The 2014 Luxury Car Buying Guide from CarPreview.com is an inside look at what’s new for some of the classiest cars you can buy. Automakers in this segment are in a never-ending game of one upsmanship. Powerful engines, sumptuous cabins, and cutting-edge safety, convenience, and connectivity features are expected, and present. The differences lie in the details and overall execution.
All 19 vehicles in our 2014 Luxury Car Buying Guide will coddle you and provide the latest in in-car infotainment, including personal concierge services that can assist with restaurant reservations, event tickets, and travel arrangements. Some models emphasize occupant comfort and you won’t necessarily find them carving mountain switchbacks. But if you crave a fully engaged driving experience, fear not: plenty of luxury cars scratch that itch.
Our guide includes midsize to large cars, with some manufacturers offering both regular- and extended-length bodies in the same model line. Sedan body styles rule, but the Audi A7 and Porsche Panamera are actually four-door hatchbacks. Most of these cars are designed around the handling balance of rear-wheel drive, but virtually all also offer all-wheel-drive (AWD); the base Audi A6 and Acura RLX and the Lexus ES are front-drive-only exceptions. Engine choices include turbocharged four-cylinders and turbocharged or supercharged sixes and V-8s; the Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series also offer 12-cylinder models. Horsepower ranges from 220 to 577, base prices from $36,120 to $201,495.
Here is our 2014 Luxury Car Buying Guide:
2014 Acura RLX
After taking the 2013 model year off Acura’s flagship sedan is redesigned for 2014 as the RLX. Previously called the RL, this midsize luxury sedan has updated styling, new features, and an upcoming all-wheel-drive hybrid model that promises 377 horsepower while earning a 30-mpg combined city/highway fuel-economy rating. The mainstream RLX has front-wheel drive, a 310-horsepower V-6 engine, and rates 30 mpg combined. We haven’t tested the RLX hybrid yet. Though spacious and a competent overall performer, the mainstream RLX doesn’t excel in any area. Lack of a V-8 and rear-wheel drive might turn off some performance enthusiasts. Prices for the front-drive RLX start at $49,345. While Acura has not said what the AWD hybrid version will cost, expect it to be in the $70,000 range. (Base prices in the 2014 Luxury Car Buying Guide do not include optional equipment but do include manufacturer destination fees, which average around $900.)
2014 Audi A6
Audi’s midsize sedan makes news for 2014 with introduction of a diesel-powered model. The A6 TDI uses a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 the German maker says will propel the car from 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds while rating 29 mpg city/highway combined. In the gas-engine lineup, the four-cylinder A6 2.0T gets a 10-horsepower bump to 220 for model-year 2014, while the V-6 3.0T and potent S6 models are mostly unchanged. Audi offers the 2.0T with front-wheel drive or the brand’s quattro all-wheel drive; all other A6 models are AWD only. Combined fuel-economy estimates are 28 mpg for the front-drive 2.0T, 23 for the AWD 2.0T, 22 for the 3.0T, and 20 for the S6. The A6 line has something for just about every luxury-car shopper, while boasting solid performance and class-defining interior design and decor. Though the diesel engine promises to be the most fuel efficient, it commands a noticeable price premium over the gasoline four- and six-cylinder models. Base price range is $43,995-$74,295.