Luxury car buyers might not be focused on their budget constraints when shopping. Instead, they may be looking for the car with the most impressive features. Statista reported that in 2020 the top five luxury auto brands were BMW, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Cadillac.
The top three brands were nearly neck and neck in sales, with a few thousand units separating each. Buyers may wonder, though, how Audi and Lexus compare? What’s the difference between Audi and Lexus? Are their prices comparable?
Each luxury manufacturer may have its own unique features. Some may be a bit more similar than others. Price points also may vary depending on the model. For example, an SUV will likely be priced higher than a compact model.
When comparing brands, it may be more beneficial to highlight their most popular models. Club Lexus reports that the top three selling models ever are the Lexus IS, Lexus ES, and the most popular model is the Lexus RX (which has sold more than two million units).
Hot Cars ranked the Audi models, and the top three picks were the Audi Q8, Audi E-Tron, and the Audi RS6 (which was ranked in the number one spot).
All About Lexus
Lexus is Toyota’s luxury brand and, therefore, is technically an import (from Japan). Lexus is one of the most popular luxury brands in the U.S. Of all the 2021 models, the Lexus UX SUV is the least expensive model in the lineup, with a base price of $32,900. The most expensive Lexus model is the 2021 Lexus LC (500 h), with a base price of $98,635.
Lexus’ third most popular model, the IS, is known as a sport sedan and offers a base price of $38,625. The IS features an advanced safety system that includes pre-collision system that detects pedestrians, lane-tracing assist, lane monitoring that offers steering assist, high beams that adjust when it detects other vehicles and more. The Lexus IS received a Top Safety Pick+ safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This is the highest safety rating awarded by the IIHS.
The Lexus ES is a midsize sedan that is offered in both a standard and hybrid option; the hybrid has a base price of $41,900, but the standard ES is priced slightly lower at $40,800. The ES offers numerous safety features including blind spot alerts, parking assistance, rear pedestrian detection and more. The ES received a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS
Lexus’ most popular model is an SUV and is priced at $45,320. Like other Lexus models, it includes numerous safety features and systems. The RX also connects to Alexa and is compatible with Apple CarPlay. The 2022 Lexus RX received a Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS. Buyers also can upgrade to the Lexus RXL which offers extra seating space for passengers (space for up to 7!).
All About Audi
Audi is owned by Volkswagen Group out of Germany. Motor Trend reported that Audi’s A3 was the least expensive model in its lineup with a base price of $33,900. The most expensive model is the Audi R8 Spyder at $160,900.
The Audi Q8 is one of Audi’s SUV models. With a starting price of $70,300, the Q8 is priced much higher than Lexus’ RX. The Q8 is decked with features, including a 360 degree camera system that allows the driver to see all around the car to aid in navigating tight areas. Like many of the Lexus models, the Q8 also offers lane navigation assistance. The Q8 also automatically keeps the vehicle safely and properly distanced from other vehicles during busy traffic situations.
Audi denotes its electric models as e-tron, and the brand has numerous electric models in its lineup. The Audi Q4 e-tron starts at $43,900. This smaller SUV can fully charge in a little over half an hour. Audi also just has an SUV called the e-tron, and this model has a base price of $65,900, With a towing capacity of 4,000 pounds, the e-tron also is capable of towing small loads. The e-tron has a driving range of 222 miles, which denotes how far it can travel on a fully-charged battery. Both the Q4 e-tron and the e-tron have enough space for up to five passengers.
Audi RS6 Avant
The RS6 was introduced in 1993, and the Audi RS6 Avant is a bit of an upgrade on the namesake. With a base price of $116,500, the RS6 Avant is a luxury investment. This model, though, isn’t a sedan and it also isn’t an SUV—it’s a wagon. It boasts a range of safety systems, including 360 degree cameras to view from every angle.
Lexus vs. Audi
The Lexus buyer might not be the Audi buyer. Both brands are luxury offerings, but buyers may opt for one over the other for different reasons. Some are brand loyal; those who have driven Toyotas in the past and trust the brand might opt for Lexus when making their luxury purchase.
Features are different for both brands. Buyers may want to explore the standard offerings to find what brand offers what they need for standard safety systems. Buyers should know, though, that as the price increases with different models, these features usually expand as well.
Deciding which brand comes out on top might be a matter of buyer opinion. However, Lexus is the better selling brand in the United States. In 2021, Lexus led sales over Audi by nearly 100,000 units.
Audi does have a major edge over Lexus, though. Audi offers electric models, but Lexus only offers hybrids. However, Lexus will be electrifying the competition very soon. Newsweek reported that Lexus’ new electric model—denoted as the RZ450e—is expected to debut later this year.
Tesla’s Luxury Offerings
In the quest for the perfect luxury vehicle, Lexus and Audi are among many brands on the must-have list. BMW is the top-selling luxury brand in the United States. However, while it might be the top selling brand, it doesn’t produce the best-selling luxury vehicle in the U.S.
According to Motor Trend, Tesla Model 3 was the number one selling luxury vehicle in 2020. While Statista didn’t show Tesla on its leader board of luxury car brands, Tesla might be edging out the competition. According to Insider, Tesla was the third most popular luxury brand behind BMW and Lexus.
Tesla’s electric lineup includes varying price points for different buyer budgets. The least expensive is the Tesla Model 3, which has a base price of $44,990. The Model 3 also has the shortest range at 272 miles. However, the longest range Tesla is the Model S, which can drive up to 405 miles on a full charge. The Model Y and Model X are the roomiest Tesla models, seating up to seven passengers. The Model X Plaid also is the most expensive model, with a base price of $119,990.
What is the Most Expensive Luxury Car…In the World?
While the top three brands in the U.S. are BMW, Mercedes and Lexus, these three brands don’t produce the most expensive car on the market. What’s the most expensive luxury car in the world?
The Bugatti La Voiture Noire wears the diamond crown as the most expensive car in the world. With a price tag of $18.7 million, this luxury car is beyond an investment. It’s also probably not a car that any buyer is going to take on the street daily. Imagine the insurance premiums!
While La Voiture Noire is the most expensive car in the world that can be purchased, it isn’t the highest priced car ever purchased. Autoweek reported that the most expensive car sold at auction in 2018. The vehicle purchased was the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO by Scaglietti, and it sold for $48.4 million. The site noted that another GTO sold for more than $70 million through a private sale.
Find the Best Luxury Vehicle with RelayCars
Car buyers looking for the best luxury vehicle can begin their search via RelayCars. Use the site to explore all the different luxury makes and models via 3D imagery and even augmented reality. Use the camera on a mobile device to drop the vehicle anywhere in the real world environment. Preview vehicles in the garage, or see how the Tesla Model X looks in the driveway.
Using RelayCars, buyers can explore vehicles from all angles. Not only can buyers use augmented reality to preview vehicles, but they also can explore 3D models right on the screen. Swap out the paint colors to see all the available color options.
RelayCars also lets buyers find the right car for their budget, too. Search inventory to find the best car at the right price. RelayCars gives buyers explorative options for previewing and lets buyers find the car that fits their lifestyle and finances.
RelayCars features all the tools buyers need to research and buy the luxury car of their dreams.