Since the dawn of an automobile industry there have always been manufacturers whose production was partly or totally based on making extremely expensive, top-of-the-line vehicles for the richest customers demanding comfort, reliability, greater performance and beauty all in one. Even despite the world's worst financial disasters, the most splendid brands could withstand heavy economic blows. Although the very definition is extremely subjective and relative, generally speaking, a luxury car is any vehicle with an excessive comfort and top sturdiness, usually having attractive design and incorporating a great variety of features going far beyond real necessity, such as refined fabric and innumerable electronic gadgets. Such models usually target a wealthier sector of society. Apart from advanced technical characteristics, one of the most important factors justifying the price of a luxury car is its brand name which defines the uniqueness of a certain model.
Well known marques may spend over 1 billion US dollars on creating fresh design solutions and high revolution engines, training assembling personnel and providing a plant with all necessary tools and means of production. Various configurations of body styles are available for luxury cars including sedans, hatchbacks, station wagons or sports vehicles. While it's not a problem to distinguish an ordinary mass market vehicle from a luxurious one, you can't possibly draw a distinct line between luxury and premium models.
Premium compact car segment. Initially introduced in Europe by several brands in the 2000s, premium compact segment offers less costly models than those of the compact executive cars (see below). They include both front-wheel drive and rear-drive cars, aimed at providing better performance as well as fuel economy. Their cost may vary within 25.000 – 55.000 $ dollars. Notable representatives of the category are BMW 1-series 2006, The Lexus CT 200h. Audi A3 and The Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan.
Compact executive cars. The category comprises an ample range of front-wheel drive vehicles of the smaller size, equipped with four cylinder fuel-efficient engines and high performance transmissions: Jaguar X-Type, Mercedes-Benz C-Class (W205), Infiniti G-series.
Mid-size luxury. In terms of dimensions, the cars falling into this category often share the same features of mid-size and family cars. However they are regarded as premium models with higher standards for engineering and enhanced performance as some of these cars have powerful V8 engines (Volvo S80, Hyundai Genesis).
Premium luxury / full-size luxury cars. Often referred to as grand saloons, their cost is generally increment varying from 50.000 $ and smashing the threshold of 200.000 $. Such models usually feature a spacious interior fitted with the latest digital and electronic devices for ultimate comfort. The following vehicles are in the premium luxury class: Hyundai Equus, Lexus LX, Kia K900, Lincoln MKS and Porsche Panamera.