Top-Rated 2021 Luxury Cars in Quality According to Consumers

Christian Wardlaw | Aug 31, 2021

Luxury cars aren’t vanishing from the market to quite the same extent as those sold by mainstream brands, but buyers of more expensive vehicles are similarly migrating to SUVs in significant numbers. Nevertheless, the small, midsize, and premium midsize car segments offer numerous excellent choices, as evidenced below on this list of the top-rated luxury cars in quality.

2021 Genesis G80 Gray Teaser

Verified owners of the makes and models on this list provide J.D. Power with the information on which the rankings are based. Each year, J.D. Power surveys tens of thousands of people who bought a new vehicle and have owned it for at least 90 days, asking them about problems they’ve experienced during the initial ownership phase. This information forms the basis for the data compiled in the annual J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS).

As a part of this data synthesis, J.D. Power assigns every make and model that meets minimum sample size requirements a “problems per 100 vehicles” (PP100) score. The lower the PP100 score, the higher the quality.

Listed below, according to the consumers who own them, are the four-door luxury cars offering the best quality across three different segments. They’re shown in descending order by PP100 score, putting the highest-quality model at the bottom of the list.

Note that we’ve got a separate list of coupes and convertibles that also contains luxury models, if you prefer those body styles.

10. 2021 BMW 5 Series - Find the best BMW deals!

2021 BMW 530e Plug In Hybrid Blue Front Quarter View

BMW’s midsize sedan gets a refresh for the 2021 model year, including exterior styling touch-ups, new digital instrumentation, a next-generation infotainment system for the interior, and revised powertrain tech for two of the five models.

The lineup includes the 530i, 530e plug-in hybrid, 540i, M-tuned M550i, and the high-performance M5. This year, the 530e is more powerful, while the 540i adds mild-hybrid technology to improve fuel efficiency. The M5 Competition gets a new Track driving mode and a reworked suspension for 2021.

The PP100 score for the 2021 BMW 5 Series is 166. 

9. 2021 Acura ILX - Find the best Acura deals!

2021 Acura ILX A-Spec White Front Quarter

Acura’s compact car is called the ILX. It is based on the ninth-generation Honda Civic, which means its underlying engineering dates back a full decade. It is overdue for a redesign or a replacement, and that is coming soon in the form of the all-new Acura Integra.

In the meantime, deals are available on the outgoing ILX. It comes in standard specification with a choice between three option packages: Premium, Technology, and A-Spec. They all have a 201-horsepower 4-cylinder engine, a dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT), and front-wheel drive (FWD).

The PP100 score for the 2021 Acura ILX is 164. 

8. 2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class - Find the best Mercedes-Benz deals!

2021 Mercedes-AMG C43 Front Quarter View

Now in its seventh year since its last complete redesign, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan continues in C300, AMG C43, and AMG C63 model series. The C300 offers a choice between rear-wheel drive (RWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD), while the performance-tuned AMG versions come standard with AWD. 

For 2021, Mercedes-Benz makes minor changes to the C-Class sedan. They include a larger 12.3-inch infotainment screen, standard heated front seats, and a Night Edition Package that adds blacked-out exterior trim.

A redesigned 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is expected to arrive next year.

The PP100 score for the 2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is 163. 

7. 2021 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe - Find the best BMW deals!

2021 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe Snapper Rocks Blue Front Quarter View

BMW calls this a coupe, but it’s actually a four-door sedan with a trunk. Marketing hocus-pocus aside, the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is a member of the larger 2 Series family, which ranks highest in its segment for quality.

You can choose between the 228i, 228i xDrive, and M235i xDrive. The xDrive models have BMW’s AWD; the standard 228i is a front-driver. Turbocharged four-cylinder engines provide power, and the M235i xDrive is tuned for performance. For 2021, BMW adds standard digital instrumentation and Apple CarPlay to the 2 Series Gran Coupe. 

The PP100 score for the 2021 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is 151. The 2 Series receives a quality award from J.D. Power in the Small Premium Car segment.

6. 2021 Lexus ES - Find the best Lexus deals!

2021 Lexus ES White Front Quarter

Though it doesn’t cost much more than the smaller Lexus IS, the Lexus ES is a substantially larger and more comfortable car. It shares a platform and powertrains with the Toyota Avalon, which is a full-size sedan.

Lexus offers the ES with a four-cylinder (ES 250), a V6 (ES 350), or a gas-electric hybrid powertrain (ES 300h). The ES 250 is new for 2021 and includes AWD, while other ES models are FWD. Standard, F Sport, Luxury, and Ultra Luxury trim levels are available, but you can’t get the ES 300h in F Sport trim. Yet.

