2014 Luxury Car Buying Guide

2014 Audi A7

2014 Audi A7 2

With four doors and a coupe-like roofline, this is Audi’s answer to the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class. Like the more conservatively styled A6 sedan upon which it’s based, the A7 receives a diesel engine for 2014. It’s the same V-6 that promises the same 0-60 mph time and the same 29 mpg combined. At the other end of the A7 spectrum is the new-for-2014 RS 7. It has a 560-horsepower twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8, a 0-60-mph time of just 3.7 seconds, and an EPA combined 19 mpg. The mainstream A7 3.0T and performance S7 are carryovers whose fuel economy falls between the RS 7 and A7 TDI. These are exceptional touring cars with slightly cramped rear-seat headroom and steep pricing among their few downsides. Base price range is $65,395-$105,795.

 

2014 Audi A8

The 2014 Audi A8

Audi’s big bet on diesel extends to its flagship sedan. Powered by the same turbodiesel V-6 as the A6 and A7 TDIs, the 2014 A8 TDI can do 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds while rating 28 mpg combined. Gasoline-powered A8s return in V-6 3.0T, V-8 4.0T, performance S8, and ultra-luxury W12 trim levels. The 3.0T and 4.0T offer the choice of standard- and extended-wheelbase body styles. The TDI and W12 are long-wheelbase lone, while the S8 comes only on the shorter platform. These imposing Audis offer just about every gee-whiz automotive gadget you can think of, all wrapped in stately exterior styling and gorgeous interiors. Though its more fuel-efficient, the A8 TDI is slower and quite a bit more expensive than the 3.0T. Combined fuel economy for gasoline A8s ranges from 16-21 mpg. Base-price range is $75,995-$136,795.

2014 BMW 5 Series

2014 BMW 5 Series 2

BMW’s bellwether midsize car enters 2014 with updated styling, a new diesel engine, and more standard equipment. The 5 Series lineup sounds eerily similar to that of the rival Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. It encompasses gasoline four-, six-, and eight-cylinder engines along with turbodiesel and ultra-high-performance variants. There’s a gas/electric ActiveHybrid 5, which you can learn about in the CarPreview.com 2014 Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle Buying Guide. BMW also sells a four-door hatchback edition of this car called the 5 Series Gran Turismo, which is a bit of a misnomer since it borrows much of its design from the larger 7 Series. Any 5 Series is enjoyable to drive, but their interior materials can be a bit bland compared to the best in this class. BMW also has a habit of charging a pretty penny for items that tend to come standard on other luxury cars. EPA combined city/highway fuel economy ranges from 19-30 mpg, depending on model, with most falling in at 23-27. Base price range is $50,425-$92,900.

About Chuck Giametta

This nationally recognized, award-winning writer brings to Carpreview.com two decades of automotive testing and reporting for newspapers, books, magazines, and the Internet. The former Executive Auto Editor of Consumer Guide, Chuck has covered cars for HowStuffWorks.com, Collectible Automobile magazine, and the Publications International Ltd. automotive book series. This ex-newspaper reporter has also appeared as an automotive expert on network television and radio. He’s a charter member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, the president of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Media association, and a juror for the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards. Chuck writes from Colorado Springs, Colo. If you have a question for Chuck, write to him at [email protected]