Even though SUVs are gaining ground in almost every segment of the car market, sedans are still going strong. In fact, they have an army of loyal buyers. Once a dominant car category, four-door models are now slowly becoming an endangered species. But no SUV can ever be as elegant and sleek as a well-designed sedan. Most people still feel that the pinnacle of luxury transport is still in a proper four-door model rather than an off-road vehicle.
But this article is not about those expensive premium sedans or those six-digit behemoths that only super-rich car buyers can own. Instead, this list will cover those mid-size luxury cars. They are the everyday sedans that are affordable yet offer a high level of standard equipment. They come with powerful engines, good fuel mileage, and the elegance of a well-appointed four-door car. Here are some of the best models you can currently buy via Car and Driver. You can also check out a full gallery of these top mid-size sedans by clicking on any photo in the article.
Where Mid-Size Luxuries Fall in Today’s Market
The mid-size luxury class falls between compact executive models like the Audi A4, Mercedes C-Class, or Cadillac ATS and full-size premium sedans like the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7-Series and Lexus LS. This means that mid-size sedans offer plenty of interior room, decent trunk space and powerful engines in all configurations. Interestingly, in the mid-size luxury class, you can find a variety of engine sizes, drivetrain configurations and power levels.
Buyers can choose from turbo four-cylinder and front-wheel-drive cars. There are also six-cylinder rear-wheel-drive models all the way up to V8-powered, all-wheel-drive sedans. Modern mid-size luxury sedan buyers care about ecology and fuel efficiency. As a result, most car manufacturers offer many hybrid choices in this class as well as fully electric models like the Tesla Model S.
All models on the U.S. market are gas/hybrid or electric with no diesel options available. In Europe and the rest of the world, diesel options are widespread. However, in America, buyers aren’t interested in this fuel type, especially after Volkswagen’s diesel scandal a few years back.
Price Levels On Mid-Size Luxury Sedans
As you may expect, mid-size luxury sedans are significantly more expensive than regular mid-size models. That’s because most upscale brands produce them. However, they feature high-quality equipment, materials, and trim, which sets them apart from their lesser cousins. For example, Acura may include some souped-up Hondas, but it deserves recognition as a premium brand. Acuras come with upscale materials and powerful engines. Also, they have an overall sense of luxury and quality.
So, if you are looking to become a proud owner of a mid-size luxury sedan, be ready to pay around $50,000. That is the average price for a model in this segment. The mid-size luxury class starts as low as $40,000, which is the base price of a Lexus ES, but it goes as high as $79,000 for the new Tesla Model S. Some models in the segment have high-performance, high-dollar versions that are in a class of their own.
For instance, BMW based the M5 on a regular 5-Series sedan but it still has an MSRP of over $100,000. That is because it has a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 with 600 HP on tap. However, those models don’t belong on this list since their price puts them way beyond the reach of the average mid-size luxury car buyer.
What Happened to the Station Wagon?
Interestingly, the once-popular station wagon body style is almost non-existent in this class since mid-size luxury cars come as four-door sedans. So it’s rare to see one in the form of a five-door wagon. Over the years, manufacturers have realized if buyers want the space and practicality of a station wagon, they will go for an SUV model. For that reason, only a few companies still offer “long roof” models on the American market.
However, this is a missed opportunity since station wagon versions of mid-size luxury sedans are quite popular in other markets. They can be a stylish alternative to the boring four-door body style. Also, modern cars are somewhat bigger than previous generations, so they could rival SUVs for practicality.
If you want to stand out from the endless sea of similarly-designed SUVs and crossovers, but still want some space as well as great performance and comfort, a mid-size luxury car is for you.