2018 BMW M760 7 Series Flat Black Driving Front Quarter ・ Photo by BMW
Today’s best luxury sedans are pushing the envelope for premium features. Supple leather surfaces and large swathes of real wood and futuristic carbon fiber are all on display, as are many of the latest tech advances. Highlights include semi-autonomous driving systems, high-tech connectivity, and the kind of sound systems that can make even audiophiles happy.
Also, beyond all the driver-assistance content, these cars can satisfy owners who prefer to take a more active role behind the wheel. For that, they serve up high-performance powertrains that can make you think you’re in a sports car. Yet the same rides can be surprisingly efficient, thanks to some of the industry’s most advanced hybrid technologies. And those qualities may not be the only surprise in today’s selection of the best luxury sedans.
Cadillac has a long history of building the country’s best luxury sedans, and the current lineup is a clear return to form. Consider the 2019 CT6. Up front, the CT6 offers heated and ventilated front seats with rich leather surfaces and 15 different massage settings. But Cadillac takes care of rear-seat passengers, too, with their own heated and ventilated massage-function seats. For a concert-like listening experience, you can order a Panaray audio system that was specifically engineered for the car and comes with 34 — yes, 34 — speakers.
The CT6 also shows Cadillac’s leadership role for driver assistance. The acclaimed Super Cruise system combines extensive hands-free driving capability with unique technologies to help make sure drivers keep their attention on the road.
Photo by Cadillac
For style-conscious shoppers, the best luxury sedans also have to provide striking designs — like the one for the all-new 2018 Lexus LS. The LS goes all-in with the brand’s dramatic “spindle” grille, which is then flanked by complex headlights with a radical zig-zag shape. In the cabin, a flowing, expressive dashboard sets the tone. It has multiple levels and a full-length upper line that seems to pierce the deeply hooded instrument panel.
Of course, the LS does have its share of high-end creature comforts. Among them are climate-controlled leather-surfaced seats that can deliver a relaxing “Shiatsu” massage. To raise your excitement level, the Lexus flagship offers a choice between a 354-horsepower hybrid powertrain or a twin-turbo V6 with 416 horses and a 10-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
Photo by Lexus
One of the best luxury sedans in the compact segment is the 2019 Genesis G70. It’s an all-new entry from Hyundai’s stand-alone luxury brand, and it reflects the company’s generous approach to premium content. Quilted leather seats, a heated and ventilated front row, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel are all in the mix with the G70.
The car also does double duty as a fun-to-drive sport sedan. With an available 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine, the G70 can jump from 0-60 in a brisk 4.5 seconds. Brembo brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires are optional as well. To look the part, the G70 wears an aggressive exterior design with a complex front-end, LED signature lighting, and chrome fender vents.
Photo by Genesis
While some people consider the A8 to be the best of Audi’s best luxury sedans, we prefer the stylish 2019 Audi A7 — despite the fact it’s not exactly a sedan. The redesigned A7 has a “Sportback” body style that brings a coupe-like silhouette and a versatile rear liftgate to the segment. To make sure you notice the sleek look of the car, it even puts on an LED light show with the headlights and taillights when you lock or unlock the doors.
The cabin is just as dynamic, and it’s packed with the most up-to-date Audi technologies. Notably, these include the next-generation dual-screen MMI infotainment system. The 2019 A7 is expected to go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2018, and it will be well worth the wait.
Photo by Audi
For the best luxury sedans from the mid-size segment, another German choice comes to mind: the 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The E-Class is noticeably shorter in length than the flagship S-Class, but the smaller car has no shortage of upscale Mercedes content. Inside, we’re talking about features like hand-finished wood trim, three grades of leather, massaging front seats, and an aromatherapy system.
E-Class technologies extend to the automaker’s Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC system. With this on board — and the driver continuing to pay attention to the road — the E-Class can automatically follow the flow of traffic as it further provides “plenty of steering assistance.” The sophisticated exterior for the E-Class is accented by plenty of LED lighting, including in the headlamps, taillamps, and signature daytime running lamps.
Photo by Mercedes-Benz
The lineup for the 2018 Infiniti Q70 can compete against the best luxury sedans in two segments. The base Q70 supplies mid-size dimensions, while the extended-length Q70L grows its wheelbase to become a full-size choice. Both versions of the car have standard rear-wheel drive and an optional V8 engine that’s good for 420 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque.
All-wheel drive is also available for both the Q70 and Q70L, as is a wide selection of luxury features. For example, you can enjoy climate-controlled front seats with semi-aniline leather surfaces and speakers for the Bose surround-sound audio system built right in at shoulder level. If you want the same luxury equipment and a greener powertrain, the Q70 Hybrid achieves EPA fuel economy estimates of 28 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 30 mpg combined.
Photo by Infiniti
As you might guess, this full-size flagship of the Volvo brand delivers a full complement of safety technology. This means everything from the City Safety bundle, with forward-emergency braking, to Pilot Assist, for semi-autonomous driving on the highway.
But if you haven’t been in a Volvo recently, you might be surprised at the 2018 S90’s ultra-luxe cabin. The range-topping trim is adorned with not only supple leather and real wood, but also a gear-shift selector made with Orrefors crystal. Those premium cues are further complemented by modern-day touches. Among them: a 12.3-inch all-digital instrument panel and a 9-inch touchscreen that replaces nearly all physical control knobs.
Photo by Volvo
Among the best luxury sedans for enthusiasts is a high-powered member of the 2018 BMW 7 Series. It’s the M760i xDrive, which is the first 7 Series to qualify for the brand’s M Performance team. The secret to that achievement? A turbocharged 6.6-liter V12 engine that can unleash 601 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. Thanks to that powerplant, the M760i xDrive can sprint from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds.
The car also blends that performance with flagship-style content. For instance, beyond premium materials and climate-controlled seating in both rows, the M760i xDrive takes an impressively high-tech approach to providing a comfortable ride. “Road Preview” technology relies on navigation information to automatically adjust the car’s suspension for upcoming road conditions.
Photo by BMW
The best luxury sedans from the German brands are certainly appealing. However, there’s something to be said for the unique Italian style of the 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia. From its distinctive tri-lobe grille to the graceful lines of its dashboard, the Giulia offers design elements that you won’t find elsewhere. Premium materials — and craftsmanship — also elevate the cabin.
And you can take advantage of elevated levels of performance, too: Beneath the carbon-fiber hood of the Quadrifoglio trim is a 505-horsepower twin-turbo V6 that shares its architecture with a Ferrari engine. In the Giulia, that powerplant pushes the car from 0-60 in 3.8 seconds. Harman Kardon audio and a comprehensive package of safety technologies help seal the deal.
Photo by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
We’ll wrap up our list of the best luxury sedans with the 2018 Lincoln Continental. That’s because the Continental can wrap its owners in an especially elegant cabin environment. It all starts with soft Bridge of Weir leather and climate-controlled 30-way power-adjustable front seats. Those seats also provide Active Motion massage functionality, for additional comfort.
Lincoln then caters to technology lovers with a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, a 19-speaker Revel Ultima audio system, and many modern-day driver-assistance measures. These include active parking assistance that can steer the Continental in and out of parking spaces. The finishing touch comes from details like a dual-pane panoramic sunroof and “hidden” door handles that are integrated into the car’s window trim.
Photo by Lincoln