2011 BMW M3Enlarge Photo
No pretenders here. Each of these five luxury family sedans boasts serious power and handling capabilities along with all the amenities consumers expect – and then some. When it comes to a luxury family sedan with V-8 power or better that is a flat-out bargain, they don’t come much better than this.
What’s not to like about the 2011 BMW M3? Start with the 414-horsepower 4.0-liter V-8 engine that redlines at, as BMW says, “a never-before-experienced” 8400 rpm, generates 295 pound-feet of available torque, and does 0 to 60 in 4.8 seconds. Add dual-clutch seven-speed automatic transmission, optional M drive and electronic damping control and you’ve got an awesome luxury performance sedan – for families or just because. Oh, and it also gets an EPA-estimated 20 mpg highway fuel economy. The rear-wheel drive 2011 BMW M3 sedan carries a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $55,900. Get more info on the 2011 BMW M3 in The Car Connection.
Mention luxury sedan and no list would be complete without one of the many potent performers from the Mercedes-Benz lineup. Case in point: the five-passenger 2011 E550 sedan, with 382-horsepower 5.5-liter V-8 engine, seven-speed automatic transmission, available 4MATIC AWD, 0 to 60 mph time of 5.2 seconds (5.3 with 4MATIC), estimated highway fuel economy of 23 mpg, and starting sticker of $57,100. Consumers in the market for a large luxury car with plenty of power backed up by innovative safety technology – including standard attention assist – might take a look at the E550. Sure, you could go higher on the ‘Benz food chain and check out the E63 AMG, but you don’t have to, unless you’re into paying big bucks.
2001 Infiniti M56Enlarge Photo
Another large luxury sedan with plenty of get-up-and-go is the 2011 Infiniti M56. Available in rear-wheel drive with a base price of $58,450, and with an M56x AWD model starting at $60,950, this potent Infiniti M pounds out 420 horsepower from a 5.6-liter V-8 mated with seven-speed automatic. Four-wheel active steering is a new option available on the M56 with the optional sport package. Optional safety features include blind spot warning and intervention, forward collision warning, intelligent brake assist, and lane departure warning and prevention systems. Highway fuel economy is estimated at 25 mpg in the M56 and 23 mpg in the M56x AWD. Want more info? See Nelson Ireson’s article in Motor Authority.
2011 Audi S6Enlarge Photo
Sporting an awesome high-revving 425-horsepower 5.2-liter FSI V-10 engine, six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel-drive, the 2011 Audi S6 sedan is quite something to behold. Not only does it do 0 to 60 in 5.1 seconds, driver and passenger are treated to luxury and a well-balanced ride. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 19 mpg, a bit under some of the other luxury sedans here, but you’re getting a V-10, after all. The base price is $76,100, so the S6 is not your average family sedan. But then, it doesn’t intend to be. For families looking for that extra edge and big power, the S6 may be just the right choice. See more about the 2011 Audi S6 here.
2011 Jaguar XF SuperchargedEnlarge Photo
Jaguar XF Premium
Driving along in the 2011 Jaguar XF Premium, you can almost hear the purr of the 385-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8. Coddled in luxury, driver and passengers in the rear-drive luxury sedan know this cat can get where it needs to go – fast and in style. Yes, it does 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. Fuel economy is good on the highway as well, estimated at 23 mpg. Heated and cooled front seating, a navigation system, a rearview camera, blind spot monitors, a touch screen and more are standard. Enough said. Good enough to run in this pack.