The luxury segment offers an abundance of performance, features, styling and prestige. Rapid yet refined acceleration, confident handling, the latest high-tech features, top-quality materials and of course status are the hallmarks of this class. And on top of that, most every vehicle type is available. Walk into an upper-tier showroom, and you'll see everything from sporty two-seaters to large, family-friendly SUVs.
Unlike in years past, much of this segment's characteristics can be had on lower-rung nameplates. Indeed, you can get a powerful V8, triple-zone automatic climate control and adaptive
cruise control in a mainstream compact SUV these days. Still, high-end brands such as Audi, Cadillac, BMW and Mercedes-Benz also offer sedans and SUVs with performance very close to that of dedicated high-performance sports cars along with their roomy, finely trimmed cabins.
With so many non-premium brand models now offering more than enough performance, features and style, you might wonder how the luxury brands thrive. They do it mostly through offering unique elements that even the most decked-out mainstream cars don't — options such as multiple types of wood
trim, higher grades of leather upholstery and audio systems with more speakers than in your living room. Together with sleek styling, personalized service and well-known badges, luxury vehicles continue to be an important piece of the automotive landscape.