As we plow further into the 21st century, energy and energy conservation are becoming ever more important. Hybrid technologies and electric vehicles have officially entered the mainstream, and most major auto manufacturers have delved into the market for themselves. Those ventures have reached into most luxury car makers as well, and now you can most likely find a hybrid or electric vehicle that suits your lifestyle, no matter how refined your tastes.
The 2014 model year has seen a slew of new vehicles hit the road, pushing the envelope even further in terms of electric range and fuel economy. Companies from Germany and Japan continue to lead the way, but American manufacturers are hot on the trail as well. While companies like Chevrolet and Ford have been catering to the consumer segments, luxury vehicle makers are really raising the bar.
By looking at the combined miles per gallon ratings of the world’s leading luxury brands, Kelley Blue Book was able to come up with a definitive top ten list of 2014?s most fuel-efficient cars. Now, the list sticks to brands that are traditionally defined as ‘luxury,’ and omits many other models that may have otherwise found their way onto the final version. Despite that, the vehicles included put up some incredibly impressive performance stats.
Based on the EPA’s fuel economy rating, and assembled by Kelley Blue Book, here are the top ten most fuel-efficient luxury vehicles of 2014.
10. Infiniti Q50 Hybrid
The lone entry from Infiniti, or its parent company Nissan on this list, the Q50 Hybrid is not only economical but quite powerful. In fact, it’s the most powerful vehicle in the top ten. Equipped with an electric engine, paired with a traditional V6 motor, the Q50 Hybrid can generate an impressive 360 horsepower. This sedan can achieve 31 miles per gallon combined, making it a perfect blend of economical and powerful.
9. Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTEC
Mercedes-Benz continues to prove that just because a vehicle is classy and luxurious doesn’t necessarily mean that it should cost a fortune to drive. The E250 BlueTEC is able to set efficiency marks that include 33 combined miles-per-gallon. This car is relatively weak compared to Infiniti’s Q50 Hybrid, as the E250 is outfitted with a 2.1-liter four-cylinder turbo diesel engine that churns out 195 horsepower. Additionally, the E250 does very well on the highway, where it can get up to 42 miles per gallon.
8. BMW 328d
Propelled by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbodiesel engine, BMW’s 328d can make up to 181 horsepower, all the while achieving 37 miles per gallon combined. The 328d comes in a wagon or sedan variation, both achieving remarkable efficiency levels. It’s for BMW fans who want the aesthetics of a well-crafted German car combined with the practicality and efficiency of a subcompact. BMW took the additional step of introducing a smaller diesel engine for 2014, helping the 328d reach even further.
7. Acura ILX Hybrid
Next up, the Acura ILX Hybrid. Another classy sedan that is capable of extraordinary efficiency, the ILX Hybrid can achieve 38 miles per gallon combined, averaged between 39 miles per gallon in the city and 38 on the highway. All in all, the ILX Hybrid will really take the weight off of your fuel budget. It does so by generating a relatively small amount of power — to the tune of 111 horses to be exact — thanks to a 1.5-liter hybrid VTEC engine. It also comes in a variety of trims, and at a fairly slim pricepoint at under $30,000.
6. Lexus ES 300h
Lexus has really stepped up its game when it comes to hybrid technology over the past several years, as it looks like it’s taking advantage of the efficient engineering coming out of Toyota’s labs. In the case of the ES 300h, efficiency comes in high quantities, to the tune of 40 miles per gallon combined. The ES300h is another vehicle that takes advantage of a smaller engine, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, to be exact, that produces 156 horsepower. Although not a workhorse, you can still take the ES 300h for very long trips, up to 700 miles on a single tank of gas.
5. Lexus CT 200h
Another Lexus model, although this time the company was able to vault a car into the top five. The Lexus CT 200h can outperform its cousin, the ES 300h, in terms of efficiency. The CT 200h achieves 42 miles per gallon combined, and gets there by using a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder hybrid engine. The CT 200h produces only 98 horsepower, but what it lacks in power you’ll make up in fuel savings. This model is, in fact, the least expensive vehicle in the entire Lexus lineup. But if you value efficiency, it’s a true bargain.
4. Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
Good news out of Michigan, as Ford’s luxury line Lincoln has been able to make some noise with the MKZ Hybrid. Not much has been happening on the Lincoln front as far as consumer buzz, but the MKZ Hybrid has been slowly building momentum on the hybrid market. The MKZ Hybrid can achieve 45 miles per gallon in both the city and on the highway, for an overall combined figure of — you guessed it — 45 miles per gallon. This MKZ model can also produce 188 horsepower from a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder hybrid engine, making it quite more powerful than the Lexus CT 200h.
3. Cadillac ELR
A much-needed and acclaimed addition to Cadillac’s lineup, the ELR was recently put into production to take on the likes of Lexus and Tesla on the EV and hybrid markets. The ELR is a plug-in hybrid vehicle that achieves an insane 82 mpge combined for the first 37 miles of a trip, and then 33 miles per gallon combined for the next 303 miles. The total range of the vehicle is 340 miles, as the gasoline engine kicks in at mile 38. For those looking for the most efficient Cadillac on the road, the ELR is the car you want.
2. Tesla Model S
You knew it was coming, and it finally showed up at the number two position on the list of 2014?s most efficient. Tesla’s Model S, the storied luxury sedan created by Elon Musk’s all-electric vehicle company can still beat out Cadillac’s ELR by achieving 95 mpge combined. It does come up short in overall range, however, as the Model S has a maximum of 208 miles (at least in the 60 kWh trim). Still, there are few other cars on the road that turn more heads than the Model S. Tesla is expected to keep improving on its electric vehicles, and even have more waiting in the wings. When it comes to efficiency, almost no one does it better.
1. BMW i3
The Germans sure do have efficiency and alternative energy sources down to a science. Naturally, through incredible advances in engineering and design, BMW has been able to piece together the i3, the most efficient vehicle available for 2014. The i3?s electric motor can produce 170 horsepower, and achieve 124 mpge combined. It doesn’t have a terribly long range, however, at only 81 miles. But for urban luxury car lovers who want the ultimate in efficiency, the BMW i3 simply can’t be beat at this time.