Vehicle Name Sorted Alphabetically Kelley Blue Book Sorted by Pricing
2006 Acura TSX

Joe Wiesenfelder says: Luxury overall Best Bet: The TSX sedan is Acura's best-kept secret — in part because it resembles the larger TL. Slotted between the youth-oriented RSX coupe and TL sedan in terms of price, size and torque, the TSX looks sharp and athletic, from its aggressive front fascia to its squared-off rear end. With a sweet six-speed manual, the 2.4-liter four-cylinder drives the front wheels with surprising oomph, and I found myself throwing it into every tight corner I could find. Modest engine and exterior enhancements make the 2006 model incrementally better still.
$12,650 – $12,650

2006 BMW 325

Joe Wiesenfelder says: Best compact near-luxury sport model: The BMW 3 Series descends from the car that arguably launched the sport-sedan category, and it has ruled ever since. It is no longer the only game in town, though, because competing automakers have finally recognized what made the 3 such a success: It's the driving, stupid. Having been recently redesigned, the 3 Series hasn't been crash-tested and has no reliability record. It's also more expensive when you consider equipment. These issues make the model ineligible for an overall Best Bet distinction, but the car gives up nothing in terms of driving excitement.
$10,300 – $12,700

2006 BMW 750

Joe Wiesenfelder says: The driver's choice: The 2006 model year brings some welcome changes to the 7 Series, most notably styling revisions that make the nose look more like that of the new 3 Series, and the tail more unified, the trunk less slapped-on. Also new is a larger V-8 and 35 additional horsepower, which help this model retain its title as the best car in its class for people who love sporty driving.
$13,700 – $16,900

2006 BMW 330

Joe Wiesenfelder says: Best compact near-luxury sport model: The BMW 3 Series descends from the car that arguably launched the sport-sedan category, and it has ruled ever since. It is no longer the only game in town, though, because competing automakers have finally recognized what made the 3 such a success: It's the driving, stupid. Having been recently redesigned, the 3 Series hasn't been crash-tested and has no reliability record. It's also more expensive when you consider equipment. These issues make the model ineligible for an overall Best Bet distinction, but the car gives up nothing in terms of driving excitement.
$11,750 – $13,550

2006 BMW 650

Joe Wiesenfelder says: Best luxury two-door: The BMW 6 Series is significant in many ways. It's the first 6 Series since 1989, which is interesting, and it's the first of BMW's new designs that actually works, which is a revelation. Critics have belittled American-born chief designer Chris Bangle for the design direction reflected in the 7 Series, Z4 and 5 Series. The 6 Series finally breaks through with styling that goes beyond the acceptable to the stunning.
$19,750 – $22,200

2006 Infiniti G35

Joe Wiesenfelder says: 3 Series on a budget: For an example of how important the driving experience is in entry-level luxury cars, look no further than the Infiniti G35, one of the first models to land in the 3 Series' ballpark. The interior isn't ultraluxurious, but it has improved over time. The G35 is the model that ushered in Infiniti's resurgence, and it's been a big success. The 3 Series formula — rear-wheel drive, a gutsy six-cylinder and an exquisite six-speed manual — is the engine of the G35's success.
2006 Infiniti M45

Joe Wiesenfelder says: Near-luxury, luxury overall Best Bet: Simply put, the M sedan is a tour de force. Compare price and equipment, and the BMW 5 Series falls behind. While the M lacks a manual transmission option, it otherwise goes toe-to-toe with its German competition. Sport isn't the only consideration, though, and the M sedan manages to stand out in terms of luxury with a rich, modern interior that puts the Lexus GS sedan to shame, plus a bevy of well-executed high-tech features and gadgets that competitors can't match.
$16,650 – $18,050

2006 Infiniti FX45

Joe Wiesenfelder says: Luxury sport on a shoestring: Freshened styling and the inclusion of more standard features make the 2006 model even more attractive. Audacious looks, rear-biased all-wheel drive, a 320-hp V-8 and a firm suspension make the FX45 go like a shot and corner flatter than flat. Infiniti wasted no weight or cost making this beast an off-roader. Its 20-inch wheels are meant for pavement and do a great job of sticking you there.
$17,450 – $17,450

