Some may think a car is just a mode of transportation to get you from point A to point B but to others, it’s much more than that. Your car is an extension of yourself and whether you like it or not, it affects how others perceive you.
You could go for a modest approach like Mark Zuckerberg cruising around in his Acura TSX which starts at just $30,000, or you could go for the ostentatious approach like CEO of Oracle Larry Ellison carving the roads in a Lexus LFA that starts at $375,000 with a limited production run of 500 units.
This may not only affect the perception of your customers but your employees as well. According to a survey conducted by job-search site TheLadders.com, only 10% of nearly 3,000 people asked didn’t know what their chief drives. “Of all the products in the world, cars are the most reliable representation of an individual’s personality,” says Golden Gate University psychology chair Kit Yarrow.
A CEO driving to the office in a hybrid is often seen as environmentally conscious, efficient and considerate. Whereas a CEO ripping through the streets in a loud, red Ferrari may come off as pompous and arrogant.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 cars (in no particular order) for CEOs and what they may say about you.
2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class:
This car has “boss” written all over it
This luxury sedan is considered by many to be the flagship example when it comes to executive limos. This car will definitely demand respect on the road. It’s not all looks and comfort either; this car comes standard equipped with 4.7L Biturbo-V8 engine producing 449 HP and capable of launching you from 0-80 KPH in just 4.8 seconds. Surely a car like this would be terrible on fuel economy right? Think again.
The advanced technology and turbo-charged engine helps this car muster up 17/26 (city/highway) MPG, which is just one of the many examples of how far we’ve come in car technology and engineering. If that’s not efficient enough for you, the S-Class is also available with hybrid or electric plug-in technology in 2015.
What this car says about you: You’re classy, you want to look good and feel good and you expect nothing short of excellence
2015 BMW 7-Series:
They don’t call it “The Ultimate Driving Machine” for nothing
BMW’s are notoriously known for offering cars of the highest quality and with top-notch driving dynamics. This holds true for their large executive luxury sedan, the 7-Series. This car is for the CEO who wants a luxurious ride that puts an emphasis on comfort, convenience and driver experience.
The 7-Series BMW is offered in a wide variety of trims which means you can find the perfect one for you. Whether you want a longer wheelbase or BMW’s xDrive (all-wheel drive) option, all you have to do is fork over a little bit more cash. The standard BMW 740i comes equipped with a 3.0L inline-6 engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology producing 315 HP capable of accelerating from 0-60 MPH in about 5.7 seconds. Although you may want to consider some of the extra features and packages offered by BMW to have the newest in-car technology; after all, you are the boss.
Diesel and hybrid models are also available for the BMW 7-series.
What this car says about you: You’re classy but at the same time, you seek adventure and engagement.
2015 Lexus LS460:
The silky smooth and ultra-reliable luxury sedan from Japan
Lexus is usually associated with reliability, comfort and luxury. That’s just about as exciting as watching paint dry, but who’s really complaining here? What’s not to like about these three things if you’re a CEO or executive?
The LS460 is like that dependable friend who isn’t overly outgoing or flamboyant but will always be there when you need them the most.
The LS460 comes nicely equipped and doesn’t require you to add tons of additional features and packages in order for it to meet your high expectations. It comes standard with a buttery-smooth 4.6L V8 engine producing up to 386 HP taking it only 5.4 seconds to reach 60 MPH from a stop. There are a few other trims available to make sure it’s the best fit for your needs.
What this car says about you: You’re a relatively humble person who emphasizes efficiency, functionality and attention to detail. You may be a bit boring though, but that’s okay with us.
2015 Audi A8:
No longer the “other” German luxury car
Audi has always been in the shadow of its German rivals (Mercedes-Benz and BMW) in the U.S. market but that is quickly fading away as Audi is closing the gap. The Audi A8 is Audi’s flagship luxury sedan and it is a serious contender when considering an executive vehicle. With the newest technology features such as Audi’s adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go and parking system with top and corner camera view, Audi definitely makes a strong case for the perfect car for the person in charge. The A8 is available in either a 3.0L Supercharged V6 engine or a 4.0L Twin Turbo V8 engine and features Audi’s signature Quattro All-Wheel Drive system. Audi also offers this luxury sedan in other trims such as the Audi S8 which is a performance inspired version of the A8. And as expected, hybrid and long wheelbase options are also available.
What this car says about you: You dress to impress and you’re cooler than the other side of the pillow.
2015 Porsche Panamera:
Introducing the Porsche with 4 doors. Wait, what?
When you think of Porsche, you usually don’t think about a 4-door car with a comfortable and spacious interior. The Panamera is a game changer in the world of Porsche, there’s no doubt about it. The Panamera is offered in over 10 different trims which is ideal for those executives who are overly meticulous and have very specific tastes.
