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5 best luxury cars to buy in 2024

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Once upon a time, cars were the preserve of the rich and famous, so every car was a luxury, but the democratisation of the automobile has left us with a whole genre of upmarket vehicles that set their owners apart from the masses.

Such is the success (and profit potential) of such vehicles that it seems every manufacturer is aiming to sneak its way further into the premium market. And the inevitable result of that is an ever-increasing choice of high-luxury vehicles for well-heeled consumers. Whether they’re powered by new-fangled tech or lined with classic wood and leather, there’s a host of innovative and well-made vehicles on offer in 2024.

From stylish SUVs to sleek saloons, here’s our rundown of some of the best in the business, built by some of the biggest names and packed with some of the most incredible technology. Choosing between them isn’t necessarily an easy task, but no matter what you require from a luxury vehicle, be it all-terrain capability or a sporty feel, there’s something here for everyone.

1. Bentley Bentayga EWB

From £254,000

Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Land Rover have long since proved that luxury cars no longer have to be saloons and coupés, but that all-terrain SUVs can fit the bill, too. None more so than the Bentley Bentayga Extended Wheelbase (or EWB, for short).

Essentially a stretched version of the Bentayga that has become so popular thanks to its combination of luxury features, handling prowess and ample power, the EWB aims to turn the big 4×4 into a massive, all-terrain limousine. It’s certainly luxurious enough — like the conventional Bentayga, you can have a cabin lined with leather, wood and metal, as well as a host of screens — but the EWB adds bags of rear legroom to ensure you can sit back and relax in even greater comfort than before.

But there’s more to the Bentayga EWB than passenger comfort. This is a big SUV that provides plenty of driver involvement, too. Customers can choose from a selection of powerful engines, and four-wheel steering means the EWB is more agile than the conventional Bentayga, as well as being more stable at speed. It’ll cut the mustard off-road, too, with plenty of capability when there’s snow on the ground or a muddy field under the tyres. Certainly, it’s capable of more than most customers will ever throw at it.

2. Rolls-Royce Spectre

From £332,000

When Messrs Rolls and Royce set out to create the best motor cars on the planet, the Spectre must have been the sort of thing they had in mind. Big, quiet, smooth and luxurious, it’s everything you expect a modern Rolls-Royce to be.

Except it isn’t, because under the bonnet is not a silky V12 petrol engine or even a clever hybrid system, but a fully electric powertrain. That’s counter-intuitive when you consider the size and bulk of the Spectre, and its distinctly un-aerodynamic grille, but electric power makes a lot of sense in a Roller. There’s no sound from the powertrain, for a kick-off, and the instant availability of the torque means there’s plenty in reserve.

But the Spectre isn’t just an electric car; it’s an electric Rolls-Royce, and that means it has to come with Rolls-Royce luxury. Happily, it delivers, with a modern-yet-classically styled cabin trimmed with sumptuous materials. And though the technology under the bonnet is cutting-edge, the technology in the cabin is used judiciously, without taking too much emphasis away from the car’s more conventional luxury credentials.

Being a coupé, space in the rear is slightly compromised, but the Spectre makes up for this with comfort and refinement, as well as great driveability. It’s a car that loves to be driven, and rewards its driver with poise and power in equal measure.

3. BMW i7

From £101,765

The electric 7 Series might seem like a bit of an oddity — after all, the 7 Series is all about steaming along the German motorway network at a steady 155mph — but the i7 really works. That’s partly because it’s powerful – customers can choose models with more than 500bhp from two electric motors – and partly because the battery is massive, at more than 100kWh no matter which version you choose.

Sure, the design won’t be to everyone’s taste, and that goes for both the interior and the exterior, although we suspect more customers will be put off by the latter than the former. Nevertheless, the enormous grille and slab sides can’t detract from what is a stunning luxury saloon that manages its weight and bulk brilliantly, allowing it to behave almost like a sports saloon should the mood take you.

But that isn’t the most impressive thing about the i7. Nor is the technology, which includes a theatre screen in the roof that’s controlled by little smartphone-style screens in the back doors. Even the massive armchair seats aren’t the best thing about the big BMW.

No, the most impressive thing is the comfort. Despite the sporty pretensions, even the most powerful and most performance-orientated versions of the i7 ride absolutely beautifully, turning distressed road surfaces into mere murmurs under the car’s enormous alloy wheels. It simply glides along the road.

BMW i7 2023 review: Tech-laden luxury in the electric age

4. Range Rover

From £103,720

The original luxury SUV, and still among the most desirable, the Range Rover is a shining example of what Land Rover can do when it puts its mind to it. The exterior design is thoroughly modern and stylish, but even that has nothing on the interior, which looks absolutely stunning. As you’d expect from a British institution, the Range Rover makes the most of leather and wood, but it does so without ever feeling like a fuddy-duddy. The massive central touchscreen and the cleanly-styled dashboard that’s almost devoid of buttons make sure of that.

Space is predictably plentiful – the Range Rover is massive – but comfort is a highlight, with supple air suspension that allows the huge and heavy car to waft around almost without intrusion from the outside world. There’s little in the way of road noise, and the engine doesn’t make its presence felt too strongly, either.

Although, of course, that’s somewhat dependent on the engine you choose. The basic 3-litre diesel is more than powerful enough for most, but there are more powerful options out there, including supercharged V8 petrol options. There’s also the choice of plug-in hybrid power for those that want it, and there’s an electric version on its way, sure to provide zero-emission imperiousness.

Whichever you go for, though, the Range Rover will always live and die by its off-road capability. Naturally, the latest model is unstoppable over any terrain, and Land Rover is promising even more from the forthcoming electric version.

Range Rover 2022 review: Even better for wafters and drivers

5. Audi S8

From £111,660

Just because a big, luxury saloon is big and luxurious, that needn’t mean it can’t be sporty. The S8 is proof of that. Here is a big, quiet and beautifully built saloon, with space for four adults to stretch out in comfortable leather seats, yet this is also a car with more than 550bhp and the ability to outrun a Porsche 911. No matter what the occasion, the S8 is ideal for the job, and though the rear seats are perfectly comfortable, this is a car to drive, rather than be driven in.

Clever air suspension means it leans into corners, while surprising responsiveness for such a big and bulky saloon means it feels sportier than its size and weight might suggest. The stability provided by that suspension also makes it great for tackling fast, sweeping roads, and though it never quite feels agile enough to be considered a sports car, it makes a great grand tourer.

That’s partly because it’s still enormously comfortable, especially at motorway speeds, and partly because its big 4-litre V8 engine makes it feel so effortless. It isn’t too rowdy, although it has a bit of a growl when you put your foot down, and it wafts along smoothly even at three-figure speeds. Ask for a bit more, and it delivers, right the way to its 155mph top speed, without ever feeling overworked. It’s fabulous.

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