10. Audi A8 – Light in weight, but no lightweight
Base price range: $82,425-$138,825
With the recent hubbub over automakers switching to aluminum materials as a weight saving measure to help bolster a given car’s fuel economy, it’s worth noting that the Audi A8 has been awash in the alloy since it first hit the market for the 1997 model year. Now in its third generation, the A8 remains an elegant and fairly entertaining-to-drive large luxury sedan with a roomy and comfortable interior (especially in long wheelbase models) that offers an impressive array of features and solid overall performance.
The base version with its 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 is the fuel economy leader in the line (rated at 28/36/24 mpg city/highway/combined) and delivers surprisingly lively acceleration. Meanwhile, there’s a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 with 333 horsepower and an available 4.0-liter V8 that generates a generous 435 horses. Meanwhile, the fast and silky smooth 500-horsepower W12 engine leverages “cylinder on demand” technology that shuts off select cylinders while at cruising speeds to nominally bolster its still-sorry 17/22/14 mpg. The A8 remains a comfortable, roomy and stately ride that’s neither too soft riding, nor too aggressively harsh. For those having a lead foot and more sporting pretentions, the top S8 model packs a punch with a 500-horsepower V-8 engine and assorted performance-enhancing upgrades. All-wheel-drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission are standard across the line. Advanced features include a head-up display, a self-parking system and a novel accident avoidance system that keeps the brakes applied after a crash to help prevent a possible second collision.