IN THE wake of new research that found people briefly exposed to luxury feel depressed when it is taken from them, here are five cars that feel luxurious but which are cheap enough for you to own and keep.
The boffins, at Ghent University in Belgium, who did the research gave 308 volunteers a luxury or ordinary chocolate and a pen, to try. Some were allowed to keep the samples and take them home, while others were told to give them back.
Those who kept the luxury item reported feeling more satisfied with life, while those who were told to return it felt a lower sense of wellbeing.
Liselot Hudders, one of the researchers, said: “People are more satisfied with life when they own luxury products than when they only get to use them. In contrast, the mere use or mere knowledge of luxury products seems to be detrimental for one’s satisfaction with life.”
Being more than a little familiar with this last emotion, Driving suggests five down-to-earth but luxurious new cars that, finances permitting, you won’t have to give back.
Vauxhall Adam (from £11,405)
So, what’s your definition of luxury? Whatever it is, the infinitely optionable Adam can supply it, whether it’s a starry headlining, a glazed roof panel, illuminated door pockets and footwells, contrasting exterior colours…
Mini convertible (from £16,415)
It’s the automotive equivalent of a Links of London charm; a cute little gem of a car with endearing looks, a funky interior and, joy of joys, a soft-top for some boulevard cruising, weather permitting.
Audi A3 3dr (from £18,280)
In A3-speak, luxury means top-drawer fit and finish, peerless engineering and tasteful design. It’s the sort of car that goes on quietly rewarding your good judgement day after day.
Mercedes CLA (from £26,925)
Sensuous styling, coupé looks and one of the most dramatic fascias ‒ dominated by five propeller-style vents ‒ around: the CLA makes you feel like a film star before you’ve even turned the key.
Skoda Superb estate Laurent & Klement edition (from £28,630)
The founders of Skoda are celebrated in this top-of-the-range version of the load-swallowing and supremely comfortable Superb estate, here fitted with a panoramic sunroof, leather trim and a 10-speaker sound system. Who’d have thought?