In the mid-days of the automobile, that is, from the 1940s-70s, America had the market cornered when it came to offering large, luxurious, comfortable cars. Since then the European markets and even some Japanese brands have entered the fray, with more efficiency, more power, and greater prestige. It’s very, very hard to beat a Mercedes when it comes to luxury.
America is fighting back with their staple luxury brands and has been for a while, and with each passing year, the cars get better and better. With luxury entering even trucks, it’s clear the class has evolved to being stretched across nearly every different kind of car.
We always recommend the Cadillac CTS-V but decided to not put it on this list and go for something else. However, we couldn’t just ignore the other cars that Cadillac has to offer. Cadillac’s ATS-V is like the CTS-V except it doesn’t have a V8. It does, however, have a turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 that makes more than 460 horsepower, a manual transmission, and RWD. The performance is certainly there, but how does it do with luxury? Unfortunately, it does fall short of its rivals in some areas, according to reviews on USNews.
For instance, it’s been said the ATS-V’s infotainment system doesn’t have enough buttons and is difficult to navigate. Cramped back seats don’t help either. You must remember though, that this is a Cadillac and is already, out of the box, going to be more comfortable than your Honda Civic. It’s got high-quality materials on the inside,
Finding a sedan was tough since we’re trying to stay away from the CTS-V for this particular list. Enter the Lincoln Continental. Again, much like the Cadillac, there are some elements that aren’t in contention with other, specifically German-made luxury vehicles. It’s not lacking in performance numbers, however. Available for the Reserve model is the 3.0-liter Ecoboost V6, which makes 400 horsepower with two turbochargers.
The interior is made out of high-quality materials and has comfortable front seats. Where the Continental falls short, unfortunately, is in trunk space and rear seat headroom. All things considered, the Continental provides a comfortable and relaxing journey. It’s had a 15-year hiatus, so give it some patience and the Continental should be up to snuff in no time.
The price alone of the Z06 vaulted the Corvette into this list, yet it still has a place among luxurious sports cars because of its interior. Chevrolet has not only produced a new Corvette with direct injection and improving it over the last few years, but they’ve also provided the best Corvette ever built. You can find one that’s got more than 600 horsepower which approaches and even surpasses some supercars. It corners well, has a great transmission, and in terms of its interior, the Corvette has a lot to offer.
Inside you’ll find high-quality plastics, leather, and even some carbon fiber. The controls surround the driver, to provide a more ergonomic touch, and the trunk space is larger than its competitors. Of course, it probably won’t feel like a luxury car on the road, as it’s primarily a sports car with stiff springs. However, it does itself a service as closing in on the luxury class.
“Upscale” is not a word used sparingly when describing the Silverado. The truck’s interior now has much higher quality materials, is better arranged, and more refined. Trucks, in general, have become more luxurious, the only downside is, that they are still trucks so a high price tag is hard to justify, for a vehicle you’re going to use (presumably) to tow lumber and trailers.
Nevertheless, the Silverado does well to muscle its way into the luxury class. Chevrolet has indeed stepped up its game when it comes to higher quality interior materials. The Silverado also provides a plush ride, absorbing nearly every bump resulting in a feeling of driving on clouds.
Cadillac makes yet another appearance on this list with its behemoth, the Escalade. Every trim comes with a 6.2-liter V8 producing more than 400 horsepower, an automatic transmission, and keeping true to GM’s current trend, high-quality interior materials. While it is powerful, comfortable, and huge the Escalade is not without its faults.
It’s been reported that the legroom for the third row can be a little cramped, despite the enlargement of the car’s wheelbase for this year. According to other reviews, the performance isn’t there either, compared to its rivals. Though that could be attributed to the car’s massive size. Regardless, it’s a big SUV that’s comfortable and luxurious.
So, not strictly a luxury car but since we’re confined to American cars for this list we’re grasping at straws. Just because it’s not technically for luxury drivers doesn’t mean the Challenger doesn’t have a lot to offer. Unfortunately it doesn’t have very high-quality interior materials, however, it does offer plenty of room on the inside, a manual transmission, and a powerful V8. It’s also got a high safety score, and four seats so it’s perfect for a family on a Sunday drive.
Of course, we had to fit it on this list somewhere. The CTS-V is just too good to pass up. It comes with a supercharged V8 that delivers more than 550 horsepower, is RWD, comes with a manual transmission, is nimble, plush, comfortable, the suspension is soft, brakes are big, there’s nothing left to say.
Yes, it’s another Corvette. True, this isn’t the newest generation but truth be told it’s still an exceptional sports car. It’s comfortable, has plenty of space, and plenty of power. Of course, it’s not going to handle as well as the newest generation. After all, we’ve said the new Corvette is simply the best that’s ever come out. However, you still can’t go wrong for the value. Plus, getting it used reduces the price, compared to a brand new one, by about half.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a used truck as luxurious as this for the same price. Especially with leather, it feels like you’re sitting on a sofa. The Ram 2500 pulls like a beast as well, especially when equipped with the Cummins turbo diesel inline-six and a manual transmission. It’s not technically a luxury truck, but it sports a lot of luxurious qualities.
For a used luxury SUV the Navigator is a decent choice. While it is underpowered, it still offers a lavish, leather-clad interior and a quiet, smooth ride. Just $16,000 is not a ton of money for a luxurious SUV, especially one like the Navigator that provides three rows of seats and a ton of cargo room.
Avid Formula 1 fan and motorcyclist, I enjoy chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and long rides to the beach.