2021 Luxury Cars

For when you've truly arrived, only a luxury car will do. Stuffed full of premium materials and with strong, efficient engines under the hood, luxury cars come in all shapes and sizes these days. They've long been aspirational, and that's resulted in an explosion in available types, as the big names try to find extra sales in every conceivable segment. Where a trio of sedans used to be enough, today's luxury brands can span everything from a sub-compact hatchback right up to a full-size SUV.

They carry big price tags, sure, but luxury cars get to bake in the latest and greatest tech and niceties because of that. Want to know what features will be common place in the market a decade from now? Take a look at the current Mercedes-Benz S-Class.


Pros and Cons of Luxury Cars

Pros:

  • Innovation
  • Premium materials
  • Comfort
  • Engine refinement
  • Excellent NVH levels

Cons:

  • Expensive to buy and maintain
  • High insurance costs
  • More toys means more things to go wrong
  • High rate of depreciation

Luxury Electric Vehicles

Building new electric platforms isn't cheap. That's why it makes sense for luxury brands to dip their toes in the water: the added costs are easier pills to swallow at $60,000 than at $30,000. Many of the big brands have full-electric offerings these days, especially in the hot crossover market. Audi has the e-tron, which comes in regular SUV shape as well as a "coupe-over" flavor. There's also the BMW iX, Tesla Model Y, and Volvo XC40 Recharge. This year will also see the debut of the Cadillac Lyriq, Mercedes-Benz EQB, Volvo C40, Genesis GV60, and more.

SEE ALSO: 2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo Review: Ultimate All-Rounder

Luxury automakers haven't forgotten about electric cars, either. Porsche has the stylish and very impressive Taycan—this year, Audi borrows its platform for the e-tron GT, too. Over at BMW, the i3 has bowed out for the i4 to take its place, an electrified version of the brand's 4 Series Gran Coupe. Mercedes has gone the pure luxury route with the EQS ... except now there's an AMG version of that, too. Meanwhile, luxury upstart Lucid has built the Air, an exclusive all-electric sedan that boasts over 500 miles of range.

What's New in Luxury Cars for 2022?

Acura MDX

SEE ALSO: 2022 Acura MDX Review: A Fitter Flagship

The Acura MDX was one of the earliest luxury crossovers out there, and for 2022, it entered its fourth generation. Bigger than before, the MDX is smarter now too, with an available head-up display and smart range of standard driver aids. There's more space in the first and third rows, as well. The base engine is a carryover, the familiar 3.5-liter V6 engine that does duty in a variety of larger Hondas. Those craving a sharper drive should look to the Type S, which features a brand-exclusive 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 and revised suspension.
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Genesis GV70

SEE ALSO: 2022 Genesis GV70 2.5T First Drive Review: Four to Love

Proving the mid-sized GV80 wasn't just a lucky first swing, Genesis has another hit on its hands with the new compact GV70. The SUV has a stand-out design, with a spacious, minimalist interior that forges its own path in the crowded segment. Genesis has loaded the GV70 with tech too, like a radar-assisted rear seat alert and the industry's first fingerprint reader. Two turbocharged engine choices are available on this curvy crossover: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and 3.5-liter V6.
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Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer

SEE ALSO: 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer First Drive Review: The Six-Figure Jeep Has Landed

Okay, let's clear this up now: we're still calling these Jeeps, even if the badge is nowhere to be found on the reborn Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. No matter what you call them, this duo of prime American steaks are tasty choices in the world of full-size luxury. So much so, in fact, that we named the Grand Wagoneer the AutoGuide 2022 Luxury Utility Vehicle of the Year. These body-on-frame behemoths use a modified Ram 1500 platform, which allows them to tow up to 10,000 lb. An air suspension, piles of sound insulation, one of the best infotainment systems in the business, literal night vision—the Grand Wagoneer in particular is a rolling luxury condo.
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Mercedes-Benz EQS

If the S-Class is the standard for full-size limos of yore, then the EQS updates that status for the all-electric future. This pebble-shaped luxury EV has an opulent interior full of soft-touch materials. The available Hyperscreen takes the industry's fascination with touchscreens to its inevitable conclusion, with a full 56 inches of glass spanning from one end of the dashboard to the other. A large 107.8-kWh battery pack and slippery exterior shape give the EQS up to 350 miles (563 km) of range. AMG fans, don't worry: there's also a high-performance version.
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Other Highlights from the World of Luxury Cars?

