The top selling luxury cars May 2011, actually the top ten, include models from seven automakers: BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Buick, Cadillac, Audi, Infiniti and Hyundai. Three automakers have two models in the top ten: BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Buick. Eight of the top ten are Top Safety Picks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

1. 2011 BMW 3-Series – Leading the pack in the top selling luxury cars May 2011 is the midsize 2011 BMW 3-Series with sales during the month of 8,117. Year-to-date sales (through May 31) however, are off 13.3 percent year-over-year at 34,707. The entry-level luxury sedan is BMW’s best-selling model and offers consumers unparalleled balance and handling, a selection of powerful engines, strong crash test scores, and, of course, the prestige of the BMW brand. Car and Driver says, “After awarding 10Best trophies to the BMW 3-series for the last 19 years in a row, it’s clear that we’re in love, even through multiple generations and model changes.”

2. 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-ClassTrailing the BMW 3-Series by nearly 2,400 units, the second-place 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class racked up May sales of 5,751. Year-to-date sales of 26,162 are up 14.2 percent versus the same period last year. An IIHS Top Safety Pick, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is an opulent, classic large sedan with elegant styling and innovative safety technology. Edmunds remarks: “Enjoyable to drive, offering superior quality and available in a host of different body styles, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a luxury-car triumph that deserves serious consideration.”

3. 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-ClassAnother ‘Benz in the top five – and another IIHS Top Safety Pick — is the 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, scoring May sales of 4,936 and 25,361 year-to-date (up 5.7 percent year-over-year). Edmunds comments: “Impeccably built to a standard befitting its legendary status, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is an impressive luxury car. At the same time, the C-Class’s pricing tends to be higher than its rivals despite giving away a bit in terms of performance.”

4. 2011 Buick LaCrosseThe 2011 Buick LaCrosse sits in solid fourth place of top selling luxury cars May 2011 with a total sold of 4,774 units. Calendar year-to-date sales through May of 28,362 are off 6.7 percent versus last year during the same timeframe. LaCrosse and Buick Regal (number six below) are both IIHS Top Safety Picks). While officially an “affordable” sedan, the 2011 Buick LaCrosse is aiming higher with its sights honed in on luxury leaders like Lexus and others. U.S. News and World Report says, “If you’re looking for a luxury-minded cruiser for comfortable road trips and quiet commutes, the LaCrosse may be just what you’re looking for.”

5. 2011 Cadillac CTSSales of the 2011 Cadillac CTS, another IIHS Top Safety Pick, continue on their hot streak with 4,288 sold in May. Year-to-date sales are 22,807, up 53.7 percent year-over-year. Sharp handling, ample power, available in coupe, sedan, wagon and CTS-V versions, the 2011 Cadillac CTS is, as Automobile says, “Cadillac’s most successful vehicle.”

In spots six through ten (with May sales in parentheses) are: 2011 Buick Regal (4,247), 2011 BMW 5-Series (4,201), 2011 Infiniti G (3,851), 2011 Audi A4 (3,192), and 2011 Hyundai Genesis (2,769).

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