by Martha Hindes
You might call entry level luxury vehicles the aura effect autos. They exude a similar premiere class panache as their full-blown counterparts, but without the equally premium cost of purchase or ownership. They allow entrance into higher plateaus of taste and technology while leaving enough of a lure for the next level above it to tempt one into wanting even more.
They can be a step towards the kind of fulfillment owning just the right brand of auto can bring, with names such as Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti, Lincoln or Lexus making more populous varieties appear mundane by comparison. And they can be seen as bordering the edges of pure gratification without needing to be immersed in it. In short, absorbing a halo effect without needing to commit to the entire package.
These are vehicles that whisper the same subtle message of attainment, knowledge and prestige, or announce the wisdom of the owner who recognizes such a vehicle's true worth. It's a statement that this special auto really does provide the ultimate in performance and comfort. And, yes, even in safety -- sometimes in excess of an average, everyday set of wheels.
For those who decide to own one -- at last -- this can be a satisfying attainment in its own right or a carefully crafted stepping stone towards even greater heights. Whatever the reason, it can open up a world beyond ordinary with the sweet satisfaction of accomplishment. For RTM's selection of some vehicles that carry such a feeling of special, read on.