For the most part, American automakers are the opposite of their European rivals. While European automakers like Mercedes-Benz and Rolls-Royce have a reputation for building luxury cars and sports cars for the rich, American automakers thrive more when producing high-volume affordable cars for budget-minded people.
However, this is not always the case. Over the years, American brands like Cadillac and Lincoln have been getting better at building luxury cars, and now they have models that compete directly with the Europeans and even win in some cases. With that said, here are some of the 10 best American luxury cars that give European rivals a run for their money.
10 Lucid Air Sapphire
Over the last decade, the American auto industry has established itself as the front-runner in the electric vehicle market, largely thanks to Tesla’s efforts. Tesla’s success has inspired entrepreneurs to start competing companies, and Lucid has emerged as one of the most promising brands. Lucid’s first vehicle is the Air, and it’s already among the best 2023 electric vehicles.
The Air offers superb styling, a handsome interior with cutting-edge technology and high-quality materials, and an unbeatable range. There’s even a new Sapphire version whose 1,200-hp tri-motor system allows it to hit 60 mph in under 2 seconds.
9 Cadillac Escalade
Cadillac has been in business since the 1900s, making it one of the most successful GM brands. Cadillac started as GM’s luxury division, and it has grown over the years to become a respected luxury brand worldwide. The most luxurious vehicle in Cadillac’s current lineup is the Escalade.
Debuting in 1998, the Escalade was Cadillac’s first entry into the SUV market, and it has proved to be a huge success. The Escalade is now in its fifth generation and continues to offer aggressive looks, high-tech features, and a luxe interior lined with wood, leather, satin-finished metals, and designer fabrics.
8 Tesla Model S Plaid
In 2012, Tesla made one of the best decisions ever when it introduced its first mass-produced car – the Model S. The Model S sent shockwaves through the auto industry thanks to its gorgeous design, minimalist interior, and electric drivetrain with decent range. The success of the Model S inspired Tesla to build other EV models and also kick-started the electric revolution for the entire industry.
In 2021, Tesla introduced the most extreme version of the Model S – the Plaid. Thanks to a new tri-motor system making 1,020 hp, the Model S Plaid became the fastest-accelerating vehicle in the world.
7 Lincoln Navigator Black Label
Ford’s luxury brand Lincoln has lagged behind the likes of Cadillac over the years, but there’s one model that helped keep the company in business for the past two decades – the Navigator. The Navigator is a large Ford-Expedition-based luxury SUV that’s now one of only a handful of Lincoln models still in production.
The Navigator is a gargantuan vehicle with a tranquil cabin full of premium materials and comfort-oriented features like 30-way adjustable seats with a massage function. The Navigator’s top trim is the Black Label, and its sticker price of $111,000 makes it the most expensive mass-produced Ford model ever.
6 Cadillac CT6
The Cadillac CT series has given us many superb cars over the last two decades. If you want the most luxury-oriented one, the CT6 is it. The CT6 was in production from 2016 to 2020 and was Cadillac’s competitor against the likes of the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
The CT6 was the first rear-wheel-drive full-size Cadillac model since the 1990s Fleetwood, and it delivered every bit of luxury Cadillac fans expect and up to 550 hp to work with in 2019 and 2020 models. Sadly, Cadillac discontinued the CT6 in 2020, but as you’ll see further down this list, its replacement does it justice.
5 Rivian R1S
The past five years have been exciting for Rivian, from signing a lucrative deal with Amazon to introducing its first-ever model – the R1T. Rivian’s wins continue to pile up, as the company recently started deliveries for its heavily anticipated R1S.
The R1S is Rivian’s second model and its entry into the luxury electric SUV market. The R1S shares its platform and design elements with the R1T – it’s basically the SUV version of the R1T. The top-ranging R1S trim offers a range of up to 410 miles and 700 hp.
4 Cadillac Celestiq
Part of the reason Cadillac decided to do away with the aforementioned CT6 is to retool the Detroit/Hamtramck production facility to allow for EV production. Cadillac and GM in general are moving towards full electrification of the lineups, and the CT6’s successor, the Celestiq, gives us a glimpse of an exciting future for the company.
The Celestiq is a fully electric luxury sedan that’ll replace the CT6 as Cadillac’s flagship sedan. The Celestiq has an ultra-futuristic design that looks like something you’d find in science fiction movies. The Celestiq will largely follow the Rolls-Royce model, where customers design their own car as they order, then a small team of highly skilled craftsmen will build it by hand. With a sticker price of around $300,000, the Celestiq will be among the most expensive American cars.
3 Jeep Grand Wagoneer
The first thing that comes to most gearheads’ minds when they hear the word ‘Jeep’ is strong off-road vehicles like the iconic Wrangler. However, the brand recently introduced a large full-size SUV that puts more emphasis on luxury than off-road capabilities – the Grand Wagoneer.
The Grand Wagoneer offers a spacious cabin with three-row seating and all kinds of upscale features, including genuine wood accents, ambient interior lighting, and a rear seat monitoring system.
2 2017-2020 Lincoln MKZ
Before Lincoln decided to focus solely on luxury SUV production, the MKZ was arguably its most desirable model. The MKZ is a mid-size luxury sedan that enjoyed a production run from 2005 to 2020 across two generations.
In 2017, Lincoln gave the MKZ a major facelift that redesigned its headlights and grille, making it look fantastic. The face-lifted MKZ also had a new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 generating up to 400 ponies, giving it superb performance.
1 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing
If you are looking for a luxury car but still want exhilarating performance when the road opens up, Cadillac has the perfect vehicle for you with the CT5-V Blackwing. The CT5-V Blackwing is the performance version of Cadillac’s mid-size luxury sedan, and it’s superb.
The CT5-V Blackwing retains the regular CT5’s design, but it’s hiding a monster under the hood. It comes with a mighty 6.2-liter supercharged V8 cranking out 668 ponies and other upgrades like a six-speed manual transmission and carbon-ceramic Brembo brakes. With a top speed of up to 209 mph, the CT5-V is one of the fastest cars GM has ever made.