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Sit in the Lap of Luxury

Making the rounds in a top-of-the-line sedan never looked so good.

Need to justify the luxurious business sedan you just bought? Residual value should be near the top of your list. When buying a new car, depreciation and future resale financials are major factors, notes Kelley Blue Book market analyst Jack R. Nerad. "The average vehicle retains only about 35 percent [of its value] after a five-year ownership," Nerad says. "But some retain closer to 50 percent." Among those are high-end luxury models whose residuals after two years can approach 60 percent. For instance, the 2006 percentage for the Infiniti Q45, replaced this year by the M45, is 56 percent; for the Cadillac STS, it's 57 percent; and for the Lexus LS460, it's 60 percent.

Infiniti's current flagship M45 sedan has an exceptionally spacious cabin. A Bluetooth hands-free phone system, DVD-based navigation system, optional lane-departure warning system and rearview monitor for backups make the $49,100 sedan a stunning addition to your business assets. It's powered by a 4.5-liter 325-horsepower V-8 engine with a five-speed automatic transmission/manual shift mode. Trunk volume: 14.9 cubic feet.

Cadillac's $42,250 STS luxury sedan improves its On-Star navigation and assist-ance service on 2007 models by adding a live advisor who gives you turn-by-turn directions played through the stereo system. The STS has a new, hydramatic six-speed automatic transmission teamed with its 3.6-liter 254-horsepower engine. Trunk volume: 13.8 cubic feet.

The Lexus LS460, priced at $61,000, is so loaded with technology, it's a rolling computer with sofa-like seats. A parallel parking system helps simplify the chore; a keyless on/off dash button starts and stops the engine; the world's first eight-speed automatic transmission is teamed with a 4.6-liter 380-horsepower V-8; eight air bags help ensure safety; and radar guides cruise control. Optional rear-view cameras monitor backups on-screen. Trunk volume: 18 cubic feet.

Jill Amadio is an award-winning automotive journalist and author.

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This article was originally published in the March 2007 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Laps of Luxury.

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