Buy/Drive/Burn: Untouchable Large Luxury Sedans of 2018

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

Our last few entries in the Buy/Drive/Burn series have been stuck in the 1990s, and we’ve had a request recently to talk about something a bit newer, perhaps even… current. While you recover from your immediate shock, I can assure you we aren’t going completely mainstream. No talking about boring everyday things. No, these three will likely all qualify as Rare Rides subjects in the future, assuming I’m 70 years old and there’s still an Internet media (hopefully there isn’t).

Three untouchable large sedans, all of them trading on their luxury intentions. Remember, you only get to burn one, and one has to go home to your garage.

Acura RLX

Acura’s replacement for the long-running RL nameplate has been with us since 2014, undergoing a significant facelift for the 2018 model year. Prices on the RLX start at $54,900. For that chunk of change you get standard leather and navigation, and power is generated by Honda’s 3.5-liter V6 engine, sending 310 horsepower through the 10-speed transmission to the front wheels. (Off limits is the hybrid all-wheel drive version, which costs $7,000 more.)

Infiniti Q70

The oldest model of our trio, the Q70 actually dates back to when it was called the M37; a redesign gave it the metal it wears today. A minor visual update occurred in 2014, when Infiniti branding underwent the change from various letters to “Q.” The value-priced option of our trio, the base 3.7 LUXE trim sends all 330 horsepower to the rear wheels and comes with leather and navigation. It’s yours for $51,000.

Kia K900

Available in 2013 in the North American market, Kia’s largest sedan replaced the unfortunately styled Kia Amanti. While a new K900 has debuted, that one will be a 2019 model. Our contender is the one we’re used to seeing — or rather, not seeing very often. Kia had enough inventory of 2017 models to cover the 2018 model year; the newest K900 you can buy in the current year is the 2017 model. Today’s price bracket nets you a V6 Luxury trim, with a 3.8-liter sending 311 horsepower to the rear wheels. Upgraded Nappa leather is standard on the $54,900 Luxury, as well as the shift-by-wire transmission and a navigation system.

Three loaded-up large sedans, virtually untouchable per every possible sales metric. Which goes home with you, and which one burns away to molten lava?

[Images: Acura, Infiniti, Kia]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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2 of 81 comments
  • Farhad Farhad on Mar 31, 2018

    Buy: Acura. Shall be the best resale value. Drive: Infiniti. Nicer than the others, and more fun to drive. Burn: Kia. Ugly and no resale value.

  • John Horner John Horner on Apr 03, 2018

    Don't buy any of them new. Wait three years and buy a CPO off lease version for 50% or more off. Of these three, the Infinity is the most interesting. The Acura RL/RLX has been an also ran forever. I would happily drive one if it showed up in the garage, but wouldn't buy it. The K900 might be ok at 75% off original price :).

  • Foo Eh. Net present value is in the red, once you add in rapidly rising insurance, late by months basic repairs-and-no availability, battery replacement, future hazmat recycling fees, and even faster depreciation. Wait until litigants win for "too heavy" in accidents... The math is brutal but if you value virtue signalling, some will pay anything.
  • Lynchenstein @EBFlex - All ICEs are zero-emission until you start them up. Except my mom's old 95 Accord, that used to emit oil onto the ground quite a lot.
  • Charles The UAW makes me the opposite of patriotic
  • El scotto Wranglers are like good work boots, you can't make them any better. Rugged four wheel drive vehicles which ironically make great urban vehicles. Wagoneers were like handbags desired by affluent women. They've gone out of vogue. I can a Belgian company selling Jeep and Ram Trucks to a Chinese company.
  • El scotto So now would be a good time to buy an EV as a commuter car?