Best luxury cars 2023
After a upmarket car and want the most comfortable, luxurious machine money can buy? We've rounded up the most appealing luxury models.
There was a time when the most luxurious cars on the road were big saloon cars with soft suspension, loads of leg room and comfy leather seats. There is still a wide choice of posh saloons on the market, but in recent years some of the best luxury cars on the market have been SUVs.
We've rounded up the best luxury SUVs, covering everything from super-refined, high-riding, limo-beating machines to sleek, rapid and sporty models from the likes of Porsche that offer 4x4 style matched with supercar performance. These really are some of the best SUVs you can buy.
Testament to the shift in luxury car buyers' tastes is the fact that, not long ago, luxury SUV buyers had a choice between a Range Rover...or a Range Rover. Now though, you can choose from Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Porsche, Jaguar and Mercedes models... or you can still have a Range Rover if you really want one.
Fortunately, there are some standout options regardless of whether you want a cosseting pan-European cruiser or a super-sporty monster. Or, if luxury to you means having the option to shut down the engine and run on electricity alone, there are several eco-conscious hybrid options and even one or two electric choices.
Every one of the SUVs below takes luxury to ridiculous levels – whether that comes in the form of bespoke interiors, cutting edge tech in every corner or simply super-soft seats that will massage places you never knew needed massaging.
Best luxury SUVs
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While an entry-level Audi Q7 may seem a little ‘normal’ in present company, move up the range (and inflate the price) and tick a few of the options boxes and it soon becomes quite the luxury SUV. A statement reiterated by the fact its underpinnings are very similar to those in the Porsche Cayenne and Bentley Bentayga which are also on this list.
Buyers looking for ultimate luxury will have to opt for the performance-orientated SQ7. Not only does it come with enough computing power to kickstart Skynet, it also packs a V8 diesel engine which will fire you - in comfort of course - from 0-62mph in just 4.8 seconds. Because it's diesel-powered, you shouldn't have to bother with filling up the tank too often either.
What helps the SQ7 stand out is the fact that it uses some clever electronics and pneumatics to boost roadholding and comfort. In short, Audi has done a great job of making the SQ7 drive like a far smaller car, while offering all the comfort of a super-SUV.
Since the first model arrived in the early 2000s, the Range Rover Sport has become a staple choice for those looking for a luxury SUV – partly due to the fact it is more affordable than the larger Range Rover, while offering very similar levels of quality and luxury.
The Range Rover Sport performs strongly in the comfort, practicality and performance stakes – and even offers the possibility of room for seven, though those in the rearmost row of seats won't have much space to enjoy the ride. Prices for a brand new one start from the mid £60,000s smashing through the £100,000 mark in top-spec form. Don't think you have to spend anywhere near that much to get the keys to a Range Rover Sport, though. Barely £30,000 is enough to get you a four or five-year-old version with BuyaCar that will be just as luxurious and just as capable.
Much like many of Land Rover’s models, the interior is beautifully appointed and will keep passengers in comfort whether you are popping to the shops or crossing the Alps. There is an excellent range of technology as well, even if some of it isn't as high-tech as in rivals.
Luxury comes in many forms, but if your idea of bliss is to float along in silence, then the Jaguar I-Pace is the luxury SUV you need. It's the only electric car to make it onto this list, not only does it produce zero tailpipe emissions, but it also offers comfort, style and class by the bucket load. Acceleration is mighty good as well, thanks to two powerful electric motors.
Sprinting from 0-62mph takes just 4.8 seconds courtesy of 395hp. On top of the strong performance, the I-Pace's range is claimed to be 292 miles under the latest, more challenging WLTP economy tests, so you won't even have to worry about charging it too often. The interior is just as impressive, with a beautiful blend of screens, leather and metal. The only slight downside is the media system, as it isn’t quite up to the same standard as the rest of the car. However, make use of Android Auto or Apple CarPlay and this is no longer a problem.
Prices start around £65,000 but you can add £10,000 to that for top-spec HSE models - and we would recommend it if you're after the most luxurious option. Though the I-Pace hasn't been on sale for long, low-mileage used models are already available from less than £50,000.
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Mercedes has a habit of building cars with stylish and upmarket-looking interiors and it has done so again with the latest GLS - its largest, most luxurious SUV. Across the range, you get four-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox, while most come with seven seats, too. And the third row of seats is seriously spacious, with room for those up to six-foot four inches, according to Mercedes. If you want to transport up to six others in supreme comfort, this has to be one of the very best options.
