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First Luxury Car To Buy

Luxury sedans are becoming more common on the road as manufacturers are leaning toward making them accessible for the masses. Long gone are the days of only being able to dream about owning a genuine luxury vehicle as this list contains some options for those who want to get a little style and comfort with their hard-earned money.

first luxury car to buy

There are options for those who want a smooth ride, plenty of space, great build quality, and even a little speed. Below are some great all-round luxury vehicles and some of the best entry-level options on the market today.

The Infiniti Q50 is an excellent choice for someone looking to take their first foray into luxury vehicle ownership. With sleek executive looks, powerful engine options, and a low price, there's almost nothing to dislike about the Q50.

It certainly looks much more expensive than it actually is with chrome trim and luxury interior, you could be forgiven for thinking it costs double the asking price. The engines available are two twin-turbo V6s boasting 300 and 400 hp respectively. The smooth and comfortable ride is perhaps the best feature of the Q50 making it a great choice at just over $37,000.

Again, the looks of the G70 are frankly remarkable with a more than luxurious looking Bentley-like front grille and plenty of chrome detailing and vents making it a thinking man's Mercedes-Benz. Its reliability and choice of two engines ranging from a 2.0-liter inline-four and a 3.3-liter V6 make it an awesome choice as a luxury vehicle. At the very least, it'll fool your friends into thinking it costs much more than the $37,000 asking price.

The IS's sporty styling is aggressive and puts a lot of its German rivals to shame. The high-quality interior is more excellent, with a variety of tech options to make the cabin very welcoming indeed. Perhaps the IS's biggest selling point is that for an extra $4,000 or so, you can get the top-of-the-line IS 350 F Sport at $42,950. Bear in mind that this is barely more expensive than the 3 Series and even slightly cheaper than the XF with a 311 hp V6 that is sure to excite. If you're looking for a little speed with your luxury, the IS may be the best choice.

This storied history means that even their lower-end models get some luxury treatment. The A-Class sedan is given a high quality and sporty-looking interior with more than enough tech options to make for a pleasant experience. The smooth ride and general high quality make the A-Class simply feel like a smaller Mercedes than the more expensive options, rather than a model that's inferior. At a touch over $33,000, the Mercedes is surprisingly one of the cheaper cars on this list despite the badge on the front.

As an SUV, the Q3 is as capable on the road as it is off with plenty of cargo space too, making it perfect for families with an eye for luxury. The tech and expectedly high Audi quality interior make it one of the best cars to live with on this list, despite being the baby in the Q series. The Q3 is available for around $34,000.

A luxury car is a car that provides above-average to high-end levels of comfort, features, equipment, and or performance. Often more expensive materials and surface finishes are used, and buyers expect better build quality. The usually higher pricing and more upscale appearance is often associated with higher social status of the users, compared to low and mid market segment cars.

Traditionally, most luxury cars were large vehicles, though smaller sports-oriented models were always produced. "Compact" luxury vehicles such as hatchbacks, and off-road capable sport utility vehicles, are more recent expansions of luxury qualities in various cars.[1]

Luxury cars have traditionally emphasized higher levels of comfort and safety.[14] Manufacturers often introduce new safety technologies and comfort amenities on luxury models before they are available on more affordable models.[15] Some brands, like Audi and BMW have expanded their marketing by "introducing lesser priced and strip-down economy versions of their products."[16]

Luxury vehicles can be a status symbol for conspicuous consumption.[17] However, since many European luxury car buyers shy away from conspicuous consumption, brands offer buyers the option of removing exterior badges that identify the model name or engine size.[18]

The suspension system of most luxury cars is tuned to prioritize ride quality over handling, however, some cars are marketed as "sports luxury" and have a greater emphasis on handling characteristics.[19][20]

Traditionally, luxury cars have used a front-engine, rear-wheel drive (FR) layout. The FR layout is more expensive to produce and produces lower fuel economy than a front-wheel drive layout, however, it allows for larger engines (particularly straight-six, V8, and V12) to be used.[18][21][22][23]

Some American luxury cars during the 1970s through the 1990s switched to a front-wheel drive layout with transverse engine, due to the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973 and the 1979 fuel crises which eliminated many FR platforms in favor of the more economical front-wheel drive (FF) layout.[24] From the early 2000s, several of these American luxury cars reverted to FR layouts.[25][26][27][28]

