The super expensive and luxurious car class consists of large comfortable limousine saloons, extra large hatchbacks and SUVs. They’re not everyone’s cars, because only the executives and super-rich tycoons can afford them. Their price tags justify the excellent comfort, smooth ride and roomy performance. Only a few car brands were known to produce luxury cars. Things took a sudden turn for the worse when supercar makers such as Lamborghini and Ferrari entered the luxury SUV segment. Every manufacturer is now fighting to roll out the best performing luxury car.
But being expensive doesn’t automatically mean that a luxury car stands out above the rest. Some of the cars on this list carry a six-figure price tag but have terrible performance, poor reliability, and subpar features. Here are five super expensive cars to avoid and five that are worth every penny.
10 Avoid: Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
Legend has it that a Range Rover Evoque would bypass everything on the road except a mechanic and a gas station. Yes, it’s a slurper, but it’s best avoided due to reliability issues. Things fail every now and then, leading to constant repairs. While the warranty will pay for the repairs, owners of the non-warranty issues still face a horribly high cost to repair.
Serious problems are faced with Evoque models produced between 2012 and 2017 with the engine, turbo, brake failure and faulty electronics and airbags. The 2020 model suffers from engine stalling, build quality issues and fire risks.
9 Worth every penny: Rolls-Royce Cullinan
The Cullinan isn’t cheap, but the SUV’s unparalleled sophistication justifies its price tag. When you drive it, you get a regal isolation room sensation. To extend its dominance in the ultra-expensive super-luxury category, the interior can be personalized to your liking.
The 2022 model features a 6.7-liter, twin-turbocharged V12 engine that delivers 563 horsepower to all wheels via a BMW four-wheel drive system. The Cullinan accelerates to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds, which is impressive for a car that weighs over 5,500 pounds. The SUV rides on an air suspension that automatically adjusts in response to feedback from a road-scan camera.
8 Avoid: 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE
Don’t be fooled by the beautiful appearance of the Mercedes-Benz GLE. Underneath the luxury SUV lie several problems. The 2022 GLE Was Consumer Report’s Least Reliable Car of the Year† There are some minor issues in the engine, climate and electrical systems.
Compared to other high-end SUVs, the GLE has below-average features such as the car’s hardware, body integrity and in-car electronics. When the M-Class was renamed GLE in 2015, Mercedes gave it only a minor update rather than a major overhaul. The W166 GLE/M-Class still has the old platform from the Daimler Chrysler era. With the GLE’s price tag, you’re better off with a more modern SUV.
7 Worth every penny: Lamborghini Urus
The Lamborghini Urus is what you get when the maker of the world’s most outlandish supercars decides to create a five-door family SUV with off-road capabilities. With stunning track performance, the Urus is the Italian manufacturer’s most practical car.
It’s powered by a twin-turbocharged V8 mill that produces a solid 641 horsepower with a deep bubbly soundtrack at idle and shrieks with a glorious howl at full throttle. The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that works in tandem with a four-wheel drive system to accelerate the Urus to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds. With a top speed of 190 mph, the Lamborghini Urus is one of the fastest SUVs you can buy today
6 Avoid: Tesla Model X
It feels unfair that the Model X falls on this list, but its reliability and unreliability are a disappointment. Consumer Reports gave it a terrible 1/5 reliability rating, citing issues such as rusting, freezing of the navigation system, acceleration problems and poor body integrity.
The ride quality is also bumpy and uneven for a car that wants to be considered luxurious. The Falcon doors are cool and futuristic, no doubt, but at least they should make them work properly – owners report that the doors are heavy and sometimes take ages to open fully.
5 Worth every penny: Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
It’s no secret that the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class makes no attempt to hide its origins. The appearance resembles that of the standard S-Class, giving it a tame appearance, but hey, not every wealthy super luxury car owner wants to attract too much attention in traffic. The stretched body provides a comfortable interior and comes with optional adjustable rear seats.
A few engine options are offered: a 496-hp 4.0-liter V8 with twin turbo, complemented by a hybrid system in the S580 and a 621-hp 6.0-liter V12 in the S680. A 4matic four-wheel drive is standard in all models. Other luxury features include driver assistance technologies and an advanced active suspension.
4 Avoid: Land Rover Discovery in 2022
The Discovery Sport’s excellent off-road capability, luxurious interior and forced-induction (turbo) engine make it a great option for a mid-sized SUV. However, reliability issues start to arise as the car puts on more miles. With a total score of 44 out of 100 on Consumer Reports, only the Tesla Model X has a worse score than the Discovery Sport.
Common issues with this SUV include leaking head gaskets, faulty cargo door latch, clogged radiator, failed main bearing, sticky ignition switch, and stuck wiper switch.
3 Worth every penny: Rolls-Royce Phantom
No car surpasses the Phantom when it comes to displaying luxurious status and in-car extravagance. The luxury experience on offer looks and feels just as expensive as the car. The V12 engine under the long hood hums silently as the Phantom races down the road.
The factory offers almost endless customization options. A hole-spotting camera sends feedback to the suspension, which adapts to road conditions in real time. Prodigious power is provided by a silky smooth 563 horsepower twin-turbocharged V12 engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Rolls-Royce claims a solid 5.1 seconds acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h for the ultra-luxurious Phantom.
2 Avoid: 2020 Mercedes-Maybach GLS
Spending $160,500 on a 558-horsepower SUV is the first warning sign to steer clear of the Mercedes-Maybach GLS. The car is disappointingly slow compared to other super-luxury SUVs, and the boxy shape doesn’t help either. Sure, it gets the award of Mercedes-Maybach’s first SUV, but should be last on your list of the best luxury SUVs.
The interior of the car is not bad off as the exterior – it drives smoothly and has an elegant, technologically advanced interior. But these are features you’d get on a more discreet Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. For an SUV, the interior of the Mercedes-Maybach GLS is a bit cramped; seats just four, and the rear seats don’t fold for extra cargo space
1 Worth every penny: 2023 Bentley Bentayga
Do you want a practical luxury car for everyday use that can transport a family of five? The Bentayga is the answer. The British carmaker added an extended wheelbase body for the 2023 line-up, providing extra space in the rear seats. If that comfort isn’t enough, the rear seats recline up to 40 degrees and come with an optional massage function, center seat or a center console.
With the Bentayga, you don’t have to worry about tight parking spaces; it features rear-wheel steering that reduces the car’s turning radius. This super luxury car offers three powertrain options: a 443 horsepower 3.0-liter V6 with hybrid setup, a 542 horsepower V8 with twin turbo and a 626 horsepower W12. Eight-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive are standard on all models. With a top speed of 190 mph and sprinting from 0-60 mph in under 4 seconds, Bentley claims the Bentayga is the world’s fastest SUV.