Top 10 luxury vehicles for America’s wealthiest
  • Meagan Drillinger
  • Feb 18, 2021

Top 10 luxury vehicles for America’s most wealthy

Luxury vehicles are more than just a brand name—they are a status symbol and often indicative of a certain quality of life. When it comes to the cars of the upper crust, there are a few notable brand names that tend to stand out—Mercedes, Cadillac, and BMW, to name a few. But some brands, it turns out, are more desirable among the higher income households across the United States than others.

In order to be considered a luxury vehicle, these cars must have features that pour the glitz and glam on above the average necessities. For example, according to Certified Autoplex, luxury is used to categorize vehicles that have better-than-average performance capabilities, high-end interiors, and the most cutting-edge tech and safety features. 

The luxury car segment makes up about 5% of the U.S. car market, Statista reports—but which luxury vehicles are most popular among affluent Americans? Windfall used its wealth intelligence platform to compile a list of the 10 most popular luxury vehicles among its affluent households, or those with more than $1 million. The vehicles are ranked according to the total number of them owned by affluent households. Make, model, and style details on the vehicle, as well as the states where the vehicle is the most popular, are also provided.

It turns out the most popular luxury vehicle brands among wealthy Americans are the ones you’d expect. You’ll find the list is dotted with names like Mercedes, Cadillac, Lexus, and BMW, among others. If you’re in the market for a luxury vehicle, here are the ones that rank highly among your peers. Before you get behind the wheel of any old ride, read on to discover which luxury vehicle brands are the most popular among America’s wealthy drivers.


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#10. Mercedes-Benz E 350

– Total owned by affluent households: 85,916
– Type of vehicle: full-size car
– Style of vehicle: two-door coupe
– States where vehicle is in the top 3 luxury vehicles: California (#2), Hawaii (#3)

The sleek Mercedes-Benz E 350 is a leader when it comes to engine, transmission, and performance, according to Car and Driver. The E 350 has a turbocharged, four-cylinder engine with 255 horsepower. It can pair with either rear or all-wheel drive.


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#9. Cadillac SRX

– Total owned by affluent households: 90,234
– Type of vehicle: full-size SUV
– Style of vehicle: utility vehicle
– States where vehicle is in the top 3 luxury vehicles: Kentucky, (#3), Michigan (#2), North Dakota (#2)

The Cadillac SRX is known for its V6 engine and advanced safety features, according to U.S. News World Report. The 2016 model was a finalist for the Best Luxury 2-Row SUV for the Money award.


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#8. Cadillac Escalade

– Total owned by affluent households: 104,919
– Type of vehicle: full-size SUV
– Style of vehicle: utility vehicle
– States where vehicle is in the top 3 luxury vehicles: Arkansas (#2), Arizona (#1), Iowa (#2), Idaho (#3), Indiana (#2), Kansas (#3), Louisiana (#1), Michigan (#3), Missouri (#3), Mississippi (#3), Montana (#1), North Dakota (#1), Nebraska (#1), Nevada (#2), Oklahoma (#1), South Dakota (#1), West Virginia (#1), Wyoming (#2)

The current generation of Cadillac Escalade was launched for 2021, and is the fifth generation of the car, according to Automobile Magazine. Its interior is, according to the magazine, the “most opulent and well-finished cockpit” from GM in decades, with a 38-inch OLED display. It also has a semi-autonomous driving system with lane assist, lane change assist, and adaptive cruise control.


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#7. Audi A6

– Total owned by affluent households: 107,232
– Type of vehicle: mid-size car
– Style of vehicle: sedan
– States where vehicle is in the top 3 luxury vehicles: Montana (#3), New Hampshire (#3), Vermont (#3)

The Audi A6 is the sedan’s eighth generation, which launched in 2018. According to Auto Evolution, the A6 was offered in four trim levels: premium, sport, premium plus, and prestige. The A6 has two powertrains and both use hybrid technology with a 12- or 48-volt starter, according to Car and Driver.


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#6. BMW 328i

– Total owned by affluent households: 113,408
– Type of vehicle: mid-size car
– Style of vehicle: sedan
– States where vehicle is in the top 3 luxury vehicles: Washington D.C. (#2), Florida (#1), Georgia (#3), Hawaii (#2), North Carolina (#1), South Carolina (#3)

The BMW 328i is a car that remains popular despite the fact that a new model hasn’t been released since 2017. The 2016 model features 240 horsepower, an inline four-cylinder engine, and six-speed manual- and rear-wheel drive, according to Edmunds.


