The term “luxury” casts a wide meaning, and it doesn’t necessarily need to equate to expensive. We tested dozens of new luxury cars for comfort, performance and the latest technology that will eventually trickle down into more mainstream cars.
We chose five that provide the best value. Most are under $50,000, but we included one six-figure model that impressed even the most skeptical among us.
Using a step-by-step methodology, we evaluated a wide-ranging mix of luxury cars — from entry-level to mid-level, gas-powered to battery-electric, big to small — for attributes including value for money, safety, plush features and performance. Below are our five top choices, with explanations on how each stands out from the pack, as well as their pros, cons and key specs.
(If you’re interested in a broader look at the new vehicle marketplace, check out our full list of the Best Cars & Trucks of 2024.)
Best Luxury Cars of 2024
Reviews of the Best Luxury Cars
Best Overall: BMW i7
- Price: $106,695
- Driving range: 291-321 miles
- Electric vehicle
- Powerful performance
- Little cargo space
Though its price tag exceeds six figures, the BMW’s new all-electric SUV is more than worthy of a test drive: The EV delivers thrilling performance — between 449 and 650 horsepower depending upon the powertrain — smooth handling and impressive acceleration.
The BMW i7 starts at $106,695, nearly twice as much as any other model on this list, but buyers with cash to burn swear it’s worth the price. We drove the i7 around Palm Beach, Florida, for a week and loved its combination of speed, luxury and head-turning good looks.
The i7’s estimated 300-mile range puts it ahead of most other EVs, as does its futuristic, 14.9-inch touch screen. However, it has only 11.4 cubic feet of cargo space, far less than any model on this list.
Best for Safety: Mercedes-Benz C-Class
- Price: $46,950
- Mileage: 23/33 mpg
- Wide range of trims
- Affordable given the level of luxury
- Entry-level option is underpowered
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class earned a Top Safety Pick+ designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the agency’s top mark. It’s also one of the most affordable models on the list: The four-door C-Class sedan starts at $46,950, which is inexpensive for the luxury category and also cheaper than the average new car sold today.
The car comes with forward automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, automatic high-beam headlights, and a rearview camera. The Lexus IS, which starts at around $40,000 and has similar safety scores and standard features, is also a good choice, but the Mercedes system is more reliable and better tuned.
Best for Retained Value: Lexus IS
- Price: $41,235
- Mileage: 19/26 mpg
- Low starting price
- Variety of trim levels
- Small trunk
Lexus, Toyota’s luxury brand, received JD Power’s residual value award for best premium brand for a fourth consecutive year. It tied with Toyota and Honda for receiving awards for four of its models, including the Lexus IS entry-level small car.
The Lexus IS is also the lowest-price option to begin with on our list of the top luxury cars for the money, and its safety scores are among the best you’ll find in the category. If you want a luxury brand and experience at a reasonable price, the IS is well worth a close look.
Best Warranty: Genesis G80
- Price: $54,400
- Mileage: 17/25 mpg
- Feels like a true luxury sedan
- Standard all-wheel drive
- Low fuel economy
The Genesis G80 is covered by a five-year/60,000-mile limited warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Other luxury carmakers are less comprehensive.
For example, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is covered by a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty. Both Lexus and Acura provide slightly more coverage for owners: a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty and six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.
As the only electric car on this list, the BMW i7 is covered by a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty as well as an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty for the battery. That should give drivers who are new to EVs confidence that they’ll be fully covered if the i7’s battery or electrical components fail.
Best CPO: Acura TLX
- Price: $45,000
- Mileage: 21/29 mpg
- Roomy trunk
- Good fuel economy
- Underpowered for the class
Acura offers two levels of certified pre-owned coverage. To be eligible for the 182-point inspection Acura Precision Certified program, vehicles must come from model years 2022 or 2023 and have driven fewer than 80,000 miles. It comes with a seven-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty from the original in-service date and bumper-to-bumper coverage for two years or 100,000 total odometer miles – whichever comes first. As a bonus, the first maintenance appointment is complimentary.
The 112-point Acura Precision Used program is less stringent and applies to vehicles less than 10 years old. That comprehensive warranty covers six months or 7,000 miles. Both programs include roadside assistance.