Luxury Vehicles

Purchasing a luxury vehicle isn’t as extravagant as you may think. Sumptuous leather, exotic wood trim, a cutting-edge sound system and outrageous options aren’t the only perks to a first-class ride.

Your investment could pay off in a more-than-satisfying experience for years to come. It could keep you safer on the roadways than you would be in a cheaper car. Springing for first-rate engineering also entitles you to VIP treatment through manufacturers’ rewards programs.

Keep reading to learn more about the lasting value of high-quality cars and the numerous privileges associated with owning one.

On the Road Again … and Again and Again

Automakers like BMW, Cadillac, Lexus and Audi continue to outdo themselves with superior engineering. Expensive cars are known for performance, comfort, ease of handling, thoughtful cabin design, avant-garde technology and execution of safety features.

From plug-in hybrids to sporty, 600-plus-horsepower sedans to 12-cylinder-engine SUVs, the build is simply higher quality. The better brands get high marks where they matter most. Examples include acceleration, handling, braking, all-wheel drive, pillow-soft suspension and fuel efficiency. They’re appreciated for elevated driving position, flexible cargo space and numerous creature comforts.

For all these reasons, they provide greater value than lower-priced cars. High-quality vehicles range anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000, but with routine maintenance, you could be behind the wheel of one for years to come. If the idea of eventually not having a car payment appeals to you, this is the way to go.

Safety First

The heightened focus on safety in pricier vehicles may be the best reason of all for spending the extra money. Cruise control and air bags may be nothing new, but there’s a host of modern features to help you get home in one piece.

Many models use light detection and ranging, or LIDAR, to measure the distance between your ride and the one in front of you. If that one slows down or hits a brick wall, your car will slow down or stop. Almost all models have some form of lane-keeping assist. A few have street sign recognition.

One Cadillac has night-vision technology that illuminates animals and people in the roadway from 100 yards away. Head-up displays present data, such as maps, transparently on the windshield so you can keep your eyes on the road.

Safety technology gets more sophisticated all the time.

Bells and Whistles

If it’s been a while since you browsed in a swanky car dealership, be prepared for your jaw to drop.

Features like adaptive cruise control, voice-activated infotainment and massaging seats — once the stuff of science fiction — are practically standard in many high-end vehicles these days. In fact, Mercedes-Benz has kicked it up a notch with various massage options. One simulates a hot stone massage.

Rolls-Royce shows off with self-closing doors that happen to store two $700 umbrellas. If you drive a BMW M760i, you’ll never have to squeeze out of the car in a tight parking spot. Just hop out first, and park the car remotely.

Sky Control, introduced by Mercedes-Benz, allows you to toy with the amount of light and heat coming through the windows until it’s to your liking. With Rolls-Royce’s Starlight Headliner feature, a unique constellation is illuminated in each car at night through pinprick perforations in the ceiling leather.

Pampering Perks

Lexus, Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz are just a few of the carmakers who generously reward their customers. A mere key fob might open up a world of special treatment such as concierge services, special parking privileges at concerts or sporting events, and delightful amenities at restaurants, hotels and spas.

Lincoln’s Black Label program offers travel and dining perks. It even tosses in a free year of CLEAR, a program that allows you to breeze through TSA checkpoints at the airport. You could save up to $179 on that reward alone.

It’s impossible to get stranded if you drive a Lincoln, Genesis or other luxury brand name. They offer free roadside assistance and will even comp a hotel stay if your car needs servicing while you’re out of town. If you don’t feel like visiting the dealership for servicing, a mechanic will take care of it in your own driveway while you have a nap.

Options

Who makes the best high-end automobiles and SUVs? That depends on whom you ask in any given year, but here are some brands that regularly turn up on top ten lists:

• Acura
• Audi
• BMW
• Cadillac
• Infiniti
• Land Rover
• Lexus
• Lincoln
• Mercedes-Benz
• Porsche
• Rolls-Royce
• Volvo

With auto loan interest rates at historic lows, there’s no better time to treat yourself to the quality and luxury you deserve.