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What does it take to be considered among the best cars of 2018? The vehicle has to be awarded high safety ratings and score well in terms of reliability to be considered. However, if the car doesn’t meet your needs or isn’t a satisfying ride, it is unlikely to get your attention or your dollars. If you are in the market for a new luxury vehicle, let us offer you some suggestions on the best cars of 2018, and how to make a choice that is right for you.

Before You Buy

Before you decide on a new vehicle, consider what your needs will be for the coming year or years. A car that is terrific for off-roading or one that handles curves well at top speeds might sound tempting, but if you are unlikely ever to use those features, it might not be the best car for you. Money suggests asking yourself questions about how you used your last car, your cargo space requirements, what safety features you feel are critical and what your daily driving needs are. From there, your needs will be more apparent, and the best brands are likely to make themselves clear (or clearer).

What vehicles were named among the best luxury cars of 2018 by Consumer Reports and U.S. News and World?

Luxury Compact Cars: Audi A4

If you are looking for a satisfying drive and responsive steering, the Audi A4 is worth investigating. It makes the list for best cars of 2018, in part, because of its sporty, yet luxurious style. Experts appreciate the modern look, high-quality interior and fuel efficiency, as well as its safety features.

Luxury Small Cars: 2018 Audi A3

Reviewers were impressed with the 2018 Audi A3. It received high performance marks and the upscale interior design and construction that you would expect from a luxury vehicle. Maintenance is low over the first five years, and there is a prestige factor to the brand that continues to attract buyers.

Luxury 2-Row SUVs: 2018 Lexus RX 350

The Lexus RX 350 has been named the “Best Car for the Money” nine times by U.S. News and World Report. The 2018 model continues the tradition with excellent reliability ratings. This vehicle is ideal for weekend trips or daily commutes with ample room for passengers, a blissfully quiet cabin and upscale materials no matter where you are seated.

Luxury Midsize Car: 2018 Lexus ES

The 2018 Lexus ES climbed the list for best luxury midsize cars because of its performance and handling in daily commutes or around town errands. It has enough power to make the daily grind enjoyable and is known for quiet rides and a suspension that makes quick and easy work of potholes.

Luxury 3-Row SUV: 2018 Acura MDX

Easy to maneuver with a smooth ride and solid fuel efficiency, the 2018 Acura MDX has made heads turn. It’s significant cargo space, and seating allows for comfortable weekenders, even when you have substantial gear. This luxury car also gets high marks for low maintenance requirements in the first five years.

Luxury Compact SUV: 2018 Acura RDX

The 2018 Acura RDX is placed among the best cars of 2018 for the money for its upscale interior, V6 engine, low maintenance and high safety scores. Couple that with the luxury upgrades and comfortable rows of seating, and this might be the compact SUV that catches your eye.

Luxury Compact SUV: BMW X3

Consumer Reports favors the BMW X3 in the luxury compact SUV class. Why? It has everything from rich appointments and comfortable seating to high-tech upgrades and world-class infotainment system. It is powerful enough to make smooth transitions, a firm suspension and excellent handling on curvy roads.

Luxury Hybrid and Electric Cars

The luxury hybrid and electric vehicle market is rapidly changing, with high-end models being introduced every year. This makes it more challenging to know how these vehicles will fare in terms of “cost of ownership” over a five-year period, but as people have dipped into these markets, experts are getting a sense of satisfaction, handling and safety.

Not surprisingly Tesla has gotten considerable attention. In fact, the Tesla Model S and the Tesla Model 3 are ranked as #1 and #2 by U.S. News and World Report among luxury hybrid and electric cars. Tesla Model S gets high marks for delivering outstanding performance, its large cabin and its innovative high-tech features.

Lexus has also made an impact on this market with the 2018 Lexus GS Hybrid being ranked among the best cars of the year in the luxury hybrid class. It receives kudos for its upscale interior, excellent reliability scores and safety ratings, as well as its potent powertrain. Others in the class that rank among the best cars of 2018 are the Acura NSX, the BMW i3 and the 2019 Lexus ES Hybrid.

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