Best luxury cars 2022

 A luxury car obviously needs sumptuous materials, ride comfort worthy of a magic carpet, and a super-smooth engine. However, models targeting company car drivers must also offer low emissions...

Best luxury cars 2021

The range of luxury cars on sale is huge, stretching all the way from executive cruisers through to some of the most expensive cars on the road.

What they tend to have in common is superb comfort and refinement. Plus, many offer beautifully finished interiors complete with high-tech entertainment systems and loads of space for rear-seat passengers.

Running costs might seem less important, but luxury saloons are often run as company cars, so CO2 emissions and fuel consumption can actually be key considerations.

Which are the very best models, then, and which are best avoided? Let's start with the top 10:

10

Bentley Flying Spur

Bentley Flying Spur 2022 front right tracking
Bentley Flying Spur 2022 interior dashboard

There are plenty of luxury cars that make more financial sense than the Flying Spur, and quite a few that offer superior refinement. However, few can match its sense of occasion, so we can certainly see why you might be tempted.

New car deals
Target Price from £170,720
Nearly new deals
From £217,000

Pros

  • Stunning interior
  • Huge performance
  • Mostly comfortable ride

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Awful visibility
  • Some road noise
9

Volvo S90

Volvo S90 2021 front right tracking
Volvo S90 2021 dashboard

After something a little less ostentatious and a lot more affordable? Then this big, Swedish saloon could be just the thing, because it has a spacious and stunning interior, and comes very well equipped. Just bear in mind that it's not especially good to drive.

New car deals
Target Price from £59,658
Save up to £3,684
or from £757pm
Nearly new deals
From £41,500
Leasing deals
From £843pm

Pros

  • Offers excellent passenger space
  • Generous standard kit
  • High quality cabin

Cons

  • Not as comfortable or nimble as its rivals
  • Fiddly touchscreen system
  • Relatively small boot
8

Jaguar XF

Jaguar XF 2021 front
Jaguar XF 2021 dashboard

Thanks to its precise steering and agile handling, no mainstream luxury saloon is more entertaining than the Jaguar XF, yet it's also comfortable over long distances. The best rivals are quieter, though, and they have classier interiors.

New car deals
Target Price from £35,100
or from £475pm
Nearly new deals
From £45,990
Leasing deals
From £471pm

Pros

  • Brilliant handling
  • Well equipped
  • Undercuts rivals yet comes with tonnes of kit

Cons

  • Interior build quality disappointing
  • 2.0-litre diesel engines aren't very strong
  • Rivals are quieter
7

BMW 7 Series

BMW 7 Series 2020 UK Front right tracking shot
BMW 7 Series 2019 RHD dashboard

Despite being a huge car, BMW's latest 7 Series flagship handles well – although the down side of this is a slightly firmer ride than you get in its chief rivals, the Audi A8 and Mercedes S-Class. The 7 Series is also refined and surprisingly fuel-efficient, plus it's available with plenty of impressive gadgets.

New car deals
Target Price from £102,305
or from £1,323pm
Nearly new deals
From £56,000
Leasing deals
From £1,608pm

Pros

  • Strong engines
  • Brilliant infotainment system
  • Plug-in has exceedingly low CO2 emissions

Cons

  • Busy low speed ride
  • Not quite the driver’s car BMW suggests it is
  • Some versions are very pricey
6

Mercedes E-Class

Mercedes E-Class 2021 front
Mercedes E-Class 2021 dashboard

The latest E-Class is available with a great range of engines, comes very well equipped and is a pretty quiet and comfortable cruiser. However, the low-speed ride could be better and it's not as spacious in the back as key competitors.

New car deals
Target Price from £47,236
Save up to £2,096
or from £658pm
Nearly new deals
From £38,795

Pros

  • Punchy and efficient engines
  • Lots of standard equipment
  • Big and clever boot

Cons

  • Not as fun to drive as a 5 Series
  • Relatively weak resale values
  • Rear space tighter than its key rivals
5

Audi A6

Audi A6 2022 front right tracking
Audi A6 2022 interior dashboard

This is a cosseting, quiet and technologically advanced saloon that feels beautifully built. Its infotainment system is distracting to use on the move, though, and the automatic gearboxes can be slow-witted, so the A6 has to settle for fifth.

New car deals
Target Price from £38,034
Save up to £5,315
or from £413pm
Leasing deals
From £458pm

Pros

  • Very quiet engines
  • Spacious interior
  • Excellent build quality

Cons

  • You can’t add many options
  • Hesitant automatic gearboxes
  • Infotainment difficult to use on the move
4

Mercedes S-Class

Mercedes-Benz S-Class 2022 front cornering
Mercedes-Benz S-Class 2022 interior front seats

Not only is the Mercedes S-Class packed to the rafters with technology, but it’s also a very comfortable and exceedingly well-appointed luxury saloon, and one of the best for rear-seat passengers.

New car deals
Target Price from £83,634
Save up to £3,613
or from £1,259pm
Nearly new deals
From £99,990

Pros

  • Fantastic plug-in hybrid version
  • Ride is mostly very comfortable
  • Loads of space, especially in the rear of long-wheelbase models

Cons

  • Overly reliant on fiddly touch-sensitive controls
  • Entry-level diesel isn't as smooth as it should be
  • Mercedes's reliability record isn't the best
3

Rolls-Royce Ghost

Rolls-Royce Ghost 2021 front cornering
Rolls-Royce Ghost 2021 dashboard

This Rolls-Royce is unbelievably luxurious and comfortable, offering monstrous performance along with serene cruising manners and a truly exquisite interior. For those who can afford to buy and run it – you will not be disappointed.

New car deals
Target Price from £275,020
Nearly new deals
From £299,950

Pros

  • Outstandingly comfortable ride
  • Fabulous interior
  • Crushing performance

Cons

  • Astronomically expensive to buy
  • Thirsty engine also makes it costly to run
2

Audi A8

Audi A8 2022 front right tracking
Audi A8 2022 interior dashboard

The A8’s blend of performance, comfort and serenity are wedded to a beautifully built, practical and well-equipped interior. In fact, by a whisker, it beats its chief rival the Mercedes S Class, which shows just how good it is to drive and be driven in.

New car deals
Target Price from £69,618
Save up to £10,598
or from £813pm
Nearly new deals
From £57,900
Leasing deals
From £876pm

Pros

  • Extremely comfortable ride
  • Spacious interior and boot
  • Class-leading interior quality

Cons

  • Expensive to run in terms of depreciation
  • Plug-in hybrid has a shorter electric range than the S-Class
  • Dim-witted automatic gearbox
1

BMW 5 Series

BMW 5 Series 2022
BMW 5 Series 2021 RHD dashboard

The latest BMW 5 Series isn't just our reigning Luxury Car of the Year, but a former overall Car of the Year. Whichever version you choose, you’ll be getting one of the classiest and most comfortable cars on sale today, but the 530e plug-in hybrid is particularly good. In fact, we reckon it's the supreme luxury package, without the price tag to match.

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New car deals
Target Price from £40,922
Save up to £7,956
or from £462pm
Nearly new deals
From £37,990
Leasing deals
From £440pm

Pros

  • Agile and relatively comfortable – when fitted with standard wheels
  • Beautifully made interior
  • Superb infotainment system

Cons

  • Adaptive suspension not available on SE trim
  • A Volvo S90 has bigger rear seats
  • A Mercedes E-Class has a bigger boot

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