The base Panamera comes equipped with a 3.6L V6 engine producing 310 HP and it takes just 6 seconds for this Porsche to reach 60 MPH from a stop. These kinds of numbers are very Porsche-like but this standard Panamera is just the bottom of the barrel; the top-of-the-line Panamera Turbo S Executive will run you over and break your neck with its performance capabilities.
What this car says about you: You’re very performance oriented and you aren’t afraid of being different and thinking outside of the box.
2015 Land Rover Range Rover:
A full-size luxury SUV with a nameplate that is synonymous with success
The Range Rover demands attention and respect when it’s on the road. The sheer size and elegance of the exterior is hard to ignore. While this SUV is capable of traversing even the roughest of terrains, most of these vehicles will never engage in such challenges. The Range Rover has instead become a luxury SUV of choice. Additional options and packages will quickly bump this price up to the six-figure mark. Surprisingly, the fuel economy is not as bad as you would think. The Range Rover gets up to 17/23 (city/highway) MPG thanks to its 3.0L Supercharged V6 engine producing 340 HP to all four wheels, which makes it an excellent choice for a CEO.
What this car says about you: You worked hard to get where you are and you want to show everyone this by driving an oversized SUV that is completely unnecessary, just because you can.
2015 Maserati Quattroporte S:
Exotic Italian super sedan for the super CEO
When BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi aren’t good enough for you, you only have a few directions to go. Maserati is more exclusive and exotic than the German luxury car makers and that’s one of the appeals of the trident badge. The Quattroporte is their flagship luxury sedan for the executive who doesn’t want to be understated. This sedan is showy, loud and screams “look at me”. But that’s more reason to like it.
The Quattroporte comes standard with a 3.0L V6 engine producing 404 HP and has all kinds of customizable options for a VIP.
What this car says about you: You’re not okay with just being great; you have to stand out among even the best. You have great taste and have no problem showing it.
2015 Tesla Model S:
The future is looking bright
The Tesla Model S, you knew it was going to be on this list and you probably already know why. This is executive car of choice when it comes to the tech industry, for obvious reasons. With so many upcoming tech startups gaining traction, the Tesla Model S has become a huge contender in this list of best cars for CEOs.
The standard Model S can drive up to 208 miles per charge and can accelerate from 0-60 MPH in just 5.9 seconds. The Model S is a technological dream come true and Tesla is planning bigger and better things. Tesla has more models and variations in the works so expect to see more and more of these luxury electric cars on the road being driven by CEOs and executives.
What this car says about you: You’re probably a geek at heart and you are fascinated by the latest and greatest technology.
When you see the Spirit of Ecstasy on top of the hood, you know what you’re dealing with. Chambers Machine 101.
Rolls-Royce is probably one of the most prestigious, if not the most prestigious car brand in existence. Rolls-Royce is a car brand that doesn’t chase volume and evokes a presence on the road that is matched by no other. You would have to be in a very exclusive club to be able to own and drive one.
Think about this, you could buy THREE 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550s for the price of a Rolls-Royce Ghost. Is the Ghost three times the car that the S-Class is? That’s up for debate but the insane attention to detail and quality of the Ghost is undeniable. This is the crème of the crop when it comes to luxury executive cars.
What this car says about you:
You’ve reached the pinnacle of success and you want everyone to know it.
You have no problem being overstated.
2015 Audi R8: The classy everyday supercar
Having only 2 seats, the Audi R8 isn’t the most practical car out there. So why is it on this list? Well, the Audi R8 is known to be an everyday supercar. This means that it is designed to capture the best of both worlds; that is, ready to tear it up on the racetrack or comfortably take you to-and-from the office.
So for the CEO who wants a spirited drive to work every day, the Audi R8 makes perfect sense. The R8 comes standard with a 4.2L FSI V8 engine capable of producing 430 HP and of course, Audi’s Quattro All-Wheel Drive system. If that’s not enough power for you, the Audi R8 is also available with a 5.2L FSI V10 engine capable of sending 525 HP to all four wheels allowing you to accelerate from 0-60 MPH in just 3.4 seconds. (Yes, you read that right.)
The morning drive to the office in the R8 will definitely wake you up and you might not need that cup of coffee to start your busy workday. Oh yeah, you’ll also be the coolest boss in town.
Catch me on made in Nairobi as we turn start-up into Multinationals.
What this car says about you: You like to live life on the edge, even if that means sacrificing your rear seats and storage capacity for an exhilarating drive to the office.
A Product Management Consultant at
Chambers Consultancy Group