Top 10 Fuel-Efficient Luxury Cars

Luxury cars are often perceived as not fuel efficient. While some of them aren't — hello, Range Rover — there are many that get gas mileage that's as good as or better than your mainstream family sedan. From an initial list of luxury cars that get better than 25 mpg on the highway, below are our 10 favorites. Note that the fuel economy figures listed represent the best possible ratings for the model; engine, transmission and drivetrain choices may result in lower EPA estimates.

10. 2010 Volvo C30

Best MPG: 21/30
With the C30, Volvo hoped to follow the success of the Mini Cooper with its own near-luxury compact car that delivers a sporty driving feel. The C30's interior is a study in Swedish simplicity, with materials that are better than you'd expect in a $24,100 car. Its hatchback design offers more style than the norm, too, so you'll look good while getting good mileage.
Find This Car Near You

9. 2010 Audi A3 TDI

Best MPG: 30/42
The A3 feels a bit down-market for Audi, but the TDI's turbo-diesel four-cylinder makes up for that with the sort of power that could pass for any luxury car. This thing moves out swiftly, and it gets an astonishing 30/42 mpg city/highway. Judging by our observed mileage in other TDI cars, there's a good chance you'll exceed those figures. Diesel exhaust is hardly the smelly affair it was years ago — nor is diesel fuel as pricey as it was months ago. On both counts, the A3 TDI stands to benefit.
Find This Car Near You

8. 2010 Lexus ES 350

Best MPG: 19/27
The Lexus ES has been a popular entry-level luxury sedan for years. In addition to thrifty fuel use for its size, the ES' cabin refinement is impressive, which helps explain why this car still sells well despite tough competition. Copious rear legroom, a sizable trunk and a comfortable ride all add up to a car that's viewed as a benchmark in its class.
Find This Car Near You

7. 2010 Acura TSX

Best MPG: 21/30
Acura has always offered luxury cars for a comparatively affordable price, and the TSX delivers a lot for less than $30,000. While it isn't a sport-sedan star or a cushy cruiser, it offers a respectable combination of both genres. The standard four-cylinder engine sips fuel and doesn't feel underpowered, either. Acura's new design language isn't universally liked, but on the TSX it's relatively subdued, making it more appealing to the masses.
Find This Car Near You

6. 2010 Lexus RX 450h

Best MPG: 32/28
We know that not every luxury shopper searching for fuel efficiency wants a sedan, which leads us to the Lexus RX 450h luxury hybrid crossover. Redesigned for 2010, the RX 450h notched significant fuel economy gains over its predecessor, the RX 400h, which was rated at 27/24 mpg for the front-wheel-drive model. What's more, the RX 450h doesn't give up anything in terms of luxury or comfort compared to its gas-only sibling, the RX 350.
Find This Car Near You

5. 2010 Cadillac CTS

Best MPG: 18/27
Passengers will be impressed by the CTS' hand-stitched dashboard and rising-screen navigation system, and they'd probably be surprised to know you can get highway mileage in the high 20s. The car has all the other credentials of a bona fide sport sedan: true rear-wheel-drive handling — so you get the sensation of being pushed forward, not pulled — plus precise steering, responsive V-6 drivetrains and strong brakes. It's easily GM's worthiest luxury sedan in years.
Find This Car Near You

4. 2010 Lexus HS 250h

Best MPG: 35/34
To date, mileage advantages among luxury hybrids have ranged from insignificant to ... respectable. The Lexus HS 250h is the first luxury hybrid to come close to the high bar set by nonluxury hybrids like the Toyota Prius. Like other Lexus models, the HS isn't as quick or sporty as some luxury sedans, but it has the qualities Lexus buyers have come to expect.
Find This Car Near You

3. 2010 Hyundai Genesis

Best MPG: 18/27
The Hyundai Genesis sedan won our Cars.com New Car of the Year Award for 2009, so you can imagine how highly we think of it overall. One of the many reasons is its excellent gas mileage with no acceleration penalty. If 18/27 mpg doesn't sound impressive, check out comparable full-size luxury sedans. Even the V-8 model's 17/25 mpg puts most to shame. Hyundai's not a fancy brand, but the Genesis is a fancy car that shows you can have it all.
Find This Car Near You

2. 2010 Audi A4

Best MPG: 23/30
The A4 combines an elegant cabin with surprisingly ample power from its turbocharged four-cylinder — plus an EPA rating of 23/30 mpg with front-wheel drive and an automatic transmission or 22/30 mpg with Quattro all-wheel drive and a manual. One caveat: Get a Quattro automatic, as many buyers do, and mileage drops to a less enthralling 21/27 mpg. That's more in the neighborhood of two-wheel-drive competitors, though, and given the A4 Quattro's all-weather capabilities, it's still pretty impressive.
Find This Car Near You

1. 2009 BMW 335d

Best MPG: 23/36
To those who say they'd never buy a diesel-powered luxury car, I say drive the BMW 335d and then get back to us. It's a diesel car unlike any you've probably experienced, what with its abundant low-end torque, quiet operation and cleaned-up emissions. Plus, the 335d retains all of the winning ride and handling characteristics of the gas-powered 3 Series. There are other luxury cars with higher fuel economy estimates, but the 335d represents the best combination of efficiency and driving enjoyment.
Find This Car Near You

Kelsey Mays, David Thomas and Joe Wiesenfelder contributed to this story.

© Cars.com 7/20/10