Luxury cars – a class that includes a major number of huge classic limousine saloons as well as one or two enormous hatchbacks and demure SUVs – are the vehicles that high-level executives choose to drive or be driven in.
That means they must have superior comfort in both the front and rear seats, a silky smooth ride, exceptional drivability and refinement, adequate performance, and act as better status symbols than most four-wheeled vehicles. High levels of in-car technology and infotainment are required, as are communication technologies that will allow such machines to be utilized as mobile offices.
10 greatest luxury automobiles on the market right now
1. Range Rover
With an aluminum monocoque structure and an unabashedly luxury ambition, the new fourth-generation Range Rover is as groundbreaking as any in the car’s history. Its commanding driving position, supreme luxury, and enduringly unique interior make it our top selection in the sub-£100,000 luxury cars category.
The fact that it is a luxury cars first and a 4×4 second does not diminish its off-road prowess in the least. The large inside radiates quality and luxury, the seats are outstanding, and the driving position is first-rate for a car of its size, making it comfortable to drive. The substantial bodyshell gives great insulation from uneven terrain, and while it lacks the driving engagement of a Porsche Cayenne, it’s simple to make brisk movement delightful if necessary, because any rate of advancement feels unique in a Range Rover.
Land Rover’s engine lineup still comprises six- and eight-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, with no poor or underpowered alternatives. Private motorists should be drawn to Solihull’s recently introduced straight-six diesel engines, but fleet operators will be interested in the plug-in hybrid P400e (77g/km, 25 miles EV range), which qualifies for corporate car tax at only 19% BIK.
The Range Rover is large and hefty, but these are minor trade-offs for a vehicle with such tremendous versatility. Few vehicles make you feel as privileged to ride in, none have better sight or a more commanding or secure driving posture, and few brighten your day.
2. Mercedes-Benz S-Class
When Mercedes-Benz sets out to create a new S-Class, the goal is simple: design the greatest automobile in the world. It has done so on each and every occasion that this iconic ‘big Benz’ has been remodeled over the decades, and the last time that happened in 2020, in a more tough and rapidly changing luxury automobile market than the car has ever faced, Stuttgart most likely did the same.
Mercedes, on the other hand, didn’t quite strike the bullseye this time. The tenth-generation S-Class took several risks in order to compete with Tesla’s digital technology while maintaining its recognizable high-quality feel, luxurious elegance and interior quality, and uncompromising comfort and refinement.
It nearly worked. The S-Class remains one of the world’s most comfortable, enveloping, and refined automobiles. But, while its new in-car technologies are numerous and impressive in some ways (including an infotainment screen large enough to fit in the cockpit of an A380), they aren’t all easy to use; they don’t all integrate seamlessly into the driving experience; and some of them feel like add-ons rather than enhancements.
While clients of the more expensive Mercedes-Maybach S-Class may choose between V8 and V12 engines, the ordinary limousine can be obtained with a -350d or -400d diesel engine, or a -500 petrol engine, with the latter also gaining modest hybrid assistance. The diesels are pleasingly real-world efficient and smooth, and the S400d provides all the performance that a car of this type would ever want; but, the S500 offers an even faster (but still perfectly quiet and smooth) 400bhp+ alternative if you want it.
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The S-Class is designed to be quiet and comfortable at all times. It rides in solitary luxury and with plenty of distinctive waft on both urban and highway routes, but the biggish alloy wheels of modern vehicles make them just a bit prone to banging over elevated ironwork and broken Tarmac.
Mercedes’ most recent rear-seat entertainment systems and sleeping-seat interior combinations are expected to make their way to the basic S-Class after first appearing on the more expensive Maybach variant. Even without those accoutrements, this is a formidable luxury cars.
3. Audi E-tron Quattro
The premium electric automobile is now entering quite well-established times. There have been fast ones, extremely fast ones, huge ones, little ones, costly ones and inexpensive ones, and even those that try some four-wheel drive adaptability.
But no electric car has ever done onboard luxury better than Audi’s initial attempt at the zero-emissions template: the E-tron Quattro. This vehicle combines four-wheel drive and a dominating degree of sheer performance with SUV-like spaciousness, convenience, and use, as well as Audi brand appeal. But what truly sets it apart is how perfectly quiet, comfy, and polished it is. When we road tested one, the cabin noise level was closer to that of a Rolls-Royce Phantom than a Tesla Model X at 70 mph.
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Of course, Audi-branded modern luxury comes with cutting-edge onboard technology, while the possibility for 150kW public quick charging, along with a daily range of between 200- and 250 miles on a charge, makes the E-tron a more useable electric car than some of its contemporaries. There is currently no more luxury electric automobile in the world than this one.
4. Audi A8
The 2018 Audi A8 includes some of the most sophisticated chassis, engine, and in-car technologies in the premium class, including what promises to be the greatest capacity for autonomous driving of any production car in the world when it is ultimately turned on. The automobile exemplifies Audi’s commitment to traditional ‘vorsprung durch technik.’
There are two turbocharged engines to choose from: a 282bhp diesel or a 335bhp petrol, with four-wheel drive as standard, and a 48V electrical system that gives it a mild hybrid designation. The tax-saving six-cylinder petrol 60 TFSIe, whose smoothness and seamless response greatly improve the attractiveness of the car’s driving experience – as well as the range-topping V8-powered S8 executive express – are found further up the model range.
Although it lacks the feeling of occasion that the class-leading Range Rover has, the A8’s exquisite cabin feels like it was meant to outlive civilization itself. The ride is smooth, and the car is simple to drive, albeit it isn’t quite as pillowy and plush as its primary German rival, and it isn’t quite comparable to the Mercedes in the most important respects.
5. Mercedes-Benz CLS
It’s debatable whether Mercedes originated the current hybrid vehicle body style known as the ‘coupon’ (a four-door saloon crossbred with a more streamlined shape and a swooping coupé-like roofline) or Maserati with the fifth-generation Quattroporte. In any case, it’s worth noting that the original Mercedes CLS of 2004 was one of the originators of what still appears to be a relatively new vehicle type; that that vehicle type has become an important part of the modern luxury car landscape; and that Mercedes has probably done more to popularize it than any other car maker.
The CLS, now in its third model generation, has always been significantly more practical than most 2+2s, reaching a high point with the Shooting Brake version – a favourite CLS derivative at Autocar Towers that Mercedes regrettably decided would be discontinued with the current third-generation version of the car.
The CLS has never looked better than in its initial trend-setting model generation, but the slightly odd aesthetics of the second-generation version are already in the rearview mirror, and the car’s technology-packed, leather-bound cockpit has never been more welcoming than it is now.
The engine lineup comprises four- and six-cylinder turbocharged petrols, as well as two six-cylinder turbo diesels, with the four-wheel-drive CLS 53 performance hybrid replacing the firebreathing V8-powered previous CLS 63 at the top of the line and adding an intriguing new flavor to the AMG arsenal. Although larger-rimmed variants shod with run-flat tyres sometimes suffer from poor rolling dynamics and are absolutely worth a test drive before buying, the chassis juggles participation against isolation admirably.
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The CLS doesn’t have limo-like back seat room, but it’s a premium car worth considering in every other way.
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