4 min read
28 Aug

Luxury cars have always been a symbol of status, power, and prestige. As we drive past the first quarter of the 21st century, we've seen a multitude of luxury cars that have left significant imprints on our minds - and wallets. These cars have stirred our emotions - for better or for worse. 

While some have left us in awe of their speed, grandeur, and innovation, others have disappointed us with their lackluster performance, controversial design, or steep depreciation. 

Regardless, the evolution of luxury cars in the last 100 years has certainly been a fascinating journey, and we can't wait to see what the future holds. Join us as we embark on a time travel, exploring the good, the bad, and the ugly luxury cars of the 21st century. 

Related Reading: A Closer Look Back At 5 Best Performance Cars From The 1990s 

The Good: The Pioneers of Luxury

1. Bugatti Veyron (2005-2015)

2015 Bugatti Veyron.

The Bugatti Veyron is a groundbreaking luxury car rightly deserving of a spot on our list of the good. With its monstrous 8.0-liter W16 quad-turbocharged engine and an unparalleled top speed of 253 mph, it was the fastest car in the world upon its release. 

Not only was the Veyron a marvel of speed, but it was also a statement of luxury, combining opulent interiors with a sleek, elegant exterior. 

2. Rolls-Royce Phantom (2003-Present)

2023 Rolls-Royce-Phantom_Series_II.

The Rolls-Royce Phantom is a timeless classic and another exemplar of luxury. The Phantom is a perfect blend of tradition and innovation, boasting hand-crafted interiors and state-of-the-art technology. 

It's the epitome of grandeur, offering an unparalleled comfort and smooth ride, truly setting the benchmark for luxury sedans

The Bad: The Unfortunate Failures

Despite their promise, not all luxury cars have lived up to the hype. Some of these vehicles, while not necessarily bad in design or performance, have experienced setbacks due to poor reception, reliability issues, or steep depreciation. 

1. Maybach 62 (2002-2012)

2002-2012 Maybach_62_Moskau Ermell via Wikimedia.

The Maybach 62 was an ambitious Mercedes-Benz project. Unfortunately, this ‘ambitious project’ falls into our 'bad' category. 

It’s on our ‘bad list’ because despite its high-end features and comfort amenities, the Maybach 62 was a commercial failure that couldn’t hold its own against industry stalwarts like Rolls-Royce and Bentley. With its high price tag and declining brand image, the Maybach 62 saw significant depreciation, making it a regrettable purchase for many. 

2. Maserati Quattroporte (2004-Present)

2019 Maserati-Quattroporte.

The Maserati Quattroporte is an attractive luxury car with more than a normal share of troubles. Despite its stunning Italian design and spirited performance, the Quattroporte turned out plagued with reliability issues. 

The sedan’s high maintenance costs and frequent breakdowns frustrate owners and tarnished its luxury status. However, the latest 2023 Quattroporte models have the ingredients to reverse this blight on the nameplate. Still, only time will tell. 

Related Reading: The 5 Best And Worst Model Years Of The Toyota Corolla 

The Ugly: The Controversial Designs

Finally, let's delve into the 'ugly' - luxury cars with unconventional, controversial designs. Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so these models may still find their fans. 

1. BMW 7 Series (2002-2008)

2002 BMW-7_Series.

The BMW 7 Series (E65) sparked heated debates with its radical design, especially the controversial 'Bangle Butt' rear end. Its avant-garde aesthetics were a departure from BMW's traditional designs, leading many to label it as one of the ugliest luxury cars of the 21st century. 

2. Bentley EXP 9 F Concept (2012)

Bentley EXP 9 F Concept Ben via Wikimedia.

The Bentley EXP 9 F Concept was met with widespread criticism for its unusual design. Its bulky proportions and awkward front end were a departure from Bentley's typically sleek and elegant aesthetics. 

Although it was intended to be Bentley's foray into the luxury SUV market, the EXP 9 F Concept was discontinued due to its negative reception. 

The Future: What's Next for Luxury Cars?

Looking ahead, the future of luxury cars seems bright and promising. With the ascent of electric vehicles and autonomous driving technologies, we can expect more innovation, sophistication, and luxury in the coming years. 

1. Mercedes-Benz EQS (2021-Present)

2023 Mercedes-Benz-EQS_SUV.

The Mercedes-Benz EQS, the brand's first all-electric luxury sedan, is a shining example of the future. With its cutting-edge technology, luxurious interiors, and zero-emission powertrain, the EQS is shaping the future of luxury cars. 

2. Rolls-Royce Vision 103EX Concept (2016)

2016 Rolls-Royce-103EX_Vision_Next_100_Concept.

Rolls-Royce's Vision 103EX Concept provides a glimpse into the future of ultra-luxury vehicles. This self-driving concept car features a custom-tailored interior, a "virtual assistant", and a zero-emission powertrain, demonstrating Rolls-Royce's commitment to luxury and sustainability.

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