Back in the day, buying a car meant you got a set of seats, four tires, a steering wheel, and a splash of gas. No frills or amenities, just a piece of machinery that got you to and from the sawmill or the general store, and that was about it. But as the automobile has evolved, so have the add-ons, and today’s motorists have no idea how good they truly have it. Our tech-riddled cars navigate city streets, call for help when in distress, and perform complex tasks that most of us continue to take for granted.
From accident avoidance systems and run-flat, TPMS-equipped tires, double-stacked infotainment systems to surround-sound audio, the advancements in the automotive world in the last two decades alone are just mind-boggling. We don’t really need all of these amenities; at the end of the day, getting to your destination and back is the whole point of automotive ownership. But road maps never seem to want to fold right while navi systems never need folding at all; incandescent lights are dim compared to LED bulbs; and infotainment systems sure are a step above playing “I Spy” for eight solid hours.
Nowhere are the amenities more prevalent than in the luxury segment, where opulent interiors await your arrival with crystal, cherrywood, and silk touches. But there is more to these high-ticket, overly outrageous autos than just the materials that have been stuffed within their cabins, as more than ever before consumers demand advantages that stretch far beyond the confines of a car’s cabin.
Today’s luxury car owner demands 24/7 customer care, free service intervals that include pampering for both the driver and the chariot, and access to exclusive merchandise and events (nothing says VIP quite like a fountain pen made out of solid gold). Owning a high-end automobile is no longer just about how swanky the exterior looks, or how posh the interior may be — even the status symbol associated with said vehicles is being shelved for an even nobler aspiration; driving a luxurious car offers the pampering one rightfully deserves, but it is the experience of owning one that sets it apart from everything else on the market.
1. The Infiniti Personal Assistant
The cool thing about owning a luxury car in today’s modern world is that you can get a whole lot more for your money than you used to. The reliability found in these modern machines is far more than you’d expect — Lexus, Infiniti, and Acura are all off-shoots of Japanese automakers Toyota, Nissan, and Honda. Take Infiniti for example: When we recently got to drive a Q50 S for a week, it came to us with an “Infiniti Personal Assistant,” a 24/7 service that comes free for a full year with every new Infiniti purchase. Available via phone, text, email or all three, this service gives you the ability to have a team of assistants at your beck and call any time you like, as they handle online shopping, book flights, order carry-out, and double check your weekend itinerary at the golf outing.
2. Porsche is so fashionable
Porsche insists that accessorizing is the only true way to live luxuriously, and over at their Porsche Design department you will find every imaginable form of branded product you can buy. From trunk-matching leather luggage to titanium watches and eyewear, the German-based automaker really wants to keep you looking stylish when that chauffeur opens the door to your Panamera Turbo. But if rocking a pair of Porsche designer jeans isn’t your thing, and you really feel the urge to splurge, go pick-up one of their $27,000 solid gold fountain pens, because nothing says your check is good quite like signing it with a pen that is worth more than a new Volkswagen.
3. Go out to eat with Lincoln
Lincoln has chosen a different approach to pampering its purchasers, deciding to offer a more delicatessen approach to poshness. For individuals who want the most out of their Detroit steel, opting for Lincoln Black Label ownership may be the best way to get into some of the most exclusive restaurants in the United States. Upon purchasing this top-tier version of a Lincoln, you will immediately be eligible for ongoing access to the Culinary Collection, which the automaker refers to as “a curated list of restaurants from coast to coast with noted chefs providing an at-your-service dining experience.” While the introductory experience remains complimentary, we highly suggest you hop on it sooner than later, as this offer does expire within a year’s time.
4. Bentley has a suite tooth
Buy a Bentley today and you will immediately be dropping the equivalent of a modern man’s mortgage into an afternoon’s purchase. But if you’ve got the money spend it, because there is no better way to stay comfortable than in the back of a Bentley. Speaking of comfort, did you know that this British-based automaker has its own line of luxury suites spread across the globe? Sure, the cars themselves are roomy and comfy enough for snoozing, but stay in their suite at the St. Regis in Istanbul, and you will be treated with hand-carved, cigar-filled Bentley humidors, seatbelt detailing on the drapes, as a wet bar that has been inspired by the wings of a Bentley dashboard, with olive ash that has been accented with engine spin, anthracite, and claret in order to keep you looking snazzy while you mix another martini.
5. Lexus says, “It’s wine time!”
One of the more unexpected amenities comes to you courtesy of Lexus, where they have teamed up with a group of grape growers in California to offer you the vineyard event of a lifetime. From private tours to tastings and discounted bottles of bubbly, there isn’t much that’s more refined than a good glass of wine outside of owning a Lexus. Based exclusively in California, Napa Valley Vintners offer anyone with discerning taste the chance to sample the finest grapes in the States. Upon perusing the Lexus Drivers side of the website, you’ll be blown away by the amount of choices available to you: We counted no fewer than 58 wineries for owners to choose from. So if you are considering a Lexus, get your liver examined in advance, take some vacation time for California sight seeing, and don’t forget to book a designated driver.