Import Sport Sedan Comparison Test: An Introduction

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

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

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Jacob Jacob on Oct 24, 2009

    Poor poor Acura. They can't make it even into a top 6 list in any segment anymore. We need to come up with a new classification scheme, so that Acura, Hyundai Genesis, Volvos, Lexus ES, STS, and the like can still get some piece of action. Perhaps it could be called "quasi-luxury sport sedan comparison".

  • Anonymous Anonymous on Oct 25, 2009

    "you get to dump the Accord, and drop 50 or 60 large on a first-class luxury sedan." These are all luxury sedans, as opposed to the cheaper and/or smaller NEAR Luxury sedans, but IMHO they sure are NOT "first class" luxury sedans but rather family-friendly ones, with good sized trunks. The first class ones are: The LS 460 The 7 series The M-B S-class of course, and the Audi A8. The vast difference in prices between the above and the smaller cars tested here, even if they have the same engine CC, prove my point. Unless you want to add a class above "first Class" How about "Ruling Class"!!!???

  • Anonymous Anonymous on Oct 25, 2009

    I wrote The genesis sedan would most likely finish SEVENTH, a good distance below the Merc and the Infi. ————————— Somebody replied ? "Well, I think your biased opinion is very subjective. Genesis Interior is far better than any infiniti model." No, Your Obviously pro-hyundai biased opinion is far more subjective than mine. I do not need to save a few measly bucks by buying any of the two, I sure do not like the infiniti exterior weird styling, and have not bothgered to check its interior. I would not drive near any Nissan either, with the possible exception of the GS-R. and I could care less if one is sixth and the other seventh, or vice versa. Either way, they are at the BOTTOM. I actually tried to SAVE the genesis from humiliation if included in the test by saying that both the genesis Sedan and the M-B 350 are NOT "SPORTS" sedans, which is the title of this test, remember?

  • JGlanton JGlanton on Oct 26, 2009

    Will we be getting a writeup on the car that won the comparison? We know which car it is, by default, but can we know more about it, and why it won, and how it scored?