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Britain’s Best Luxury Cars

We hear a lot about classic cars and their value to collectors, but plenty of modern luxury vehicles are real head-turners too.

British luxury cars are not necessarily as flashy as their American or Italian counterparts, but in terms of amazing tech, high-quality refinements and sheer prestige, they take some beating.

© Sergey Kohl / Shutterstock.com

Read on to find out about the top British luxury car brands and why petrol-heads think these are the best marques you can buy…

1. Jaguar XJ Series 

The latest facelift model of the futuristic Jaguar XJ is a stunning car.

This top-of-the-range saloon was tweaked in 2014 to introduce a better sat nav system, improved suspension, a standard eight-speed gearbox and better fuel efficiency.

More recent enhancements include advanced interior tech, a revised engine and J-blade LED daytime running lights.

Optional Pixel LED super-slim intelligent technology provides greater visibility by bending the light to the curvature of the road and adapting to your speed.

As well as the original XJR, boasting a 550 bhp 5-litre supercharged V8 engine, there’s also a new R-Sport model, with the striking Autobiography trim.

When it comes to luxury British cars, it’s hard to surpass a vehicle that enthusiasts say, “drives like a limo”, but all this luxury comes at a price. Don’t expect to pick one up for less than six-figures.

2. Rolls-Royce Wraith

The Rolls-Royce Wraith has been called the “most dynamic and powerful Rolls-Royce in history” and for good reason. A turbocharged V12 6.6-litre engine provides 624 bhp – 10% more power than even the newest Phantom can offer.

The Wraith is based on the Ghost limousine, so rather than having a sporting chassis, it offers more of a smooth ride, although the wheelbase has been shortened and the rear axle widened. Fine-tuned suspension minimises body roll and creates smoother cornering.

As a leading British luxury car manufacturer, Rolls-Royce has been perfecting the art of providing comfortable and spacious vehicles since 1906 and the Wraith is no exception. With leather, fine wood and metal covering almost every surface, the lambs’ wool floor mats add a luxurious touch.

A massive 590lb of torque from a 1,500-rpm engine can go from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds, which is quicker than many a hot hatchback.

Rolls-Royce is famous for producing cars at the high end of the luxury market and the Wraith is no exception, as you can expect to pay between £251,240 and £288,410.

3. Bentley Continental GT

The Bentley Continental GT positively oozes luxury, from its stunning wooden interior trim to its top-spec sound system.

The manufacturer has been one of the leading luxury British car brands since its launch in 1919 in Cricklewood, London. The epitome of splendour, the Continental GT has plenty of impressive tech, such as a separate valet key and welcome lights, in addition to the audio system.

Not only aesthetically pleasing, the top-of-the range six-litre model also packs some power with its W12 twin turbo engine, going from 0-60mph in just 3.5 seconds and achieving a top speed of 208mph.

When it comes to British luxury cars, Bentley are perhaps more associated with limousines. Instead, the Continental GT has a sporty feel, making its mark as a grand touring car.

The series has been turning heads for two decades, but the latest 2024 incarnation provides an elevated level of grandeur. Available in seven variants, the Speed Edition 12 celebrates the sheer power of the GT.

The smooth body is fashioned from large, streamlined, light aluminium panels, creating a silhouette that can never be attained with regular production-line cars.

A unique combination of superb craftsmanship, power and design has secured Bentley’s place as a leading British manufacturer of luxury sports cars. Expect to pay upwards of £200,000 for the latest 2024 models.

4. Lotus Emira

Lotus has a history of manufacturing high performance sports cars since its foundation in 1948 in Norfolk.

The British luxury car manufacturer is well-known for its involvement with Formula 1 motor racing, with Team Lotus having won the world championship an impressive seven times.

The first-generation Lotus Elite was launched in 1957 as the marque’s flagship creation, while the latest model, the Lotus Emira, has reinvented the sports car with a modern twist, boasting optimised aerodynamics.

Its bodywork has inherited the famous Carved by Air ethos of its predecessor, the Evija Hypercar, generating significant downforce and offering outstanding control and grip in all weather conditions.

This road-legal sports car is inspired by Lotus’s rich racing history, with the Emira GT4 model enabling the driver to switch to track mode, maximising engine output.

A first edition Lotus Emira from 2022 starts at a reasonable £65,000, while the 2024 2.0-litre turbo model starts at around £85,000.

5. Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf

Forever associated with superspy James Bond 007, the Aston Martin is synonymous with suave luxury, speed and glamour.

Co-founded by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford in Warwickshire in 1913, the brand was granted a royal warrant in 1982, making it an official purveyor of cars to King Charles III today.

The Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf is a four-door luxury saloon car credited with bringing the brand back from the wilderness in 1976 after years of inactivity.

The latest model in the series first went into production in 2015 and was a big success at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Its name is derived from the Arabic word “taraf”, which translates as “ultimate luxury”.

With its 5.9-litre engine and eight-speed transmission, the car has a top speed of 190mph. Produced under the codename Project Comet by the manufacturer’s Q Division, specialising in bespoke cars; the Lagonda features a Bang & Olufsen Beosound 1,000-watt premium audio system, push-button console-mounted controls and top-quality leather upholstery.

The prototype was first revealed in 2015 at the Geneva Motor Show with a hefty price tag of £800,000. Only around 120 have been built, so the price hasn’t dropped.

This completes our top five British luxury cars manufacturers. What do you think; have we got it right?

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