In the world of mainstream vehicles, luxury cars stand out with their unique, high-quality features. They are a sign of high class with looks and traits to prove it. And yet, this luxury car definition remains rather vague, especially when put into a historical perspective.

For instance, if money is not an issue. Would you go for a luxury car? Most likely, your answer would be yes. But what really motivates the positive answer? What are the deciding factors for your choice? How do you know they belong in the luxury vehicle segment and not other high-end cars?

Join me in this post, as I delve into the world of luxury cars and explore what makes luxury luxurious.

What makes a luxury car?

Porsche Ice Experience


If you are just looking for a vehicle to take you from point A to point B then maybe a luxury car is not exactly what you need. However, if you seek an exquisite ride that will turn a few heads as you drive by, then you might want to check that Roll-Royce Phantom or Jaguar. These luxury marques are all about sophisticated expensive looks and premium quality.

High-quality interior features

It is hard to imagine a luxury car without the superior interior comfort. The leather and supportive seats, futuristic infotainment systems, ample legroom, and preferential lights are just some features that create a superb luxury experience for a driver. Comfort and style, along with modern looks and the latest tech are intrinsic to your luxury car shopping checklist.

Brand differentiation

As more mass-market automakers are launching their premium models, it becomes essential for veteran luxury car marques to reinforce their position in the luxury marketplace. This is their niche, and in order to keep it that way, they leverage on their brand legacy and reputation. For example, Range Rover, Porsche, and Rolls Royce are relying on brand advertising to attract buyers. They offer their brand name and latest technological features as value propositions.


As premium cars are also becoming quite expensive, the line between a premium and a luxury vehicle has become a little blurry when it comes to price. For example, Mercedes-Benz CLA is one of those entry-luxury cars, which is still pretty affordable. And then you have vehicles such as Audi S8 or Bentley, which are considered an ultra-flagship luxury. Their price tag that exceeds the $150k mark leaves you no doubt about their luxurious origin. Hence, when in doubt about whether the car you are looking at belongs in the luxury segment, besides price, you can rely on the previous criteria, to help you out.

Speed and safety

These are the other distinguishing features, especially when considering sports luxury cars. Their crash protection features and exterior are specifically designed in such a way that allows you to reach full speed in a matter of seconds, and yet, feel safe while on the road.

How did the concept of luxury cars evolve over the years?

The criteria above suggest that luxury car brands make it all about their drivers. It’s not all just about a car, it’s about the status. The unique ownership experience seems to be the common denominator throughout the evolution of the luxury car concept.

At the beginning of the 20th century, all cars were considered a luxury. Most of them were still hand made, and quite costly as compared to most people’s earnings. Hence, the car was a sign of prestige, which only a select few could afford.

In 1913, Henry Ford introduced an assembly line, which, in turn, reduced each vehicle’s production time and, consequently, lowered its price. Now, more people had access to cars. There was time, especially after the Great Depression, when one could see both regular and luxury cars sharing the roads. It was so easy to tell them apart.

Today, these lines have blurred. Thanks to progress in technology and machine learning, more and more features, which previously belonged only in the luxury segment, are also being added to other vehicles.

What is the future of luxury?

Futuristic technology and e-mobility seem to be the focus of future luxury cars. Artificial intelligence is turning cars into smart aware machines. Moreover, with Tesla being one of the main electric luxury brands on the market, it seems that soon, these will be two main criteria to tell luxury cars apart.

However, if you still own a classic luxury car, do not attempt at replacing it. Its value most likely will keep increasing. This is the beauty of luxury. It may get out of fashion in the short run, but it obtains incredible value in the long run.

What is your experience with luxury cars? Do you have any other criteria that you personally use to distinguish a luxury vehicle from other premium cars? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments below.


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