These cars all undercut their German rivals on price, without skimping on luxury.
The Mercedes S-Class has long been the benchmark by which all large luxury sedans are measured. The saying goes that "the technology in today's S-Class will trickle down to normal cars in 10 years." The BMW 7 Series and Audi A8 have done a nice job competing with the S-Class, but they are both too expensive for the majority of buyers. The least expensive S-Class comes with 362 horsepower for just under $90,000. Power is not the only thing that matter with cars like this, but we have chosen five cheaper alternatives to the benchmark S-Class.
The Lexus LS has always been a thorn in the side of the German luxury brands. The LS was never as dynamic to drive as the German competition, but it offered a similar level of luxury for a much lower price. Lexus just revealed a new LS, which starts at around $76,000. This is around $14,000 less than the cheapest S-Class and it comes with a twin-turbo V6 that produces 54 more horsepower (a total of 416). The LS 500 undercuts all of the German competitors and offers better standard features. German cars can become even more expensive when loaded up with options, but Lexus does a great job of offering the most important features as standard kit.
The Cadillac CT6 is a unique entrant into the large luxury car segment. The car has a very reasonable starting price of under $54,000, but that is for the base 2.0-liter turbo car with 265 hp. Even the fully-loaded, 3.0-liter twin-turbo Platinum model with 404 hp undercuts the Mercedes at under $88,000. The CT6 has unique options such as a 449 hp plug-in hybrid model as well as a new feature called Super Cruise, which allows for partial autonomous driving. It may not have a well-established name, but the CT6 is the first Cadillac in a long time that puts an American car on the same playing field as the top-shelf German sedans.
Cadillac isn't the only American car company that is trying to compete with the best that Germany has to offer. Lincoln made a big move by reviving the legendary Continental nameplate. Like the Cadillac, the Lincoln has a very reasonable starting price of under $45,000. Even the top trim Black Label model with the 400 hp twin-turbo V6 and AWD only costs around $68,000. We particularly love the seats in the Continental, which can be adjusted in 30 different ways. It is nice to see Lincoln back as a true player in the luxury segment.
The Genesis G90 may be little more than a rebadged Hyundai Equus, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. We thought that the Equus was a phenomenal car, and now it has a brand that can back up its price tag. The G90 starts at around $68,000 for the RWD version with the 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6. This engine produces 365 hp, which is plenty. There is also an available 5.0-liter V8 that produces 420 hp for only $1,800 more. A naturally aspirated V8 is very unique in this segment today, making the G90 an interesting competitor in this space.
According to Volvo, the S90 is more of a competitor to cars like the E-Class, A6 and 5 Series. However, we put it on the list because of its supreme comfort and advanced safety features. The S90 shows that a mid-size luxury car can keep up with the most expensive sedans on the market and that spending more money on a car isn't the only way to get the most advanced features available. The S90 starts at around $48,000 for the T5 version, with a fully-loaded T6 version reaching over $67,000. Volvo could also be working on a Polestar version with around 600 hp, which would really give people a good reason to start buying Swedish.