: What is a "luxury car" to you folks?



I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-15-07, 12:14 PM
We all have different definitions of what makes a car a luxury car. Is it the options? The nameplate and history associated with that nameplate? Is it the features and options the car has or offers? There are many other factors too.

For me, first of all, it's gotta be from a brand with a renowned luxury reputation. That what makes a deVille a luxury car, whereas a Park Avenue is a "near luxury" car even though they have basically the same features because the deVille is from a renowned luxury brand.

Secondly, a lot of high tech features are a must, or atleast a lot of little power features., gadgets are good in my book. Some essential examples of this type of luxury are the 98+STS, 00+ DTS, 95+ Continental, Citroen SM, and of course the top end import luxury sedans. The features that come to mind are the adjustable suspensions (driver controlled on the Connie and hydraulic on the old Citroens), the nightview infared scanners, etc etc.

Opulence is a huge thing for me. Over the top, plush, baroque, extravagant, ostentatious design inside and out. You don't see many cars with this design philosophy anymore, but it was huge in the '70s, which is probably one of the reasons I love '70s cars so much. A perfect example of an overly opulent car is the '74-'75 Imperial. It's got the massive tanklike look to it, the rolls royce style grille and hideaway headlights that give it that baroque look, the deeeply cushioned 'pillow top' seats that would fit equally well in the parlor of the Vanderbilt Mansion, the dark walnut wood appliques, the embossings (is that the right word?) on the dash and door panels. It all adds up to sheer opulence!

http://www.imperialclub.com/Yr/1974/74Brown/02.jpg
http://www.imperialclub.com/Yr/1974/74Brown/07.jpg


The '70s Lincolns had that look too, but the '70s Caddys were much more sober...didn't have the hideaway headlights, Rolls Royce style grille nor the pillow top seats (well, except for the Eldorado Biarritzes).


Usage of top end materials and the finest craftsmanship is another big factor for me. Nothing can top the Mercedes Benzes made before about 2000 (last M-B of the old school design school was the W140 S Class, ended in 1999). Materials were top notch in all uses, and the cars were practically hand assembled. Aside from Rolls and Bentley, you just don't see that anymore. Real wood trim was always used, mirror matched on both sides, leather was used on all parts of the seats, not just the parts you sit on. GM is getting MUCH better at that as the years go on. The build quality and materials used in my 15 year old Caddy are pretty good, but the stuff they use in the brand new cars are amazing! Have you guys seen the dash design on the 08 CTS and Chinese SLS? It's freaking gorgeous!

Size is another factor for me. One of my favorite quotes from a brochure is something along the lines of "there is no luxury better than ample room for all passengers". Who wants to be crammed in a car for hours on end, even if it's got loads of features and great build quality. Luxury is loads of space to occupy. Another reason why I love big cars....more than ample space for all.

I could go on and on, but I'll leave it there for now. Let's see what you guys have to say!

Jonas McFeely
07-15-07, 12:57 PM
Nothing can top the Mercedes Benzes made before about 2000

I beg to differ. I have first-hand experience with pre-2000 Mercedes. Drove countless Mercedes at the auction,every single model.

Solid? Yes.

Thats about it.

The interiors consistently were falling apart. The buttons were usually chipped or broken or missing. The seats were stiff and lack support. The leather didnt hold up for shit. And the ergonomic were just terrible. HVAC controls are a joke.

When they did run, they drove pretty well, but we always had trouble with them. It was a consistent thing with German cars. BMW, VW, MB, always gave us shit. Audis not so much though. And i only drove one Porche, and it was an '80-something 944 that was beat to hell and back.

And dont get me started on the HORRIBLE smell of Mercedes leather. BMW too. Even new, they just smell like piss. I dont know if German cows eat poop all day or what.

Cadillacboy
07-15-07, 02:40 PM
Woods,leathers ,some power accessories,various gadgets make a car luxurious .Of course material quality also counts .
I think Fleetwood Broughams are more luxurious cars to Seville despite lack of some techno gadgets .When you get in a FWB from other makes you can feel this .The buttons are chrome not some cheap plastic ,rear vaniety mirrors really nice .Seats're really comfortable .

77CDV
07-15-07, 02:59 PM
A true luxury car must have size, visual prescence, outstanding yet restrained styling both inside and out, and a level of features not found on lesser cars. I prefer my luxury car to have a soft, compliant ride and coddling seats, so I'm not so much for the Germans. One thing a luxury car must never do is annoy it's owner, so British makes are out for me, even though I thing Bentleys and Jags are some of the most gorgeous cars on the road.

Jesda
07-15-07, 04:10 PM
I love 1985-1995 MB interiors. Solidly built and the most comfortable seats... EVER. Luxury for me entails comfort, convenience, power, and quiet that exceeds most cars. Each has to be evaluated in the context of its time.

Sandy
07-15-07, 04:21 PM
Somewhere (I CAN"T FIND IT :mad: I have the Federal Government listing of what cars sold in America are considered LUXURY TRANSPORTATION.)