BMW 4 Series and i4

SEE ALSO: 2022 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe First Drive Review: Function and Form

BMW has grown the 4 Series into a veritable baby grand touring car. Like the 8 Series, the 4 comes in coupe, convertible, and four-door Gran Coupe forms. It's still the dynamic champ of the class, and those craving speed will find plenty of it in either the M440i or full-fat M4. New for 2022 is the i4, the all-electric Gran Coupe alternative.
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Mercedes S-Class

SEE ALSO: 2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 Review: Flagship Sets the Bar

The S-Class is the king of the luxury sedans. It is the bar by which all other flagships are judged. And for 2021, it got a whole new model, still dripping in decadence. The finest leather covers darned near every surface. The outside world is just a distant hum. The latest driver assists keep the car on the straight and narrow, with improvements such as augmented reality navigation taking the sting out of the commute. The S-Class has one of the smoothest, most relaxing rides in the business, yet a quick flip to Sport mode—especially with the available rear-wheel steering—imbues the limo with an agility that's bordering on shocking. Sure, it's pricey, but the best things in life usually are.
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Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance

It's a shock to say this, but if you want a naturally-aspirated V8 sedan in a four-door shell, and a luxury badge on the nose, you've got just one option: the 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance. It's true. The latest IS got a thorough refresh for 2021, with a return to actual sport sedan feel that the model debuted with at the turn of this century. Pair that with the intoxicating yowl of the LC 500's 5.0-liter V8—easily one of the best-sounding engines on the market today—and you've got a recipe for a future classic. If only it came with a manual transmission...
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Genesis G70

SEE ALSO: 2022 Genesis G70 Review: First Drive

A former AutoGuide Car of the Year recipient, the Genesis G70 showed that the Koreans could build a better 3 Series. This compact sedan saw its own refresh for 2022, aligning the exterior styling with the brand's current twin-line philosophy. What didn't change was its sweet handling balance, with rear- and all-wheel drive models sharing a well-sorted suspension tune and accurate steering. A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder continues to anchor the lineup, but the real fun happens with the 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6. The G70 continues to undercut its rivals too, so you can get high-street looks closer to CostCo pricing.
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Volvo XC90

SEE ALSO: 2020 Volvo XC90 T8 Review

A lot of these cars have a marked bias towards sportiness. Not so with the Volvo XC90, and it's all the better for it. Volvo's largest crossover remains one of the most appealing in the class, marrying cool Scandinavian design with acres of space and smart, efficient drivetrains. For this year, Volvo has powered-up the XC90's plug-in hybrid model, with a stronger electric motor, larger battery, and nearly double the all-electric range (now 37 miles / 58 km). That sounds like a win-win scenario to us.
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2021 Honda Civic Hatchback
2021 Honda Civic Hatchback
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$22,000 - $29,200 29/35 mpg
2021 Subaru Legacy
2021 Subaru Legacy
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$22,895 - $36,145 24/32 mpg
2021 Kia K5
2021 Kia K5
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$23,490 - $30,490 26/34 mpg
2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
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$27,750 - $35,300 45/51 mpg
2021 MINI Countryman
2021 MINI Countryman
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$29,100 - $41,500 23/30 mpg
2021 Kia Stinger
2021 Kia Stinger
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$33,090 - $52,590 17/25 mpg
2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
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$33,650 - $45,850 24/31 mpg
2021 INFINITI Q50
2021 INFINITI Q50
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$36,600 - $57,750 19/26 mpg
2021 BMW X2
2021 BMW X2
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$36,600 - $46,450 23/30 mpg
2021 Cadillac CT5
2021 Cadillac CT5
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$36,995 - $47,795 18/26 mpg
2021 Honda Civic Type R
2021 Honda Civic Type R
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$37,495 - $43,995 22/28 mpg
2021 Acura TLX
2021 Acura TLX
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$37,500 - $48,300 21/29 mpg
2021 Volvo S60
2021 Volvo S60
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$37,750 - $64,800 21/32 mpg
2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA
2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA
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$37,850 - $47,850 22/29 mpg
2021 Audi A4 Sedan
2021 Audi A4 Sedan
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$39,100 - $40,900 24/31 mpg
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