Top 10 best luxury cars to buy 2024
Indulge yourself with our list of the most luxurious cars on sale today
Whether it’s an SUV or a limousine, to be considered one of the best luxury cars to buy a car must be made of the finest materials, feature the very latest technology and offer the most refined experience possible for driver and passengers.
Saloons (or limousines) once dominated the luxury car market, but many brands witnessed the success of the Range Rover and have cashed in by adding luxury SUVs to their lineups. Even the way that these luxury cars are fuelled is evolving, with models such as the BMW i7 and Rolls-Royce Spectre sprinkling all-electric power into the mix.
Regardless of these constant developments, the main factor when evaluating luxury cars remains the same: how much luxury do you get for your money? The best luxury models come with plush seats – usually covered in soft leather – while even rear seat passengers can expect electric adjustment, heating, ventilation, massage options, and maybe even a recline function. There will be legroom to spare and the kind of in-car entertainment that used to be the preserve of first-class transatlantic flights, with high-end audio and visual systems that can be tailored to any requirement.
The best luxury cars to buy
Our experts have had the pleasure of thoroughly testing every luxury car on sale in the UK to identify the very best among them. Read on below to find our top 10 luxury cars, listed in reverse order.
10. Porsche Panamera
The current Porsche Panamera has been around since 2016, but a facelift in 2021 kept it feeling as fresh as ever. With an estate “Sport Turismo” version also available, your dog can savour the luxury, too.
Like the Porsche 911, the Panamera is a masterclass in evolution ahead of revolution when it comes to its development, and it's clear that the current Panamera is a logical progression from its predecessor. Thankfully, that means it looks more appealing than the original. The lines have been smoothed out, yet the 911 styling cues remain, while the driving experience has been enhanced to boost its range of ability.
It's just as driver-focused as before, so it's a pleasure to drive quickly, and it has performance by the bucketload, but the air-suspension can be switched to comfort mode at the press of a button to keep back-seat occupants comfortable and unruffled.
9. Rolls-Royce Phantom
There’s no doubt that the Rolls-Royce Phantom is an incredible car. It's powered by a 6.75-litre V12 petrol engine, which produces 563bhp and a satisfying 900Nm of torque. This allows you to plant your right foot and accelerate from a standstill to 62mph in 5.3 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 155mph.
The price is suitably large to go with the Rolls’ grand dimensions and 21- or 22-inch wheels, as the least you can expect to pay is north of £400,000. If you so much as look at the options list, you will find that this figure heads upwards very quickly.
On the road the Phantom is unbelievably quiet and comfortable – as you would expect – but should you find yourself in the driver's seat, you will have a mixture of features to make sure you enjoy your time there. Firstly, there is four-wheel steering to aid in low-speed manoeuvres and high-speed stability, then there is the air suspension and active roll management to prevent unwanted lurching of the body through the corners – all of which make this enormous car a lot easier to keep under control.
8. Rolls-Royce Spectre
Charles Rolls predicted electric propulsion would be the future of the car, and more than 120 years later the Rolls-Royce Spectre is the first EV to wear the Spirit of Ecstasy. It also serves as the spiritual successor to the Phantom Coupe to some, as well as the start of a new era for the British brand after it pledged to go electric-only by the end of the decade.
In the meantime though, if you open the Spectre’s huge rear-hinge doors and you will see that this four-seat, two-door coupe is awash with the finest leathers, woods and metals. It’s ridiculously hard to find fault in the cabin, but you’d expect that to be the case when you’re paying more than £330,000 for a car. The combined power output of the twin motors should prove acceptable to the most discerning driver, too, with 577bhp and 900Nm of torque on tap.
There are still some teething troubles, though. Refinement is exceptional at cruising speeds, the steering is well-judged and it even claims a range of up to 329 miles on a single charge. However, the suspension causes this three-tonne car to become noticeably unsettled when driving at lower speeds – particularly around town–- and the regenerative braking system can be a bit too intrusive.
7. Bentley Continental GT
The Bentley Continental GT is a luxury ‘grand touring’ coupe that will not break a sweat when being driven across continents – hence the name. Power is plentiful too, with the choice of either a 542bhp V8 or 650bhp W12 engine, although production of Bentley’s 12-cylinder motor will soon be coming to an end.
The interior is a treat for anyone lucky enough to sit inside, with inspiration taken from the wings of the Bentley badge. The dashboard, for example, ‘wings’ majestically out from the central console, before continuing into the door trims, circling the occupants with a ring of wood and leather.
Along with the lavish design, the cabin features an array of technology including bang-up-to-date infotainment and safety systems. There's also a bundle of chassis tech that helps give the Continental GT its great driver feeling on the road.
6. Rolls-Royce Ghost
When it comes to luxury and refinement, the Rolls-Royce Ghost delivers in spades. There are only two parts carried over from the previous model - the Spirit of Ecstasy that sits atop the bonnet, and the umbrellas hidden within the doors.
