Luxury cars – a class comprised in significant proportion of large executive saloons, but with one or two hatchbacks and SUVs included – have to display a broad range of skills. These are the cars high-end executives choose to drive or to be driven in. That means they need to offer outstanding comfort both in the front and back seats, a silky smooth ride and excellent drivability and refinement.
High levels of in-car technology and infotainment are a must, and connectivity systems that will allow such machines to be used as mobile offices are increasingly important.
This list takes in cars that are both incredibly comfortable, great to drive and great to be driven in; and the ones at the top of our rankings are capable of more besides.
Best luxury cars 2018
When Mercedes-Benz sets out to make a new S-Class, the brief is to make the best car in the world. While it might not visually seduce like a Jaguar XJ, the big Merc offers an ownership experience that should be even more appealing.
This car does what it’s supposed to do superbly and is functionally exceptional. It was conceived as a long-wheelbase saloon, giving it unprecedented torsional rigidity, and the ride is helped by standard air suspension with adaptive dampers.
There’s a choice of three petrol and one diesel engine, with a nine-speed automatic ‘box standard equipment and advanced 48v hybrid electric powertrain technology used to boost both performance and efficiency in some derivates.
The S-Class is engineered to operate quietly and comfortably at all times. On both town roads and motorway it could hardly ride better, and it steers directly and precisely, with luxury-appropriate isolation.