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    Top six luxury cars we have tested in 2022 so far

    Authors Image

    Sagar Bhanushali

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    Top six luxury cars we have tested in 2022 so far

    Front View

    Let's face it. Driving a powerful, ground-hugging sports car is fun and so is crawling over difficult terrain in a large off-roader but sometimes you just want to sit back, relax and have somebody else drive you around while you isolate yourself from the rest of the world. Now there are some carmakers (Mercedes, for instance) who have been making ultra-luxurious vehicles for decades, meanwhile others have evolved into making cars that deliver a truly great backseat experience for reasonable money. This year we have driven many a luxury cars at different price points and here are our top six cars if you want to be chauffeured.

    Skoda Octavia – Bilal Firfiray

    Right Front Three Quarter

    'This new-gen Skoda Octavia is a big leap over its predecessor – in the same way as every generation of Octavia has been over its previous gen in the last three decades. Not only is the D-segment sedan comfortable on the inside, but it also looks handsome on the outside. And it’s equally engaging to drive with new TSI power. The steering could do with better feedback, but otherwise, it’s quick and responsive. Over bad road surfaces, the ride of the new Octavia remains comfortable.

    Left Front Three Quarter

    Like before, you can cross continents comfortably in great comfort as the Octavia is still a great mile muncher. Overall, the Skoda Octavia continues its legacy of being a big, practical, comfortable and luxurious sedan that is equally good to drive as it is to live with.

    Mercedes-Benz S-Class – Sagar Bhanushali

    Right Front Three Quarter

    Okay, imagine this. You have done well for yourself and you are looking for a new car. So well that you can afford to get the absolute best of what’s out there. Now there is one car maker which for years has been claiming that one of their models is the best car in the world. Period. And if you are properly into cars you would know that I am of course talking about the Mercedes Benz S-Class. The W233 generation S-Class is all the things I have always loved about Mercedes’ most expensive sedan. Yes, its appearance may divide opinions and over time the S has gotten quite expensive as well but then so have all its rivals.

    Right Side View

    And let’s be honest, in many key areas like rear seat comfort, brand value and technology, it is still the most affluent of them all. The W223 generation offers performance and composure in equal measures and if you ask me, it is undoubtedly the most comfortable and relaxing sedan that one can buy for under Rs 2 crore.

    Toyota Camry Hybrid – Ninad Ambre

    Right Front Three Quarter

    In a world of SUVs that are now trending, I agree that the demand for sedans have taken a back seat. Still, I feel the Toyota Camry Hybrid is one such vehicle that can be a perfect example why sedans still make sense. Firstly, the three-box styling is still good, safe for passengers, and Toyota has given it enough updates to look modern despite being suave. And that elegance is important in this segment to have an edge over the hatchbacks sitting a segment lower. Then, the cabin comfort is unparalleled even on the go with a much planted feel with good high speed stability. Then, there are the wide rear seats with reclining backrests and adequate space to stretch your legs.

    Right Rear Three Quarter

    So apart from having fun while driving it, there's actually much more peace of mind one can have when you are being driven around. Also, a quieter cabin and better privacy as in case of a hatchback/SUV for no chance of peering or getting into your boot space here. A 178bhp 2.5-litre petrol motor might make you doubt its fuel efficiency. But the powertrain is actually the car's USP for it comes mated to an electric motor helping it deliver as much as it can deliver in the city, as on the highway. And it makes for a great grand tourer!

    Skoda Kodiaq – Bilal Firfiray

    Right Front Three Quarter

    Ditching the diesel engine, the new Kodiaq’s petrol powertrain is powerful, fast and equally fun. Although it’s just a nip and tuck in terms of design and interior, the new engine has changed the character of the new Kodiaq. It was an opportunity for the Czech carmaker to overcome the Kodiaq’s shortcomings with this update, but there weren’t many in the first place. So you get a slightly tweaked face and minor feature additions. The cabin is barely touched and yet we could say it doesn’t need any changes for now.

    Left Front Three Quarter

    Secondly, the fact that the Kodiaq buyers won’t be bothered about the rising fuel cost or its fuel efficiency, the petrol-engined Kodiaq has got going for itself an understated character, high practicality, a well-built interior that oozes quality, long list of features and creature comfort, and even the newer powertrain doesn’t give any reason to complain. At the end of the day, you simply cannot go wrong buying the new Kodiaq.

    Volvo XC90 – Sagar Bhanushali

    Right Front Three Quarter

    I will be honest. The Volvo XC90 didn’t set my heartbeat racing when I drove it earlier this year. It’s a little underwhelming to drive but for all other intent and purposes, it’s a lovely, posh SUV. I found it to be extremely comfortable inside and gorgeous to look at (not something you say to describe a full-size SUV, I know). At over 4.9m long, 2m across and with a wheelbase of nearly 3m, the XC90 is a big old beast and it shows in the amount of space you get inside. So, no surprise that there's heaps of space everywhere, even in the third row.

    Right Front Three Quarter

    If you are after performance or driving thrills then the BMW X5 (or even the Porsche Cayenne) would do the job better. But that’s not what I am prioritizing in a large SUV. I want my XXXL-sized vehicle to look imposing and be incredibly safe and comfortable when I am in it and it’s for these reasons I would pick the XC90 over a lot of similarly priced cars. For me it’s got the real SUV look on the outside and lots of high quality bits on the inside. Add in the smooth drivetrain and the overall refinement and it’s an all-purpose vehicle that’s worth a crore rupees.

    Porsche Macan – Abhishek Nigam

    Right Front Three Quarter

    Porsche’s have always been right on top of every enthusiasts list and it does not have to be the legendary 911. Even their SUV’s are on top of the game and the Macan even though it is their entry level SUV has the Porsche DNA stamped all over it. Now the Porsche looks great has features but what is most impressive about the new Macan is the handling. Now this is the standard Macan without any specific letters next to the name so it does not get the fancy adaptive air suspension or PASM or Porsche Active Suspension Management system which is basically Porsche’s speak for electronic damping. But even then, the Macan is pretty much a sportscar on stilts. With all-wheel-drive, fantastic chassis balance and plenty of grip, the Macan corners flat and gives you lots of confidence. And with the safety net of AWD, you can just push harder and harder. Even with all the electronics dialed in, the Macan’s playful instincts kick in with mild understeer at the entry and then a hint of oversteer as you power out of the corners.

    Left Front Three Quarter

    This is an SUV that will be happy on the roads and on a track day. And then there is the engine. 261BHP and 400Nm from its two-litre turbo petrol motor gives it plenty of oomph and apart from outright performance it’s in everyday driving conditions that the Macan really excels. The compact dimensions means it’s not cumbersome to weave through traffic and with the meaty 400Nm on tap, the Macan makes it into gaps with absolute ease. Overtaking too feels like a breeze as the Macan just passes everything effortlessly making it a great combination of sportscar and commuter.

    Pictures by Kapil Angane and Kaustubh Gandhi

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