2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom
2010 Rolls-Royce PhantomEnlarge Photo
A five-star life needs a five-star car and if you're lucky enough to have the former, then here are our five luxury runabout recommendations that will have people's eyes on stalks while their wallets wince in shame as you waft on by. Chauffeur not included.
For those who hanker for a Rolls Royce but don't have the cash in their Coutts account, then they can always seek solace in the new XJ. The previous incarnation of this cosseting car played it safe for years visually, so when the all-new 2010 version was first unveiled, its looks were a shock that turned heads--and not always for the right reasons. The exterior though has grown on most of us--you can't deny it has presence--but no one needs time to warm to the rest of the XJ; from stylish touches such as its hi-tech virtual dashboard, panoramic glass roof and the rising gear selector to the refined comfort for whooshing down motorways and driving thrills when you want them, the XJ is a class and classless act. For a current list of the latest new luxury car deals, browse http://www.buyacar.co.uk/ for more information.
Buying a Quattroporte is something you'll do with your heart, not your head. There are other luxury motors that offer a more comfortable and refined driving experience, boast the very latest tech and offer more space than the Maserati, however, what this Italian does have though is real flair, genuine character and an exterior that is a classic of saloon design, and you won't find the interior lacking for anything either. For the driving enthusiast, the car offers fantastic performance and a sublime V-8 soundtrack when hoofing it, and if you value thrills over spills and can live with a firmer ride, we recommend the range-topping Sport GT S for maximum (but utterly upmarket) attack.
The S-Class has been a thorn in the side of many a premium automaker by delivering on every key area in the luxury motoring sector. The exterior has that effortless plutobarge appeal--anonymous but packing presence if peered at--but it's the interior that shows everyone how it should be done; a wonderfully styled cabin with the best quality finish, all the mod-cons you'll ever need and when tootling along, a silky quiet ride or even when barnstorming down an autobahn at well over 100 mph. And if you should ever give the chauffeur the day off, you'll find the S-Class offers a truly rewarding driving experience too.
The Panamera's critics have been tetchy about Porsche's entry into the luxury four-door saloon market; they don't like the supposed lack of driver involvement nor the looks from some angles. But this is Porsche and the automaker has defied critics before--see the lambasted but hugely successful Cayenne. What the Panamera does so well is offer a sumptuous interior, proper space for four people and bonkers performance (especially from the all-wheel drive 500 horsepower Turbo). Green motorists can also look forward to the arrival of hybrid version in the not-too-distant future.
The first thing you notice on seeing a Phantom is subtlety; or the complete lack of it. This is no S-Class shuttling faceless diplomats from a London embassy to the nearest lapdancing club. This is sheer ostentatiousness that demands attention wherever it goes. The BMW-engineered Rolls Royce offers vast space on the inside and allows passengers to indulge in obscene levels of comfort and refinement. But don't be fooled into thinking the Rolls’ handles like an ocean liner when hustled round a corner. This car handles with surprisingly aplomb for a 2.5 tonne car and thanks to its 6.75-litre V-12 engine, can elegantly slaughter the straights as well.