2011 Audi A4
Not every family can afford a high-priced luxury car to meet their transportation needs. Not every family wants to either. After considerable consumer input over Family Car Guide's Five Sexy Family Cars for 2011, we've put together five more 2011 cars that are not only much more affordable than mega-priced luxury makes, they're just as appealing in terms of exterior styling and offer good performance.
With its available quattro all-wheel drive system (which Audi says 80 percent of buyers choose) the 2011 Audi A4 not only takes corners aggressively, but it also satisfies as a quiet daily driver. The mid-size upscale sedan seats five and is available in three models: 2.0T Premium, 2.0T Premium Plus, and 2.0T Prestige. Starting manufacturer's suggested retail prices are $32,300, $35,750, and $41,800, respectively. All A4 models are powered by a 211-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged with intercooler in-line four-cylinder gasoline engine (named one of Ward's "10 Best Engines" and "International Engine of the Year," both for the fifth year in a row). EPA-estimated fuel economy ranges from 21 mpg city/31 mpg highway in front-wheel drive A4 with Multitronic CVT transmission, to 22/32 mpg with six-speed manual tranny and quattro all-wheel drive, and 21/29 mpg with Tiptronic eight-speed manual and quattro all-wheel drive. The Car Connection editors, reviewing the 2011 Audi A4, give it an 8.2 (out of 10) overall rating.
2011 Buick RegalEnlarge Photo
While it's priced as an affordable mid-size sedan, the new 2011 Buick Regal competes, according to many reviewers, against premium mid-size sport sedans like the Audi A4 and Acura TSX. What the front-wheel drive Regal brings to the table is a good balance of power and fuel economy, handling and ride comfort. That the Regal is handsomely designed and provides occupants with a comfortable interior with leather, French-seam stitched sport seats (heated driver and front passenger seats) is icing on the cake. The Regal is based on the Opel Insignia, which is available only in Europe. The Regal also shares some components with the Buick LaCrosse, although Regal is sportier and smaller. Available in CXL and CXL Turbo models, the best choice is the turbo with its 220-horsepower 2.0-liter Ecotec turbocharged four-cylinder engine and estimated 29 mpg highway fuel economy. Base price for the five-passenger Regal CXL is $26,245, while the Regal CXL Turbo begins at $28,745. See why The Car Connection editors give the 2011 Buick Regal an 8.5 (out of 10) overall rating here.
2011 Chrysler 300Enlarge Photo
Debuting at the recently-concluded Detroit Auto Show, the new 2011 Chrysler 300 offers head-turning style, grand touring performance, world-class ride and handling, and a host of standard convenience and luxury features - at a base price that starts at $27,170. Available models announced by Chrysler include 300, 300 Limited, and 300C, but be on the lookout for the high-performance SRT8 in the future. Both 300 and 300 Limited are powered by the new aluminum 292-horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway. The 300C gets the legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine that delivers 360 horsepower and up to 25 mpg highway. The 300C all-wheel-drive (AWD) model features a segment-exclusive active transfer case and front-axle disconnect system that Chrysler says improves fuel economy by up to five percent. State-of-the art connectivity with uConnect Touch and 8.4-inch touchscreen display, and more than 70 advanced safety and security features are other Chrysler 300 highlights. For more info, see the 2011 Chrysler 300 preview in Motor Authority.