Five executive limousines with favourable leasing agreements

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 June, 2016, 3:09pm
UPDATED : Friday, 10 June, 2016, 3:09pm

There are plenty of executive limousines to choose from in Hong Kong’s showrooms, but it might prove wise not to rush into a new purchase right now. Most dealers we spoke to recently were still refraining from one-upmanship tactics and comparing their cars favourably to their competitors’. This suggests the local property market gloom has yet to cloud the Hong Kong motor trade’s optimism.

Nevertheless, if interest rates rise in the near future, these “flagship” models could be left gathering dust in the showrooms, prompting dealers to pitch more convincingly with discounts and extras. On the other hand, buyers opting for leasing agreements might want to consider sealing five-year deals, available at 1.75 per cent to 2 per cent, before rates rise.

The Jaguar XJ Luxury LWB (HK$998,000) is arguably the best-value executive limousine in town. The aluminium-bodied four-seater looks smart; it’s as plush and luxurious as its rivals, and is possibly best built for slow-moving Hong Kong traffic. It’s light at 1,707kg and yet runs on a two-litre, 240 horsepower (hp) turbocharged engine, which promises 100km/h in 7.9 seconds via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The XJ also offers sophisticated technology such as Pedestrian Contact Sensing and excellent multimedia connectivity with a 250-watt sound system. More importantly, Jaguar Hong Kong says the Luxury LWB can be leased for HK$18,505 a month over 60 months. That’s probably the best “bossmobile” deal in town.

Meanwhile, the 272hp Mercedes-Benz S320 (HK$1.069 million) competes well. As suitable for Mid-Levels life as fast-lane airport flits, the S320 sprints to 100km/h in 7.1 seconds via a smooth 7G-Tronic Plus transmission. It’s chauffeur friendly with a reversing camera and Parktronic park assist, plus extras such as ambient lighting and a sun protection package. Distributor Zung Fu highlights the beauty and sophistication of the car, and probably skewers most rival marques with surprisingly competitive monthly terms that include a down payment of HK$120,945; “clean” insurance at about HK$11,760; a licence fee of HK$7,755; then 54 monthly payments of HK$20,158. The “Big Cat” won’t like that.

The three-litre, 310hp Audi A8L 50 TFSI quattro (HK$1.284 million) is a tough contender, too. The Four Rings’ stretch reaches 100km/h in 5.9 seconds and thumps out 440 Newton metres (Nm) of torque with a supercharged fuel-injected V6. It’s smooth Tiptronic eight-speed transmission is designed to let a boss do his or her crossword in the back seat without jolts in traffic. The long Audi’s monthly terms involve 10 per cent prepayment and 54 monthly installments of HK$21,331. Audi Hong Kong matches Zung Fu for product knowledge and English skills, and also bundles its most popular items well: its Progressive Package II includes a panoramic glass roof; 360-degree parking camera; BOSE surround sound and more comfort for HK$47,442 plus first registration tax.

The Maserati Quattroporte Elite on the other hand is a timeless beauty; the Sophia Loren of cars, and it growls like a tigress when pushed to 100km/h — in 5.6-seconds. The three-litre limo also has a new 330hp V6 and is beautifully finished in Modena to make a man look strong and women more beautiful in the Dolce Vita of The Cullinan, The Mediterranean and the luckier parts of King’s Hill. It’s not cheap at HK$1.388 million, but its payments might be better than alimony at HK$25,375 a month over 60 months.

The 1,860kg Quattroporte Elite has an eight-speed automatic transmission that delivers 500Nm of torque and plenty of safety electronics, but the soft, sensual Poltrona Frau leather and gleaming dashboard give the impression that its owner is untouched by recession. The marque has also fitted a 10-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system with touch controls and connectivity.

Extra options include the Wi-fi vehicle hotspot (HK$17,942) and the rear-seat entertainment with folding tables (HK$146,276), and two-rear-seat and central console configuration options to turn your swish ride into a society salon or corner office on wheels.

The latest BMW 7 Series exudes hands-on executive power with an airy, businesslike cabin, the promise of Touch Command, and lots of connectivity. However, the Hong Kong government has nixed one of the model’s most impressive advances, the Remote Control Parking, which allows a driver to get out of the car and use a mouse-sized clicker to park it. Under Hong Kong law, “all vehicles should not be started or moved without a driver; present thus our cars are not equipped with that function”, dealer BMW Concessionaires (HK) has said.

As a result, BMW’s “flagship” might seem like an overpriced ride with a dark secret. However, if you can live without its auto-park clicker, the 740LiA (HK$1.568 million) is arguably the most suitable 7 Series for Hong Kong driving, and achieves 100km/h in 5.6 seconds via a twin-turbo, three-litre, 326hp engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The 1,845kg model delivers 450Nm of torque at 1,380rpm and could also be all you need for occasional trips over the border.

The basic 740LiA would require a down payment of HK$171,539, and 54 monthly payments of HK$28,589, however. The price could be ratcheted up in opting for must-have extras such as the head-up display (HK$17,000); a panoramic glass roof (HK$16,000) that is a must at night when hosting VIP visitors; BMW’s impressive gesture control (HK$6,000) technology, which enables drivers to accept or reject phone calls, and change audio volumes with recognised finger motions; and a Professional rear-seat entertainment package (HK$36,000) that includes 10-inch colour displays on the back of the front seats, a Blu-ray player, and mobile connectivity. The dealer also offers the 4.4-litre 750LiA (HK$1.968 million) and M versions of both.