By Peter Perrotta
If luxury is what you want, or can afford, then this week’s column is for you. If you can’t afford it but like to dream about it – like myself – then pay attention as well.
I will start off by taking a look at the top-of-the-line sedan offered up by German automaker BMW – the 2023 BMW 760i xdrive sedan.
This stunning vehicle has been BMW’s flagship luxury sedan for decades.
I will also take a look at the 2024 Mercedes Benz AMG GLE 53 C4 – a luxury performance SUV crossover.
2023 BMW 760i xdrive sedan
Completely redesigned inside and out for 2023 this 7 series sedan exudes opulence and class all around.
It is a long sleek head turning sedan that lets you know it’s expensive the minute you lay eyes on it.
The tester I recently drove for one week was also chock full of very expensive extras.
It has a base starting price of $113,600. However, after you add up all the options, the tester I drove carried a bottom-line sticker price of $149,045.
Most of the expensive options added were due to three options packages that practically turned the back seat into a day spa.
There was a $3,000 luxury rear seat package that included multi-functional adjusting rear seats with massaging; $3,700 for an executive package that includes automatic doors, crystal headlights and front massaging seats; and $7,250 for a rear executive lounge seating package that includes reclining seats with footrests, an executive lounge rear console and a huge drop-down BMW theater screen for movie or television watching.
Family members who drove with me were just aghast at how luxurious this vehicle was.
The 760i xdrive is powered by a very chipper 536 horsepower twin turbo 4.4-liter V-8 and comes standard with all wheel drive. This engine also uses a 48-volt mild hybrid system.
I found this vehicle to be solid as a rock, smooth and powerful all at the same time. It’s roomy, comfortable and the sight lines are all good.
You can drive it aggressively at any speed and still feel confident that you are in control of this vehicle.
This BMW comes standard with an air suspension system and incorporated into it as a rear wheel steering system with adaptive dampers built into the chassis.
The result is an extremely impressive ride. I like the new design of the exterior sheet metal, however, I am not a big fan of the new front grille look.
I really liked the traditional dual kidney design that BMW had integrated into its front grille look for many years.
In an effort to sort of distance itself from that look, BMW’s new front grille design seems too big and bold. I’d like to see them go back to the more traditional twin kidney look.
The other thing I found to be a bit overwhelming is how much state-of-the art high technology is built into this vehicle.
The technological features are way too numerous to mention. Suffice it to say when you first hop into the driver’s seat and start reaching to start controlling things, it’s very confusing.
It took me a couple of days to learn my way around the technological landscape here and I’m sure that eventually I’d get more and more comfortable with controlling all the bells and whistles but be prepared, there’s a lot going on in that interior cabin.
My tester got an EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) rated 21 miles per gallon (mpg) overall, 18 mpg in city driving and 26 mpg on the highway.
The estimated average annual fuel cost to run this luxury sedan comes in at $2,600. Competitors in this class include the Mercedes S Class the Audi A8 and the Lexus LS.
I like this BMW a lot and overall, I’d give it an 8 out of 10. I think it can hold its own when you stack it up against either the Mercedes or Audi.
2024 Mercedes AMG GLE 53 Coupe
This AMG tuned GLE is like a regular GLE on steroids.
The GLE 53 I drove for one week recently puts out a smooth 429 horsepower from a turbo charged inline six-cylinder engine.
It has a nine speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive as well.
I found this vehicle a ton of fun to drive and the cargo area space behind the second row is amazing large.
When you pop this car into the Sport Plus mode it roars like a lion and perks up to race car like performance capabilities.
My tester carries a base price of $89,800. The bottom-line sticker price on the tester came in at $101,060.
The EPA fuel consumption ratings on this car comes in at 20 mpg overall, 22 in highway driving and 18 in city driving.
The annual estimated fuel cost for this vehicle comes in at $3,200 as it uses about five gallons of gas every 100 miles.
The editors at Car and Driver said that this vehicle features “smoldering performance,” high tech cabin and a silky-smooth ride. I’d have to agree wholeheartedly. I give this vehicle an 8.5 overall rating out of a possible 10.
Peter Perrotta’s On The Road column appears every other week. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
On The Road is sponsored by Capital Motor Cars of Springfield, N.J. the leading new car leasing agency in the tri state area.