Well-heeled consumers in the market for the best large luxury cars have a handful of choices to consider. At the top of the list are the sedans that make driving an elegant, yet athletic statement, offer top-class everything (and much of it standard), and retain their resale value. Here, then, is our trio of top picks for the Best Large Luxury Cars:

  • Mercedes-Benz E-ClassAll-new for 2010, yet with a price cut that doesn’t mean it’s more cheaply made, the 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan proves luxury can be a very good thing, indeed. E-Class in E350 and E550 provides better and more athletic road manners than before, offers a super-luxurious interior with classy styling, loads of innovative safety features, and sharply elegant exterior styling. It is expensive to maintain, but retains its resale value. Power for E350 comes from a 268-hp 3.5-liter V6, while the E550 gets the 382-hp 5.5-liter V8. 4MATIC all-wheel drive (AWD) is optional for both. Starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) ranges from $48,601 to $56,300. Edmunds comments: “Restyled, higher in quality, and more enjoyable to drive, the redesigned 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a luxury car triumph. Shoppers in this segment will want to give it serious consideration.”
  • Infiniti MConsumers searching for a well-rounded luxury sports sedan should take a look at the 2010 Infiniti M. Although M is in its final model year before a redesign, the 2010 version is available as 303-hp 3.5-liter V6 M35 and 325-hp 4.5-liter V8 M56, both offered in base rear-wheel drive (RWD), sport, or X-edition with AWD. MSRPs begin at $45,800 to $54,650. Consumer Guide says: “This sedan is a credible competitor to such class bellwethers as the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Generously equipped in standard form, with convincing performance and available all-wheel drive, the Ms are strong alternatives to these and other similarly priced rivals.”
  • BMW 5-SeriesLong considered the benchmark in spirited luxury sedans, and soon-to-be redesigned in 2011, the 2010 BMW 5-Series continues to deliver. Even though it can comfortably house 5 passengers, it’s a real driver’s car, perfect for solitary drives down winding country roads. Other competitors may offer more luxurious interiors, but BMW 5-Series is incomparable for athletic driving performance. Models include 528i (230-hp 3.0-liter V6), 535i (300-hp 3.0-liter twin turbocharged V6), 550i (360-hp 4.8-liter V8) or M5 (500-hp 5.0-liter V10). Base MSRPs range from $45,950 to $60,600. In a comparison of eight luxury sport sedans, Motor Trend hailed BMW 535i as its first-place winner, saying, “The 535i driving experience can’t be properly conveyed with digits. No number could sum up the turbo six’s fluid power delivery, the chassis’ near-magical blend of road isolation and feedback, the hefty feel of every control. For entertaining the human in the driver’s seat, the 535i has no equal in this test.”

Other contenders for Best Large Luxury Cars include the Acura RL, Audi A6, Jaguar XF, Cadillac DTS and STS, Lincoln MKS, and Volvo S80.

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