The Finer Things

You don't have to break the bank to get one of these luxury sedans.
This story first appeared in the August 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Few symbols of success signify you've arrived better than a luxury business car. Outfitted with leather, exotic wood trim and creature comforts, along with high-performance engines, they communicate upward mobility. The good news: You can purchase a well-equipped luxury sedan--such as the Acura TL, Buick Park Avenue or Volvo S60--without breaking the bank.

The TL from Acura, starting at $33,100, is available in six versions. A comfortable, gracefully designed four-door with category-leading power, the base model boasts a strong 3.2-liter 270-horsepower engine teamed with an automatic transmission. A long list of interior conveniences includes leather-trimmed seats, doors and steering wheel; heated front seats; Bluetooth wireless technology; a tilt wheel; a power moon-roof; the Homelink system, which can control garage doors, house lights and locks; maintenance interval reminder; remote trunk release; auto-off headlights; a killer sound system; and side-curtain air bags like those in more expensive vehicles.

Larger and longer is Buick's impressive five-passenger flagship sedan, the $36,350 Park Avenue. Transporting you in spacious stateliness, this sedan has a 3.8-liter V-6 engine with 205 horsepower and a four-speed automatic transmission. Standard are front and side air bags, cruise control, a tire monitor, front split-bench leather seats, a concert sound system, anti-lock brakes, an oil/life monitor and a burled walnut/leather steering wheel. An economical touch: It uses regular gasoline.

The least expensive of the three is the $27,585 S60 sedan. Maintaining one of the safest reputations on wheels, Volvo has redesigned its midsize sedan for 2005. Available in five different versions, the base model has a 2.4-liter 5-cylinder 168-horsepower engine. Inflatable side-curtain air bags, side-impact air bags, an orthopedic driver's seat, stability/traction control and an anti-theft engine immobilizer are standard. Another safety option available later this year is Volvo's blind-spot camera to warn of approaching vehicles.


Editor and consultant Jill Amadio has been reporting on the automotive industry for 26 years.

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