Top Luxury Car Brands
Photo: Porsche Cars North America, Inc. / U.S. News & World Report › 1 of 16 › See How the Top Luxury Car Brands Rank Car shopping can get a little overwhelming, particularly when considering a new luxury vehicle. There might be a little less competition in the upper echelons of the car market, but higher prices and more features can really complicate the decision-making process. We recently announced the winner of our Best Luxury Brand awards for 2017, a process that takes numerous objective factors (such as safety and reliability data) and subjective factors (such as critics’ reviews) into account. We’re not suggesting you should limit your new vehicle search to these brands, though — there are plenty of other good options on the market, and we’ve written up a quick overview of each luxury brand we review, based on how each manufacturer’s vehicles score in our rankings. Take a look at all the luxury brands we review, wrapping up with the one we’ve named the Best Luxury Car Brand for 2017. Read the 2016 Porsche 911 Full Review See 2016 Porsche 911 Photos See Luxury Sports Cars Rankings
Top Luxury Car Brands
See How the Top Luxury Car Brands Rank Car shopping can get a little overwhelming, particularly when considering a new luxury vehicle. There might be a little less competition in the upper echelons of the car market, but higher prices and more features can really complicate the decision-making process. We recently announced the winner of our Best Luxury Brand awards for 2017, a process that takes numerous objective factors (such as safety and reliability data) and subjective factors (such as critics’ reviews) into account. We’re not suggesting you should limit your new vehicle search to these brands, though — there are plenty of other good options on the market, and we’ve written up a quick overview of each luxury brand we review, based on how each manufacturer’s vehicles score in our rankings. Take a look at all the luxury brands we review, wrapping up with the one we’ve named the Best Luxury Car Brand for 2017. Read the 2016 Porsche 911 Full Review See 2016 Porsche 911 Photos See Luxury Sports Cars Rankings
Top Luxury Car Brands
SUVs from the luxury marques grew at almost 40 percent to more than 430,000 vehicles, excluding SUV-only brands like Hummer and Land Rover, while luxury car sales in the U.S. during 2003 suffered a 1% decline, and non-luxury SUV sales were flat. By 2004, 30 percent of major luxury brands’ U.S. sales are now SUVs. Luxury brands in particular led the development of crossover SUVs (as opposed to body-on-frame SUVs), making it one of the fastest growing segments in the market, as the forecast for 2002 was approximately 240,000 vehicles and that could double by 2006. Research data showed luxury SUV buyers are compared those vehicles to SUVs of mass market brands, and not shopping around luxury cars, thus the SUV is becoming the key to bringing new customers to the luxury dealerships.
Top Luxury Car Brands
One great car—or clunker—doesn’t define a whole brand. Neither does its reputation (good or bad) relieve you of the need to examine a vehicle carefully. But our long-standing and comprehensive analysis of car brands reveals that you can glean important information by knowing a brand’s output over time. To determine which car brands consistently deliver vehicles that serve consumers well, we tabulate the overall score, road-test score, and predicted reliability results for each tested model of a brand. We then average those scores at the brand level. This average overall score is used to rank the car brands as an indicator of who makes the best cars. Topping our Ratings are the luxury brand Audi and mainstream marque Subaru. Only vehicles that are on the market and that we tested factor into the equation. The rankings don’t account for corporate practices or brand perceptions. Hence, Audi and Volkswagen diesel vehicles that have been pulled from dealerships—following their recall and stop-sale last year for cheating on EPA emissions tests—are not included in our car brands scoring. Consumer Reports strongly believes that Volkswagen AG, the maker of VW and Audi vehicles, should be held accountable for manipulating emissions testing with its vehicles. In creating the car brands Report Card, we aggregate road-test performance, reliability, safety performance and active safety aids, and owner satisfaction. Brands with a lineup of mature, incrementally updated vehicles tended to rise to the top. For instance, Toyota’s middling road-test score was balanced by strong reliability; Mercedes-Benz’s strong road tests were offset by below par reliability. And Honda, Nissan, and Chrysler suffered due to problematic new transmissions. Note that car brands must have at least two models with test and reliability data to be included. Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Maserati, Ram, Smart, and Tesla lack sufficient data. (Download a PDF of this car-brand information.)
