Luxury Car Buying Guide

Nothing beats luxury cars when it comes to riding in style and with class. These days, luxury cars are available in just about every body style and configuration imaginable. These types of vehicles are typically outfitted with the very best in technology, interior comforts, performance, and body styling.

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About Luxury Cars

While Lexus maintained this position through 2010, the automaker's competition in the market has increased dramatically. Other Japanese automakers have introduced luxury badges, such as Honda’s Acura and Nissan’s Infiniti. These three brands have had to compete for market share with the traditional European powers along with an ever-increasing array of other continental car producers, such as Volvo, Audi, Saab, and even previously down-market Volkswagen.

Luxury Car Variations

The premium compact segment includes small luxury cars, most of which have only been introduced in the last few years. These compact, affordable cars were designed with a young demographic in mind. Sporty, well-appointed, and fuel efficient, the premium compact segment is comprised of models such as the BMW 1 Series, Mercedes B-Class, and the Audi A3, which sometimes in hatchbacks or wagons form.

Entry-level luxury or compact executive cars could arguably be regarded as a step up in status. This category is a combination of the low-end vehicles from the top name brands and top models from automakers not necessarily known as being luxury brands. Examples of this class of vehicle include the BMW 3 Series, Volvo S60, Lexus IS, and Audi A4.

Mid-luxury or executive cars belong to a larger class of vehicle, more in line with a midsize. Cars of this category offer good performance, technological amenities, and a respectable amount of interior space. Examples include the Jaguar XF, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5 Series, and Audi A6.

High-end luxury cars are premium full-size vehicles, which are often the automaker's showpiece model. Cars in this class offer ample passenger compartments, have traditionally been powered by V-8 and V-12 engines, and are typically outfitted with the very latest in automotive technology. Some examples include the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Lexus LS, and the Audi A8.

The luxury SUV market has also grown in recent years. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is generally regarded as America's first luxury SUV, though it was predated by the Toyota Land Cruiser and Land Rover Range Rover. Now, European automakers such as Porsche, BMW, and Volvo compete with American brands like Buick and Cadillac and Japanese brands like Lexus and Acura in the luxury SUV market.

Popular Luxury Car Brands

Lexus remains the most popular manufacturer of luxury vehicles worldwide. Its main competitors remain German automakers such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

Top English luxury brands have returned to the U.S. market with a new line of Bentleys and Aston Martin's targeted towards the ultra-rich and ultra-hip.

Who Drives Luxury Cars?

While most of us would like to drive a luxury car, not everyone can afford one. However, while higher end luxury vehicles can easily go for $100,000 or more, there are more affordable models available from the top luxury brands. For drivers who have the money and want to enjoy the best comforts available when they drive, luxury vehicles are absolutely ideal. They provide comfort, performance, style, and the best technological and interior amenities.