoramic roof with electrical blinds, a hard disk drive media hub, huge variety of leather and stitching options to allow for personalization. With these new engines and the gorgeous new exterior the Jaguar XJ is now back up near the top of the luxury car lists.
5. Hyundai Equus
Hyundai a top luxury car? Is that a typo? How can that be. Well, with the release of the Hyundai Genesis and now the more upscale Hyundai Equus Hyundai has taken a page from the Lexus playbook and is attempting to beat Lexus and the rest of the luxury world at their own game. The Equus prices start at just a shade under 60k and come fully loaded with options at that price. The very stylish Hyundai Equus is powered by an award winning 385 horsepower V8 matched to a smooth 6 speed automatic. Packed with options such as available reclining rear seats, massage system, rear entertainment systems, and even a rear refrigerator make spending time in the Equus a desirable thing.
Choosing the top 5 luxury cars is no easy undertaking considering the subjectivity involved with any such decision making process. However, some choices are obvious like the Mercedes S Class or Jaguar XJ. Simply looking at such vehicles gives one a sense of luxury and high class. For those with the money to spend any of these choices can be considered a winner.