Used Vehicle Roundup: Comfort Cruisers

Whether you’re a family-man, real-estate agent, product sales rep, or just really want to impress the socks off of your future in-laws, the benefits of owning a Comfort Cruiser are numerous and undeniable.

Passenger volume, a comfortable ride to coddle passengers of note, and stately looks that’ll stir your clients and in-laws.

A Comfort Cruiser is a great big ride that’s commonly employed to punch your passengers right in the kisser with comfort and luxury, while providing space and comfort, and looking classy as all heck in the process.

The following selection of Comfort Cruisers from the new and used marketplace should be considered priority test-drives by folks after passenger volume, a comfortable ride to coddle passengers of note, and stately looks that’ll stir your clients and in-laws.

Price cap? Let’s say fifty thousand. This means some models listed below are new, and others are used.

Model: Chrysler 300

The Gist: Ever handsome! This big and stately sedan largely put big and stately American sedans back on the map when it launched some years ago. Today, numerous updates for the second-generation Chrysler 300 make it a tremendously compelling argument in the Comfort Cruiser segment. Look for six or eight-cylinder power, rear or all-wheel drive, a full selection of high-tech upgrades, and numerous interior colour and materials themes ranging from mild to wild. Notably, Chrysler 300’s cabin has earned a place on the Wards 10 Best Interiors list for its value, quality and styling. Excellent ride quality and overall top-notch comfort without the top-notch pricing round out the package.

At around $50,000, shoppers can check out a brand new, fully-loaded, top-line 300 Platinum with All Wheel Drive and six-cylinder power, and still have a few thousand bucks left over for a trip to the options list.

Model: Cadillac Escalade

The Gist: Big, powerful and loaded to the nines with luxury implements, the Cadillac Escalade combines tough-truck underpinnings, excessive amounts of wood and leather, and behemoth-level sizing for your very largest passengers. Approaching our price cap, you’re looking at a few-year-old, last-generation Escalade with a few clicks on the odometer. Look for standard V8 power, All-Wheel Drive (AWD), a BOSE stereo system, LED headlamps and a comfort-tuned suspension for soaking up rough roads while you ooze along doing Comfort Cruiser stuff with your familiars. This one can tow, cruise, and float along for hours on end in the lap of American luxury, all with over 400 horsepower on perpetual standby. OnStar, Navigation, tri-zone climate control , deployable running boards and climate controlled seats all add to the Escalade’s big-time comfort factor.

Buying Used: Confirm that the brake lights and cruise control work as expected, as a wonky brake-pedal sensor can render both systems inactive. Check front seat area carpeting and floor-mats for signs of moisture and mildew, which could be the result of a leaky windshield seal, or plugged and leaking sunroof drain tubing. Check all high-end features including the heated seats and steering wheel, rear-seat entertainment consoles and climate controls, and the navigation and OnStar systems. Have a mechanic check for leaks from the transmission cooler lines and the Escalade’s cooling system, too.

Model: Hyundai Genesis Sedan

The Gist: Here’s a Comfort Cruiser from Korea, as well as a model that raised the industry’s collective eyebrows when it launched in its first generation a few years back. Intent on challenging big-buck luxury sedans priced in stratospheric territory, the Hyundai Genesis Sedan offered up world-class luxury without the world-class pricetag. Look for ride quality that sees this tarmac barge virtually hover over smooth highways, and a 5.0L 420-plus horsepower V8 engine that’s as silky as it is potent. The up-level powerplant is one thousand percent guaranteed to melt the brains of passengers who didn’t know Hyundai had a V8, and a full range of advanced safety systems, as well as the eardrum-liquefying Lexicon stereo system, are all on offer. For size, power, luxury trimmings and feature content fitting of a top-dog Comfort Cruiser, without the appendage-severing pricing, Genesis Sedan hits the mark nicely.

At our price-cap, a shopper can find a fully-loaded, second-generation Genesis 5.0 Ultimate with a few thousands kilometers on the clock and most of the factory warranty remaining. If you’re on a tighter budget, see our used notes below, as the last-generation Genesis 5.0 R-Spec is depreciating beautifully.

