There are many reasons luxury cars can make the perfect family vehicle: a quiet interior that lets passengers hold a conversation without yelling; seats and a suspension that make long family roadtrips comfortable; and the technology and safety features that are only available on higher end models. While some have back seats that are a bit tight for adults, most should be fine for children, and many are available with fabrics and trims that are easier to clean than the cloth found in normal sedans. If you have the means, why not ride in style and comfort? Let’s take a look at some of the choices in the luxury family car segment.
10 Luxury Family Cars for 2016
Photo Credit: Acura
The Acura TLX is a four-door luxury sedan that straddles the line between a midsize and a compact, with a seemingly smallish exterior that surrounds a roomy interior. The TLX is available with a more than adequate—but not super quick—four-cylinder engine backed by an eight-speed dual clutch transmission with a torque convertor, or a more powerful V6 and nine-speed automatic that can also be paired with Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system. The TLX comes well equipped and the interior is quiet and comfortable, but the materials aren’t quite up to the standard set by the Germans. If you’re looking for a car just a bit bigger than the typical compact, or just a little bit smaller than the typical mid-size, the Acura TLX might just fit the bill.
Photo Credit: Audi
The Audi A6 is a four-door mid-size luxury sedan that is available in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive configurations. Available engines include a turbocharged four-cylinder, a supercharged V6, and in the high performance S6, a turbocharged V8. The exterior is good-looking, though a bit conservative, and while the interior features high quality materials, there is a lot going on. The front seats are quite roomy, but there is less space in the back than many of its competitors, and trunk space is a bit lacking. If you try to take every measure to protect your family, the Audi A6 might be the car for you, as it receives the top rating in all crash test categories, and is available with a suite of active safety systems.
Photo Credit: BMW
BMW 5 Series
The latest generation of the BMW 5 Series continues its tradition of being a luxurious yet sporty mid-size car, but it is now available in both sedan and Gran Turismo body styles. The 5 Series is available in rear- or all-wheel drive, and a wide variety of engines, including a four-cylinder, inline-6, V8, and diesel—all of which make use of turbocharging for both power and economy. For even better fuel economy the ActiveHybrid 5 is available, while those looking for more power should test the high-performance M5. Base models are well equipped, and even the less powerful engines are eager to be driven. A new 5 Series should be out in the next year or two, but the current version is still one of the best luxury family cars available.
Photo Credit: General Motors
The four-door CTS is Cadillac’s answer to Germany’s rear-wheel drive luxury sedans, with an edgy exterior look and a high-quality interior. Both standard and available features are roughly comparable to the Germans, and the CTS features a range of competitive engines, from frugal four-cylinders to high-power V8s. The top of the line (and most powerful) CTS-V version is arguably a better car than its rivals, thanks to a 640-horsepower supercharged V8 engine, Magnetic Ride Control System, Brembo brakes, and grippy tires. The CTS-V is also supercar quick, with the run from 0-60 mph taking only 3.7 seconds, and a top speed of 200 mph. Whether you’re looking to buy American, or you just want the best car available, make sure to consider the CTS.
Photo Credit: Infiniti
The Infiniti Q70 is a 4-door mid-size luxury sedan that features unique curvaceous exterior styling and an attractive interior covered in wood and leather. The front seats are great, with plenty of room, while the back seats may be a bit cramped for taller passengers (though that’s not a problem in the extended-wheelbase Q70L and its 5.9 inches of extra knee room). The Q70 is powered by either a V6, a V8, or a hybrid powertrain, but unlike some of the other cars in this list, all of the Q70’s engines are normally aspirated; while smooth and powerful, fuel economy isn’t nearly as good as some of its rivals. The suspension has been tuned to be on the sporty and stiff side, but it manages to be comfortable and controlled at the same time. If you’re looking for something a little different, take a look at the Q70.
Photo Credit: Jaguar
The Jaguar XF uses lightweight aluminum construction in order to help reduce weight, and therefore increase performance and efficiency. Power comes from one of two supercharged V6 engines, either in 340 horsepower tune, or a slightly more powerful 380 horsepower version. Both engines are backed solely by an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, and they can both be had in either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive configuration. Weight distribution is almost spot on, and handling is an excellent compromise between sporty and comfortable. The beautifully crafted interior is roomy enough to seat four adults comfortably, and the trunk is large enough to swallow a weekend’s worth of their luggage as well. Overall, the Jaguar XF is a very nice package.
The Lexus GS is a four-door mid-size luxury sedan, but one that is geared more towards performance than the rest of Lexus’ models. The GS sports a sharp exterior and an interior that features high quality leathers and real wood. The cabin is roomy in the front, but a bit tight in the back for taller adults. Powertrain choices include a turbocharged four-cylinder, a normally aspirated V6, and a hybrid. The entry level four-cylinder isn’t a quick car, but it should have sufficient power for most drivers; the V6 is significantly more powerful, which ups the fun factor correspondingly. The GS F is even more performance oriented, and comes with a normally aspirated V8, a torque vectoring differential, an upgraded suspension with Sachs shocks, Brembo brakes, and more aggressive styling.
Photo Credit: Lincoln
The MKZ is Lincoln’s entry in the mid-size luxury market, and one that represents a slight change in direction for the brand, with modern dignified styling and a smooth clean interior. Several powertrain options are available, including a turbocharged four-cylinder and a normally-aspirated V6, both of which are available in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive, and a front-wheel drive only hybrid. While the Lincoln’s driving dynamics aren’t up to the standards set by the best in the class, the MKZ is less expensive than most and does come nicely loaded. If you’re looking for a luxurious car, but are more interested in fuel economy than best-in-class performance, the MKZ is a strong contender.
Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is available in a wide variety of body styles, including sedan, coupe, cabriolet, and station wagon. Engine options run the gamut from twin-turbo diesels and normally-aspirated V6s, to twin-turbocharged V6s and the high-performance AMG biturbo V8. As you’d expect for a Mercedes-Benz, the interior can be ordered trimmed with wood and leather and myriad options. Sedan versions seat five, coupe and cabriolet versions seat four, while wagons offer family-friendly seating for seven. On most versions, the suspension has been tuned more for ride comfort than for performance; stepping up to the AMG model transforms the E-Class into a much sportier ride, but one that still isn’t as agile as some of its better rivals. If we were in the market for a family car and had the money, an AMG E63 S wagon would be near the top of our list.
Photo Credit: Volvo
The S80 is Volvo’s entry in the mid-size luxury class, though one with a focus more on safety than on performance. While this version of the S80 has been with us for almost ten years, numerous updates have kept it relatively fresh—at least inside, where the excellent seats are comfortable, even during longer trips. There is no hybrid option, but the turbocharged four-cylinder (the only available engine) is quite frugal, though not particularly powerful. As you’d expect from a Volvo, the S80 has been rated Good in every category by the IIHS (it hasn’t been tested by the NHTSA), and active and passive safety systems abound. It might not be the most exciting car around, but the S80 still has a few strong points.