Luxury Cars  |  Discussion forums Glossary of motoring terms


Luxury cars place more emphasis on comfort, appearance, and amenities than on performance, economy, or utility. Furthermore, they usually offer more modern technology, higher quality materials, and are often built in smaller numbers than more affordable mass-market vehicles.

In addition to featuring a high base price, high levels of comfort, highly sumptuous interior with a strong emphasis on design and beauty, luxury cars typically carry prestige. Although this cannot be measured in finite quantities, "prestige" usually refers to the allure which the car carries. From prestige, people get the idea of "paying for the emblem".

Mid-luxury segment

Cars in the middle-luxury segment feature a base price between approximately $40,000 and $60,000, have a very high degree of comfort, and should have the latest or near latest technological and safety innovations. Customers in this segment also yield some priority to performance. Therefore, many car manufacturers produce these cars with V8s and some highly sophisticated 6-cylinder engines.

Vehicles in this segment include the mid-range models of several luxury carmakers such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5 Series, Lexus GS430 or the Jaguar S-Type. There are also some flagship sedans in this segment. The Lincoln Town Car, Cadillac DTS and Acura RL are all considered to be part of the mid-luxury segment due to their relatively low base MSPs despite their rank as a "flagship sedan" and high-end like interiors.

This market is operated under western nameplates with some Japanese representation. It is mainly controlled by Germans (40%), Americans (30%) and Japanese (23%).

High-end luxury segment

This category includes many flagship vehicles of luxury brands such as the Lexus LS 460. Currently, all vehicles priced between the range of $60k and $100k are a part of this exclusive club. The vehicles in this segment offer extremely high levels of quality and latest technological developments, as well as degrees of comfort at least equal to those found in Mid-level luxury vehicles.

Vehicles in this category include some of the models from the flagship lines of luxury car brands. Vehicles in this segment include the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series, Audi A8, Jaguar XJ, and Lexus LS. The Volkswagen Phaeton V8 is the only high-end luxury vehicle that is not sold under a luxury nameplate.

This segment is operated under various German, British and Japanese nameplates. It is mainly controlled by Germans (60%), Americans (30%) and Japanese (8%).

Maserati Quattroporte

Ultra-luxury segment

Currently, all cars in the ultra-luxury segment are priced at approximately $100k or higher. They may or may not be better in quality and refinement than other luxury cars, but due to their high MSP, they guarantee exclusivity and help to get their owners noticed. This segment includes the entire lineup of Rolls Royce, Bentley, Maserati, and Maybach. Many "flagship sedans" from car companies whose average car sells in a lower class are actually in this category. For example, anything more upgraded than the Mercedes-Benz S500, BMW 750, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, or the Audi A8 can be included in this category. The Volkswagen Phaeton W12 (not V8) and the Toyota Century (only in Japan) are the only ultra luxury vehicles not manufactured by a luxury car manufacturer. Most of the vehicles in this category offer 12-cylinder engines, though some such as Maserati offer only V8s.

This category is operated mostly by European nameplates and controlled mainly by Germans (70%), Americans (10%) and Italians (15%).

Luxury SUVs

A luxury SUV is a relatively expensive vehicle that features a higher emphasis on comfort and quality than its mainstream counterparts. Mid-level luxury SUVs feature base MSPs ranging approximately between $45,000 to $70,000. Vehicles in this category include the Lexus GX, Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Land Rover LR3, Lincoln Navigator, Cadillac Escalade, and the Infiniti QX56. High-end luxury SUVs feature base MSPs from approximately $70,000 to $100,000. Vehicles in this category include the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Lexus LX, BMW X5, Cadillac Escalade ESV, Lincoln Navigator L, and Land Rover Range Rover.


Crossover luxury vehicles are between 60-70 inches in height and generally more affordable than traditional luxury SUVs (70 inches and over in height) and feature a base MSP from approximately $30k to $42k. Since they are crossover vehicles, they tend to be smaller than SUVs and feature sedan-like design features. Vehicles in this category include the Lexus RX, Lincoln MKX, and the Infiniti FX35.

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