Ten hot, new, high-end sedans of the 2020s
In terms of luxurious features, new tech, and comfortable driving experiences, luxury sedans have long paved the way for the rest of the industry. Though consumer preferences and automakers’ focuses have been shifting decidedly toward SUVs in North America, sedans still hold an important place in the market. Offering an array of appealing models across segments is a bread-and-butter strategy for car brands, and the luxury sedan is a bread-and-butter segment.
To give a snapshot of the current state of the high-end sedan world, we’re showcasing ten of the more notable luxury sedans that have launched or have been redesigned in the past few years.
The Mercedes S-Class is the king of the luxury sedan segment, and a new generation was just introduced in 2021. Mercedes pumps all their newest features and choicest materials into the S-Class, and paired with a fantastic powertrain and wafty ride, it’s very possibly the finest executive limo on the road. For a sit-in-the-back level of money, the S-Class looks remarkably unremarkable compared to rival models from Bentley and Rolls-Royce, but the excellence-with-restraint approach is a big part of the S-Class’ magic.
The Taycan debuted to incredible fanfare in 2020. Porsche’s first-ever electric vehicle is also the first appealing high-performance alternative to Tesla, and it ticks every single box. Inside you’ll find the top-level build quality and polish you expect from Porsche, and on the road you’ll get more performance than probably anyone would even ask for. Plus, John’s rear-wheel drive 2021 Taycan manages an EPA-estimated 225 miles of range, which should be plenty for normal driving and commuting.
Mercedes-Benz AMG GT
Mercedes positions the AMG GT sedan as a “four-door coupe” version of the rousing GT sports car, but it’s a bit closer to the S-Class in terms of size and daily usability. That said, the four-door AMG GT can be specced into an absolute rocketship of a car. Fred’s range-topping AMG GT 63S has a twin-turbo V8 pumping out 630 horses that can bring the car to 60 in a ridiculous 2.9 seconds. Coupled with incredibly opulent luxury features and materials, the AMG GT four-door is one of the most impressive cars out there today.
As Hyundai’s still-fledgling luxury arm, Genesis has been making serious waves with each new model they put out. The G80 slots between the G70 and larger G90 in the Genesis roster, and its interior design and infotainment appears on-par with German and Japanese competitors — proof that Genesis can hang. With its striking exterior and truly posh interior, the Genesis G80 is a viable pick with absolutely fantastic value for the price.
Lexus has long aimed their luxury sedans at a more laid-back, comfort-oriented crowd. The ES eschews the athleticism available in rivals like the Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and instead focuses on a well-groomed, pleasant interior ready for easy cruising. No matter which engine or trim level, the Lexus ES provides a plush and relaxing ride with all the tech and options a Lexus driver would want.
Tesla Model S Plaid
By this point we’re all well-acquainted with the Model S, and the Plaid is the latest and most mind-bending version available. As the quickest sedan in history (60 mph in 1.98 seconds), the Model S Plaid is chock-full of acceleration-related superlatives. While Tesla’s interior materials and quality might still lag behind the legacy luxury automakers, you’ll find plenty of cutting-edge features and tech inside the cabin. And if you’re into a minimalistic feel and can do without some of the more luxuriant equipment, this is the most exciting electric sedan you can get.
Audi RS5 Sportback
The RS5 Sportback is a beast of a coupe-turned-sedan. The RS5 generally favors performance over all — the coupe’s 450-horsepower twin-turbo V6 provides plenty of oomph and entertaining on-road manners. But the Sportback adds two doors and practicality to the balance to create a four-door hatchback, which feels close enough to a sedan for inclusion on this list. Modern Audi interiors reliably boast exemplary quality and sophistication, and this car is no exception. For something a little bigger, you could opt for a model from the mid-size A6 line, but this A5 Sportback is a fun alternative.
BMW 3 Series
The new BMW M3 may still receive some flack for its oversized grille, but the letter M paired with the number 3 always means a great driving experience is in store. The newest versions of the 3 Series and M3 — the perennial leader of performance sedans — still check every box for speed, balance, and quality. If pure athleticism is what you’re after, LA Auto Spot’s 2022 M3 Competition has been lightened and tuned up from 473 hp in the standard M3 to produce 503 hp, creating what is very likely the ultimate do-everything performance sedan.
BMW 5 Series
The current-gen BMW 5 Series (and the M5 along with it) received a facelift in 2021, and it’s always relevant in conversations like this. Though the M5 is firmly on the performance-oriented side of the luxury spectrum, any version of the 5 Series line comes with a beautifully-appointed interior with modern tech. This 2021 M5’s twin-turbo V8 punches out a monstrous 617, and BMW M’s magic gives the M5 bonafide sports car performance, even with a rather large executive sedan frame.
Unquestionably stylish with potent performance, the CT5 demonstrates how high Cadillac has been aiming lately. While some report the overall performance is not quite as motivating, and the interior not quite as upscale as the leading rival Germans, Cadillac’s impressive Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system and the rest of the CT5’s solid infotainment offerings should be enough to pull some to the American side of luxury.
Find your flavor
If you’re looking to bring a luxury car on your next trip, these options are a great place to start. You can filter your search to find any of the specific models listed here, or hit the button below to browse all luxury sedans. If you’re more of an SUV person, check out our roundup of the best new luxury SUVs.