If Buying Used: Congratulations! You’ve just discovered the answer to the following question: what has 429 horsepower, every feature imaginable, rear-wheel drive, comfort to burn, and has depreciated down to sub-$30,000 territory at just a few years old? It’s the first-generation Genesis 5.0 R-Spec. If you’re after a used one, you’ll have no trouble at $25,000 to $30,000 finding a unit with factory warranty remaining. As a precaution, inspect the chrome for excessive wear, look for wheel and tire damage, and check the trunk area, under the carpeting, for signs of a water leak. A bad fuel injector or two can result in a check-engine light and sporadic performance, and shoppers are advised to check for proper operation of the navigation system and climate-controlled seats, which will be pricey to repair or replace out of warranty. Finally, have the braking system inspected by a Hyundai mechanic, especially if any unwelcome noises are detected.

Model: Volvo S60

The Gist: The S60 isn’t generously sized compared to others in our test, and if you’re rocking one, the rear seats are best used for the shortest passengers you’ve got. But here’s the thing, and why we’re putting it on our list, anyways: this is one of those cars that’s comfortable and composed and refined, no matter where, or how, you drive it. On a bare highway on a hot day, up some winding sideroads in a blizzard, or even on high-speed highway in some other country, the S60 feels naturally athletic, effortless and laid-back. Here’s a car that makes hours on the road disappear with ease, and has a subtly sporty side to boot. It’s a Comfort Cruiser that maintains all Comfort Cruiser characteristics effortlessly, in all situations.

A powerful xenon lighting system enhances eye comfort on long after-dark drives, and, as most Volvo’s do, S60 offers up the most comfortable seats you’ll likely sit in, in the course of your day.

Coming in around our price cap of $50,000, shoppers can get into a new S60 T6, with All-Wheel Drive (AWD), 300 hp, and room left over for a few options, like the Climate Package, which adds front and rear-seat heating, and a heated steering wheel.

Model: Land Rover LR4

The Gist: Most folks don’t buy a Land Rover for top-line reliability and low running costs, but many folks do buy one because this British range of Comfort Cruisers is sophisticated, glamorous, comfortable, and looks like a million bucks. The LR4 makes this list because of the latter attributes – and because of a past test-drive by your writer that revealed something special: it’s the most comfortable vehicle I’ve ever driven off-road and on.

Thanks to the air suspension system and the calibration of the suspension, the LR4 cruises the highway with buttery smoothness, and cruises nasty camp roads and trails with buttery smoothness, too. Here’s a top-line SUV that’s got V8 power, space for your clients and family to lounge and socialize, and maintains a creamy and quiet ride at all times. The best leathers on the planet, as well as a full range of luxury feature content, are also included. On the road or off, the LR4 is a compelling choice for travelling in absolute comfort with a floating-on-a-cloud ride. You’ll find no shortage of few-year-old units available at or below our $50,000 price cap.

If Buying Used: Source a gently-used LR4 from a Land Rover dealer’s Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program with remaining warranty, and add any extended warranty coverage available. In any case, do not buy a used LR4 without a full pre-purchase inspection at a Land Rover dealer, with air suspension, engine electronics, driveline components and climate-control systems examined fully as a bare minimum.  Have a mechanic inspect the underside of the LR4 for evidence of rust or off-road damage, and analyze the condition of the tires and brakes. This is one of the world’s leading SUV models where comfort is concerned, though buying one without a full inspection at a Land Rover dealer is strictly not advised.

Model: Infiniti M37/M56/Q70

The Gist: Infiniti’s flagship Comfort Cruiser blends top-line interior trimmings with space galore and even offers up an extended-wheelbase version for cruising like a big-shot. This underrated flagship model packs a reputation for reliability and proven powertrain tech with top-level feature content and some striking touches, like quilted leather, silver-dusted wood-grain trim and more – all at pricing that’s highly reasonable in both new and used-car markets. Look for a 3.7L V6, a 5.6L V8, or a 3.5L V6 Hybrid, and in rear or All-Wheel Drive (AWD).

Coming in around our price-cap, this great big Japanese cruiser can be found at just two or three years old with reasonable mileage on the odometer. Features like memory seating, a premium BOSE audio system, and a posh climate control system which occasionally wafts puffs of luxurious and highly-ionized air into the cabin, are also on board.

If Buying Used: Head to an Infiniti dealer and check out a used Q70 or M37/M56 from a CPO program. Scrutinize the condition of the tires, brakes and paint, and confirm that all electronics work as expected. On older or higher-mileage units, a computer system scan is advised to check for potential issues with engine sensors, and a check for moisture in the footwells and trunk may reveal a leaky sunroof drainage system. Harsh shifting from the transmission is likely caused by a problem with the computer that controls it, though a mechanic should verify.

Whether you’re a family-man, real-estate agent, product sales rep, or just really want to impress the socks off of your future in-laws...