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Audi A3, Maserati Ghibli, and Mercedes-Benz S550 reviews

These new luxury models expand your choices

Published: July 2014

The universe of luxury cars is rapidly expanding. That’s clearly evident by the three models we tested for this issue, which reflect the growing range of choices in size, performance, character, opulence—and yes, price.

The redesigned ultra-luxurious S-Class, the Mercedes-Benz flagship, is a showcase of comfort, convenience, and technology. At $114,475, it’s brimming with advanced features, including active safety systems that let the car almost drive itself in some situations, foreshadowing the autonomous cars of the future.

The compact Audi A3, with prices starting at less than $30,000, is the latest in a wave of small luxury-branded models for buyers who have one eye on their budget and the other on gas prices. Derived from the upcoming 2015 Volkswagen Golf, the A3 might lack the plush, roomy environment and long list of features found in true luxury cars, but it’s a solid, agile sedan that’s enjoyable to drive.

From the sport-luxury camp comes the Maserati Ghibli, a new “entry level” model that starts at $67,000. With its potent 404-hp turbocharged V6 and throaty exhaust, the Ghibli delivers on an emotional level, but it doesn’t come together as a complete package.

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