Hybrid drivetrains have quickly become one way for luxury car companies to one-up each other and further differentiate their products, both at the upper end of the product spectrum as well as when launching new, more affordable automobiles. In some cases hybrid luxury cars are significantly more expensive than their gas-only counterparts, adding to their prestige, but there are a handful of models that are either priced competitively with their non-hybrid rivals or that manage to match the price of their battery-less siblings.
Let's take a look at 10 luxury hybrid cars and see what they have to offer in terms of performance and fuel savings.
The 2013 Lexus LS 600h L is the priciest sedan available from the Japanese luxury brand, and it brings with it an extended wheelbase, standard all-wheel drive, and the kind of premium trappings that favor those who prefer to sit in the rear seat and be driven, rather than drive themselves. Restyled for the current model year, the Lexus 600h L is motivated by a 5.0-liter V-8 that aims to provide twelve-cylinder power thanks to the intervention of a pair of electric motors that up output to 438 horses. The Lexus can reach 60-mph from a standing start in roughly 5.5 seconds and it offers fuel mileage figures of 19-mpg city and 23-mpg highway.
Luxury Hybrid Cars - 02 - 2013 Infiniti M35h
The 2013 Infiniti M35h is a luxury hybrid sedan that manages to balance both performance and fuel economy. The Infiniti M35h is also replete with advanced technology features, and comes wrapped in styling that is amongst the most graceful in the luxury hybrid car segment. The Infiniti's 360 horsepower are generated by a 3.5-liter V-6 that teams up with a single battery-powered electric motor, and a seven-speed automatic transmission sends that output to the vehicle's rear wheels. Fuel mileage for the quick M35h (0-60-mph in only 5.3 seconds) is listed at 27-mpg in stop and go driving and 32-mpg on the highway.
Luxury Hybrid Cars - 03 - 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 7
The 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 7 is another battery-assisted luxury hybrid car that sacrifices efficiency for increased grunt when the go-pedal is pushed to the floor. The BMW ActiveHybrid 7 crests the $100,000 mark in terms of asking price, but it also delivers a better-than-average driving experience for a full-size premium sedan. A big part of this has to do with the turbocharged 4.4-liter, eight-cylinder gas engine under its hood, a unit which works together with an electric motor to deliver 455 horsepower and 515 lb-ft of torque. The rear-wheel drive BMW is shifted via an eight-speed automatic transmission, and fuel mileage for the ActiveHybrid 7 checks in at 17-mpg city and 24-mpg highway.
Luxury Hybrid Cars - 04 - 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
The 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is notable for featuring the same MSRP as its gas-only MKZ equivalent, which gives the mid-size sedan a competitive advantage in its segment. All-new for the current model year, the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid features the automaker's typical high level of electronic goodies as well as a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that, in combination with an electric motor generates 188 horsepower. The front-wheel drive MKZ Hybrid also comes with a continuously-variable automatic transmission, and it delivers phenomenal fuel mileage of 45-mpg in city driving and 45-mpg during highway cruising.
Luxury Hybrid Cars - 05 - 2013 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
The 2013 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid isn't exactly a luxury hybrid car, but the sheer mass and practicality of this premium full-size SUV attracts a ton of attention from potential high end buyers seeking a prestigious ride. The Cadillac Escalade Hybrid features the same capability to seat as many as eight passengers as is offered by the gas-only model, and it can also be had with all-wheel drive. Its 6.0-liter V-8 engine and dual electric motors produce a total of 379 horsepower, which gives the vehicle considerable oomph off of the line. Fuel mileage for the Escalade Hybrid is reported as 20-mpg city and 23-mpg highway, which is a considerable upgrade over that of the standard Cadillac SUV.
Luxury Hybrid Cars - 06 - 2013 Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid goes a different route than BMW and Lexus in terms of electrifying the automaker's flagship full-size sedan. The Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid offers up 25-mpg during highway driving and 19-mpg on the highway, which is somewhat better than its competition. Power from the battery-assisted 3.5-liter V-6 is advertised at 295 horses and 284 lb-ft of torque, however, putting the Mercedes-Benz at somewhat of a performance disadvantage. More affordable pricing and better efficiency make up for some of that gap, as does the S-Class model's exceptional comfort and driving dynamics.
Luxury Hybrid Cars - 07 - 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid
The 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid represents the very first luxury hybrid car from Honda's premium brand. The Acura ILX Hybrid is a brand new model, one which aims to capture the demographic seeking a compact sedan that is long on features and frugal at the fuel pump. The ILX Hybrid borrows Honda's Integrated Motor Assist setup, which consists of a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine and a single electric motor that together churn out 111 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of torque. Managed by a continuously-variable automatic transmission, the small Acura returns fuel mileage of 39-mpg in stop and go driving and 38-mpg on the highway, which are top-notch figures for a premium four-door.
Luxury Hybrid Cars - 08 - 2013 Lexus CT200h
The 2013 Lexus CT200h is a dedicated hybrid hatchback, which means that it isn't based on a gas-powered platform but rather carves out its own unique niche in the luxury hybrid car world. The Lexus CT200h benefits not only from agile handling (associated with its lightweight compact chassis), and a well-put together interior that is an painstakingly assembled as that of any other Lexus model, but it also boasts impressive fuel economy from its 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine and pair of electric motors. The same configuration can be found in the much-lauded Toyota Prius, and in the Lexus it offers up 43-mpg in city driving and 40-mpg on the highway.
Luxury Hybrid Cars - 09 - 2013 Porsche Panamera Hybrid
The 2013 Porsche Panamera Hybrid blows the doors off of many non-hybrid luxury cars in its class thanks to its sheer speed and maneuverability. The four-door Porsche Panamera Hybrid doesn't give up a step to its muscular competitors due to the German brand's decision to combine a supercharged, 3.0-liter V-6 with an electric motor that together are good for a whopping 380 horses and 428 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission helps the Panamera Hybrid leap to 60-mph in 5.2 seconds, and fuel mileage for the unusually sporty sedan comes in at 22-mpg around town and 30-mpg on the highway.
Luxury Hybrid Cars - 10 - 2012 Fisker Karma
Starting at an MSRP of $102,000, the 2012 Fisker Karma is an exclusive player in the high end hybrid sedan segment. In addition to its very sexy curves, the Fisker Karma features a pair of electric motors that are backed up by a range-extending 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Battery life is good for 32 miles, after which the gas motor adds another 250 miles. Total system output is 403 ponies and 981 lb-ft of torque, which makes for fun driving, even when the car is in electric-only 'Stealth' mode. The Karma turns in 52-mpg-e, which is the EPA's measure for determining the fuel efficiency of hybrid vehicles it has determined fall more on the electric side of the equation.