This month of Editors’ Picks features a smattering of luxury vehicles in both sedan and SUV body styles. The new BMW i7 was a big surprise, and the Mercedes-Benz EQE is a lovely enough electric sedan to get our recommendation, too. We’ve given every other Bentley model an Editors’ Pick before, and the Bentayga follows suit. Lastly, BMW nabs a second in April with the newly redesigned X1 subcompact crossover.
In case you missed our previous Editors’ Picks posts, here’s a quick refresher on what’s going on here. We rate all the new cars we drive with a 1-10 score. Cars that are exemplary in their respective segments get an Editors’ Pick designation. Those are the ones we’d recommend to our friends, family and anybody who’s curious and asks the question. The list that you’ll find below consists of every car we rated in January that earned an Editors’ Pick.
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE
2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE
Image Credit: Zac Palmer
Quick take: The EQE offers all the niceties of a traditional E-Class in an electric form. Its design is simplistic and bland to a fault, but everything else about it is executed well.
What it competes with: Porsche Taycan, Audi E-Tron GT, Tesla Model S, BMW i4
Cons: Bland design, average range/charging speed, questionable value
From the editors:
Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — “I drove the AMG version of the EQE, and while it’s a rocketship of an EV, it lacked the ne’er-do-well nature of the gasoline-powered AMG versions of the E-Class. The interior is beautiful, but I can’t say the same for the exterior, even with the AMG add-ons. The AMG EQE is a perfect Benz, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it the perfect AMG product.”
In-depth analysis: 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE Sedan Review: A smaller, less expensive EQS
2023 BMW X1
2023 BMW X1 xDrive28i 03
Image Credit: John Beltz Snyder
Quick take: The BMW X1 is the driver’s choice in the subcompact luxury SUV segment. Its size and abundance of tech makes it a great all-rounder for anybody’s taste, though.
What it competes with: Volvo XC40, Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLB, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Jaguar E-Pace, Lexus UX, Land Rover Discovery Sport,
Pros: Fun to drive, great utility, traditional and handsome design
Cons: Interior feels spartan, value is questionable
From the editors:
Senior Editor, Green John Beltz Snyder — “This segment is a competitive one, but the X1 sets itself apart as the driver’s car. Its nimble handling gives it a leg up, but it doesn’t sacrifice comfort in the meantime. Also, say what you will about the evolution of BMW’s kidney grille, but I think it looks sharp here on the X1’s sculpted nose. This subcompact crossover is attractive inside and out, and the experience only gets better from behind the steering wheel, pointed down a winding back road.”
In-depth analysis: 2023 BMW X1 First Drive Review: The sporty one
2023 Bentley Bentayga
Bentley Bentayga EWB
Image Credit: Bentley
Quick take: The Bentayga offers a wide variety of luxury and performance. From the sportier W12-equipped Speed model to the plug-in hybrid, there’s a Bentayga for your sophisticated motoring needs.
What it competes with: Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Lamborghini Urus, Aston Martin DBX, Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600, Alpina XB7
Pros: Superb comfort in every model, great engine variety, modern easy-to-use tech
Cons: Design is looking dated, PHEV isn’t as refined as we’d like
From the editors:
Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore — “This is a tough segment to be bad in. When a chief competitor is the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, it’s got to be good. And the Bentley Bentayga is. It looks and feels the part of a powerful, stylish Bentley, conformed to the shape of an SUV. But it goes further. Rather than just being loaded, it’s creatively designed to increase the quality of life for its passengers, specifically those in the back. The airline spec seats recline, massage and comfort passengers in a myriad of ways, making the Bentayga feel like something that’s different and special. There’s leather, colorful screens and veneer picnic tables in the back, too, making the Bentayga a veritable pod of first-class comfort. How’s it drive? Not bad. It’s a 542-hp V8, after all. But the real story is in the backseat.”
In-depth analysis: Bentley Bentayga V8 First Drive | Not messing with success
2023 BMW i7
BMW i7 xDrive Oxid Grey action front three quarter around curve
Quick take: The electric 7 Series is a stupendous first attempt at a full-size EV from BMW. It glides over the road, handles shockingly well, features a gorgeous interior and is loaded with eye-popping tech.
What it competes with: Mercedes-Benz EQS, Tesla Model S, Lucid Air
Pros: Drives magnificently, great charging tech/range, pushes tech boundaries, interior is beautiful
Cons: Exterior design has few advocates, comes at a cost
From the editors:
Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — “The BMW i7 is my new favorite EV flagship. It may not look pretty, but this big electric car is an all-rounder that isn’t phased by anything. I love letting it chart its own path on long highway cruises using the hands-free driving assist, but I adore swinging it around a twisty road just as much. You can’t do any better than this if you’re looking for the best all-around full-size luxury EV.”
In-depth analysis: 2023 BMW i7 First Drive Review: A joy to drive, a pain to use