The category of super expensive and luxury cars consists of large comfortable limousine sedans, oversized sedans and SUVs. These aren’t everyone’s cars, since only executives and super-rich tycoons can afford them. Their prices justify the exceptional comfort, smooth ride and generous performance. Only a few car brands were known to produce luxury cars. Things took a sudden turn when supercar manufacturers like Lamborghini and Ferrari joined the luxury SUV segment. Each manufacturer is now fighting to deploy the most efficient luxury car.
However, being expensive does not automatically make a luxury car emerge above the rest. Some cars on this list are priced in six figures, but offer terrible performance, poor reliability, and below-average features. Here are five super expensive cars that are best avoided and five that are worth every penny.
ten 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 sinkhole, but it’s best avoided due to reliability issues. Things fail from time to time, leading to constant repairs. While the warranty will pay for fixes, out-of-warranty items still incur excruciatingly expensive fees for owners.
Evoque models produced between 2012 and 2017 face serious problems with engine, turbo, brake failure, electronics and faulty airbags. The 2020 model suffers from engine stalling, build quality issues and fire hazards.
9 Worth Every Penny: Rolls-Royce Cullinan
The Cullinan isn’t cheap, but the SUV’s unparalleled refinement justifies the price. Rolling in it gives a lavish solitary chamber thrill. To extend its dominance in the ultra-expensive super-luxury category, one can customize the interior to your liking.
The 2022 model features a 6.7-liter twin-turbo V12 engine that pushes 563 hp 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 beauty of the Mercedes-Benz GLE. Beneath the luxury SUV lurk several problems. The 2022 GLE was the least reliable car of the year according to Consumer Report. A few minor issues are encountered in the engine, climate and electrical systems.
Compared to other premium SUVs, the GLE has below average specs such as car hardware, body integrity, and on-board electronics. When the M-Class was renamed GLE in 2015, Mercedes only gave it a minor update instead of a major redesign. The W166 GLE/M-Class still features the old Daimler Chrysler-era platform. With the price of the GLE, you’re better off with a more up-to-date SUV.
seven Worth every penny: Lamborghini Urus
The Lamborghini Urus is what you get when the maker of the world’s most extravagant supercars sets out to create a five-door family SUV with off-road capability. With breathtaking on-track performance, the Urus is the Italian manufacturer’s most practical car.
It’s powered by a twin-turbocharged V8 mill producing 641 hp with a deep, bubbly soundtrack at idle and screeches with a glorious howl at full throttle. The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that conspires with an all-wheel-drive system to propel the Urus to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. Peaking at 190mph, the Lamborghini Urus is one of the fastest SUVs money can buy today
6 Avoid: Tesla Model X
It seems unfair that the Model X is on this list, but its reliability and unreliability are disappointing. Consumer Reports gave it an abysmal reliability rating of 1/5, citing issues such as rust, frozen navigation system, acceleration issues, and poor body integrity.
Ride quality is also bumpy and uneven for a car that wants to be considered luxury. There’s no doubt that falcon doors are cool and futuristic, but they should at least make them work properly – owners report that the doors are heavy and sometimes take years to fully open.
5 Worth every penny: Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
It’s no secret that the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class makes no attempt to conceal its origins. The exterior looks similar to the standard S-Class, giving it a tame appeal, but hey, not every wealthy luxury car owner wants too much attention in traffic. The stretched body gives it a comfortable interior and comes with optional reclining rear seats.
A pair of engine options are offered – a 496 hp 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 augmented with a hybrid system in the S580 and a 621 hp 6.0-liter V12 in the S680. A 4matic all-wheel-drive system is standard on all models. Other luxury features include driver assist technologies and an advanced active suspension.
4 Avoid: 2022 Land Rover Discovery
The Discovery Sport’s excellent off-road capabilities, plush interior and forced-induction (turbo) engine make it a great option for a mid-size SUV. However, reliability issues begin to appear as the car racks up mileage. With an overall rating of 44 out of 100 on Consumer Reports, only the Tesla Model X has a lower rating than the Discovery Sport.
Common issues for this SUV include leaking head gaskets, faulty cargo door latch, clogged radiator, main bearing failure, sticky ignition switch and sticky wiper switch.
3 Worth every penny: Rolls-Royce Phantom
No car surpasses the Phantom when it comes to flaunting luxurious status and automotive extravagance. The luxury experience offered looks and feels as expensive as the car. The V12 engine under the long hood hums quietly as the Phantom floats down the road.
The factory offers nearly endless customization features. A pothole detection camera sends information to the suspension which adapts in real time to road conditions. Prodigious power is delivered by a silky-smooth 563hp twin-turbo V12 engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel-drive system. Rolls-Royce claims a quick 5.1-second 0-60mph acceleration for the ultra-luxury Phantom.
2 Avoid: 2020 Mercedes-Maybach GLS
Spending $160,500 on a 558-hp SUV is the first warning sign that you should steer clear of the Mercedes-Maybach GLS. The car is disappointingly sluggish compared to other luxury SUVs, and the boxy shape doesn’t help either. Sure, it deserves the accolade of Mercedes-Maybach’s first SUV, but should be last on your list of the best luxury SUVs.
The car’s interior isn’t so bad as its exterior – it has a smooth ride and a sleek, technologically advanced interior. But these are features you’d get on a more understated Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. For an SUV, the interior of the Mercedes-Maybach GLS is a bit cramped; seats only four, and the rear seats don’t fold down for extra cargo space
1 Worth Every Penny: 2023 Bentley Bentayga
Do you want a practical luxury car for everyday driving that can carry a family of five? The Bentayga is the answer. The British automaker has added an extended wheelbase body for the 2023 lineup, providing extra space in the rear seats. If that comfort isn’t enough, the rear seats can recline up to 40 degrees and come with an optional massage function, center seat or center console.
With the Bentayga, you don’t have to worry about parking in a tight space; it has a rear wheel steering system which reduces the turning radius of the car. This luxury car offers three powertrain options: a 443-hp 3.0-liter V6 with a hybrid layout, a 542-hp twin-turbo V8 and a 626-hp W12. Eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive system are standard on all models. With a top speed of 190mph and a 0-60mph sprint in under 4 seconds, Bentley claims the Bentayga is the fastest SUV in the world.