I can recall some.....
All Cadillacs except the CTS
All Lincolns except the MK-Z
All Mercedes except the "C" Class
All BMWs except the 3-Series
The Volvo S80
Infiniti M45
Lexus LS
Audi A8
Jaguar XK and XJ
All Rolls & Bentley
All Maserati

I think it was something like the "Cheapest" car in the series had to be AT $55,000 without options.

PERSONALLY, my #1 would be the 1974 & 1975 Imperial (as pictured) and the 1976 thru 1978 New Yorker Brougham (the rebadged Imperial),
followed by the 1974 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Tallisman, and then the 1979 Lincoln Town COUPE, followed by the current Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas Super-8 and then my current Town Car & Sixty Special at a tie.

dkozloski
07-15-07, 07:02 PM
Cowboy Cadillac?

Kev
07-15-07, 07:36 PM
In my personal definition size is not a factor except in the cabin, a luxury car should never feel cramped.

I want to see;

- Plush comfort.
- Quality materials and workmanship inside and out, that includes fit and finish. (Real wood, real leather. etc.)
- Abundant amenities including automated systems such as climate control, ride/traction control, security systems, remote start (new in the last few years).
- Classy styling and color coordination.
- Unique or uncommon features not found in lower level autos.

c5 rv
07-15-07, 08:19 PM
Ala Carte dream car?

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070715/BUSINESS01/707150560

Kev
07-15-07, 09:11 PM
Here's an interesting up-and-coming possibility;


The Natalia SLS 2 sport luxury sedan, the world's first $2 million production automobile, will be completely distinctive from bumper to bumper. It will be the world's fastest, most technologically-advanced, and finest four-door sport luxury sedan in transportation history. .... a little pricey for me though ....

http://www.dimoramotorcar.com/nat_overview.html

Spyder
07-15-07, 09:12 PM
http://www.mwctoys.com/REVIEW_071403a.htm

Kev
07-15-07, 09:17 PM
http://www.mwctoys.com/REVIEW_071403a.htm
The "Homer" ........ uh ...... OK ...... :eek:

Florian
07-15-07, 09:37 PM
anything by Aston Martin.....so sweet.


F

Spyder
07-15-07, 10:54 PM
The "Homer" ........ uh ...... OK ...... :eek:

An AWESOME episode. Season two. "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?"

Jesda
07-16-07, 04:29 AM
Also: Technology is not a good way to define luxury. It can be a complement, but it can't be the primary focus.

As time goes by, gadgets that were once new become ubiquitous, finding their way into economy cars and pedestrian sedans. If too much of a car's luxury is focused on technology, its character becomes meaningless as time goes on and those once-exclusive toys become commonplace.

The 2002-2006 Infiniti Q45, for example, was advertised as being the most high-tech luxury car in the US. Except for the 2001 S-type and the S-class of the time, it was the technological showcase on wheels. Now, 3D navigation, powerful headlights, and voice controls are in cars from almost every luxury every brand. Navigation is available in cars as diminutive as the Mazda 3.

Five years later, the Q45's toys are unspecial, and all that remains are the peculiar styling, small back seat, questionable handling, and poor resale.

Compare that to the Cadillac Escalade and Chrysler 300C, both more sought after by the public despite being less precisely built with cheaper interiors and fewer options.

People don't remember how many buttons there were on the dashboard. They remember how they felt in the driver's seat, how people perceived them, and how the car elevated their esteem.

parexa
07-16-07, 09:13 AM
My 2003 S500. It's pimpin :D

Lord Cadillac
07-16-07, 10:55 AM
To me, a luxury car should be sized like a 1993-1996 Fleetwood Brougham - giving plenty of room in the back for three average sized adults, and more than enough room for two large adults in the front - perhaps 3 if need-be.

A luxury car should have four doors for easy access to any of the seating. Also, four doors so that the front passengers do not need to be bothered when rear passengers enter or exit. It should drive very softly and be very quiet inside. Technology and gadgetry should reflect the times. It should have enough power to move 6 adults quickly and without straining. The wood should be real, the leather should feel expensive (and soft) and the seats should be extremely comfortable.

96Fleetwood
07-16-07, 11:50 AM
There is a distinct difference, but I think the average consumer considers any sedan over $40K to be a luxury car. I disagree... a ES350 lexus is $40K plus fully loaded.. that is NOT a luxury car to me.

A true luxury car is a car made for the elite and can seat 5 adults comfortably with the same features front/rear and not seen on a daily basis or in every other driveway... such as the S600, S65, 760Li, Maybach, Arnage, Quatroportte, etc...

In that respect, no modern day American car is a true luxury car.. .why? I can go down the street to Alamo and rent a new DTS (or to Budget for a Town Car) for $60.00-80.00/day. I see a new DTS or STS on a daily basis. The only American car that comes close to being a true luxury car is the top of the line 2007 Escalade.. and that is a SUV (maybe why it has the best resale value out of all the Cadillac line?)

Years ago, only the elite few could have a Cadillac and the name was just as respected as the European competition. I get reminded of this everytime I sit behind the wheel of a 50s, 60s, or 70s Cadillac and admire the attention to detail and uniqueness each vehicle exudes whether behind the wheel or as a passenger. We need those days to come back!!