Trade up to an entry-level luxury car 1 of 6 When you are ready for a new car and want to get more comfort and convenience features, stepping up into an entry-level luxury car can be a better choice than choosing a fully loaded mainstream car or stretching your ability to make payments if you bought a premium luxury car. Luxury brands — even entry-level luxury cars — tend to hold their value a bit better, making them worth more when it comes time to trade them in. These five entry-level luxury cars will keep you riding in style without breaking your budget. Calculate your monthly car loan payment. Previous Next 1 of 6
The SUV models generated higher-profit-margins than ordinary automobiles, and automakers introduced new luxury models during the late 1990s, starting with Lincoln Navigator in 1997, besides traditional models like Range Rover. For some manufacturers such as Porsche and BMW, luxury SUVs were the first SUV models they produced. Luxury SUVs catered particularly to the U.S. market where station wagons were unpopular, often being produced in North America (such as BMW Spartanburg) instead of the luxury marque’s home country. Some of these models were not traditional SUVs based on light trucks, rather they are classified as crossovers using unibody constructions. SUVs from non-luxury brands had experienced a surge in popularity through early 2000s, causing the traditional luxury marques to follow.
Luxury Cars 2017-2018: The Best and the Rest If a vehicle is wearing an Editors’ Choice badge, you’ll know that we consider it to be one of the best luxury cars for 2017 and 2018. Whether you’re searching for the best entry-luxury car, best mid-size luxury car, or the best full-size luxury car, we’ve got your ride.
The Late-2000s recession was the first time since the Great Depression of the 1930s that the luxury car market suffered considerably, something not seen in previous economic downturns. Many such customers saw their net worth decline following the collapse in financial markets and real-estate values. For example, some of the steepest dropoffs came at the high end, including the BMW 7 Series and Rolls-Royce Phantom, and Mercedes-Benz unexpectedly dropped the starting price of its all-new 2010 E-Class. The unusually sharp decline in luxury car sales have led observers to believe that there is a fundamental shift and reshaping of the luxury automotive market, with one industry official suggesting that the marques no longer command the premiums that they used to, and another saying that conspicuous consumption was no longer attractive in poor economic conditions. Additionally, mainstream brands have been able to offer amenities and devices such as leather, wood, and anti-lock brakes, previously found only on luxury cars, as the costs decline.
This category is known as the compact executive car in Britain where it specifies both the price range and vehicle dimensions. In the U.S., there is a broader category called entry-level luxury, which includes the bottom vehicles in the line-up of luxury brands as well as the top-of-the-line models of some non-luxury brands. Dimensionally, compact executive cars are smaller than Mid-size cars and sometimes even smaller than compact/Small family cars. Mass market compact cars typically use the economical front wheel drive transverse engine layout, well suited to the inline-4 engine, which also maximizes interior room. Most compact executive cars are rear-wheel drive with longitudinal engines, for improved stability and handling, and in order to accommodate the larger size of higher-performance engines (straight-6, V6, rarely V8), with four-wheel drive often being available. Compact executive cars also tend to have more complicated independent suspensions, sportier transmissions, and high revolution engines that may require premium gasoline. The more complex powertrain and mechanical layouts of compact executive cars comes at increased cost and reduced interior passenger and trunk space. Compact executive cars include the Acura ILX, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Jaguar XE, Volvo S60, Lexus IS, Infiniti Q40, Saab 9-3, BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Cadillac ATS, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class which particularly emphasize sporty handling.
If a vehicle is wearing an Editors’ Choice badge, you’ll know that we consider it to be one of the best luxury cars for 2017 and 2018. Whether you’re searching for the best entry-luxury car, best mid-size luxury car, or the best full-size luxury car, we’ve got your ride.
Bentley and Rolls-Royce have recently moved into more affordable price brackets with new models priced considerably lower than their traditional offerings (Bentley Mulsanne and Rolls-Royce Phantom and Maserati Quattroporte). These new cars, the Bentley Flying Spur and Continental GT sister cars and Rolls-Royce Ghost, created what Car and Driver described as the “entry-opulent segment”. Bentley, Maybach, and Rolls-Royce vehicles share platforms and derivatives of engines with other luxury brands from their parent auto company, however Rolls-Royce and Bentley are assembled in England (separate from the rest of BMW and Volkswagen Group’s production plants) and this ‘exclusivity’ has helped to make these British marques a sales success. By comparison, Maybachs were built alongside the Mercedes-Benz S-Class which partly explains why they have not fared well in the market and were discontinued in 2012. Furthermore, the Maybach’s brand pedigree was virtually unknown outside of Germany unlike its British rivals which have long enjoyed fame worldwide. A Bentley executive was quoted as saying “that the brand’s exclusivity, history and obsessive luxury help to convince customers that a Bentley is worth the price” which is at least twice that of a flagship luxury car from BMW or Mercedes-Benz. Although Rolls-Royce and Bentley have traditionally been considered “as a purveyor of boxy British land yachts”, newer offerings such as the Bentley Continental Flying Spur and Bentley Continental GT have “upended the super-premium auto segment, making Bentley for the first time a plausible choice for younger Hollywood and music stars”.