Best luxury cars
1The Range Rover may just look like an off-roader, but with its incredible ride, interior quality and quiet drive it’s our class leader for luxury cars. The latest model is 400kg lighter than before, and that means better fuel economy as well as lower emissions. The V6 diesel engine is the one to go for, offering 38mpg and plenty of power. The Range Rover 2013 is as practical as ever, with an electrically operated split tailgate for easy access to the boot. The Range Rover is perfect if you’re looking for one of the most luxurious cars on or off the road.
2Thanks to the latest update, the Mercedes S-Class saloon is still one of the best luxury cars you can buy. Interior comfort is paramount, with double-glazed windows, massaging seats and copious amounts of legroom in the long wheelbase version. It’s unmatched as a limousine, especially thanks to the soft air suspension, but it can even hold its own in the corners, and the engines are very powerful and quiet. The Mercedes S-Class is also a class leader in terms of equipment and technology.
Key pointsPrice: £62,650 - £119,565
3If you’re looking for a quiet and comfortable cruiser that can also be genuinely fun to drive, the Audi A8 is a great choice. A system called Audi Drive Select lets the driver choose how sporty or soft the suspension should be, meaning the A8 can be both a driver’s car and a luxury motorway cruiser. The interior is very well built and options include temperature controlled seats and even massagers. Double glazed windows make it very quiet, while the comfortable seats provide plenty of room – even in the back.
Key pointsPrice: £58,800 - £79,900
4Great to drive, fast and loaded with equipment, the Jaguar XJ is a genuine contender in the luxury car segment. Firm suspension means the drive is better than its rivals from Mercedes and BMW, but at a cost of comfort. However the Jaguar is still very quiet, easy to drive, and the stylish interior feels very lavish. Economy is decent for a car this size, with the 3.0-litre diesel engine returning a surprisingly good 47mpg. Leather seats, climate control, sat-nav and an automatic gearbox all come as standard, meaning it’s a great choice if you’re looking for a handsome luxury car.
Key pointsPrice: £56,865 - £95,870
5The Porsche Panamera is lacking some style compared to sporty rivals like the Maserati Quattroporte, but it more than makes up for that with a fantastic driving experience. All the models in the range are very fast, with the top-of-the-line Turbo S touching on supercar speeds – all while comfortably seating four people. The diesel engine option is nearly as economical as the Jaguar XJ, offering 44mpg, though it’s not quite as fast. It’s an expensive choice for a luxury four-seater, but compared to something like an Aston Martin Rapide it's quite easy to justify.
Key pointsPrice: £62,922 - £131,049
6The BMW 7 Series is one of the most subtle luxury cars you can buy, but the understated looks hide a well-equipped car that's actually fun to drive. The engines available are powerful and the suspension is firm, which means the handling is impressive for a large car like this. However this compromises comfort, and the 7 Series is not as relaxed as something like the Mercedes S Class. The interior offers loads of technology, including automatic window blinds and electrically adjustable rear seats, and is extremely quiet when cruising.
Key pointsPrice: £58,270 - £104,235
7The Bentley Continental GT is a luxury coupe designed for long journeys and cross-continental trips. That means it offers a range of very powerful engines and an extremely comfortable interior. Buyers seeking the sun and wind in their hair might even want to go for the convertible GTC version. For the ultimate long-distance comfort, there’s a 6.0-litre W12 engine option, but for a more sporty drive you can go for the 4.0-litre V8. Being part of the reputable Volkswagen Group, the Contintental GT is reliable, too.
Key pointsPrice: £126,200 - £152,600
8Ultimately it’s more of a sports car than a limousine, but there’s no doubt that the Maserati Quattroporte is a luxury car inside and out. The interior is full of high-quality leathers, woods and metals, while the striking Italian looks mean the Quattroporte is a seriously desirable car. The suspension is firm and provides a great drive through the corners, but that doesn’t compromise the ride and long journeys are still very comfortable. There’s plenty of performance as well, with a choice of a 3.8-litre V8 and a 3.0-litre V6 - both of which were developed alongside Maserati’s sister manufacturer, Ferrari.
Key pointsPrice: £80,095 - £108,160
9There couldn’t be a list of the best luxury cars without a Rolls-Royce included, and the Ghost is certainly one of the most comfortable and opulent cars on sale. It’s very large, at 5.4 metres in length and weighing 2.4 tonnes, but the powerful 6.6-litre V12 engine is more than enough to provide incredible performance. Advanced suspension means the ride is superb, and the seats, carpet and upholstery are all top-notch. All this luxury comes with a high price tag, however.
10The Lexus LS is the pinnacle of the Japanese manufacturer’s technological efforts, featuring both clever hybrid technology and loads of gadgets. The hybrid model is very expensive, however, while the standard LS 460 petrol model is nearly as economical. It’s not the best car in this list to drive, especially compared to rivals like the Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series, but the smooth and comfortable ride mean the LS is still a great motorway cruiser. The range-topping long wheelbase model gets huge legroom in the back and even electrically reclining rear seats. Being a Lexus it’s sure to be reliable, too.
Key pointsPrice: £71,995 - £101,510