What Defines Luxury?
Specializing in an area usually means sacrificing in others, but upscale automobiles are kind of the exception that proves the rule. While they are somewhat average in some areas, such as fuel economy, they generally excel in every other aspect.
- Curb appeal - What is the point of owning an expensive motor if people do not take notice? No vehicle announces itself like these beauties. Large wheels, shiny grilles, spoilers, and curves abound within this category. Sometimes, form trumps function, and these machines are willing to sacrifice trunk and rear-seat space for better aesthetics. But, more often than not, they just increase their overall size to accommodate it all.
- Indulgence - These fancy autos are not just pretty; they feel great, too. Only high-end materials are used within these cruising lounges, and there is no lack of modern amenities.
- Cost - These vehicles are as much symbols of status as they are appliances, so it would not do if just anyone could afford them. True, many people rent for a day, or take a week-long lease, but purchasing is another story. Aimed at people who are used to the finer things in life, these items never come cheap.
Top Luxury Cars
The USA has access to almost every auto on the planet, so finding the ultimate choice can be a bit daunting. Luckily, our experts have taken a gander at them all, and through our careful rating system, we have luxury car rankings to ease the burden. Because, why else would you choose one of these select automobiles, if not to sit back and enjoy the ride?
The first luxury vehicles were sedans, so let us begin there. The Porsche Taycan steals the first spot on our list. With its potent hybrid powertrain, this Italian stallion has more power than you’ll know what to do with, maxing out at 483 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. Meant for driving rather than riding, the Taycan makes the aforementioned sacrifices in rear space to deliver superior performance, and earn its place among the best-looking cars around. For those wanting to spend more time in the backseat, the enormous Mercedes-Maybach S or gargantuan Rolls-Royce Phantom may be more appealing. Each of these gorgeous beasts costs over $100k MSRP, with the Rolls asking in excess of $500k.
Birthed from the classic three-box, convertibles do not exactly break the mold. In this area, the Germans seem to have their finger on the pulse. Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi dominate our top 20, with offerings such as the S-Class Convertible, M8 Convertible, and R8 Spyder claiming unbeatable marks. Another evolutionary line is the crossover. US brands Cadillac and Ford also have a stake in this, as well as some ultra-modern companies such as Tesla. Remarkably, these are within reach of less affluent shoppers, too, with many smaller configurations asking for less than $50k.
What to Consider Before Buying
Shopping in this price range is sometimes hard to justify, so we’ve put together a quick list of the advantages and disadvantages of having a premium car to help you better weigh your decision.
- Style, pure and simple from respected luxury car brands
- Opulent interiors with unbeatable comfort
- Impressive performance figures are a given, even if not a prime factor
- Most are extremely safe, both mechanically and technologically
- More standard features than you’re likely to even use
- You’ll be the envy of all your friends
- Generally extraordinarily expensive to buy
- Almost as expensive to run, thanks to lower mileage figures
- Stress - even a small scratch costs an arm and a leg to repair
- Plenty of legwork, as few parking spots can handle such large occupants
FAQs about Premium Cars
What are the best models on the market in this classification?
The list of the best luxury car brands is not actually all that long, with names such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi dominating the minds of the masses. However, clientele with a need for speed should keep their eyes on Lamborghini, Porsche, and Maserati. Similarly, those who desire stately elegance aim at Rolls-Royce and Bentley. And, for those who want a taste of how the other half live, but who also cannot fork out for the exorbitant price tag, there is Lincoln, Buick, and Acura, the elite divisions of Ford, GM, and Honda, respectively.
What are the top-rated luxury motors for 2022?
This is a bit of a loaded question, as opinions vary wildly, so we give you some of our favorite picks and invite you to peruse our in-depth reviews, with videos, pictures, performance figures, and features lists to see if you agree with us. In the SUV segment, the Tesla Model Y earns high marks in our opinion, with the Cadillac Escalade and Mercedes GLA-Class tied for a close second place. The Porsche Taycan and its Turbo variant both earn a spot on the podium for high-performance sedans, while the Genesis G80 and Tesla Model S cram onto the remaining positions. Mercedes-Benz and BMW lay claim to all five top positions in our convertible category, with incredible offerings such as the S-Class, AMG 63, 8 series, and M8. And, if small and compact is your taste, then the Audi A3 Sportback takes the prime slot in our hatchback category, despite firm competition from BMW’s i3 and its close relative, the Mini Cooper.
Are there any reasonably-priced luxury car models?
While many people who seek opulence choose the rental route, there are some cheaper options available for sale. Naturally, you can pick up a top-class 2021 variant for less than a current 2022 or 2023 variant. But, if you’re looking at new luxury cars, then you do have some choices. American makers such as Lincoln and Buick are excellent choices, as they draw from the high value-for-money proposition of their parent companies, Ford and GM. Similarly, Cadillac seems to know how to scratch that itch without breaking the bank. That is not to say that these manufacturers do not have absurdly costly options, but they also have some that appeal to more conservative buyers. These alternatives may not be the most luxurious motors, but they generally offer better mpg than their uber-elite competition, which adds to their appeal with discerning shoppers.