What is the definition of a “luxury car” these days? It used to be things like leather seats, power locks and windows, heated/cooled seats, navigation, power… But nowadays, “regular” cars have all these things. So what makes a luxury car a “luxury car” in 2013?

In my opinion, it’s a combination of the highest quality of these things. If you compare the leather in a Lexus to the leather in a Toyota, there’s a noticeable difference. So leather quality is one thing.

Power is another thing that, in my opinion, a luxury car should have compared to a non-luxury or “near” luxury car. A true luxury car should have passing power that other cars don’t have. A Cadillac XTS should have no problem passing a Chevy Impala – while being heavier due to sound deadening material and extra features.

That brings me to another luxury feature I feel is important in true “luxury” cars. A luxury car should be quiet inside. I bought my wife a new Chrysler 300C in 2007. It was big and powerful and had some cool luxury features – but the leather was hard, road/tire and wind noise was ‘pretty bad’ and everything was “hard and cold” inside…

And that brings me to another feature I feel true “luxury cars” should have. Superior interior materials. In my opinion, a luxury car should have soft surfaces everywhere. Wherever you may lean your arm, elbow or anything else – it should be soft and comfortable. More so than what you might find in a Honda Accord or Chevy Malibu.

What’s your opinion? What do you feel makes a true “luxury car” in 2013?

What is a luxury car in 2013?

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2 Comments on "What is a luxury car in 2013?"

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John Katrenak

Superior materials and build quality as mentioned help define a luxury car. One thing I would add is that a luxury vehicle creates an environment where getting to your destination is not the prime objective, the experience is. Driving a luxury car is something to be taken in by your senses and enjoyed.

Jesda Gulati

I agree. As features become more computerized and commonplace, luxury then becomes about having more than you need: nicer materials than ordinary, more power, more space, flashier styling. A Rolls Royce from the 1970s used GM transmissions and Delco radios but the man-hours of labor involved in building them, the baroque styling, the thick pieces of individually selected wood, and the scent and softness of the leather set them apart.

This is bad news, however, for in-between brands that straddle the line between luxury and standard automobiles. Lincoln and Acura are vulnerable.