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What luxury car should you buy in 2014?

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When flying, many of us fantasise about getting out of the economy seats and into first class. You get a large amount of leg and headroom – a dream for taller folk – as well as more comfort, resulting in a smooth, relaxing ride.

As the road equivalent of flying first class, what defines a luxury car? Essentially, it’s all of the above. These cars are built to provide unparalleled comfort and head-turning style; they’re vehicles that make you feel you’ve accomplished something j ust by getting behind the wheel.

Let’s take a look at some of the best luxury vehicles available today.

Jaguar XJ saloon

The XJ is arguably the most fun luxury car to drive. It has elements which put it far ahead of its rivals, such as terrific suspension and a quiet, relaxing ride, as well as a lavish interior that will make even the most luxury-spoilt passengers sit up and admire their surroundings.

With its 3.0-litre diesel engine, enticing front grill, exquisite leather upholstery, built-in climate control and sat-nav, plus an automatic gearbox, this Jag is about as handsome as they come.

Range Rover SUV

The Range Rover SUV is in a category all of its own. It looks like a 4×4, it has almost unrivalled off-road capabilities, and yet it’s just as luxurious as any of the cars on this list.

At more than 400kg lighter than previous models, the 2013 SUV is able to provide lower emissions than ever before, as well as better fuel economy and a smoother drive. You’ll have plenty of boot space, and for a larger car it’s surprisingly quiet on the move. It’s the ideal luxury car for people who are up for anything – even heading off the beaten track.

Mercedes S-Class saloon

The sixth generation S-Class from Mercedes is a streamlined, sculpted, sexier version of the German manufacturer’s previous luxury sedans. In case you couldn’t guess, that means it’s even more luxurious than before.

Need proof? How about its ‘Magic Body Control’ – cameras mounted on the windshield which can ‘read’ the road ahead, then tell the suspension to prepare for uneven surfaces. You and your passengers can enjoy a relaxing massage as you drive, or if you gettoo relaxed, the W222 model is known for coming closer to being able to drive autonomously than any other production car. Letting your car drive while you get massaged? Now that’s luxury.

BMW 7 Series saloon

You’d be forgiven for writing this car off on looks alone. It’s not that it looks unappealing; it’s just that its luxuriousness is hidden in plain sight.

The car is very spacious, incredibly reliable and extremely well-equipped (it’s sound proofed, has a 16-speaker Bang and Olufsen stereo and rear-seat entertainment packages including 9.2-inch monitors which can be built into the headrests). The 3.0-litr e six-cylinder petrol engine can go 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds.

Audi A8 saloon

You’ll know when a luxury car is really impressive – the people being chauffeured in it will wish they were driving. The Audi A8 is an amazing car to take out for a spin and is chock-full of innovative gadgets, like lights which connect to the sat-nav t o bend round corners, illuminate junctions and automatically adjust to oncoming traffic.

It’s certainly not the cheapest car to run, but boy is it comfortable. In fact, we’d go as far as to say it’s the most comfy driving and passenger experience you’ll have in any of these cars. With heating/cooling squishy leather seats, massage functions, insulated doubled-glazed windows, no outside noise and desirable suspension, you’d be hard-pressed to argue.

Bentley Continental GT

Like the Audi A8, you’ll know when a luxury car is really impressive – when it’s popular among Premier League footballers. Such is the case for the Bentley Continental GT – coming in both a convertible GTC version and a GT coupe.

Talking of football, there’s a rather sporty interior in the Continental combining leather, aluminium and the finest hand-crafted wood. Designed with long-distance driving in mind, Bentley has cut back on fuel consumption, emissions and weight, without skimping on the luxury.

Maserati Quattroporte saloon

Continuing the sporty-interior trend, the latest Quattroporte is also kitted out in the finest wood and leather. Line it up against the Audi A8 or the Jaguar XJ and it is noticeably more of a sports car than a limousine, and handles like one too. That doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly luxurious, though.

Just look at it. The beautiful exterior rivals any on our list, and while there isn’t as much interior space as some other luxury cars there is plenty of other luxurious attributes to make up for it – it’s faster than a Porsche 911, for starters.

Rolls-Royce Ghost saloon

When many petrol-heads think of luxury cars, they automatically think of a Rolls-Royce. The Ghost, at 5.4 metres in length and 2.4 tonnes in weight, is as extravagant as they come. Drivers and passengers alike can enjoy a mix of classic style and modern convenience.

Put it this way – if those in the back seats want to catch 40 winks, they’re not going to be disturbed any time soon. For such a big car it’s almost effortless to drive, even on tight corners. Air-suspension takes over on bumpy surfaces, and if you want ed to push it to its limit you can get this beast to go from 0-60mph in just 4.7 seconds. Did we mention it weighs 2.4 tonnes? Wow – that might wake someone up after all.

Luxury, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Now if someone would only let me be-hold the keys to one of these beautiful luxury cars, my first-class fantasies would come true.

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