Nothing says ‘you’ve made it’ like a brand new luxury vehicle parked outside of your house. But when you’re plunking down a healthy annual salary on a new set of wheels, you want to make sure your hard-earned money is being well spent. With that in mind, we asked our expert panel to compare five sedans that strike the best balance of prestige, power and value.
$56,580 – $86,800
Sleek, sophisticated and chic, the Audi A6 offers incredible attention to detail and enough technology to satisfy the geek in anyone. Auto journalist Tim Dimopoulos calls the A6 “superbly crafted” and praises the car’s handling and safety features. With a little more legroom than some of its competitors, the Audi also swaddles both front and rear occupants in luxury and space. “Audi makes the best interiors on the market and it combines a gorgeous and intuitive dashboard with a spacious, luxurious cabin,” says Canada AM car expert Petrina Gentile. Under the hood, the A6 boasts a full slate of all the latest safety features, including parking assist, lane stability and even night vision for spotting animals and other hidden dangers long before your headlights illuminate them.
$63,450 – $126,300
Few cars say success like a Mercedes and the E-Class is definitely a luxury cruiser. “While not a sporty car, the E-Class exhibits an admirable combination of ride, handling and an isolation from noise and vibration that is allied to a reassuring sense of control,” says Ron Corbett of the Automobile Protection Association. Auto writer Russ Bond praised Mercedes for its seamless blending of luxury and safety features. However, the exterior styling of the E-Class was one area where our experts say this pick falls short.
$59,300 – $73,999
The Acura RLX is the flagship sedan of Honda’s luxury line. It scores points for precise steering and handling, but while it may “sizzle on the inside, it fizzles on the outside,” says Nika Rolczewski. Another knock is that it is the only model in our picks that requires buyers to pop for the priciest Sport Hybrid model to get the all-wheel-drive option. While our critics admired the power of the hybrid, they felt the RLX needs to do more to match our other contenders. Or as Petrina Gentile asks: “Why pay extra for a gussied up Honda?”
$61,130 – $114,545
The BMW 5-Series will keep traditionalists happy, but Corbett and other experts say the cabin styling is overdue for a refresh. Still, the ride and performance of the 5-Series are carefully engineered to provide maximum thrills without latte spills. The car also comes with a number of technological features, but race car enthusiast Rolczewski still dislikes the cumbersome infotainment console controls. Rear legroom is also a little tighter than with most of its competitors, but this may be low on the priority list for BMW drivers.
$55,500 – $85,575
With the lowest starting price of our picks, the Cadillac CTS is a bargain beauty. It’s a strong competitor in this field of enviable autos. Our experts agree that this isn’t your granddad’s Caddy. With its ultra-modern interior and performance, it’s more speedboat than land yacht. “It’s unique styling makes it stand out from the crowd and the V-Sport version is a stealth beast on wheels,” says Dimopoulos. Still, despite extensive marketing campaigns targeting its German rivals, Cadillac can’t quite shake its seniors’ stigma.