Todays luxury makes, by and large, advertise performance luxury. Now, performance is relatively inexpensive to come by. You can get Mustangs, Camaros, BRZs, etc. with plenty of performance for under $30K. So what do you get in a Cadillac, BMW, Mercedes, etc. that justifies the price premium? Well, besides the badge and the statement it makes, I mean. It’s the luxury part.
I was sitting in my neighbor’s ATS a while back. She had bought the base model with the 200-ish hp NA engine, which is plenty for most purposes. But she realized after the fact that it didn’t come with Homelink.
Now I know that options packages and trim levels are how manufacturers make their money, but I believe that a new luxury car should come with, well, a certain amount of luxury as standard. And my bar for that is anything that can be commonly had on mid-priced mass market cars and certainly anything that was on a $30K or lesser car 25 years ago. So here are some of the things I think should be standard on anything that calls itself a luxury car:
Homelink. Duh, this has been around for decades and is found on Elantras and Malibus. There is no excuse for making you have to clip multiple garage door openers on your visor in a $45K+ car.
Motorized memory seats. My ‘95 Riviera had these. So did my Dad’s Trofeo. Both front seats. So it should be standard in 2016.
Dual zone climate control. I don’t know if any luxury makes don’t include this standard, and I hope there are none.
Top-notch materials. there should be no hard, scratchy plastic. If a Mazda 6 can have soft and textured surfaces everywhere, then so should the Lexus Uber I took last week (and it didn’t).
Quality instrument cluster. My gauges should look like a fine time piece. Okay, maybe not a Seiko or Bulova, but at least a Fossil or Skagen. If a Dodge Charger can have interesting gauges, then what’s the excuse for an ATS having white numerals printed on black plastic like in my ‘80s Chevette?
What am I missing on this list? ATS coupe (with Homelink!) for your time.