All about luxury cars
What is a prestige or luxury vehicle?
A prestige or luxury car or vehicle is a vehicle that shows status, wealth, or success, possessing a cachet for others.
What sizes do prestige and luxury cars come in?
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) no longer classes prestige and luxury vehicles as such.
Instead it categorises 'prestige' or 'luxury' vehicles according to size and price.
The smallest in size is called Light Cars over $25,000. These are the prestige or luxury Light Cars, also known as B-segment or Supermini cars priced above $25,000, such as a Fiat 500 and Renault Clio.
Small cars over $40,000 are luxury car or prestige C-segment small cars such as the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series.
Medium-sized or mid-sized prestige cars or luxury cars are D-segment Medium Cars over $60,000, such as the BMW 3 Series and Lexus IS 25O.
Large Cars over $70,000 is the prestige or luxury car category for medium-to-large luxury cars such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6.
There is also a prestige or luxury car segment for Upper Large under $100,000, and this is dominated by the Holden Statesman and Caprice, and Chrysler 300C.
Finally, a prestige or luxury vehicle costing over $100,000 is known as the Upper Large over $100,000 segment.
What size exactly is a prestige car then?
A prestige or luxury vehicle can be any size, as the example of the Mini Cooper illustrates.
It shares the same prestige or luxury car classing as one of the largest and roomiest sedans you can buy, a Holden Caprice, as well as one the most expensive, the Mercedes-Benz S 65 L AMG, or a Rolls-Royce Phantom.
What shapes or body styles do prestige or luxury cars come in?
Prestige or luxury cars are generally sedans, hatches or wagons.
The FCAI classes prestige or luxury coupes and convertibles in three categories, Sports Cars Under $80,000, Sports Cars Over $80,000 and Sports Cars Over $200,000.
Likewise, all Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) are classed as Compact SUV, Medium SUV, Large SUV or Luxury SUV, with Luxury SUVs encapsulating prestige SUVs.
What engine choices are available in prestige or luxury cars?
Prestige and luxury cars run the gamut of engine choices; be it petrol, diesel, or petrol-electric hybrid, in four-cylinder, six-cylinder, eight-cylinder or 12 cylinder configurations.
Are prestige or luxury cars front wheel drive, rear wheel drive or four-wheel drive?
Again, prestige or luxury vehicles can be rear-wheel drive (RWD), front-wheel drive (FWD), or all-wheel drive (AWD). AWD can also be classed as four-wheel drive (4WD).
What are the environmental or green prestige or luxury cars?
Generally, diesel-engine vehicles are considered greener or more environmentally sound than petrol engine models, even though the reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are offset by higher NOX Nitrogen Oxide pollution in diesel-powered vehicles.
Petrol-electric hybrid cars are on the up too, with Lexus, for example, offering a hybrid vehicle in most of its line-up.
What are the advantages of picking a prestige or luxury car?
Most prestige or luxury vehicles are well equipped, with many devices, gadgets or gizmos that aim to entertain or make the driving or travelling experience easier.
What are the disadvantages of choosing a luxury or prestige car?
By its very definition, prestige or luxury vehicles attract a premium price, even though in many instances a similarly sized mainstream vehicle can do virtually everything that the luxury or prestige car could.
Also, prestige or luxury vehicles shed their value in larger chunks than many cheaper alternatives, as many consumers in the luxury or prestige segment prefer the latest model and tire of something that could soon become old-fashioned or obsolete.
What are the safest prestige or luxury cars?
One of the 'luxuries' of driving a luxury or prestige car is that it normally possesses the full armada of safety items available to it as standard, so most luxury or prestige vehicles are rated the maximum safety ratings.