Prior to World War II, a wide array of European producers made luxury cars, including Rolls-Royce, Bugatti, Delage, Delahaye, Talbot-Lago, Bentley, Alvis, Avions Voisin, Isotta Fraschini, Horch, Simson, Stoewer, Maybach, Mercedes-Benz, Hispano Suiza, Daimler Company, and Spyker.[30][31]

France was a leading producer of powerful luxury automobiles prior to World War II.[32] After World War II, the French government used puissance fiscale tax regulations to encourage manufacturers to build cars with small engines, and French motorists to buy them.[32] The Maserati-powered Citroën SM and the Citroën C6 were arguably the last domestic French luxury cars.[33][34] In the 2010s, some French manufacturers have attempted to develop luxury cars, however the lack of a historical legacy has hindered these efforts.[35] In 2014, Citroën introduced DS Automobiles sub-brand to market luxury cars.[36][37]

Pre World War II intermediate car manufacturers like Renault, Fiat, Opel, Lancia, Škoda, Riley, Praga, Peugeot, Hillman, Tatra made luxury cars but were forced to make economy cars and superminis post World War II. Following World War II, Germany rose to become an export powerhouse, building on success with the Mercedes-Benz brand, later joined by BMW, which acquired Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, as well as Volkswagen that controls Audi, Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini, and Bugatti brands.

The luxury car phenomenon began at the start of the automobile industry when the wealthy frequently invested in the manufacture of such models to gain the social prestige associated thereby.[38] Emphasis was also placed on custom-built coachwork.[39] The 1920s and 1930s were the apogee of production of these very large luxury automobiles from many manufacturers. The significant North American manufacturers from 1910-1940 were Auburn, Buick, Cadillac, Chrysler, Continental, Cord, Daniels, DeSoto, Duesenberg, Franklin, Imperial, LaFayette, LaSalle, Lincoln, Marmon, Packard, Peerless, Pierce Arrow, Ruxton, Stearns-Knight, and Stutz. The Great Depression put many luxury car manufacturers out of business; others would hold on before going defunct during the postwar era.[citation needed][40][41]

From 1946 until the late 1990s, Cadillac was the top-selling brand of luxury cars in the U.S., while Lincoln was second.[42] The most successful and long-running model names during this era were the Cadillac DeVille, Lincoln Continental, and the Chrysler Imperial. The Lincoln Mark Series and Cadillac Eldorado were positioned in the personal luxury category and competition between them continued into the 1990s.[43]

The personal luxury car emerged into mass popularity and affordability as an America-specific category of popularly-priced cars made from the 1950s by the four domestic manufacturers (GM, Ford, Chrysler, and AMC) that reached peak popularity in the 1970s.[44] The cars were stylized, mass-produced two-door coupés or convertibles, relying on standard components.[45] These distinctively styled cars were targeting the needs of individual customers, not an entire family.[46] The longest running model lines were the 1958-1997 Ford Thunderbird, 1956-1998 Lincoln Mark Series, and the 1967-2002 Cadillac Eldorado.

In 1990, American luxury brands dominated with Cadillac selling over a quarter-million cars and Lincoln had its best year ever at 231,660 units.[47] However, the market was changing with an ever greater acceptance of smaller, more efficient imported luxury brands while at the same time, the domestic manufacturers were downsizing their models with product decisions that backfired on quality and brand respect.[47]

Since the late 1990s, Japanese and German brands have sold the most luxury-type cars in the United States. However, the Cadillac Escalade has led the luxury SUV segment sales in the United States since its introduction in 1998, with the highest sales for 15 out of its first 20 years on the market.[48][49]

In the 2000s, both Ford and General Motors produced luxury pickups: the 2002-2013 Cadillac Escalade EXT, 2002-2003 Lincoln Blackwood, and 2006-2014 Lincoln Mark LT.In the late 2000s, the Cadillac CTS and Cadillac DTS led to a resurgence in the brand's luxury sedans.[50] The equivalent sedan from the Ford group, the 2008 Lincoln MKS, was also regarded as a significant improvement over previous models.[51] In 2010, BMW was the best-selling luxury vehicle manufacturer by sales, with Audi and Mercedes-Benz the second and third highest selling luxury brands.[52]

Chinese manufacturer Hongqi was launched in 1958, making it the oldest Chinese luxury car marque.[53] Later newcomers joined taking advantage of the rise of electric powertrains, with NEV brands such as Nio in 2014, Li Auto in 2015, HiPhi in 2019, and BYD in 2020 producing luxury electric and hybrid vehicles. 041b061a72

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