2. Mercedes C-Class Sedan: $39,875
Consider the C-class as all that Mercedes knows about full-size luxury, distilled into a smaller package. As a coupe, it offers a 201-hp turbo four-cylinder or a 302-hp V-6 and rear-wheel drive; as a sedan, it can be had with a 241-hp turbo four or a 329-hp twin-turbo V-6. For more sport, there’s the C450 AMG with 362 hp. All feature a seven-speed automatic. The sedans have all-wheel drive; a rear-drive sedan with the 241-hp engine is available. A plug-in hybrid and a diesel go on sale in 2016.
1. Volvo S60: $35,090
Volvo blends sleek Swedish design with the latest in safety technology, proving you can be good-looking and smart. A 240-hp turbo four and an optional 302-hp turbo- and supercharged four offer front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is offered with a 250-hp turbo five-cylinder or 325-hp turbo inline-six; the Polestar is a hot rod with a 345-hp inline-six. The Cross Country model has 7.9 inches of ground clearance; the Inscription model has a long wheelbase with an extra 3.4 inches of rear legroom.