Top 10 best super-luxury cars 2023

Open gallery Close News by Matt Saunders 13 mins read 9 February 2023 Follow @TheDarkStormy1 Share

It can be difficult for road testers to get their bearings in an automotive market segment in which value is qualified unlike in almost any other, where status, exclusivity and uniqueness are key – even if that doubles the asking price.

Here, passenger luxury is all – and the driving experience may matter but quite possibly not to the owner. Where a car is something to be seen in, travel in, possess and inhabit but not always to operate first-hand. This is the rarefied world of the super-luxury car, and these are Autocar’s top-ranked examples.

Traditionally, limousines with whispering V8 and V12 engines would dominate this class, but even super-luxury cars aren’t in Kansas any more in that respect. So while you will still find mostly petrol-engined options selling to the world’s super-rich, hybrid and electric offerings are creeping onto this page. Money may once have bought you the permission to ignore entirely what the world may think of you, but in 2023, even the world’s top 1% can’t afford to look totally out of touch.

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Aside from electrification, while most of the contenders here are limousine saloons large enough to make the average semi-detached house look small, one or two of the most demure and desirable SUVs in the world also make the cut. Because high-end SUVs can take you places where two-wheel-drive limousines can’t and facilitate ‘lifestyle’ activities of new and exciting kinds.

If you want the last word in opulence, sophistication, sense of occasion and conferred status from your choice of car, then, this is the niche you will be shopping in. There isn’t a car here that you can buy for less than a six-figure outlay, and one or two might even cost you seven figures. For regular super-luxury class clientele, after all, to be denied the opportunity to double the cost of your car in making it absolutely your own would be the ultimate turn-off.

Best super-luxury cars currently on sale

1. Rolls-Royce Phantom

The grandest and greatest luxury conveyance in motordom was replaced by Rolls-Royce in 2017 and given a glittering five-star road test welcome by our road testers shortly thereafter. The Phantom was subsequently updated in 2022, given subtle design and equipment tweaks, and we expect to test the updated version very soon.

Owners will love the car at least as much for the extravagant statement of wealth and status it endows and for the unmatched sense of occasion you enjoy when travelling in one. But while many won’t ever know as much, the latest Phantom is also an utter joy and a rare pleasure to drive.

Its superbly comfortable and singularly isolating ride comfort can be sampled from the back seats, of course, and is like nothing else you will encounter in a car: gently loping and deliciously indulgent-feeling but also supremely quiet and smooth, despite Rolls-Royce’s fitment of the latest run-flat tyre technology. The car is available in standard- and extended-wheelbase forms, and there can be no greater expression of wealth than the sheer size of the latter, which is within a whisker of measuring fully six metres in length.


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Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II

The eighth-gen Rolls-Royce Phantom is the second of the company’s modern era. Is it still a world-beater?

Read our review Back to top

Yet the precision feel and perfect weight of the car’s large-rimmed steering wheel (made even thicker as part of the latest facelift) is remarkable. Likewise the ease with which you can place such a huge car on the road; the tolerance it has for whichever rate of progress suits your trip; the supreme refinement and flexibility of its V12 engine; and the progressiveness of its throttle pedal on step-off.

Even though it’s a near-three-tonne love song to splendid isolation, this car will accelerate from 0-100mph and from 30-70mph through the gears quicker than the last Ford Focus RS. The integrity of its engineering is simply breathtaking.

New headlights, new wheel designs, an illuminated pantheon radiator grille and some optional dark chrome body trim are what distinguish the latest version.

2. Rolls-Royce Ghost

The Ghost was a line in the sand for Rolls-Royce when it appeared in 2009: the beginning of a shift that transformed the company’s annual production volumes. 

Now in its second generation, the Phantom’s understudy has evolved substantially. Where the Ghost’s mechanical underpinnings were once adapted from those of the BMW 7 Series, it now shares the same Architecture of Luxury platform as the Phantom and the Cullinan SUV. There are also innovations, such as Rolls-Royce’s mass dampers for the front suspension and an active anti-roll bar for the rear axle, both of which help bring ride quality closer than ever to that of the Phantom.

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