The luxury car segment unlike the hatchback segment has observed numerous launches in the pandemic year. While most of them carry a premium price tag over a crore, there are few choices obtainable at a rational price that can fulfill one’s dream of owning their dream luxury car. We have listed out the significant launches made in the category this year.
Audi launched its compact and the most affordable crossover this year in the form of the Q2. The supermini combines the solid build quality and the potent 2.0-litre TFSI engine with the brand’s signature Quattro AWD system. However, it lets down with its dated cabin, lack of features and a hefty price tag at Rs 62 lakh on-road, Mumbai. Competition comes in the form of the upcoming Mercedes GLA. You can read our first-drive review of the Audi Q2 here.
The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is the latest addition to the brand’s sedan lineup. With a starting price tag of Rs 39.30 lakh (ex-showroom), the Gran Coupe makes for a decent buy packing in a refined diesel motor, striking looks, premium cabin, and great driving dynamics. The diesel engine is likely to be followed by a petrol-powered 220i soon. Positioned below the 3 Series it will rival the upcoming Mercedes A-Class sedan and the Audi A3 when launched next year. We have driven the 2 Series Gran Coupe and you can find all the details of our driving impressions here.
The German car manufacturer launched the A8L, its flagship luxury saloon this year where ‘L’ denotes the long wheelbase of the sedan. Taking the luxury quotient up by few notches, the A8L offers ample opulence, high-end tech, superior comfort, and relaxed driving experience. It is brought to the Indian shores via the CBU route and thus is retailed at Rs 1.56 crore (ex-showroom) with the competitors being the Mercedes S-Class and the BMW 7 Series. We enjoyed being pampered in the A8L and you can read our first-drive review here.
The much-awaited off-road emperor set its foot on the Indian soil this year and is offered in two body styles - 90 (three-door) and 110 (five-door). With all the latest tech and go-anywhere heritage, the Defender also makes sense as a decent daily drive. It is also offered with a host of accessories and equipment to choose from but demands a premium price tag at Rs 73.98 lakh (ex-showroom). Frankly, you can get the job done with its younger siblings like the Velar, Discovery or even the Evoque. Read more on the Defender in our first-drive review.
Mercedes-Benz GLE & GLE 53
The second generation of the successful GLE SUV was launched earlier this year underpinned by a new longer platform and two BS6 compliant diesel engines. It wears the brand’s new design language, dual digital instrument cluster, multi-beam LED headlamps, panoramic sunroof, and a 360-degree camera. The GLE was also given a shock treatment this year and a newly born GLE 53 4MATIC+ Coupe was unleashed by the brand’s performance department for the enthusiasts at a retail price of Rs 1.20 crore (ex-showroom, all-India). A smaller but equally mean-spirited AMG is available in the form of the GLC 43 Coupe with a differential price of Rs 76.70 lakh (ex-showroom)
The new RS7 Sportback arrived this year with more striking and stylish looks coupled with maddening performance. The four-door twin-turbocharged V8 petrol coupe with a top speed of 305 kmph is more practical and sensible than plenty of supercars in the deluxe price range. The enticing combination of speed and luxury can be bought with a starting price of Rs 1.94 crore (ex-showroom).
The compact SUV from India owned British car manufacturer was introduced initially in the country way back in 2015 and was immediately popular for its road presence and overall practicality with adequate off-road capabilities. This year, the Evoque made a comeback with refreshed styling cues carried over from its elder sibling, Velar, and BS6 friendly petrol and diesel engines with a new architecture underneath. It finds itself against the likes of the Volvo XC60, Mercedes GLC, BMW X3, and the Audi Q5 with a starting price for the petrol model at Rs 58 lakh (ex-showroom). We have had a go in the diesel variant of the Evoque and you can read all about it here.
One of the mind-blowing launches from Audi’s stable was the flagship SUV – Q8 with its aggressive brother -RS Q8. The Q8 is more sensible, noble, and luxurious while the RS Q8 is a monster at heart, looks mean, and more fun to drive than its gentleman version. With a retail price of Rs 1.33 crore and Rs 2.07 crore (ex-showroom) respectively, the cost is steep considering that many feel-good features come at an additional price. For the same value, one can look at the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X6 M, Range Rover Sport, and SVR. We have pushed both the cars to their limits and you can read all about the Q8 and RS Q8 here.
BMW had quite an eventful year with launches made in all segments. It has something in stores for buyers with different tastes. The luxury SUV X3 underwent the M treatment and BMW claims that it is fitted with the most powerful straight six petrol engine. With all the latest tech updates, loaded features, and safety list ticked, the X3 M silently made its entry last month and is available at Rs 99.90 lakh (ex-showroom).
The new generation of the GLS SUV made its debut in India amidst the Coronavirus pandemic in two variants – 400d and 450 4MATIC. The luxury SUV has grown in size with an updated MBUX infotainment system, dual-screen cockpit system, premium leather upholstery and electric adjustment controls for all seats. For those who prefer SUVs over saloons with a dash of luxury, the GLS SUV makes for a logical option with a starting price tag of Rs 99.90 lakh (ex-showroom, except Kerala) for both petrol and diesel variants.