Some of the finest premium cars come from German brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, but they also come with high price tags, questionable reliability and a high cost of ownership. For a more affordable and more reliable luxury car experience, Japanese luxury brands, like Lexus, Acura and Infiniti, are good alternatives. Let's not forget American luxury brands, which also offer more affordable alternatives to the European brands and specialize in full-size luxury SUVs.
Like higher-volume cars, luxury cars come in many forms. They range from sporty coupes to comfy sedans to crossovers and SUVs in just about every size you can imagine. Luxury vehicles also have huge price ranges with the entry-level offerings usually starting in the mid-$30k range and the higher-end models going well into 6-digit prices with more premium features and more exclusive, high-performance drivetrains.
Pros: The biggest pro of luxury cars is right there in the name, it's the luxury. Volume cars can get pretty nice in their higher trims, but they just can't match the prestige and premium craftsmanship of a true luxury car. With high-end materials and finer designs, luxury cars provide the comfort you deserve.
Some of the most exciting performance cars on the market today come from luxury brands. Brands like Porsche, Mercedes-AMG and Alfa Romeo blend luxury with performance in a way that delivers the best of both worlds.
Luxury cars are often the surest way to get the latest and greatest in automotive technology. The way the latest tech is introduced to cars is usually in luxury cars first and then it gradually trickles down to the rest of the industry. For the most up-to-date technology in the automotive world, you need a luxury car.
Cons: The many virtues of luxury cars don't come cheap. Since luxury cars are the best-equipped cars on the market, they're also the most expensive. Not only are you paying a lot for the purchase price, but luxury vehicles are often some of the fastest depreciating vehicles you can buy. That's good news for used car shoppers, but bad news for new car shoppers.
Depending on the brand, luxury cars can have shaky reliability records and high ownership costs. If you look at data for the automotive brands with the highest cost of ownership, those lists are usually topped by German luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz. However, as we mentioned earlier, there are exceptions. If you're thinking about buying a luxury car and planning on keeping it past its warranty, make sure you do some research on what you can expect with ownership costs and reliability.