When it comes to the luxury vehicle class, fuel efficiency isn't typically the top priority. However, there are a handful of new cars for 2010 that deliver decent gas mileage while still delivering the level of elegance and driving performance that the upper crust has come to expect. Pamper yourself and the environment with one of these top five fuel-efficient luxury new cars for 2010:
1. 2010 Lexus GS Hybrid (23 mpg combined)
The 2010 Lexus GS 450h incorporates hybrid technology to deliver 22 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. Despite the above-average mileage, the GS Hybrid manages to return V8-like acceleration in a more efficient V6 package. The 340 total horsepower is enough to keep it neck and neck with some of the best non-hybrid luxury cars in its class. Add in the elegant Lexus styling, posh interior comfort and exceptional safety ratings, and the Lexus GS Hybrid is a great option for anyone who can afford the $57,450 base MSRP.
2. 2010 Lexus ES 350 (22 mpg combined)
The 2010 Lexus ES 350 is a mid-size luxury sedan that promises 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. For those who don't want to pay the premium that comes with owning a GS, the smaller ES serves as an excellent alternative. A 3.5-liter V6 isn't quite as powerful as the Lexus GS V8. However, 272 horsepower is plenty for everyday driving. Both the ride and interior design focus on comfort, with handling, engine noise and suspension all tuned to provide a serene driving experience. The starting price for the new Lexus ES 450 is $34,120.
3. 2010 Lexus GS 350 (22 mpg combined)
Lexus proves its commitment to fuel efficiency by taking the top three spots on this list. The non-hybrid Lexus GS 350 sips gas nearly as well as the hybrid model with an estimated 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. However, the 3.5-liter V6 dips a bit in performance with an estimated 303 horsepower. Still, unless you're looking for a more capable sport sedan, the GS 350 offers a premium build and posh comfort that makes it difficult to find anything to complain about. As such, if the $45,000 price tag is within your budget, then the GS 350 definitely deserves a test drive.
4. 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid (21 mpg combined)
The 2010 Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid is a new addition to the MB lineup, and manages 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. With a base price above the $100,000 mark, this is a hybrid that promises more luxury and prestige than any other gas/electric on the road. While horsepower is a bit disappointing for a super luxury vehicle (295 horsepower), there's still plenty of power available to get the heart racing. Interior comfort and amenities are largely unmatched by any other competitor, with features such as dual-view navigation screen, 15-speaker stereo and Drive Dynamic seats that literally mold to shape your posture.
5. TIE: 2010 BMW 528i/2010 Audi A6 (22 mpg combined)
Both the BMW 528i and Audi A6 earn an EPA rating of 18 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The BMW is an agile large car that does an excellent job of balancing rpm against mpg. The 230-hp V6 offers decent power and crisp handling. Interior quality is in line with other vehicles in its class. Base price for the BMW 528i is $45,950.
The new 2010 Audi A6 is a direct competitor to the BMW 5-Series. While performance starts a little lower than the Beamer (A6 base engine comes with 255 horsepower), the interior comfort and design is one of the best in its class. Of all the new cars in the luxury market, the Audi offers one of the best starting packages for the price. Base MSRP is $45,200.