Best luxury cars

Cars

Best luxury cars

By Martin Pratt

Article 11 of 12

Offering refinement and comfort in abundance, these Best Buy luxury cars will whisk you from A to B in style while also delivering reliability and acceptable running costs.

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For a car to be truly luxurious it needs to be effortless to drive, with a buttery-smooth ride and fantastic interior comfort. But to become a Which? Best Buy it must also offer reliability and reasonable running costs.

Rather than Rolls Royces or Bentleys, we focus on more realistic luxury models such as the Mercedes-Benz E-class and S-class, the BMW 5 Series and 7 Series, and the Audi A6, A7 and A8 – plus the home-grown Jaguar XF and XJ, and the groundbreaking electric Tesla Model S. 

We've held these high-end models to the same high standards as every other car we test – below are the luxury Best Buy cars worth your money.

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Best new luxury cars

BMW 7 Series
Typical price £58,171
Brand score 79%
Tested May 2015
Best Buy
Ride comfort:
5 out of 5
Handling & performance:
4 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

A beautifully crafted limousine that will appeals to owner-drivers as well as those lucky enough to be in one of the back seats. It's high-performing, safe and ultra-comfortable, with all the equipment you could wish for.

BMW 5 Series GT
Typical price £32,829
Brand score 77%
Tested Oct 2009
Best Buy
Ride comfort:
5 out of 5
Handling & performance:
5 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

This luxury cars focus on practicality doesn't sit well with its small boot. It does at least drive well and despite its price you won't be disappointed.

BMW 5 Series
Typical price £36,056
Brand score 77%
Tested Mar 2010
Best Buy
Ride comfort:
5 out of 5
Handling & performance:
5 out of 5
Model reliability:
4 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

It's a delight to drive whether you opt for a petrol or diesel engine. All-round visibility isn't ideal but and shortcomings are easily forgiven as soon as you turn the key.

Audi A7
Typical price £39,887
Brand score 76%
Tested Nov 2010
Best Buy
Ride comfort:
5 out of 5
Handling & performance:
5 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

This stunning five-door luxury coupé is packed with technology and is one of the smoothest rides we've ever had in a car.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Typical price £58,270
Brand score 73%
Tested Oct 2013
Best Buy
Ride comfort:
5 out of 5
Handling & performance:
4 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

It's big, comfortable and packed with clever technology. Then range of engines are excellent and even the cheapest entry will give you a satisfying feeling of power.

Best used luxury cars

Lexus LS (2007-2012)
Typical price £13,622
Brand score 82%
Tested Jan 2007
Best Buy
Ride comfort:
5 out of 5
Handling & performance:
4 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

If you want a car that's like a home away from home this could be ideal. An executive cruiser that is spacious and opulent with more home comforts than a Premier Inn.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class (2006-2013)
Typical price £11,541
Brand score 79%
Tested Mar 2006
Best Buy
Ride comfort:
5 out of 5
Handling & performance:
5 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

This outstanding car is one of the most recognisable luxury drives on the road. Stunning looks, a spacious cabin and a wealth of technology mark it out as one of the best cars available today.

BMW 7 Series (2008-2015)
Typical price £10,635
Brand score 79%
Tested Nov 2008
Best Buy
Ride comfort:
5 out of 5
Handling & performance:
5 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

Bordering on a limousine, this luxury car is still meant for those who like to drive rather than be driven and that's evident in the onboard technology and responsive handling.

Honda Legend (2006-2007)
Typical price £5,812
Brand score 75%
Tested Sep 2006
Best Buy
Ride comfort:
4 out of 5
Handling & performance:
4 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

This handsome, stately car may have been short lived but it left a mark with superb handling and a refined interior.

Lexus GS (2005-2011)
Typical price £5,727
Brand score 74%
Tested Apr 2005
Best Buy
Ride comfort:
4 out of 5
Handling & performance:
5 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

Quiet, refined and solidly built, this remarkable car has a fantastic reliability record, making it an ideal used car.

Audi A8 (2003-2010)
Typical price £4,252
Brand score 74%
Tested Apr 2003
Best Buy
Ride comfort:
5 out of 5
Handling & performance:
5 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

Cheap to buy but expensive to run, this car screams luxury. The refined, effortless drive is accentuated by a beautiful interior.

Mercedes-Benz SL (2001-2012)
Typical price £17,834
Brand score 73%
Tested Apr 2002
Best Buy
Ride comfort:
5 out of 5
Handling & performance:
5 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

Comfortable, refined and safe through the corners - you could say this is the world's best-known luxury sports car. But is it the one you're thinking of?

BMW 7 Series (2002-2008)
Typical price £4,292
Brand score 73%
Tested Mar 2002
Best Buy
Ride comfort:
5 out of 5
Handling & performance:
5 out of 5
On sale date:
Member exclusive
Boot space with seats up (litres):
Member exclusive
Combined mpg (best measured):
Member exclusive

This flagship car has acres of space inside, if a rather measly boot. On the road it glides round corners and handles like a dream. A luxury car indeed.

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We test cars more thoroughly than anyone else

Our tests go further than those carried out by other organisations, and because Which? is independent and doesn't accept advertising or freebies, you can trust our reviews to give you the full, honest and impartial truth about every car we test.

Every car we review is subjected to more than 100 individual tests in a lab, on a test track, and on real roads – and we really clock up the miles, driving around 900 miles in every car we test.

Testing in controlled lab conditions means the results we collect are directly comparable between different cars, helping us determine exactly which models are better and why, and helping you find the perfect car for your needs

And so you know which cars are likely to prove reliable for years to come, we also gather feedback from thousands of UK car owners through the Which? Car Survey, using it to generate detailed reliability ratings for the cars we test.

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