Investing in a luxury car means you expect nothing but the best. The best luxury cars feature sleek designs that are a pleasure to look at, have plenty of power, and enough high-tech features to keep you busy. But, these are just external accoutrements. A truly great luxury car should be reliable, more than anything else.
With so many luxury vehicles on the market, competition is fierce and every small detail counts – especially under the hood.
Here’s a look at this year’s best and worst models in the luxury SUV segment.
Best Luxury Cars of 2018
1. 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is loaded with style on the exterior and interior. The carmaker was heavy-handed with the use of luxurious materials throughout and comfortable seating for everyone. This thing could replace the den in your home, it’s so nice.
With your choice of a turbocharged 362 HP 3.0L V6 or turbocharged 463hp 4.0L V8, a nine-speed automatic transmission and available all-wheel drive, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class has more than enough power.
New this year is the Energizing Comfort System that ties together a number of features in order to truly pamper everyone inside along with an updated COMAND® Navigation System, and a wireless cell phone charging pad.
2. 2018 Cadillac CT6
While the ATS may have lost its way (see it below on this year’s list of worst models), the 2018 Cadillac CT6 sits at the other end of the scale. On the outside, the CT6 offers bold styling and angular design. On the inside, the cabin offers enough space to seem palatial.
The CT6 offers responsive handling and the standard turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder offers 265 hp and plenty of zip. For those who need more power, the 404 HP 3.0L twin-turbo V6 will definitely push you back into your seats.
Standard features include a 4G WiFi hotspot, OnStar, the Cadillac CUE interface with a 10.2-inch screen and full Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
3. 2018 Volvo V90
Where Volvo was once considered to be the mainstay of solid and safe automobiles, the 2018 Volvo V90 takes the revered status of the Volvo station wagon to an all new level.
Far from the boxy lines of old, the V90 offers sinuous lines that flow smoothly, giving it a sleek look reminiscent of the entire lineup of today's Volvo. Even the base model comes loaded with a wealth of the latest features in a cabin filled with top-quality materials and a design worthy of the finest luxury cars on the market.
4. 2018 Genesis G90
The Genesis G90 made its world debut last year as the flagship for this new company. While it remains essentially the same from its introduction last year, it also means it continues to have little in the way of faults.
Inside you’ll find a luxurious and spacious interior loaded with enough high-tech wizardry to satisfy even the most tech-hungry buyer. Under the hood sits a stout-hearted turbocharged 3.3L V6 or a 5.0L V8 depending on the model you choose. Each is connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is offered on all models.
Among the more popular standard features are automatic LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and ignition, heated folding side mirrors, and tri-zone automatic climate control.
5. 2018 BMW M5
No list of top luxury cars would be complete without at least one BMW and this model earns its spot easily. The 2018 BMW M5 offers four doors, a powerful engine, and the ability to take on twisting back roads as only a true German luxury car can.
Under the hood sits a retained twin-turbo 4.4L V8 engine pumping out a massive 600 HP and delivers 553 lb-ft of torque to the ground via an 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
For music lovers with a fine ear for quality, the M5 comes with a 16-speaker Harmon Kardon surround-sound audio system.
Worst Luxury Cars of 2018
1. 2018 Infiniti QX70
Unfortunately for Infiniti, the QX70 has long since come of age but has failed to move on. While some things like wine and whiskey improve with age, the 2018 Infiniti QX70 is not one of them.
Under the hood sits an aging and fuel thirsty 3.7L V6, while its competitors are building newer engines with turbochargers and significantly better fuel economy and performance.
In addition to its lackluster performance, consumers want a luxury car to have all the latest high-tech bells and whistles, but sadly, will be disappointed in the QX70. Instead, you’ll get an aging system that still uses dash mounted controls, a rear seat with less than average legroom, and a notably stiff and uncomfortable ride.
2. 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA/GLA
Seeing a Mercedes-Benz listed as one of this year’s worst luxury cars can be a sore spot, but the 2018 CLA/GLA earns its place for a slew of unfortunate reasons.
Despite its luxury nametag, it offers a rough ride – one you might expect from a car half the price – and a cramped interior with little in the way of head or legroom.
Cargo space is also an issue (better pack light) since space is limited to a maximum of 41.8 cubic feet. The standard four-cylinder engine has more than enough power, but the automatic transmission ruins it with a very lackluster performance.
3. 2018 Tesla Model X
It may have been all the hype surrounding the 2018 Tesla Model X that got everyone ultra excited about this car, but as it turns out, it’s a bit of a mixed bag.
While loaded with plenty of the latest innovations, the Model X is on the verge of suffering from being too gimmicky. You might like the X's quiet disposition, range, and snappy acceleration, but it has issues on several fronts, including the gull-wing doors that don't work right. They’re slow to open, tend to not open fully, and are unnecessarily heavy. With other noted issues with the brakes, low quality interior trim, the all-wheel drive system – and worst of all – reliability, the Tesla Model X deserves the backseat to other, more refined counterparts.
4. 2018 Cadillac ATS
There is very little about the 2018 Cadillac ATS to make it memorable, even for a Cadillac. From the boxy and forgettable styling to the poor performance under the hood, there is little evidence that makes the ATS worth a second look.
The interior lacks the basic luxury found in many European luxury cars, starting with gauges that would look more at home in a 1995 Chevy Lumina. In addition, the HVAC system and touch-activated audio controls are terrible to figure out how to use. Buyers have also complained about the wide use of reflective materials in the cabin as they tend to be distracted by it.
5. 2018 Lincoln MKT
For a luxury car, the 2018 Lincoln MKT is unfortunate combination of misguided design and low performance capabilities. It just doesn’t look as good as a luxury car should. The body is boxy and ungainly at best, and can’t compete in today’s world of swooping lines and curves seen on most of its competitors.
Along with a major update in the design area, under the hoods sits the same 3.5L EcoBoost V6 and six-speed automatic transmission. Making matters worse, the MKT comes in with a less than stellar 16 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.
Although its large presence can’t be missed on the outside, somehow the inside of the car feels cramped and lacking in space. The rear-seat headroom also lacks the proper space for taller passengers despite being advertised as having room for seven. Your money could be better invested elsewhere.