Volkswagen Passat CC
For a company whose brand name literally translates to "People's Car," competing in the luxury segment was to be a daunting task from the outset. Volkswagen's new Passat CC, however, shows that premium quality, efficient powertrain technology, and handsome styling are not limited to cars with stellar price tags. Beyond value, the Passat CC stands on its own as a legitimate luxury four-door coupe.
The Audi A4 has long been considered the underdog of Germany's trio of entry-level luxury sedans, but in its current form has become the top selling model in its home market and a sales leader for Audi. Bigger than both its rivals from Mercedes Benz and BMW, with classic European looks and handling, and widely recognized for having the best interior of the three, the A4 has now cemented itself as a top contender in the world of luxury sedans.
Merceds Benz S-Class
The S-Class draws its name from the German word Sonderklasse, which roughly translates as "in a class of its own," and this perfectly describes the benchmark saloon. Thanks to Mercedes-Benz's incessant desire to innovate, the S-Class is the industry leader in advanced safety, performance and entertainment technology. Its accoutrement as a fine executive luxury sedan and prowess on the road are similarly first-rate.
Italian style and passion are famous ingredients of the Maserati line, but the Quattroporte combines that enthusiasm with equal parts fine workmanship and attention to detail, both inside and out. Powered by a sonorous V8 engine crafted by Ferrari with a new six-speed automatic gearbox, with quilted leather and exotic hardwoods, the in-cabin experience of the Quattroporte is unmatched.
A recent resurgence in American luxury car production has seen some of the best cars ever to emerge from Detroit rolling off the assembly line in the past few years, and the MKS is one of them. High-quality materials, attractive design and attention to detail have put the Lincoln brand back on the luxury map. Confidence-inspiring handling and a comfortable, refined ride combine with the MKS's value proposition to make it a leader in the segment.
Lexus LS 600h
Accessible luxury with a broad appeal captures the Lexus ethos, and the LS 600h takes that theme and expands upon it. Offering a selection of technological and safety features found only in the most advanced executive sedans in the world, the LS 600h also offers spacious accommodation, pleasing design and fine materials. Performance-enhancing hybrid drive also boosts fuel efficiency, helping the V8 engine compete with German V12s.
The fresh new design of the XF is a prelude to Jaguar's re-awakening, both elegant and avant-garde. Despite its modern look the car exudes the classic qualities that made Jaguar famous - sexy lines, superfluous luxury, and a powerful engine under the hood. Attractive pricing and a high level of standard features makes the XF a contender for any garage.
BMW's flagship saloon since 1977, the 7-Series has traditionally been at the forefront of automotive technology but its polarizing styling has divided aficionados of late. A redesign for 2009 shows a return to the elegant lines of previous generations, backed by the latest in automotive technology. From infra-red night vision to automated self-parking and powerful turbocharged engines, the BMW 7-Series has it all.
BMW has long prided itself for engineering not just beautiful cars, but great driving cars. Not surprisingly, the carmaker's entry-level 3-Series sedan has earned a reputation as the benchmark in its class, thanks in part to a twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine that is the envy of the industry. The car was recently refreshed to keep up with the times, and continues to show its famous poise through corners, informative steering and blistering straight-line performance. The driver-focused cabin balances luxury appointments with considerations of weight and functionality.