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#5. Lexus RX 350

– Total owned by affluent households: 124,093
– Type of vehicle: mid-size SUV
– Style of vehicle: utility vehicle
– States where vehicle is in the top 3 luxury vehicles: Iowa (#3), Kentucky (#2), Nebraska (#2), Tennessee (#2), Texas (#2), Virginia (#3)

The 2021 Lexus RX 350 is one of the higher ranked luxury midsize SUVs thanks to its reliability rating and performance, according to U.S. News & World Report. The new model features blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and auto-dimming of the outside mirror. It also has a very long list of standard and optional features.


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#4. Audi A4

– Total owned by affluent households: 129,888
– Type of vehicle: mid-size car
– Style of vehicle: sedan
– States where vehicle is in the top 3 luxury vehicles: Alaska (#1), Colorado (#3), Connecticut (#2), Washington D.C. (#1), Hawaii (#1), Massachusetts (#2), Maryland (#3), Minnesota (#3), North Carolina (#3), New Hampshire (#2), New Jersey (#3), New York (#3), Oregon (#3), Rhode Island (#2), Utah (#2), Vermont (#1), Washington (#2), Wisconsin (#3)

According to Automobile Magazine, the first generation Audi A4 was a response to a weakened brand reputation and a product lineup that was outdated. Audi’s latest version of the A4 is the B9, with a 248-horsepower version of its TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder. The seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch gearbox is now standard in these cars, as well.


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#3. Cadillac CTS

– Total owned by affluent households: 132,120
– Type of vehicle: full-size car
– Style of vehicle: sedan
– States where vehicle is in the top 3 luxury vehicles: Alabama (#1), Arkansas (#1), Arizona (#2), Delaware (#2), Florida (#3), Illinois (#3), Indiana (#1), Kentucky (#1), Louisiana (#2), Michigan (#1), Nevada (#1), Ohio (#3), Oklahoma (#2), Pennsylvania (#3), West Virginia (#2)

The Cadillac CTS burst onto the scene in 2003. Many versions have been released since, but the 2014 model was known for its V-Sport trim and twin-turbocharged V-6 engine, while, according to Cars.com, the 2016 model had a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 and 640 horsepower.


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#2. Acura MDX

– Total owned by affluent households: 202,680
– Type of vehicle: full-size SUV
– Style of vehicle: utility vehicle
– States where vehicle is in the top 3 luxury vehicles: Alaska (#2), Alabama (#2), Arkansas (#3), Arizona (#3), California (#1), Colorado (#2), Connecticut (#3), Washington D.C. (#3), Delaware (#1), Georgia (#1), Idaho (#1), Illinois (#1), Indiana (#3), Kansas (#1), Massachusetts (#1), Maryland (#1), Minnesota (#2), Missouri (#1), Mississippi (#2), North Carolina (#2), New Hampshire (#1), New Jersey (#1), New Mexico (#3), New York (#1), Ohio (#2), Oregon (#1), Pennsylvania (#1), Rhode Island (#3), South Carolina (#2), South Dakota (#3), Tennessee (#3), Utah (#1), Virginia (#1), Vermont (#2), Washington (#1), Wisconsin (#2)

The Acura MDX is known for its 290-horsepower 3.5 liter V-6, as well as 10-speed automatic, says Car and Driver. The Type S model offers a turbocharged 355-hp 3.0 liter V-6, and all-wheel drive is standard. Acura is already touting its 2022 model (it skipped 2021).


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#1. BMW X5

– Total owned by affluent households: 205,672
– Type of vehicle: full-size SUV
– Style of vehicle: utility vehicle
– States where vehicle is in the top 3 luxury vehicles: Alabama (#3), California (#3), Colorado (#1), Connecticut (#1), Delaware (#3), Florida (#2), Georgia (#2), Iowa (#1), Idaho (#2), Illinois (#2), Kansas (#2), Louisiana (#3), Massachusetts (#3), Maryland (#2), Maine (#3), Minnesota (#1), Missouri (#2), Mississippi (#1), Montana (#2), Nebraska (#3), New Jersey (#2), New Mexico (#1), Nevada (#3), New York (#2), Ohio (#1), Oklahoma (#3), Oregon (#2), Pennsylvania (#2), Rhode Island (#1), South Carolina (#1), Tennessee (#1), Texas (#1), Utah (#3), Virginia (#2), Washington (#3), Wisconsin (#1), West Virginia (#3), Wyoming (#1)

With multiple powertrains to choose from, the BMW X5 is a luxury SUV that is one of the market’s most popular. A brand-new xDrive45e plug-in hybrid is available for 2021, while the XDrive50i trim was removed from the lineup, according to U.S. News & World report. Among its favorite features are quick acceleration, high-end interior materials, a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine, and more.

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