10. Mercedes-AMG S65 L
The S65 is a proper luxury car, with uncompromising ride comfort and refinement, which is why it gets a mention at the foot of our super-luxury class rankings. It offers onboard comfort make it so effortlessly potent to drive that it’s hard to believe how little you need to do to make something so large travel so quickly.
9. Bentley Flying Spur
the Flying Spur is nearing the end of its second model generation, and what you’ll find as a result of that is a surprisingly wide choice of engines, derivatives and prices.
In entry-level V8 form, the car develops 500bhp and is priced to compete with cars at the upper end of the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7 Series ranges. In W12 S form, though, it develops 626bhp, will exceed 200mph and costs a whisker under £170,000.
There are a couple of differently flavoured derivates to choose from in between. Like the two-door Continental GT, all Flying Spurs offer four-wheel drive.
8. Rolls-Royce Dawn
The company used uncharacteristically racey terms to describe this car when it was launched in 2016, billing it as “the sexiest Rolls-Royce ever built”.
Whether you agree or not, there’s no denying the car’s blue-blooded credentials: it uses the same platform and 6.6-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V12 as the Wraith coupé, producing 563bhp and 575lb ft of torque, which is down from 624bhp in Wraith tune but still enough to eclipse the vitals of the earlier Phantom Drophead Coupé.
7. Range Rover SVAutobiography
The top-rung, long-wheelbase Range Rover has come a long way as a luxury car since the genesis days of the famous SUV upon which it’s based.
The modern SVAutobiography, hand-finished as it is by Land Rover at its Special Operations base near Coventry, is a car that’s now fully 5.2 metres long and 2.6 tonnes in weight at its heaviest.
It was conceived to take full advantage of the embryonic market for super-expensive SUVs and the high regard some have for the Range Rover brand, and it does so quite effectively.
6. Rolls-Royce Ghost
While the Phantom is very much a car in which to be driven, the Ghost was intended as a car for the well-heeled driver, and its dynamic character reflects that.
Slighter tauter-riding and more agile than the Phantom (partly by virtue of its more compact proportions), it lends itself more readily to the cut-and-thrust of daily motoring on traffic-clogged UK roads than its bigger brother.
5. Bentley Bentayga
Being the first in a barrage of £100,000-plus super-SUVs to come to market in 2016, we first rated it highly, with a caveat or two, in W12-engined form, and then rated it higher still when Bentley introduced an Audi-sourced 4.0-litre, 429bhp turbocharged diesel V8 in 2017, which made exactly as much torque as the twelve-cylinder petrol motor but at more accessible crankspeeds.
4. Rolls-Royce Cullinan
There is certainly as much to like about life onboard this car as there might be to dislike about either the idea or the appearance of it.
This is a true Rolls-Royce, and among its dynamic strengths are outstanding mechanical refinement, unimpeachable ride comfort and excellent drivability.
3. Bentley Mulsanne
the Mulsanne is a top-level luxury four-door that’s grand with a small g. It feels less formal than the Rolls-Royce Phantom, and its interior ambience is more like that of the paneled smoking room of an old gentleman’s club than the Phantom’s chandeliered ballroom.
The material quality, the lustre and natural appeal of its wood veneers and the tactile allure of so many of its fittings are second to none.
Mulsanne doesn’t ride quite as serenely as some of its closest competition, it handles and responds with more vigour and verve, thanks not least to its torquey turbocharged petrol V8.
2. Mercedes-Maybach S650
To judge by appearances, you’d say it was at least as much S-Class as Maybach, and that’s the result of Daimler’s strategic decision, taken a few years ago, to broaden the reach of the Maybach marque by creating ‘halo’ Maybach models across some of its more normal Mercedes passenger car ranges.
Compared to a Rolls-Royce or Bentley, an S-Class might not cut a lot of mustard for drool-worthy kerbside appeal; but being an S-Class also makes this car the recipient of the all those advanced active suspension and driver assistance technologies and helps to make it so brilliantly refined, rich and cosseting.
The S650’s 621bhp, 737lb ft twin-turbocharged petrol V12 is barely audible, and its dedication to comfort and good manners is outstanding.
1. Rolls-Royce Phantom
Its superbly comfortable and singularly isolating ride comfort can be sampled from the back seats, of course, and is like nothing else you’ll 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.