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The best luxury car brands in the world come in many shapes and sizes and come from many different backgrounds. They all have created a unique formula for success that makes them stand out from other automakers. For this list, we’re going to focus on three key metrics — sales numbers, historical significance and popularity among car enthusiasts today.
Without further ado, here are the top 20 luxury car brands in the world going into 2024.
It’s only right that our list begins with a German company. BMW — short for Bayerische Motoren Werke AG — is the world’s reigning champion in luxury car sales at 2.4 million vehicle deliveries in 2022. Everything from the all-new 7 series to the classic 3 series continues to sell at a high rate, and several new EV offerings are generating more buzz around the brand.
The number two spot naturally goes to Mercedes-Benz, another historic German automaker. The BMW-Mercedes rivalry has been at the forefront of the luxury car scene for half a century, and their friendly competition holds them to a higher standard than all other brands. Mercedes-Benz also sold more than 2 million vehicles in 2022, but not quite as many as BMW.
You might be surprised to see Tesla so high on this list, but the numbers don’t lie. Tesla is the top-selling luxury car brand in the United States and has over a 50% market share in the electric vehicle industry. In just 20 years, this cutting-edge automaker has gone from an overly ambitious afterthought to one of the world’s most widely recognizable automobile brands.
So far, three out of four luxury car brands we discussed come from Germany. This country’s commitment to speed and precision are truly unmatched. Audi was third behind BMW and Mercedes-Benz with about 1.6 million luxury car sales in 2022. This company continues to churn out ultra-reliable cars with pristine handling in any road conditions.
Lexus is arguably the most successful luxury car brand under the Toyota umbrella, and certainly the most popular brand in Japan and most of Asia. It combines Toyota’s well-established reputation for reliability with the flare and finesse of Japanese automotive design. J.D. Power gave Lexus the highest vehicle dependability in 2023, beating everyone else on this list.
Porsche’s motto “Choose Boldly” is a perfect description of this British automaker’s reputation for high performance. Whether it’s the Cayman, the Boxster or the all-time great 911, this brand never fails to put the “luxury” in luxury vehicles. U.S. News & World Report gave Porsche a 8.63/10 rating for 2023, which is the best rating of the year.
7. Land Rover
Land Rover is another British brand, but it could not be more different from Porsche. This automaker focuses on creating capable off-road SUVs such as the Defender, Ranger and Discovery. However, the Range Rover line of vehicles provides the same luxury and smooth driving experience as an SUV from BMW or Mercedes.
The first Italian luxury car brand on our list has to go to Ferrari. It’s the most historically successful automaker from the land of the Romans, but it also just set a new sales record in 2022 with 13,221 vehicles sold. For such a rare and expensive brand, those numbers are exceptional. Ferrari just keeps getting the job done.
It only makes sense to put Ferrari and Lamborghini right next to each other. Lambo also posted record sales numbers in 2022, but it sold better in the United States than its Italian rival. Although Ferrari has a longer legacy, Lamborghini is slowly gaining ground in terms of sales and overall popularity.
Jaguar is England’s most prestigious luxury car brand, going all the way back to 1922. It’s the parent company of Land Rover, but the SUVs have taken the spotlight over Jaguar’s traditional luxury sedans. It has become somewhat of an “old man’s car brand” in recent years, but this reputation is a testament to Jaguar’s commitment to classic design and old British charm.
Bugatti combines elements of French, German and Italian automaking into one high-end luxury car brand. Most models are far too expensive for average car buyers, but everyone can still appreciate Bugatti’s design beauty. Perhaps the most impressive part of Bugatti’s lineup is the
quad-turbo 8.0L W16 engine that delivers elite racing performance to both sedans and SUVs.
12. Alfa Romeo
The next Italian automaker on this list is Alfa Romeo, a brand that has been making racing and sport-oriented vehicles since 1910. In fact, they utilize some of the same manufacturing processes as Jeep and Dodge, two brands known for performing well in any road conditions. Alfa plans on expanding its vehicle lineup with new SUVs and electric cars in the near future.
13. Aston Martin
Aston Martin specializes in luxury vehicles and grand tourers, offering the perfect balance between high speed and long-distance driving. It always has an elite Formula 1 racing team every year, and cutting-edge technology like the 1,139-horsepower V12 engine turn luxury SUVs into intimidating sports cars. This brand is truly one of a kind.
Bentley gained global attention for winning Le Mans five times in the 1920s and has remained a mainstay in luxury car manufacturing ever since. It continues to specialize in hand-made automobiles rather than using automated assembly lines, which means every vehicle has a unique story. Whether you prefer speed or lavishness, Bentley has both in spades.
15. Rolls Royce
Rolls Royce might be a subsidiary of BMW, but it still has a life of its own. This British automaker boasts many impressive luxury cars with equally impressive names, including the Phantom, Ghost, Wraith, Dawn and Silver Shadow. This brand epitomizes the word “luxury” down to the last detail.
Maserati is the final Italian car brand on the list, boasting the dramatic designs you would expect from such an emotionally intense country. Its trademark trident symbol is the perfect centerpiece for aggressive models such as the GranTurismo, Ghibli, 5000 GT and MC20. If you’re looking for more flare, Maserati certainly has it.
Cadillac is a household name among luxury car brands because of its timeless design and more reasonable prices. In fact, Cadillac was the third-most considered brand among shoppers behind BMW and Lexus. SUVs like the Escalade and XT lineup are reliable family vehicles, while sedans like the V-series and CT5 can compete with almost any sports car on this list.
Genesis is the newest luxury car brand on this list, but it earned a spot because it continues to earn high ratings across the board. U.S. News and World Report gave it an 8.5/10 rating for 2023, which came in second behind Porsche. SUVs like the G80 and GV80 are excellent and affordable daily drivers with the same luxurious feel as a Cadillac or Rolls Royce.
A list of top luxury car brands wouldn’t be complete without at least one Swedish manufacturer. That spot belongs to Volvo, the pioneer of Scandinavian automotive design. Safety and minimalism are the top priorities, especially among its popular EX and XC SUVs. If you’re in the market for an electric car, be sure to look at some Volvos during your search.
The final spot goes to Lincoln, one of the top luxury car brands in the U.S. along with Cadillac and Tesla. It specializes in mid-size luxury SUVs that are perfect for families, but sedans like the Continental and MKZ still look like proper sports cars. Best of all, Lincoln is much more affordable than most of the other brands on this list.
Only the Best Luxury Cars
These 20 luxury car brands make only the best sedans and SUVs. They might be more expensive than the average automaker, but that’s because their vehicles aren’t average. They’re faster, cooler and simply better. Keep these names in mind if you ever have the opportunity to buy your own luxury car.