Just my .02$

77CDV
07-16-07, 12:00 PM
There was also a time when Cadillac intentionally underbuilt relative to demand so as to maintain the marque's exclusivity. They need to start doing that again, too.

Playdrv4me
07-16-07, 12:36 PM
And dont get me started on the HORRIBLE smell of Mercedes leather. BMW too. Even new, they just smell like piss. I dont know if German cows eat poop all day or what.

It may stink but it does indeed hold up better than any other brand period. Cadillac leather isnt far behind, especially now with the more european interiors, but I have seen some BEAT TO SHIT Mercedes W126 Cars and the leather still looks new, moreso with BMW. I like the hard supportive seats more than the cushy ones on long trips as well, they provide more comfort over an extended period of time.

Playdrv4me
07-16-07, 12:37 PM
There is a distinct difference, but I think the average consumer considers any sedan over $40K to be a luxury car. I disagree... a ES350 lexus is $40K plus fully loaded.. that is NOT a luxury car to me.

A true luxury car is a car made for the elite and can seat 5 adults comfortably with the same features front/rear and not seen on a daily basis or in every other driveway... such as the S600, S65, 760Li, Maybach, Arnage, Quatroportte, etc...

In that respect, no modern day American car is a true luxury car.. .why? I can go down the street to Alamo and rent a new DTS (or to Budget for a Town Car) for $60.00-80.00/day. I see a new DTS or STS on a daily basis. The only American car that comes close to being a true luxury car is the top of the line 2007 Escalade.. and that is a SUV (maybe why it has the best resale value out of all the Cadillac line?)

Years ago, only the elite few could have a Cadillac and the name was just as respected as the European competition. I get reminded of this everytime I sit behind the wheel of a 50s, 60s, or 70s Cadillac and admire the attention to detail and uniqueness each vehicle exudes whether behind the wheel or as a passenger. We need those days to come back!!

Just my .02$

Excellent points.

Jesda
07-16-07, 08:21 PM
Many MBs of that era had MBTex, a leather-like material that was very soft, breathed well, and lasted forever. It smells different from leather though, which is probably what Jonas was referring to.

I want to add that a luxury car should announce some level of achievement. A non-M BMW 3-series, unless its an M-badge or a convertible, is pretty common and easily acquired, along with the CTS, G35, and MB C-class.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-16-07, 09:07 PM
To add to what Jesda already said, technology features don't make a luxury car, they enhance the car, but they don't make it. It's like the frosting to the cake, really good frosting can't make up for horrid cake. A lot of the cars that top my list of the greatest luxury cars ever have a lot of neat features, but the cars themselves are so rare and desirable that the features are only a small part of the overall luxury factor of the car. A great example of this is my favorite european luxury car of all time...the 1976-1990 Aston Martin Lagonda.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3a/89_Lagonda.JPG/800px-89_Lagonda.JPG
It was very ahead of it's time, it came out in 1976, the design looked like something from 1990 and if I'm not mistaken, it was the first car ever to use a digital dash, but not just any digital setup. IIRC, it was a cathode-ray design...never the less it's prohibitively expensive to repair (somewhere in the area of $20,000). And even though it's loaded with neat features, it'll stand the test of time as a car with impeccable, unforgettable design, exclusive cachet and a suberb desirability factor.

gdwriter
07-17-07, 12:17 AM
In my personal definition size is not a factor except in the cabin, a luxury car should never feel cramped.

I want to see;

- Plush comfort.
- Quality materials and workmanship inside and out, that includes fit and finish. (Real wood, real leather. etc.)
- Abundant amenities including automated systems such as climate control, ride/traction control, security systems, remote start (new in the last few years).
- Classy styling and color coordination.
- Unique or uncommon features not found in lower level autos.:yeah:

Lord Cadillac
07-17-07, 12:23 AM
In regards to leather, I like Lexus' "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" semi-analine...

Spyder
07-17-07, 02:21 PM
analine? Sounds...kinky.

Leloz
07-18-07, 08:28 AM
the 1976-1990 Aston Martin Lagonda.


You have to love the British, they put beautiful designs & leather appointed surfaces.. yet they can't seem to master modern electronics and driver friendly ergonomics. This can be seen with Bentley, Jaguar, Aston Martin... maybe one day they can make the perfect package?

soupero
07-18-07, 01:02 PM
Bentley (of course I mean the Arnage/Azure/Brooklands)

Kev
07-18-07, 01:58 PM
You have to love the British, they put beautiful designs & leather appointed surfaces.. yet they can't seem to master modern electronics and driver friendly ergonomics. This can be seen with Bentley, Jaguar, Aston Martin... maybe one day they can make the perfect package?Don't hold your breath till then!

77CDV
07-18-07, 02:40 PM
You have to love the British, they put beautiful designs & leather appointed surfaces.. yet they can't seem to master modern electronics and driver friendly ergonomics. This can be seen with Bentley, Jaguar, Aston Martin... maybe one day they can make the perfect package?
Forget modern electricals, the Brits didn't do so well with old electricals. British cars are in a class by themselves as far as style and elegance, but I could never own one with all the electrical and mechanical problems they have.