The Ghost is based on Rolls-Royce’s latest aluminium chassis that it calls its ‘architecture of luxury’. It can also be found beneath the Cullinan SUV, flagship Phantom and even the all-electric Spectre.
Although perhaps a little less conspicuous than its Phantom sibling, the Ghost is still five-metres long and 2.5-tonnes in weight, so it could hardly be called understated. You shouldn’t have to worry about merging from slip roads, as the Ghost’s 6.75-litre V12 petrol engine produces 563bhp, which allows a 0-62mph time of 4.8s and a 155mph top speed.
5. Mercedes S-Class
For many people, the only luxury car ever worth considering is the Mercedes S-Class. It’s a sentiment that, for the most part, still applies with the latest version of the venerable German limousine. The S-Class is at its most impressive in either diesel or plug-in hybrid forms.
The Premium model does a particularly wonderful job of portraying ultimate comfort in both the front and rear. Space is cavernous, and the tech on board is bang up to date, despite being short of the wow-factor displays of rivals such the new 7 Series or even Mercedes’ own all-electric EQS. The only downsides are some less than desirable interior plastics and the ride on the larger 21-inch wheels, which just isn’t as good as on the smaller wheels.
4. Range Rover Sport
In comparison with the full-fat Range Rover, the slightly smaller Range Rover Sport is actually better suited to the UK, while losing little in terms of luxury and refinement. The Sport’s slightly more tied down handling makes it the more comfortable car to drive on tighter roads, while its more athletic design inside and out will appeal to a wider customer base.
It’s also significantly cheaper, but if you’re after the ultimate luxury experience, the full-size Range Rover still has its unique attributes and an even more imperious demeanour.
Considering that this large SUV weighs 2.3-tonnes, the Range Rover Sport offers a genuinely engaging drive with admirable capability in both performance and handling. The steering is precise, the air suspension keeps the car’s weight in check when cornering, and the diesel, petrol and PHEV powertrain options will all launch the Sport from 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds or less. The hottest 627bhp version called the Range Rover Sport SV turns things up to 11, and will hit 62mph in just 3.8 seconds.
3. Bentley Flying Spur
The Bentley Flying Spur is perhaps the quintessential British luxury saloon, embodying everything the brand has stood for, with a modern twist. Sharing lots of its DNA with the Porsche Panamera has given it a much more engaging driving experience than before, and aside from a slight compromise in ultimate ride comfort, gives nothing else away to its predecessor in terms of refinement or luxury.
With the W12 engine being phased out, it’s the twin-turbo V8 that is our choice, rather than the PHEV version, feeling opulent and imperious in typical Bentley fashion. The cabin exudes luxury, thanks to the exceptional quality of its wood, leather and turned steel, clothed in an exterior design that’ll turn heads whether you’re at your Holland Park mansion or Cotswolds country estate.
2. Range Rover
The ultra-luxury SUV might now be a common model in many manufacturers’ ranges, but none of them are equal to the original luxury off-roader: the Range Rover. This British icon was completely redesigned in 2022, and the current version mixes exceptional levels of capability and technology into a contemporary package.
Yet the key is that these elements sit upon a foundation of exceptional build quality and comfort, with a unique sense of imperiousness that no other rival marque has yet been able to beat. Diesels and plug-in hybrids are our preferred powertrain choices, with the latter being better suited to urban driving, thanks to an impressive electric range. A purely-electric version is also on the way.
Unsurprisingly, the Range Rover is by far the most practical car on this list. With the extra height this SUV has over its rivals, it feels truly massive in the back. The new standard-fit air suspension lowers the car to aid access, too – a helpful touch considering how tall it is. With over 700 litres of boot space and the option of a seven-seat LWB version, your whole family can travel in the lap of luxury.
1. BMW i7
Say what you will about its controversial styling, but BMW has nailed the luxury car of the future with its eccentric and all-electric i7 limousine. It might be closely based on BMW’s petrol-powered 7 Series, but in many ways the i7 is an even more convincing premium experience. It’s incredibly quiet and smooth, and has a brilliant ride and handling balance that rivals a Rolls-Royce for outright comfort.
Inside, the high-tech yet luxurious cabin is no less impressive, especially when you’re sitting in the back seats. The BMW is a very big, and very heavy car, but in this segment that goes with the job, and it’s one that the i7 does exceptionally well.
Of course, sitting around and waiting for an EV to charge is far from a luxurious experience, so BMW has addressed this by fitting the i7 with a huge 101.7kWh battery that allows for a range of up to 388 miles, depending on your chosen spec. All i7s are capable of sub-5 second 0-62mph times, but if you’re in a particular hurry there’s a performance-oriented M Sport version available with 537bhp on tap.
Top 10 best luxury cars to buy
- BMW i7
- Range Rover
- Bentley Flying Spur
- Range Rover Sport
- Mercedes S-Class
- Rolls-Royce Ghost
- Bentley Continental GT
- Rolls-Royce Spectre
- Rolls-Royce Phantom
- Porsche Panamera
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