So, after years of toil, you’ve arrived – a six figure salary, 80 hour workweeks, and Blackberry-enhanced vacations. But it’s not all toil at the executive level – you get to dump the Accord, and drop 50 or 60 large on a first-class luxury sedan.
But we’re not talking about yesterday’s luxury sedans, which handled like the Exxon Valdez – we’re talking about high-performance sedans that can pin you back in your seat, run like a sports car in the corners, coddle you in sybaritic comfort, and dazzle your friends with their high-tech toys.
Mercedes-Benz invented this market segment with the E-class, and BMW followed suit with the 5-series; these German warriors are still the top sellers in this class, so they’re represented here, respectively, by the all-new E350 and 535xi. From down the road in Ingolstadt comes the Audi A6, newly invigorated for 2009 with a supercharged engine.
But Deutschland isn’t the only source of dream sedans – England has a long tradition of making sumptuous sedans with scoot, and the sexy new Jaguar XF carries on a classy tradition, without the Camelot-era styling. Japan got into the game quite a while ago, bringing the concept of value to the luxury sport sedan segment. That tradition is represented here by the Lexus GS350 and Infiniti M35. In theory, the Volvo S80 and Acura RL could have been invited, but frankly, embarrassment is not something you dole out lightly.
So which one of our six success-mobiles fits the bill best? Each day this week we’ll roll out another result, working towards our test winner on Friday.
Second Place: Audi A6 3.0T
Third Place: Jaguar XF
Fourth Place: Lexus GS350
Fifth Place: Mercedes-Benz E350
Sixth Place: Infiniti M35x