What are the most popular luxury car brands in the world?
Since the invention of the modern automobile in the late 19th century, luxury car manufacturers have competed to deliver a combination of high performance, cutting-edge technology, and comfort.
This article explores the leading luxury car brands on the market, from affordable saloons and SUVs to ergonomic sports cars and newly emerging EV trailblazers.
The Most Popular Luxury Car Brands
We’ve broken down the engineering, capabilities, and aesthetics from various models available from the world’s leading car manufacturers to bring you this comprehensive guide.
Here’s our list of the 15 most popular luxury car brands:
Bugatti has a long and studied history, at one point almost disappearing into total obscurity before bouncing back and becoming the leading manufacturer of the most expensive cars in the world.
Designing a mixture of luxury cars and high-end sports cars, Bugatti began producing cars in France in the early 20th century, when it was best known for designing award-winning racing cars.
Since picked up by an Italian entrepreneur, Bugatti is respected for several flagship luxury cars, including the Veyron, Divo, and Chiron, each of which has a price tag well into the millions.
The Chiron family continues to expand, with the company keen to focus on aspects of performance beyond top speeds to deliver luxury vehicles sporting the latest innovative technology.
More recently, Bugatti has been adopted by the Volkswagen Group and continues to sit among the most popular luxury car brands for the super-rich and famous.
Maserati is a popular luxury car brand that exemplified style and class way back in the 1960s, with its customized 35000GT unicorn Maserati causing a stir when it was placed up for auction.
As you might expect from an Italian manufacturer, Maserati’s high-end luxury cars are noted for their classy designs, comfortable interiors, and range of exclusive features.
Initially more widely known for producing racing cars, Maserati switched to luxury car production after teaming up with American firm Chrysler in the 1970s.
More restrained in appearance than some of the best luxury car brands available, their high-priced vehicles won’t look out of place driving around high-rise metropolises and other urban areas.
Maserati’s cars won’t necessarily break the bank, either, since they produce mid-tier luxury cars alongside their flagship sports cars, with entry-level models costing a little over $100,000.
They also use Ferrari engines, delivering the optimal performance on par with the best luxury car brands at a fraction of the price.
Rolls-Royce has dominated the luxury car industry for many decades, and their elegant classic-inspired designs and luxury interiors ooze class and style.
It’s not unusual to see a Rolls-Royce pulling up at hotels featuring the most expensive penthouses since the car is widely used by the world’s banking and political elites.
While the average starting price for a Rolls-Royce is a hefty $400,000, sales continue to rise in recent years, making them one of the most in-demand luxury car manufacturers.
Their limited edition Phantom Tempus Collection drew considerable media attention, and the latest iteration of the Rolls-Royce Ghost picked up 20 orders on the first day of the Bangkok International Motor Show.
Boasting powerful engines and a range of customization options, Rolls-Royce cars are highly collectible and sought-after luxury vehicles for people with plenty of cash to spare.
An American-made luxury car icon, the Cadillac has made more on-screen appearances than perhaps any other American car, appearing in films including Goodfellas and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
A division of General Motors Company, Cadillac positioned itself as one of America’s leading luxury car brands way back in 1909, arguably reaching its pinnacle in the 1950s and 1960s.
More recent Cadillacs have come a long way since their iconic Coupe deVille and front-wheel drive Eldorado, with modern designs leaning towards luxury sedans, albeit with a futuristic twist.
They also produce muscle cars, and if you’re looking for a new luxury SUV, Cadillac offers a selection of models noted for comfort and high power performance.
With retail prices starting as low as $50,000, Cadillac offers some of the best luxury cars you can get at a fraction of the price you’d pay for a supercar, with the added advantage of plenty of space for luggage.
If you’re thinking of booking a weekend in one of the most expensive hotels in the world, you could do a lot worse than turning up driving a Jaguar.
Originally from the United Kingdom, Jaguar’s ultra-luxury cars come in various styles, from sedans to luxury SUVs, noted for their classy exteriors and nod towards vintage style.
This level of luxury class is matched with excellent in-car technology, with contactless “predictive” touchscreens and other James Bond-style gadgets available in their vehicles.
