When it comes to millionaires and their cars, there are a few brands and models that stand out as being the most popular choices among the wealthy elite. Luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Lexus, and Audi frequently top the lists of the best-selling vehicles for millionaires due to their combination of prestige, performance, comfort and cutting-edge technology. However, there are also certain car models from non-luxury brands that rank surprisingly high among millionaire preferences thanks to their reliability, value and practicality.
What do millionaires prioritize in a car?
For millionaires, buying a car is not just about getting from point A to point B. Their automotive purchases are also statements about their taste, lifestyle and priorities. When choosing a car, some of the key factors millionaires consider include:
- Brand prestige – Millionaires have an affinity for luxury vehicle brands like Mercedes-Benz and BMW that telegraph high status.
- Performance – Power, acceleration and handling are important to millionaires who want a thrill from their drive.
- Comfort and convenience – Features like plush leather seats, lots of legroom and high-tech infotainment systems appeal to millionaires looking for rolling luxury.
- Cutting-edge tech – Millionaires want the latest automotive tech like semi-autonomous driving features and integrated connectivity.
- Exclusivity – Limited production models and exotic supercars hold appeal for millionaires seeking something rare and distinctive.
- Practicality – Surprisingly, millionaires also care about practical considerations like fuel economy, cargo room and reliability.
- Value – Even millionaires don’t necessarily want to overpay for features they don’t need, so value matters.
By evaluating vehicles on these criteria, we can get insight into the makes and models that most appeal to wealthy car buyers in the millionaire demographic.
Top car brands among millionaires
When we look at the car brands most popular with millionaires, names like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus consistently dominate:
Mercedes-Benz tops lists of the best-selling car brands amongst millionaires year after year. Mercedes offers a range of luxury sedans, SUVs and coupes that appeal to the wealthy demographic. Some of the most popular Mercedes models include:
- Mercedes S-Class – The flagship Mercedes sedan with superior comfort and technology.
- Mercedes E-Class – A midsize luxury sedan balancing performance and value.
- Mercedes GL-Class – A full-size luxury SUV with ample cargo room.
- Mercedes G-Wagon – An iconic luxury SUV with off-road capabilities.
BMW is another German luxury brand that consistently ranks among the top choices for wealthy car buyers. Some of BMW’s most sought-after models among millionaires are:
- BMW 7 Series – BMW’s top-tier luxury sedan with great performance.
- BMW 5 Series – A popular midsize BMW sedan with handling agility.
- BMW X5 – One of BMW’s best-selling midsize luxury SUVs.
- BMW X6 – A sporty BMW coupe SUV for the adventurous millionaire.
Lexus emerged as a top rival to German luxury brands and appeals to millionaires looking for reliability paired with luxury. Top Lexus choices among the wealthy include:
- Lexus LS – The Japanese luxury brand’s flagship sedan.
- Lexus RX – The best-selling Lexus SUV offering urban versatility.
- Lexus LX – A luxury SUV capable of serious off-roading adventures.
- Lexus LC – A head-turning Lexus grand tourer luxury coupe.
The final German luxury brand rounding out the top tier of millionaire preferences is Audi. Here are some favored Audi models among the wealthy:
- Audi A8 – Audi’s sophisticate luxury sedan with sleek styling.
- Audi A7 – A hatchback luxury model with fastback flair.
- Audi Q7 – A refined luxury SUV with an upscale cabin.
- Audi R8 – The exotic Audi supercar for wealthy sports car lovers.
Non-luxury brands popular among millionaires
Although luxury brands dominate the preferences of most car-buying millionaires, some non-luxury brands also rank highly among the wealthy due to their combination of reliability, practicality and value retention. These include:
- Toyota – For millionaires who want practicality and reliability, Toyota models like the Land Cruiser and 4Runner SUVs have enduring appeal.
- Honda – Honda’s reputation for reliability and resale value make its models like the Odyssey minivan and Accord sedan popular choices.
- Ford – The F-150 pickup truck offers versatility and ruggedness that appeals to millionaires with more active lifestyles.
