If you’re looking to get a car with mileage like a Prius and pampers you like a Rolls Royce, such a thing does exist and what’s better is it doesn’t need to break the bank, if you don’t want it to. All of the cars on our list are capable of at least 34 mpg, which is decent for a luxury car. Since new car values drop 19% as they are driven off of the lot and depreciation increases to about 60% in five years, we picked cars gently used cars from 2014 and pitted them against each other. These are all affordable luxury cars that get great MPG, and not all of them are even hybrid-powered.
It won’t come as a surprise that the most expensive car on this list is a Mercedes, but at only $26,000 you’ll want to know what it’s about. The 2014 Mercedes E250 equipped with the BluTec produces more than 190 horsepower and a monstrous 369 lb-ft of torque. Despite these numbers it still gets up to 45 mpg on the highway. The car also lends itself to smooth acceleration, comfortable leather seats and nice mitigated body roll to accommodate luxurious cruising. Not bad considering the reputation of Mercedes.
BMW’s 3 Series has come to be a leader in affordable automotive luxury. In 2014 the 328D, its 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo diesel engine produces 181 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, and like the Mercedes gets up to 45 mpg. It’s slightly cheaper than the Mercedes at $22,000 but make no mistake, the BMW is every bit as solid and accommodating, with adaptive suspension and sport steering, and the normal bells and whistles including touchpad navigation and BMW software.
The first hybrid on this list, the 2014 Lexus ES Hybrid is a good choice for the ever evasive luxury and efficiency combination. With a 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid engine, the ES gets an estimated 40 mpg, with 200 horsepower and 156 lb-ft. It’s plenty of power to feel smooth like any Lexus, but has the efficiency to back it up. The ES will run you about $23,600 which is more than the BMW, but if you love Lexus cars that won’t be an issue. The ES Hybrid is well equipped to deliver a luxurious experience in the way of having plenty of interior room and high quality materials.
The second most expensive and the second hybrid on this list is the 2014 Infiniti Q70. While its price tag is near Mercedes’ E-class, the Infiniti has a much bigger engine at 3.5-liters and produces a lot more power, around 360 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. With that, it still makes about 34 mpg on the highway, where if what you’re after is a car that balances performance and luxury reasonably well, the Q70 is well equipped to do so. With the Q70 Infiniti has provided a primo midsize car that has muscled its way into the world of luxury, with high-quality materials and a spacious interior that all fits together like a luxury car should, and 10-way adjustable leather seats that add to the experience for the better.
The final car on our list just happens to be the cheapest. The 2014 Lincoln MKZ clocks in at $17,000 and makes a combined 38 mpg, which makes it the most cost-efficient luxury vehicle on this list. While it’s not super powerful, with about as much gut as the 328, the MKZ is a comfortable sedan, offering reasonable performance and exceptional gas mileage so for its price you can’t really go wrong. While the MKZ doesn’t have the most luxurious interior, it’s considered ergonomic and provides a solid cozy experience, where the car feels like it’s wrapping you in a big blanket.
When shopping for your luxurious and efficient commuter, be sure to consider depreciation if you go for cars newer than 2015 , and watch out for reliability and repairs or maintenance if you go for cars older than three to four years. It’s definitely possible to find a luxury car that is both fuel efficient and not a hybrid.
Avid Formula 1 fan and motorcyclist, I enjoy chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and long rides to the beach.