Here’s one of those lists where subjectivity counts big time. After all one person’s nice car, might well be another person’s overpriced bauble, and vice versa. Which, of course brings up price. For this list of the top 10 nicest cars price was no object—sort of. While we considered cars in every price category, we did limit it to cars currently available from a mainstream manufacturer in the United States.
We also kept it to mainstream examples of those cars. In other words, we didn’t consider custom one-offs, even if the car’s manufacturer offered them. In an effort to keep the track as level as possible, we only chose models and trim packages listed on the manufacturer’s “regular” menu.
In most cases, it’s pretty much a no-brainer list. After all, who’d argue with a Rolls-Royce appearing here? However, we did come up with one or two controversial picks...
Top 10 Nicest Cars: Convertible – Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead
Automotive regality defined, the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead may well be the most luxurious car on this list of mostly luxury cars. First of all, its size alone qualifies it as a luxury, and then there is the presence afforded the car, partially as a result of its style. Then there is the fact it is hand assembled, using only the finest materials available. The Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead contains so many all-natural ingredients, if Whole Foods sold cars this is the one they’d offer. Genuine wood, wool, leather, and chrome are to be found in abundance gracing the interior of this stately automobile. So confident is the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead, it doesn’t even eschew being considered a “land yacht”. In fact, the car embraces its correlation to luxurious seagoing vessels with teak decking and a design meant to evoke a yacht cutting through the water. Pricing starts at $490,550
Top 10 Nicest Cars: Coupe – Lamborghini Aventador
“Nice” is one of those words with different meanings for different people. One person’s nice might be plushed-out luxury, another person’s nice might be screaming down the autobahn with their hair on fire. The beauty of the Lamborghini Aventador is it’s so salaciously over the top in every measure, anyone who sees it involuntarily thinks “nice”. Lamborghini, from the very beginning set out to build ‘poster cars”. Cars you fantasize about driving. Many people will tell you the fantasy was better than the actual reality of driving those early Lamborghini cars, but the Aventador is as fulfilling to drive as it is to dream about. This is a super car with a mild-mannered alter ego in day-to-day driving, which delivers stupefying performance when the situation demands. Easily one of the most desirable automobiles known to humankind, the Lamborghini Aventador is our pick for the nicest coupe available. Pricing starts at $397,500.
Top 10 Nicest Cars: Diesel – Audi A8 L TDI
There was a time, not so long ago, when diesel was considered dirty in America. For this reason, it is still difficult for some to reconcile the fact a graceful luxury car could be powered by a diesel engine. For those still on the fence, we humbly suggest they visit the nearest Audi dealer and take a turn in the Audi A8 L TDI. Smooth, quiet, effortless motion characterizes the Audi’s driving experience. Meanwhile, sumptuous, comfortable, and beautiful characterize the interior accoutrements of the car. You can also add distinction to the list of adjectives. Seeing yourself coming and going in any Audi A8—let alone a diesel-powered Audi A8—is a highly unlikely prospect. Which, of course, means driving one also makes you something of a connoisseur. And that’s nice, any way you look at it. Pricing starts at $85,100.
Top 10 Nicest Cars: Hatchback – BMW 5 Series GT
All the goodness of BMW’s 5 Series, with the ability to carry more cargo makes the BMW 5 Series GT our pick for the nicest hatchback. Granted, it might be a bit on the ungainly side in terms of its styling (the phrase camelback does come to mind when viewing the car from certain angles). But inside the car, the hump makes it especially spacious, even more so than the standard 5 Series car. And, as hatchbacks go, few offer the utility or versatility of the BMW. Take the dual-function liftgate for example; it opens completely like a traditional hatch, but it also open only at the rear like a conventional trunk. And, when all is said and done, the 5 Series GT goes with the creamy smoothness characteristic of a BMW motorcar, and that’s really nice. Pricing starts at $60,200.
