For many consumers, the factors determining a vehicle purchase tend to include practicality, cost-effectiveness, reliability, and conservative fuel consumption. As anyone who has pursued the high-end of the automobile world will tell you, some designs throw those attributes out the window in favor of decadence, sophistication, and comfort. Known as luxury vehicles, the emphasis is placed on the name used to describe them. These are the vehicles that stand out among the herd and break the mold. Some of these vehicles are items of the past, while some are luxurious in different ways than what we typically think of. In any event, reading this article might have you start a search for the best used luxury cars for sale in your area. For now, let’s take a look at some of our favorites.
The Volkswagen Karmann Ghia
The Karmann Ghia isn’t defined as a luxury automobile, but this sports car was the joint union of two companies that brought Volkswagen out of its comfort zone of producing practical consumer vehicles and into the realms of sophistication. It all began with the chassis of the Volkswagen Beetle. Then, an Italian designer from Carrozzeria Ghia and German coach-building manufacturer Karmann joined together to deliver a sleek and stylish sports car that boasted sensuous curves and a design that would be in production for almost two full decades (1955-1974). Perhaps we’re overstepping the boundaries of what’s considered a luxury vehicle, but this is a sought-after gem that helped make luxury attainable for the average income.
The Porsche Panamera
Continuing with the German engineering theme, we’ll continue a brand that needs little to no introduction. When you think of Porsche, what comes to mind? Probably the image of a sports car powered by a Boxer engine tearing down the Autobahn at break-neck speeds. The member of Porsche’s fleet we’re spotlighting is still relatively new, debuting for the 2009 model year, but has been quick to make an impression. The Panamera is what happens when fine-tuned German engineering is utilized for the benefit of a luxury automobile.
The Panamera might have four doors and, at times, have the outward appearance of an SUV, but its more recent designs are more in the vein of what one would expect from Porsche. Powerful V6 or V8 engines propel it forward, while its stylish interior boasts sophistication. Recently outfitted with hybrid technology, it appears that Porsche will soon change how we think about cleaner vehicles and what they can accomplish.
The 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
We’re going to travel state-side for a few moments and take a look at a vehicle that at one time symbolized power, prestige, and sophistication. When industry critics refer to the high-end trims of trucks such as the High Country and Denali being the “new Cadillacs,” this is the Cadillac they’re referring to in particular.
With its iconic tail fins and lights that appeared as if they belonged on a spaceship, the 1959 Biarritz made an impression wherever it went and still manages to do so today whenever it pops up at car shows. Offering several extras that were considered a luxury for the time period, such as air-conditioning, power seats, fog lamps, and electric door locks, the golden child of 1959 serves as an example of a bygone era where bigger certainly meant better. Cadillac also gave their finned fleet member a 6.4L V8 that generated 345 hp. In the years that followed, more luxury vehicles would be more restrained with their designs, but we couldn’t make a list such as this and not tip our hat to this symbol of extravagance.
The 2020 Bentley Mulsanne
We jump back across the Atlantic for a vehicle that might be the high-water mark of luxury and sophistication. Like the Cadillac on our list, we chose a year-specific pick because this was the final year of the vehicle being available. If you’re going to head off into the sunset as a conquering hero, there’s no better way to do so. The 2020 Bentley Mulsanne, which was in production for only a decade, was a landmark achievement for the British manufacturer. Not surprisingly, it’s a vehicle with an almost royal pedigree.
Sitting upon a throne made from 21-inch wheels, the Mulsanne is powered by an engine that puts most American-bred muscle cars to shame. A twin-turbocharged 6.75L engine generates an unprecedented 505 hp. Industry critics pointed out that while the vehicle was ideal for a chauffeur to drive around the aristocracy and one percent, it was very much a car that had the type of handling and refinement made for a sedan of much smaller stature. Exquisite handling seemed to compliment the vehicle’s ultra-posh interior, which consists of leather seats and wood trim.
The Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class
All good things must come to an eventual end, and with our look at luxury vehicles that are beyond compare, we’ve traveled across the globe and through the annals of time to find ones that exemplify the term. We end our journey where we first started, though in a very different time period. The Mercedes-Benz CLS-class is one of the top-tier offerings from the manufacturer and one that possesses no pretense as to who it’s made for.
If you’re in the market for a luxury vehicle that still possesses traces of practicality, you might want to keep looking. Mercedes-Benz made this vehicle for those of prominent standing who are in the market for something to help them make a profound statement. Its perfectly rounded top makes for a design that’s aesthetically pleasing to the eye and is indicative of the posh interior Mercedes-Benz has been known for. Leather upholstery and an infotainment screen that stretches out over a foot as its centerpiece is what one finds when they get behind the wheel.
Practicality is the least of its worries, especially with its minuscule trunk that holds below the industry average. The CLS’s trunk has only 12 cu.ft., but some advantages make up for it. Most notably, its engine, which consists of a 3.0L six-cylinder, which produces 362 hp. As one of the priciest of the Benz fleet with a starting MSRP of $74,000, you might want to start saving up now if you’re thinking about buying one. Both the Audi A6 and A7 sell for a slightly lower price but don’t turn heads as much as a Mercedes does.
Practicality vs. Luxury: A Few Final Words
If you’re thinking of pulling the trigger on the idea of purchasing a luxury vehicle, there are a number of things to keep in mind. Items such as fuel, insurance, and repairs are all elevated, along with the price you’ll pay at any dealership. Any vehicle you purchase is an investment, and what you might want isn’t necessarily what’s best. But, if ownership of a luxury vehicle is something you’ve always wanted, and you’re in the position to do so, then, by all means, indulge in your dreams. Many luxury vehicles tend to depreciate in value much quicker than practical ones, so nabbing a used one for a lower price might be the best course of action if you decide to do so. The choice is yours, so choose wisely.