Prices start from a relatively 'affordable' £55,000 - meaning you could take home five GLS models for the same price as an 'entry-level' Rolls-Royce Cullinan - and only rise to the low £60,000s for top-end models making it one of the cheaper options on this list from new. If you want even more car per pound, however, used versions start at less than £40,000, and you'll be getting a huge amount of luxury SUV for your money.
Part of the reason the GLS makes this list is its impressive MBUX media system, which offers very effective voice control. Also, the feeling of luxury you get from the interior is further helped by a wonderfully uncluttered dashboard. Will the GLS turn as many heads as other luxury SUVs on this list? Maybe not, but if you want to be able to travel under the radar in great comfort, this could be the best choice for you.
King of the hyper-opulent SUV hill is undoubtedly the Rolls-Royce Cullinan. Forget aspirational luxury SUVs, some of which are nothing more than normal models with some extra leather lining the cabin, the Cullinan is the real deal.
Everything from the hand-crafted door handles to the hand-stitched embroidery on the seats is a well-groomed head and shoulders above the rest. As a result, though, prices start around £250,000, but you can bet your bottom dollar that flying past the £300,000 line will be no trouble at all with a few bespoke personalisation requests - and let's be honest, if you're going to spend that much on a car you might as well do it properly.
Under the bonnet, there is an enormous 6.75-litre, 12-cylinder engine producing enough power to whisk this weighty SUV from 0-62mph in just 5.2 seconds. Which, is nothing short of ridiculous considering that this car isn't far off the size and weight of a small house. All models use an eight-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive, just to make sure every possible box here is ticked.
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The Bentley Bentayga takes a different approach to luxury. Rather than the outrageous exuberance of the Lamborghini Urus or the astonishing quality and comfort of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, the Bentayga tries to blend elements of both - especially if you go for one of the models with the mighty 6.0-litre W12 petrol engine - and costs around half of what you'd pay for the Cullinan.
For starters, while it can be hustled down the road with impressive pace indeed, the Bentayga is much more about getting to your destination feeling relaxed and refreshed. The immense power on tap, though, and impressive ability to take corners at speed makes it feel satisfyingly sporty, too. An impressive feat.
This is largely down to the smooth ride and very well built interior. With its traditional feel, the interior might not look the most modern on the market, but there is no arguing that it is a quality piece of kit. Buyers can pick from a number of variants including a plug-in hybrid (which claims up to 16 miles of all-electric range) and Speed model, which is the fastest SUV in the world, being capable of hitting 190mph - 1mph more than the Lamborghini above.
If neither the wildness of the Lamborghini or the grown-up style of the Bentayga quite appeal to you, the Porsche Cayenne - another of the VW Group's luxury SUVs - sits in the gap between, offering a sharper drive than the Bentley, but a more grown-up feel than the Lamborghini. While the first-generation Cayenne was particularly vulgar, the subsequent models look much sleeker and more modern while maintaining the same SUV presence.
Where the Cayenne stands out from all its rivals is in its feeling of sportiness while maintaining real comfort. For an SUV the Cayenne offers one of the most engaging driving experiences money can buy while remaining a comfortable and sensible everyday car.
Whether or not driver enjoyment is an important metric in a luxury SUV is up for debate, but an upmarket interior and high-tech equipment are very much hallmarks of a luxury SUV. Both of which the Cayenne offers in spades. Prices for the Cayenne vary greatly, with entry-level models costing around £60,000. Range-topping Turbo S E Hybrid models cost more than double this. Go used, however, and there's a choice of four-year-old models from around £35,000.
For nearly half a century the Range Rover has been the car of choice for those looking to get from A to B - no matter what the terrain - in comfort and style. The most recent generation is as luxurious as ever while boasting off-roading credentials none on this list - bar the Range Rover Sport, perhaps - can match.
Range Rovers come in one of two body styles - a standard model and an even longer one - both of which look very similar but differ in length. Prices start from the mid-£80,000s for short-wheelbase models and £115,000 for long-wheelbase variants. With so many used models to choose from, however, barely £30,000 is enough to get you the keys to a 2015 or 2016 model.
There are also hybrid, petrol and diesel engines on offer - all of which use an automatic gearbox - but the engines and gearboxes are only part of the Range Rover appeal. It is the luxurious interior and cosseting ride that make many buy a Range Rover.
*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:
48 monthly payments of £192
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
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