BMW diesel tops list of most efficient luxury cars

James Raia

BMW diesel tops list of most efficient luxury cars 1Luxury cars don’t have to be gas guzzlers. But that’s how they’re perceived. Mike Hanley, a reviewer for Cars.com, and a few of his colleagues, have collaborated to write a concise report that helps debunk the notion. It’s a list of 10 cars that may stretch the definition of “luxury car,” but nonetheless provide example of efficient luxury cars.

The No. 1 car on the list is the 2009 BMW 335d. Lots of reviewers like the new diesel not only because its gets great gas mileage with averages of 23 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway but it’s a performance diesel.

Cars.com says of the 335d: “There are other luxury cars with higher fuel economy estimates, but the 335d represents the best combination of efficiency and driving enjoyment.”BMW diesel tops list of most efficient luxury cars 2

Here are the 2010 models and one 2009 model on Cars.com’s list of the top-10 luxury cars that average at least 25 mpg on the highway, plus a comment from the reviewers:


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10. Volvo C30, Best MPG: 20/31. Comment: “The C30’s interior is a study in Swedish simplicity, with materials that are better than you’d expect in a $24,100 car.”

9. Audi A3 TDI, Best MPG: 30/42. “The A3 feels a bit down-market for Audi, but the TDI’s turbo-diesel four-cylinder makes up for that with the sort of power that could pass for any luxury car.”

8. Lexus ES 350, Best MPG: 19/27. “Copious rear legroom, a sizable trunk and a comfortable ride all add up to a car that’s viewed as a benchmark in its class.”

7. Acura TSX, Best MPG: 21/30. “The standard four-cylinder engine sips fuel and doesn’t feel underpowered, either.”

6. Lexus RX 450h, Best MPG: 32/28. “The RX 450h doesn’t give up anything in terms of luxury or comfort compared to its gas-only sibling, the RX 350.”

5. Cadillac CTS, Best MPG: 18/27. “You get the sensation of being pushed forward, not pulled — plus precise steering, responsive V-6 drivetrains and strong brakes. It’s easily GM’s worthiest luxury sedan in years.”

4. Lexus HS 250h, Best MPG: 35/34. “The Lexus HS 250h is the first luxury hybrid to come close to the high bar set by nonluxury hybrids like the Toyota Prius.”

3. Hyundai Genesis, Best MPG: 18/27. “Hyundai’s not a fancy brand, but the Genesis is a fancy car that shows you can have it all.”

2. Audi A4, Best MPG: 23/30. “The A4 combines an elegant cabin with surprisingly ample power from its turbocharged four-cylinder — plus an EPA rating of 23/30 mpg with front-wheel drive and an automatic transmission or 22/30 mpg with Quattro all-wheel drive and a manual.”

1. 2009 BMW 335d, Best MPG: 23/36. “To those who say they’d never buy a diesel-powered luxury car, I say drive the BMW 335d and then get back to us. It’s a diesel car unlike any you’ve probably experienced.”

Article Last Updated: January 14, 2010.

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