If you’re after something more sporty, Jaguar produces a limited number of luxury supercars and has even branched out into electric vehicles with their new EV race car.
As well as entering the electric vehicle market, Jaguar recently unveiled the Jaguar Vision Gran Turismo SV, which reaches a maximum speed of 255 mph – although this luxury car is only available to play virtually in the game Gran Turismo.
10. Land Rover
Not all luxury car brands focus on speed and top-end performance, and Land Rover has established its name for focusing on practicality over sportiness.
Land Rover started out making functional jeeps after the Second World War, its designs transforming into today’s luxury SUVs often favored by country-dwelling businessmen.
Ideal as a family vehicle, it’s another UK-based luxury car brand with a long pedigree, well regarded for its impeccably high safety standards and sturdy construction.
Flagship models, including the Evoque and Defender, are built around an aluminum shell, giving the same level of safety you find in airplanes.
As you’d expect from something built a bit like a tank, its gas mileage isn’t exactly economical, but the off-road capabilities make the Land Rover one of the most versatile top luxury car brands you can buy.
Luxury car brand Ferrari was founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1947 from the Alfa Romeo race division and has continued to produce incredible cars over the years since its launch.
Primarily known as a luxury sports car manufacturer, Ferrari has launched a number of the most recognizable supercars, including the F40, 365 GTB, and Dino.
With entry-level prices over $400,000, picking up one of the latest models from Ferrari could mean you’ll have to sell off your collection of the most expensive metals before you can hit the road in style.
The brand’s first luxury SUV, the Ferrari Purosangue, will launch in 2022. The vehicle is intended to rival similar SUVs from popular luxury car brands, including the Aston Martin DBX and Lamborghini’s Urus.
With Ferrari, a leading manufacturer of F-1 racing cars, their road vehicles come fully equipped with the latest cutting-edge computer technology to deliver a superior driving experience.
Ferrari’s closest rival in the supercars category is Lamborghini, another Italian luxury car manufacturer renowned for its incredibly expensive sports models.
The company was established by Ferruccio Lamborghini in 1963 with the specific aim of competing with Ferrari, with the creation of a Grand Touring Car, introducing the 350 GT in the mid-60s.
After going bankrupt in 1978, Lamborghini bounced back under the ownership of Jean-Claude and Patrick Mimran in 1980 and has since become one of the best luxury car brands.
Their recent focus on innovation, for instance, the integration of Amazon Alexa into their Huracán EVO, has seen the company embracing voice-activated and touch-screen technology.
Lamborghinis are notoriously expensive, and with an average starting price of $340,000, they’re the kind of luxury car brand only enjoyed by those who can afford one of the most expensive yachts.
Swedish car brand Volvo has been at the forefront of the automobile industry regarding the durability and reliability of its vehicles.
In 2022, the luxury car brand forged a path to revolutionize how electric vehicles are manufactured, creating a new “mega casting” process designed to simplify the construction process.
Volvo’s production lines manufacture a mixture of economy and luxury cars, with an average price point of around $45,000, making them more accessible than other luxury brands on the market.
Their reliability ratings have led to several Volvo models being placed on the IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus list, including the Volvo XC60 and the XC90.
As the company embraces the electric car, expect them to continue to lead the way with quality sedans, SUVs, and oversized hatchbacks in the years to come.
Produced by Toyota’s luxury car division, Lexus makes top-tier cars noted for their slick and attractive designs and comfortable interiors.
As you might expect from a Japanese manufacturer of luxury cars, Lexus is well known for delivering vehicles loaded with the latest tech and being reliable and safe.
The cars come fitted with stability and handling programs, backup cameras, swivel headlights, and even sonar warning systems to keep their occupants safe.
Additionally, their GPS features motion lockout, which disables certain functions when the vehicle moves to prevent the driver from being distracted.
While some manufacturers are shifting entirely towards electric power, Lexus continues to produce high-performance gas-fueled vehicles, with its flagship ES model sporting a 3.5L V6 engine and delivering an impressive 302 bhp.
Along with Ferrari and Lamborghini, German manufacturer Porsche makes up the Big Three of high-end luxury sports cars, producing world-leading vehicles since 1948.