These non-luxury brands may not have the prestige and status of premium German and Japanese brands, but they attract wealthy buyers with virtues like dependability, fuel efficiency and value.
The most popular millionaire luxury car models
While luxury car brands dominate overall among millionaire preferences, there are a handful of specific luxury models that rise above the rest in popularity among the wealthy. According to sales data and registration information for affluent zip codes, the top cars include:
The Mercedes S-Class flagship luxury sedan remains the single most popular millionaire car model for yet another year in a row. With peerless comfort, technology and prestige, the S-Class embodies the best in Mercedes engineering and continues to appeal widely to affluent car buyers.
BMW 7 Series
BMW’s largest luxury sedan gives the S-Class strong competition for wealthy buyers seeking a top-tier luxury driving machine. With strong performance credentials and excellent driving dynamics, the 7 Series makes a strong case to car buyers in the millionaire demographic.
For wealthy buyers looking for luxury SUV practicality, the Range Rover continues to lead the pack in appealing to upscale families. Its aristocratic British sensibilities and go-anywhere capabilities make it the luxury SUV of choice.
No other vehicle communicates carefree extravagance quite like the Mercedes G-Wagon luxury SUV. Its iconic boxy design and off-road performance capabilities make this Mercedes a popular toy among the wealthy.
Tesla Model S
As a relatively new electric luxury marque, Tesla has captured the imagination of techie millionaires who appreciate its high-tech features and instant torque acceleration. The Model S pioneered contemporary electric luxury.
Surprising millionaire favorites
While luxury models from Mercedes, BMW and Range Rover may dominate the top choices among millionaires, there are also more unexpected models that rate highly among the wealthy including:
- Ford F-150 – The popular full-size pickup has widespread appeal including affluent business owners.
- Toyota Land Cruiser – This rugged Toyota SUV is beloved for its durability and off-road mastery.
- Honda Odyssey – For wealthy families, the Odyssey minivan’s practicality and reliability are draws.
- Jeep Wrangler – The Wranger’s adventurous spirit and customization options appeal to wealthy outdoor enthusiasts.
These unexpected models demonstrate that practical attributes like reliability can sometimes outweigh prestige for certain millionaire car buyers.
Factors influencing millionaire car preferences
There are a few key factors that shape why certain luxury cars and brands tend to be favored among millionaires versus the general car buying population:
Prestige and status
For many millionaires, cars are status symbols, so luxury brands like Mercedes and BMW carry cachet and project an image of wealth and success. Luxury car models are prioritized for their prestige.
Performance and handling
Millionaires have the means to afford expensive high-performance cars, so brands like Porsche and BMW with strong performance pedigrees have natural appeal to the wealthy looking for excitement.
Technology and innovation
Millionaires tend to be early adopters of new technology. Brands at the forefront of auto tech innovations like Tesla therefore hold special appeal to gearheads and techie millionaires.
Limited production halo models like the Lamborghini Aventador or special editions appeal to millionaires’ desire for exclusivity and differentiate them from mainstream luxury buyers.
Reliability and value
Surprisingly, practical considerations like reliability and value also influence car purchase decisions. Toyota and Lexus have carved out a niche among the wealthy due to their dependability.
These factors drive luxury and non-luxury brands alike to tailor models and marketing towards appealing to the desires of the millionaire demographic.
- Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus are the top luxury car brands preferred by millionaires due to their prestige and performance.
- The Mercedes S-Class luxury sedan is the single most popular millionaire car model overall.
- Wealthy car buyers also consider non-luxury brands like Ford, Honda and Toyota for their practicality.
- Factors like status, innovation and reliability influence why certain cars resonate with millionaire preferences.
In the rarified world of cars for millionaires, Mercedes-Benz continues to reign supreme as the dominant luxury marque among the wealthy thanks to venerable models like the S-Class and G-Wagon. However, BMW, Lexus and Tesla also have compelling offerings tailored specifically towards affluent buyers. Although luxury models prevail, millionaires are also practical-minded enough to recognize the virtues of certain non-luxury cars from brands like Toyota and Ford. By balancing prestige with practicality, car brands across the spectrum work hard to appeal to the desires of discerning millionaire car shoppers.