2006 Infiniti FX35

Joe Wiesenfelder says: Luxury sport on a shoestring: Freshened styling and the inclusion of more standard features make the 2006 model even more attractive. Infiniti wasted no weight or cost making this beast an off-roader.
$16,050 – $16,050

2006 Infiniti M35

Joe Wiesenfelder says: Near-luxury, luxury overall Best Bet: Simply put, the M sedan is a tour de force. Compare price and equipment, and the BMW 5 Series falls behind. While the M lacks a manual transmission option, it otherwise goes toe-to-toe with its German competition. Sport isn't the only consideration, though, and the M sedan manages to stand out in terms of luxury with a rich, modern interior that puts the Lexus GS sedan to shame, plus a bevy of well-executed high-tech features and gadgets that competitors can't match.
2006 Jaguar XJ

Joe Wiesenfelder says: Grace in motion: The XJ, Jaguar's flagship sedan, is a beautiful car whose athleticism and poise took me by surprise. Cutting-edge all-aluminum construction makes the car light and surprisingly quick, even in the XJ8 and Vanden Plas trim grades. The XJR's supercharger shaves roughly a second from the zero-to-60-mph sprint, but it's best appreciated in the effortless passing at any speed.
$10,450 – $13,750

2006 Land Rover Range Rover

Joe Wiesenfelder says: The ultimate luxury SUV: One could argue that luxury and off-roading don't go together. But if you're of the school that believes luxury SUVs should handle the luxury and SUV roles well, the Range Rover is unmatched. Reengineered by BMW when it owned the Rover Group briefly at the end of the 20th century, the Range Rover is every bit as technologically advanced and capable off-road as anything from Hummer or Mercedes-Benz, and far more luxurious, refined and comfortable.
$17,900 – $24,100

2006 Lexus LS 430

Joe Wiesenfelder says: Most comfortable: While its size compares to the imported "prestige" flagship sedans such as Audi's A8 L, BMW's 745, Jaguar's XJ series and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, its base price is closer to Mercedes' smaller E-Class — at least until you add the optional doo-dads. Upgrades in 2004 made the LS 430 a bit quicker and sportier, but what it does best — and better than the other cars — is comfort. It isolates occupants from the road and environment like no other.
$18,300 – $18,300

2006 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Joe Wiesenfelder says: Best luxury roadster: Though roadsters tend to be designed for sport, the SL500's 2-ton heft makes it slower than one would expect from its 5.0-liter V-8. I also can't attach the sport designation to any Mercedes with the company's electrohydraulic brakes. (It's a worthy experiment, but it compromises fine control and pedal feel too much, disqualifying even the uber-expensive and lightning-quick SL600 and SL65 AMG versions.)
$21,500 – $37,500

2006 Volvo S80

Joe Wiesenfelder says: Overall full-size luxury Best Bet: Considering that the S80 will be redesigned later in the year as a 2007 model, the current generation has matured well. While it hasn't yet been subjected to IIHS' side-impact crash test, the model has performed as you'd expect a Volvo to, with scores of Good, the highest possible, in the frontal and rear-impact tests. The S80 has a well-appointed, not-overdone interior with excellent seats.
$10,850 – $10,850

2006 Volvo S40

Joe Wiesenfelder says: Entry-level luxury overall Best Bet: Three passengers estimated the $24,735 Volvo S40 sedan's value at $28,000, $30,000 and $33,000. That alone tells you something. The car's interior room, which is just shy of the larger S60 sedan's, tells you something else. A drive tells you that a new Volvo not only looks better but also drives better than the boxy models of the past. People who consider a used Volvo for their kids or themselves for the brand's promised safety now have an affordable new-car alternative.
$8,775 – $9,850

2006 Volvo V50

Joe Wiesenfelder says: Entry-level luxury overall Best Bet: Three passengers estimated the $24,735 Volvo S40 sedan's value at $28,000, $30,000 and $33,000. That alone tells you something. The car's interior room, which is just shy of the larger S60 sedan's, tells you something else. A drive tells you that a new Volvo not only looks better but also drives better than the boxy models of the past. People who consider a used Volvo for their kids or themselves for the brand's promised safety now have an affordable new-car alternative.
$7,250 – $9,125