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We’ve all seen maximalist luxury. One look at hulking Cadillac Escalades and Yukon Denalis or brash Audi A8s, and we know what to expect inside. But for a lot of us, having every surface contoured, quilted, sculpted and covered in buttons, switches, and screens is too much. Instead, we may want to be coddled, but we don’t want to be overwhelmed.

So what are the best minimalist luxury sedans?

The Polestar Model 2 brings EV minimalism

The Polestar 2 is a an all-electric sedan that has a bit of an SUV look to it. It’s tall, and it has proportions that say “I’m all wheel drive.”  It also has a hatch in the back, instead of a trunk. That hatch means that it as 38.7 cubic feet of space with the seats down. But it also pairs everything down and condenses the features into an easy-to-use giant center screen. The rest of the car is devoid of anything that doesn’t need to be there.

Other than that, much of what you expect on a $60,000 car comes standard on the Polestar 2. Like many cars in this class, you can get a giant glass roof. All of the controls for the car are on that center stack. And, like a hidden surprise, if you swipe up or down on the screen it opens more car functions without the need for multiple menus or buttons. The larger Polestar 4 could also fit the bill.

Tesla Model S, why not take everything away on the inside?

Black 2014 Tesla Model S on a road - This EV requires a battery replacement more often than most other electric vehicles
Tesla Model S | Tesla

The Tesla Model S seems to attract those that prefer modern art, those that like clean lines, and those that like brutal acceleration. Some, and we’re looking at you, Car and Driver, say that the interior doesn’t befit a $100,000 luxury car. One look, though, and a minimalist knows they’re home, especially with a lot of functions you don’t need simply tucked away.

Why have a giant center stack with enough buttons to make a helicopter pilot confused, like in an Acura RDX, when one big well-laid-out screen gets the job done? Why have multiple air vents you have to keep aiming when one giant fan does the trick. For a minimalist, the clean lines of the Model S get the job done.

The minimalist traditionalist’s car, the 2023 Volvo S90

Volvo has done an incredible job of making cars that ooze class, but not flash. On the outside, the company’s design language is now an evolution of the stuff that works, like high shoulders and a cool dished grille. Nobody will look at a 2023 Volvo S90 like they will a big Infiniti, and that’s the point.

But it’s the inside that will make a minimalist happy. Every surface feels top-quality, too, whether that’s the broad swath of brown wood on the dash, or the piano-black console. Even the radio controls and the HVAC system have been reduced to one dial. That’s minimalist progress.

The 2020 Lincoln Continental is a left-field choice

2017 Lincoln Continental

This one may seem like a curve ball. Aren’t Lincoln’s for livery drivers and grandmas? Well, the sadly missed last generation of Continental that Lincoln produced from 2017 to 2020 is a stand-out car that never got its due. You probably don’t notice them on the road because of their under-the-radar minimalist styling that belies its humble Ford Taurus roots.

Inside, the last Continentals feature up-to-date technology with a surprisingly modern, minimalist, take on American luxury. They have big broad swaths of wood and leather, a clean double-cockpit layout, and all the stuff you don’t need is simply hidden away. It’s a shame that Lincoln didn’t continue the big sedan, but for a minimalist looking to blend in, a used Continental may be a bargain.


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