Models including the GT3 RS and 918 Spyder have kept them at pace with the competition, while the Porsche Boxster opened up them up to customers who don’t have the kind of money required to fly on the world’s most expensive private jets.
It’s possible to pick up a second-hand Boxster for under $30,000, although typically, a brand-new car from Porsche will set you back around $175,000.
The company has recently branched into the electric vehicles market, with the Taycan 4S boasting a top speed of 155 mph, along with an acceleration of 0-62 mph in just 4 seconds.
With over 70 years of experience manufacturing high-end luxury cars, Porsche cars are often collectible, making forking over your hard-earned money a reasonable investment opportunity.
Tesla has been synonymous with the electric car since its creation in 2003, becoming the highest valued car manufacturer in the world thanks to its combination of long-lasting batteries and outstanding performance.
Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, needs little introduction, having gone from PayPal co-founder to lead the way with electric car production and space exploration through his SpaceX company.
Their luxury cars blend their eco-friendly electric power with excellent handling, smooth exterior designs, and top-of-the-range modern conveniences.
They’re also much faster than some of their closest rivals, with the Model S capable of competing with the top-end Lamborghinis and Ferraris on a 0-60 mph drag race.
While they take some time to charge and cost more than traditional gas-powered cars, Tesla’s commitment to electric vehicles without compromising on performance will ensure they remain industry leaders for some time to come.
With the recent unveiling of Tesla’s new futuristic-looking truck, it’s perhaps only a matter of time before they branch out to compete with some of the most expensive RVs on the market.
German manufacturer Audi is one of the best-known automotive brands globally, starting in 1910 and consistently producing cars at the leading edge of technology.
This innovation includes the development of new smart headlights and their entry into the electric vehicles market with the launch of their long-awaited Q9 model.
They’ve also teamed up with Amazon to allow their customers to buy a high-power electric charging station from the eCommerce website to install in their homes.
Popular Audi models include the A3 hatchback and Q5 SUV, while the upcoming e-tron SUV and e-tron Sportbacks will help them corner a section of the e-car market that Tesla has yet to adopt.
With an average starting price of $70,000, they certainly aren’t cheap, but compared to other luxury car brands, they offer exceptional performance and comfort for those on a higher income.
Another instantly recognizable German luxury car brand is Mercedes-Benz, whose output includes everything from family cars to high-end sports cars, which cost as much as the world’s most expensive watches.
Part of The Daimler Group, Mercedes-Benz was first established in the early 20th century, producing a combination of luxury and commercial class vehicles with excellent engineering.
Their commitment to excellence still stands, and the company is joining other leading car manufacturers with its shift towards electric motorcars, particularly their EQ-battery car line-up.
Mercedes-Benz has developed its own Electric Vehicle Architecture for these models, pushing EV production to the forefront and driving how this technology will shape the broader car market.
While some of their most exclusive models, such as the Red Gold Dream Mercedes-McLaren SLR, can cost millions of dollars, the average prices start from around $60,000 for more commonplace models you’ll see in most major cities.
BMW is a car brand that needs no introduction; it’s the best luxury car manufacturer on the market, reflected in the 22.8% share of internet searches in 2021, beating out its closest rivals.
Popular BMW models, including the 3 Series and the BMW X5, are familiar sights on roads, marking them out as a luxury brand at an affordable price.
Their extensive range includes family-friendly hatchbacks and saloons and their high-powered sports models such as the M3 and M4.
BMW has also successfully branched out into two-wheel vehicles, with some of their fully optimized bikes competing with the most expensive motorbikes available to buy.
While their transition to electric-driven cars is slower than some of the other luxury brands available, their electric motors are rumored to rival the best being made by Tesla, with their New Class platform set to land in 2025.
We’ve covered 15 of the very best luxury car brands, from ridiculously expensive limited-edition supercars produced by Bugatti and Ferrari to affordable road cars you can use for your daily commute.
With new models continually being announced, and manufacturers shifting towards EV production, the best luxury car brands are likely to change, so for the latest details, check back on this article as we’ll be sure to update it.
Here’s a quick recap of the 15 most popular luxury car brands:
- Land Rover