In addition to the new ES 250, the 2021 model year brings standard blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic warning to most versions of the car. Also, a limited-production Black Line version debuts with blacked-out trim and a special set of luggage.

The PP100 score for the 2021 Lexus ES is 148. 

5. 2021 Infiniti Q50 - Find the best Infiniti deals!

2021 Infiniti Q50 Blue Front Quarter View

Infiniti’s only sedan lives between traditional compact and midsize models. The Q50 traces its lineage to the critically acclaimed G35 and G37 sedans, switching to the Q50 nameplate when the car was last redesigned for the 2015 model year.

Don’t look for the venerated VQ-series V6 engine under the modern Q50’s hood. Every version of the car has a smaller displacement twin-turbocharged V6 driving the car’s rear wheels. An AWD system is optional, and the Red Sport 400 is more powerful, offering more than a 30-percent increase in output for speedy acceleration.

For 2021, Infiniti adds new Sensory and Signature Edition trim levels to the 2021 Q50 lineup, slotting them between the Luxe and Pure at the lower end and performance-oriented Red Sport 400 at the top. The Q50 Luxe gets more standard equipment, while the Red Sport 400 adds carbon fiber interior trim. New paint colors are available, too.

The PP100 score for the 2021 Infiniti Q50 is 147.

4. 2021 Genesis G70 - Find the best Genesis deals!

2021 Genesis G70 White Front Quarter View

With the G70, Genesis set out to prove that it could match the BMW 3 Series in terms of style, equipment, and driving dynamics, while beating its German adversary on the value battlefield. Critically acclaimed, the Genesis G70 achieved its goals, but without a habitable rear seat or a sizable trunk.

Two model series are available. The G70 2.0T has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, while the G70 3.3T employs a twin-turbocharged V6. A manual gearbox is available, but Genesis has announced that the stick-shift is canceled for 2022. The engines power the rear wheels unless you opt for AWD.

Aside from dropping the manual transmission mid-year, Genesis also simplified the lineup for 2021.

The PP100 score for the 2021 Genesis G70 is 145.

3. 2021 Cadillac CT5 - Find the best Cadillac deals!

2021 Cadillac CT5 V Red Front Quarter View

The Cadillac CT5 is a midsize sport sedan offering your choice between a turbocharged four-cylinder and a twin-turbo V6 driving the car’s rear wheels. An AWD system is optional. Trim levels include Luxury, Premium Luxury, Sport, and V-Series, the latter a performance-tuned version of the car.

Just a year after it debuted, the CT5 adds a new Diamond Sky Special Edition model. Cadillac also offers standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a new digital instumentation cluster for most trims, and a new V-Performance Package for the CT5 Sport. The automaker’s Super Cruise hands-free driving assistance technology was supposed to be available for 2021, but it may be pushed back to 2022.

The PP100 score for the 2021 Cadillac CT5 is 135. The CT5 receives a quality award from J.D. Power in the Midsize Premium Car segment.

2. 2021 Lexus IS - Find the best Lexus deals!

2021 Lexus IS F-Sport Silver Front Quarter View

This year, Lexus gives its compact IS sport sedan a substantial refresh. It gets all-new bodywork, a completely retuned chassis and supporting hardware, next-generation driving assistance technology, and a new infotainment system. 

Lexus continues to offer three different engines in the 2021 IS sedan. The standard IS 300 has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine powering the rear wheels. The IS 300 AWD switches to a 3.5-liter V6 and four driven wheels. The IS 350 also has a 3.5-liter V6, but it makes 51 more horsepower sent to the rear wheels unless you specify AWD. All IS 350 models also include F Sport specification for maximum handling and visual attitude.

The PP100 score for the 2021 Lexus IS is 129.

1. 2021 Genesis G80 - Find the best Genesis deals!

2021 Genesis G80 Blue Green Front Quarter View

A midsize luxury sedan, the 2021 Genesis G80 is completely redesigned. It adopts dramatic new design cues that are rapidly filtering throughout the Genesis lineup, and offers a choice between a turbocharged four-cylinder (G80 2.5T) and a twin-turbocharged V6 (G80 3.5T). Rear-drive is standard, with AWD an option. 

Standard, Advanced (2.5T only), and Prestige trim packages are available. The new Genesis G80 also features the latest infotainment and driving assistance technologies, including a new second-generation version of Highway Driving Assist

The PP100 score for the 2021 Genesis G80 is 128. The G80 receives a quality award from J.D. Power in the Upper Midsize Premium Car segment.

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