We’ve all seen car commercials with a stylish sedan rolling up to a high-end restaurant or slipping through the gates of a mansion. For luxury sedans, that idea of exclusivity is part of their cachet, but not all luxury sedans are alike. Even if you’ve decided that the prestige and comfort of a luxury sedan are right for you, figuring out which one to buy is often a tough decision.
Small Luxury Sedans
If you’re looking for a small four-door luxury sedan, consider cars like the Acura ILX and Buick Verano. Since they aren’t high-end luxury brands, buyers can save some money by looking at an upscale sedan. You can pay less than $26,000 depending on the model and options you select. Regardless of which one you choose, these small sedans generally feature fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines on the base model, though some models are available with a V6 as well.
Although these small cars cost less than larger models, they don’t skimp on standard features. The Verano comes standard with Bluetooth, a USB port and satellite radio, while the ILX adds features like automatic climate control and heated front seats. Both vehicles come standard with cloth seats and offer leather seating as an option. If you frequently have back-seat passengers, both vehicles may be a little cramped for adults, but this is a common problem in this class. Still, the Verano has a quiet, luxurious interior and good trunk space.
Midsize Luxury Sedans
Shopping luxury midsize sedans allows you to choose from models that offer quiet, luxurious cabins, impressive performance or fuel-efficient hybrid powertrains.
Expect to pay at least $30,000 for some of the best-performing luxury sedans in the midsize class. For starters, check out the BMW 3-Series. It has three engines: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 180 horsepower; a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 240 horsepower; and a 3.0-liter turbo six-cylinder that produces 300 horsepower. The BMW 328i with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with either an automatic or manual transmission gets 26 mpg city/highway combined. The Audi A4 is also tailored to achieve great fuel economy ratings. The A4 gets 24/31 mpg city/highway with an automatic transmission, which is excellent when compared with non-luxury midsize sedans like the Dodge Avenger, which gets 21/29 mpg city/highway. To get higher fuel economy ratings, you can spring for a luxury hybrid, like the redesigned Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, which has a fuel economy rating of 45 mpg for both the highway and city.
Midsize sedans are roomy, which makes them a good choice for shoppers who want a family car. The Lexus ES has one of the roomiest back seats in the class. As for interior features, midsize sedans and small sedans are fairly similar. At roughly $36,000, the Acura TL has one of the most impressive standard feature lists on the market, including a moonroof, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, satellite radio, a USB port and an auxiliary input. Optional technology features, like voice-controlled navigation, a rearview camera, push-button start and a GPS-linked temperature control, can be added to the TL with the available technology package.
Large Luxury Sedans
Large luxury cars are perfect if you need extra-spacious seating for five. They also come with well-equipped cabins and powerful engines that match their higher price tags.
Models like the Infiniti M and Mercedes-Benz E-Class come with V6 engines, and V8s are optional for shoppers who want more power. If you don’t need that much power for driving around town, you might be better off choosing a luxury sedan that gets better fuel economy. If that’s the case, consider rivals like the Audi A6 2.0T and BMW 528i, which get 25/33 and 24/34 mpg city/highway, respectively. These are some of the highest fuel economy ratings in the class. Other fuel-efficient options include the Infiniti M Hybrid and the Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTec, which is powered by a diesel engine. Despite the size of these cars, most are fairly athletic. Cars like the BMW 5-Series have long set the standard for large sport sedan performance.
Large luxury sedans have some of the nicest interiors on the market. Not only are they spacious, but they are also well-equipped with high-tech performance and convenience options. Starting at $48,700, the Infiniti M37 comes standard with features like push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seats, wood trim, 10-way power-adjustable front seats and iPod connectivity.
If you’re shopping for an even bigger large luxury sedan, consider models like the BMW 7-Series, Porsche Panamera, Lexus LS, Audi A8, Jaguar XJ and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Which luxury sedan should you buy?
While small luxury sedans aren’t as powerful as larger ones, they still pack in lots of features, get good fuel economy and cost significantly less. But if you’ve got a bigger budget or need more space, midsize and large luxury sedans offer first-class accommodations and powerful engine options that can make them as quick as some sports cars. No matter what your budget or priorities are, there’s a luxury sedan out there that should fit your needs.