You know you’ve bought a great luxury car when you arrive at your destination feeling like you’ve had a fantastic driving experience. Quiet cabin, massaging seats, plenty of onboard gadgets to play with – a luxury car is designed to offer the finest motoring money can buy.
Automakers go to great lengths to give their cars that premium feel. The best in the business do this by blending exceptional interior quality with the newest technology to provide you with an all-around silky-smooth driving experience. But as you’d expect, all this luxury isn’t cheap. If you want to travel in a five-star hotel on wheels, you need pockets deep enough to pay for it.
The main concern with luxury cars is just how much luxury you can get for the price tag. You should have plenty of legroom, plush seats covered in soft leather, a high-end video and audio system, and the kind of in-car entertainment you’d expect on a first-class flight.
But that’s not all. We all know that luxury cars are status symbols – this is part of their appeal. But they’re also an innovators’ playground. Whatever new tech that becomes mainstream in the car industry usually makes its way on the market through luxury cars. And it’s the same for convenience features. They may not be the cheapest cars to insure, but thanks to everything they have to offer, they’ll always be held high in aspirational value.
In this market segment, there’s no room for compromise. When you’re paying such a hefty price tag, you want to be sure there will be no regrets. And that’s precisely why we’ve made this list. There’s certainly no lack of outstanding premium cars in 2021, so let’s take a look at the most popular ones based on reviews from experts in the industry.
The 2021 A8 is Audi’s most spacious and luxurious sedan, but it conceals its premium cabin behind an understated façade. More reserved millionaires will appreciate the anonymity this design choice gives them. Once inside, they can enjoy the same level of comfort as in the more conspicuous Mercedes-Benz S-class or BMW 7-series.
For an almost six-figure price tag, the A8 will be well above the average cost of car insurance per month, but you get power-adjustable, 22-way front seats with heat, ventilation and massage, a 360-degree exterior camera system, and wireless smartphone charging pad.
If you opt for the 60 TFSI model, you get the 453-hp twin-turbocharged V-8. The base 55 TFSI will give you a turbocharged V-6 rated at 335 horsepower. Both engines use a 48-volt hybrid system. All-wheel drive and eight-speed automatic transmission are standard.
The A8 offers the kind of mix between athleticism and ride comfort you’ve come to expect from Audi. You get driver-adjustable adaptive dampers and adjustable air suspension as standard. Additionally, you can opt for more advanced active suspension that scans and compensates for road bumps.
The Mercedes S-Class is the German brand’s flagship that has earned the title of “the best car in the world,” and now there’s an all-new version that looks to improve on its remarkable predecessor. The 2021 S-class sedan is a rolling statement of success with advanced safety equipment, futuristic features, richer interior, and grander proportions.
Some of the highlights are better maneuverability through rear-wheel steering, active air suspension to increase safety and make cornering smoother, 3D instrument cluster, and a massive OLED touchscreen. With its turbocharged powertrains and all-wheel drive, this luxury car will have no trouble whisking you to all the business meetings and gala events you need to attend.
On the outside, it doesn’t look drastically different from the previous model. It has a few features it shares with other updated models from Mercedes. It has fewer creases which makes it look smoother and more elongated like the E-class. Also, the new brake lights look similar to the ones you get on a CLS.
On the interior, you can opt for a range of different trims, including an exquisite wooden design with vertical metal bars. The wood will look especially elegant when you turn on the new mood lighting.
But what you’ll notice the most on the inside is the massive OLED touchscreen we mentioned earlier that replaces 27 of the physical buttons you find on the old S-Class. And if you ever worried about passengers fiddling with the buttons inside your car, you can lock the screen with fingerprint or face recognition technology.
In terms of engine, Mercedes offers the 2021 S-class with either a 429-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine or a 496-hp twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8. Both use a 48-volt hybrid system with 4Matic all-wheel drive and nine-speed automatic transmission.
Last but not least, the BMW 7-Series. If this car were a plane, it would be a private jet. Affluent buyers will appreciate its luxury features, quiet cabin, and soft suspension. Whether you opt for the 320-hp inline-six or the twin-turbo V-12, your powerful but calm and collected cruiser can take you to your destination feeling relaxed and refreshed.
Of course, the Audi A8 and the Mercedes S-Class offer similar driving experiences and premium spacious cabins. So what sets the 7-series apart?
Well, for one, the massive grille. But also the infotainment with a 10-inch screen that can be operated via voice, touch, or shortcut buttons. This is the most sophisticated version of BMW’s iDrive with DAB radio, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, wireless charging, and Apple CarPlay included.
The personal assistant will help you with everything you need, from climate control to getting to your lunch meeting at a Michelin-starred restaurant. You just have to say “Hey BMW.”
And the 7-Series puts its competitors to shame when it comes to quality as well. Maybe the S-Class has a more striking interior, but it can’t rival BMW solidity. You can’t help but feel impressed by the chrome accents, dark gloss-wood trim, and ceramic-look switches.
The engines and transmission also deserve to be included in the highlights. Every engine option delivers velvety-smooth horsepower to make you feel like you were born to drive this car. The all-wheel-drive is standard across the line, with the exception of the 740i where it’s optional. However, regardless of which one you select, you get great cornering grip and pillowy soft suspension.