What Is A Premium Car? (Premium Car Vs Luxury Car) - Car, Truck And Vehicle How To Guides - Vehicle Freak (2023)

Shopping for a new car can be a daunting task. There are so many different makes, models, and features to choose from. And then there’s the question of whether you want a premium car or a luxury car. What’s the difference between the two, and which one is right for you?

A luxury car differs from a premium one in price, target audience, brand awareness, performance, and comfort features. For example, the highest trim level Cadillac XT5 is a premium car, while any Rolly Royce model would be classified as a luxury car.

What Is a Premium Car?

What Is A Premium Car? (Premium Car Vs Luxury Car) - Car, Truck And Vehicle How To Guides - Vehicle Freak (1)

A premium car is a vehicle that has been designed and built with quality in mind. Premium cars usually come with higher price tags than mass-market cars, but they also offer superior craftsmanship, attention to detail, and better overall performance.

While premium cars used to be confined to European brands such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz, nowadays, there are plenty of Japanese and American premium carmakers as well. Some examples of premium car brands include Audi, Lexus, and Cadillac.

However, we can also say that the badge “premium” is not reserved for only certain brands. For instance, the Volkswagen Tiguan Highline is a premium car, while the entry-level Tiguan Trendline is not.

Basically, a premium car is a regular model of a vehicle but has the highest trim setting with the most features, creature comforts, and luxury appointments.

Here are a few examples:

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  • Volkswagen Tiguan Highline
  • Hyundai Equus
  • 2022 Cadillac XT5 Premium
  • BMW X5
  • Kia Telluride X-Line

What Is a Luxury Car?

What Is A Premium Car? (Premium Car Vs Luxury Car) - Car, Truck And Vehicle How To Guides - Vehicle Freak (2)

A luxury car is a vehicle that has been designed and built with both quality AND opulence in mind. Luxury cars cost more than premium cars, but they offer even higher levels of craftsmanship, attention to detail, and performance.

In addition to superior construction, luxury cars also come with plenty of high-end features and amenities that are meant to pamper and indulge the driver and passengers.

Luxury cars tend to be larger than premium cars, but this is not always the case. For instance, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a luxury car, while the smaller C-Class with the highest trim level is a premium car.

Here are a few examples:

  • Bentley
  • Rolls Royce
  • Maybach

We can even put vehicles such as Ferraris and Lamborghinis in the luxury category; however, I believe they belong in the exotic/supercar category.

The Differences


First, luxury cars tend to be much more expensive than your average vehicle—though there are a few affordable options on the market these days, such as a few Lexus and Genesis models. For a premium car, you can expect to pay anywhere between $60,000 and $100,000. On the other hand, luxury cars can easily cost twice as much and upwards.

Superior Comfort

One of the main things that set luxury cars apart from other vehicles is their higher level of comfort. Luxury cars are designed with only the best materials—think genuine leather upholstery and wood grain trim—and they often come equipped with massaging seats and heated steering wheels.

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Many also offer premium audio systems so you can enjoy your favorite tunes in style. In short, luxury cars are designed to make every passenger as comfortable as possible. While having many similar comfort features to premium vehicles, luxury cars are usually a notch above them.

Superior Performance

What Is A Premium Car? (Premium Car Vs Luxury Car) - Car, Truck And Vehicle How To Guides - Vehicle Freak (3)

In addition to being more comfortable than other vehicles, luxury cars also offer superior performance. This is thanks in large part to their powerful engines, which deliver plenty of torque and horsepower.

Luxury carmakers also use high-quality materials throughout the construction of their vehicles—like aluminum and carbon fiber—which help to keep weight down and improve handling. As a result, luxury cars tend to be much quicker and more nimble than other vehicles on the road.

Superior Features

Luxury cars offer an array of features that you won’t find in other vehicles—no matter what class they belong to. Features such as aromatherapy, night vision, and an in-built champagne cooler are just a few of the things you can expect to find in a luxury car. In short, luxury cars offer all the bells and whistles that premium cars do, plus a whole lot more.

Time to Build

Another thing that sets luxury cars apart from other vehicles is the amount of time it takes to build them. Luxury carmakers take great care in ensuring that every detail of their vehicles is perfect—and this attention to detail often results in a longer build time. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a luxury car to take four or more times as long to build as a regular car.

Target Audience

What Is A Premium Car? (Premium Car Vs Luxury Car) - Car, Truck And Vehicle How To Guides - Vehicle Freak (4)

Finally, luxury cars are meant for a different audience than premium cars. Luxury cars are designed for those who want the very best that money can buy and are willing to pay a premium price for it. On the other hand, Premium cars are aimed at a somewhat younger audience—those who appreciate quality but aren’t necessarily interested in all the bells and whistles that come with a luxury car and aren’t of such deep pockets.

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Here are a few other key ways in which premium cars and luxury cars differ:

  • Luxury cars are often built by brands with long-standing luxury pedigree (think Rolls-Royce, Bentley, etc.), whereas premium car brands tend to be “mainstream” companies that also build more affordable models (like Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, etc.).
  • Luxury cars usually have longer warranty coverage than premium cars.
  • Luxury car dealerships typically provide more exclusive services than premium car dealerships (like concierge pick-up/delivery or loaner cars for service appointments).


Safety Features

Both premium and luxury cars come equipped with basic safety features that are designed to protect drivers and passengers in the event of an accident. These features include airbags, stability control, and brake assist.

Both Premium and Luxury cars also come with somewhat advanced features, such as the Blind Spot Monitor, additional airbags, road sign detecting, or auto emergency braking an


When it comes to materials, both premium and luxury cars use high-quality fabrics and materials. Leather seats are standard in both kinds of cars, as are wood grain accents on the dashboards and doors. Luxury cars may have higher-end materials like real wood or even carbon fiber on the interior, but both kinds of cars use quality materials throughout.

What Is an Exotic Car?

An exotic car is, quite simply, a high-end luxury/performance vehicle. They are designed and built with two things in mind: performance and style. Every aspect of an exotic car – from the engine to the interior – is designed to provide the driver with an incredible experience. Exotic cars are also usually very limited in production, which adds to their collectability and desirability.

Built Quality

They are built with only the finest materials and components. The engines are powerful and refined, and the exterior bodies are sleek and aerodynamic. All of this comes at a cost.

In addition, exotics are usually produced in limited numbers, which further drives the price. As we mentioned before, many exotic car owners view their vehicles as works of art or collector’s items, so they are willing to pay a premium for the privilege of owning one.

How Much Do They Cost?

Same as luxury cars, the cost of an exotic car is also significantly higher than that of a premium car. In fact, the starting price for most exotics is well over $100,000. For example, the Porsche 911 Turbo S starts at $207,000.

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How Do They Perform?

In a word – brilliantly. Exotic cars are designed to be driven hard and fast. They accelerate quickly and handle beautifully around corners. The best part is that they make all of this look easy. Even novice drivers can feel like experts behind the wheel of one of these machines.

Here are a few examples:

  • Porsche 911 Turbo S
  • Ferrari 458 Italia
  • McLaren 720S
  • Lamborghini Huracan

While all of these cars are different, they share one common trait – they are all incredibly fast and handle like a dream.


So, which car is right for you – a premium or a luxury car? It really depends on your needs and budget. If you’re looking for top-notch quality but don’t necessarily need all the bells and whistles that come with a luxury car, then a premium car would be a great option for you.

But if you’re looking for the absolute best of the best – regardless of price – then a luxury car is probably what you’re after.

Check out some of these related topics:

Luxury Car vs Sports Car: What’s the Difference and Which Is Right for You?

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