Top 10 Nicest Cars: Hybrid/Electric – Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid
For years, if you said the word “hybrid” in reference to an automobile, one very popular Toyota product was first to mind. Times have changed, and while that car is still the preeminent model in the category, choices have expanded geometrically. Arguably one of the last brands to come to mind when the word hybrid is uttered, Porsche, nonetheless holds the distinction of offering the nicest hybrid model out there. Once you get past the lavish interior features of the Panamera S E-Hybrid, once you get over the fact it is in fact a luxury car of the first order, once you get over its significant price tag, one is still left with the fact the car goes like a proper Porsche should. It’s about as far away as you can get from that Toyota, and still be a hybrid. Pricing starts at $99,000.
Top 10 Nicest Cars: Minivan – Honda Odyssey
While Honda can’t lay claim to having invented the minivan, the company definitely perfected it. Unanimously agreed upon by those in the know to be the best minivan offering—hands down—the Honda Odyssey dominates the category. Exceptional build quality, spaciousness, quietness, comfortable seating, versatility, and remarkable utility are the leading attributes of the Honda minivan. On the road, its smooth engine and comparatively agile handling make it a pleasure to drive, and when it comes to features, the Odyssey can be configured to rival many luxury cars. We’re talking family car here, so fuel economy and convenience are also sizable considerations. The Honda masters both. Any way you measure it, the Honda Odyssey is the nicest minivan out there today. Pricing starts at $28,825.
Top 10 Nicest Cars: Sedan – Bentley Mulsanne
Anyone who has ever seen a Bentley Mulsanne up close will have no reason to question our decision to name Bentley’s flagship the nicest sedan. First of all, when you show up in a Mulsane, it is announced loudly and clearly you are a worldly individual with rarefied tastes. After all, so many people know the Rolls, it’s almost commonplace. Further, the speed and handling of the Mulsanne are perfectly balanced by the elegant appointments one finds within the confines of the illustrious sedan. In other words, both are represented in considerable abundance. Finally, if you’re lucky, you might see one of these magnificent motorcars on the road somewhere in your lifetime. This is how exclusive the Mulsanne is. For these reasons, the Bentley Mulsanne is our pick for the nicest sedan you can buy. Pricing starts at $321,400.
Top 10 Nicest Cars: SUV/Crossover – Land Rover Range Rover
The Range Rover was specifically developed to be the nicest, most capable SUV the world has ever known. We’re talking the ability to go absolutely anywhere a four-wheeled conveyance can travel, while surrounding you with hedonistically luxurious appointments, and leading edge technology. Readily accomplishing all of the above, the Range Rover’s palatial appointments are juxtaposed against its rugged durability in an almost surreal fashion. If there is anywhere on earth a Range Rover won’t take you, odds are it is someplace human beings are incapable of surviving without life supporting equipment. Yeah, the Land Rover Range Rover is absolutely the nicest SUV you can buy. Pricing starts at $89,225.
Top 10 Nicest Cars: Truck – Ram 1500 Laramie Limited
The mission of the pickup truck has changed—significantly. Today’s pickup truck is expected to haul whatever you decide to put in it, go anywhere you decide to go in it, get as dirty as you can possibly get it, then get hosed off and turn into a comfortable mode of transportation, after working like a dog all day long. If it were human, a pickup truck would probably tell you to kiss its asterisk if you asked it to do all of that in one day. But trucks don’t have that luxury. They have to show up. Without question the one best suited for all of this is the Ram 1500 Laramie Limited. It’s got the durability to handle the hauling, and more than enough luxuriance to go balling. What’s more, it’s quiet, smooth riding, handsome, and bristling with appointments. Pricing starts at $46,680.
Top 10 Nicest Cars: Wagon – Cadillac CTS-V
A 556-horsepower supercharged Cadillac station wagon. Do we really need to say anything else? And yes, we do realize this is the first time we’ve quoted a horsepower figure in this posting. The number is kind of key to understanding why we chose the CTS-V Wagon. Granted, there is another super wagon out there, the AMG Benz E63, and while we will be the first to concede it’s an excellent choice too, we like the fact nobody sees the Cadillac coming. In our minds, exclusivity and surprise are a big part of what makes a vehicle stand out in a marketplace as crowded as the one we have here in North America. When it comes to exclusivity, you’re far more likely to see the AMG wagon than you are the Cadillac. Some might argue this is because the Benz is better, we think it’s because the Cadillac is more exclusive. We say to-may-to, you say to-mah-to. Either way, we both get our burgers garnished. Pricing starts at $64,900.