Luxury sedans review

Revamped models from Audi, Cadillac, and Mercedes-Benz appeal to different tastes

Published: January 2014

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When you’re paying $60,000 or $70,000 for a luxury sedan, you expect to get a sumptuous interior, potent performance, a long list of features, extra comfort and convenience, and plenty of high-tech wizardry. But you also want a car that embraces your individual tastes and driving style.

Each of the three models we tested for this issue—the diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTec and Audi A7, and the freshly redesigned Cadillac CTS—delivers in its own way. And each uses a distinctive formula to appeal to different buyers.

The new E250 is perhaps the most rational luxury car you’ll find. It mixes a posh interior with an ultra-efficient turbodiesel engine, an 800-mile highway driving range, an impressive balance of ride and handling, and the type of practicality that makes it easy to live with. That combination earned it a stellar 98 score in our testing, which is second only to the Tesla Model S, at 99.

In contrast, the sleek  A7, with its sloping roof and coupelike body, puts the emphasis on style and pizzazz. What’s hidden beneath that sleek silhouette, however, is a luxurious and functional cabin and a spirited turbodiesel V6 engine that—at 28 mpg overall—is almost as efficient as the E250’s. Though the styling compromises rear visibility, the  A7’s hatchback design provides a healthy measure of practicality. All of that helped the  A7 peg a solid score of 95, making it another of the highest-rated cars we’ve tested.

The Cadillac CTS is geared for the sports-sedan enthusiast. With its potent 321-hp V6 engine, excellent driving dynamics, and well-crafted interior, the CTS is legitimately fun to drive. But in our testing it lost points on practicality because of a relatively tight rear seat and trunk and the cumbersome, frustrating controls of its Cue infotainment system.

Editor's Note:

This article also appeared in the March 2014 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

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