Buy/Drive/Burn: Large Luxury Sedans of Compromise in 2018

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
buy drive burn large luxury sedans of compromise in 2018

Three large and luxurious sedans compete for around $70,000 of your hard-earned and imaginary Internet dollars. Surely this is a segment where compromise will not be a concern, right?


Today we proceed in order of engine displacement, largest to smallest:

Genesis G90

The Genesis brand’s largest vehicle debuted as the G90 for the 2017 model year, when the new sedan replaced the prior, unloved Hyundai Equus offering. At 204.7 inches in length, the G90 resides right between the smaller Cadillac CT6 and larger Lexus LS 500 in size, but it contains the largest engine. Entry-level Premium trims start with the turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 engine you’ll find in other Hyundai and Kia cars. But stepping up to the Ultimate trim nets the full-fat 5.0-liter V8. 420 naturally aspirated horses shift this 4,905-pound sedan. Power travels to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic. The ask is $75,350, and the compromise is the badge.

Lexus LS 500

The LS model has always been the flagship sedan for the Lexus brand. A brand new fifth generation debuted for the 2018 model year, when Lexus decided it was time to shed the model’s conservative and quiet image. More in-your-face than ever before, the gigantic grille takes up nearly the entire frontage of this 206.1-inch sedan. Beneath the hood, the people at Lexus moved with the times and culled some cylinders. A 3.5-liter V6 powers the LS 500 in twin-turbo or hybrid arrangements. Today’s selection is the twin-turbo all-wheel drive version. The 4,905-pound LS is motivated by 416 horsepower and a 10-speed automatic. You’ll pay $78,420, and the compromise is the new cylinder count and some unfortunate styling decisions.

Cadillac CT6

The aluminum Cadillac CT6 has wowed North America’s relatively sparse large sedan crowd since the 2016 model year. Cadillac wanted a flagship sedan at its dealers, having been without one since the demise of the DTS at the end of 2011. CT6 rides on a unique Omega platform shared only with the Buick Avenir concept. Unfortunately, GM’s recent plant closure announcement included Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, where the CT6 is built. But CT6 will still be around for 2018 and 2019, at least. Base versions of the CT6 previously received a sad 2.0-liter Ecotec engine, but we’re not interested in that today. We’re shopping the 3.0-liter twin-turbo Sport version, which motivates a lightweight 4,217-pound CT6 with 404 horsepower. All four wheels get power, delivered via an eight-speed automatic. CT6 is a bargain at $66,595, and the compromise is a little bit of badge and a lot of discontinued car.

Even luxury sedan buyers have to compromise. Which of these three gets the Buy?

[Images: GM, Toyota, Hyundai]

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2 of 40 comments
  • IBx1 IBx1 on Dec 17, 2018

    Buy the Lexus and enjoy that gorgeous interior Drive the Cadillac because it's not a hunday Burn every hunday

  • Bd2 Bd2 on Dec 17, 2018

    Buy - G90, but would wait until the refreshed model which has more interesting sheetmetal (albeit, some aspects are a bit polarizing). Drive - CT6, already the best handler of the group and should be an even more fun drive w/ the new TTV8; also, like the G90, it's refreshed sheetmetal is an improvement. Burn - L500, ugly as sin, but what makes it worse it that the new sheetmetal/body-style takes away from the purpose of a flagship sedan - passenger comfort at the rear (the sloping roofline compromises headroom).

  • ToolGuy VW (marque not group) and Tesla very nearly switched positions on a YTD basis.
  • RHD Inexpensive gasoline appears to be a thing of the past. ILO is correct - we have enough sunlight, wind and emerging ocean wave energy to power the entire country and then some. Clean air is nice, and being free of the whims of OPEC, geopolitics and hugely profitable oil companies will do all of us a world of good.
  • Raymond Segura Can you tell me where I can get the rear bumper for 69 impala?
  • Art Vandelay some of the crazy numbers I get. Percentages look bigger with any fluctuations with low volume makes and brands leaving the market will see massive month over month changes. But what’s with Buick? I still see the occasional ad on TV and yet the drop is disproportionate even compared to all the other GM brands.
  • Master Baiter "There is no mandate for consumers to buy EVs, not in any country or state. That’s made up."Right. And you are not mandated to purchase a toilet that only uses 1.6 gallons/flush. You could choose to not have a toilet--just go in the woods, like the bears do.