Who Tops Out in Cars​.com Luxury Sports Sedan Challenge?

BY Courtney Huckabay
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Experts from Cars​.com, Inc. tested model-​year 2017 cars from the highly competitive luxury sports sedan segment in order to rank the options available to shoppers. After extensive road and track testing by three experts and one consumer in the market for a new car in the class, the Audi A4 came out as the top performer, earning the title of Best Luxury Sports Sedan of 2017.

"An all-​around champ, the A4 can appeal to driving enthusiasts with its power, brake-​pedal feel and surefooted all-​wheel drive, but it also provides excellent space, quality and comfort with advanced features that are well executed, not merely present," said Joe Wiesenfelder, Cars​.com executive editor and Luxury Sports Sedan Challenge judge.

Showing off these rankings could drive traffic to luxury car dealers. The new AudienceSCAN study showed 4% of Americans are shopping for luxury cars this year.

Cars tested in the Challenge included the Alfa Romeo Giulia, Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Cadillac ATS, Jaguar XE, