Best of the rest

The world’s top-sell­ing lux­ury car for the past 40 years has some tough com­pe­ti­tion

Hong Kong Tatler - - Cars -

JAGUAR XJ

Ian Callum left As­ton Martin to de­sign this long-wheel­base master­piece. It’s like a mo­bile sculp­ture, with a roofline that swoops to the rear like the bridge of a su­pery­acht and tail lights that look like a cat’s claws. In ad­di­tion to be­ing the best-look­ing limo in the world, it’s also the best-han­dling.

BMW 7-SE­RIES

Tra­di­tion­ally the main ri­val of the S-class, the 7-Se­ries’ Ac­tivehy­brid vari­ant isn’t quite as eco­nom­i­cal as the S400 Hy­brid, and lacks the pres­ence and lux­ury feel of the three-pointed star. Nev­er­the­less, it’s well-en­gi­neered and feels re­spon­sive. A good all-rounder, but with lit­tle pizazz.

MASERATI QU­AT­TRO­PORTE

One for company direc­tors who wish they were rock stars, the Maserati is ec­cen­tric, in­di­vid­ual and blessed with one of the finest en­gines ever low­ered into a four-seater. Com­pared to the Mercedes-benz, it’s from the dark ages tech­no­log­i­cally, but makes up for it with soul.

AUDI A8

The most un­der­stated of the Mercedes-benz ri­vals, the Audi boasts bet­ter fuel econ­omy than the S400. As a full petrol-elec­tric hy­brid, the A8 fea­tures some of the low­est emis­sions in its class, pre­ci­sion steer­ing, rapid ac­cel­er­a­tion and a very friendly price tag.

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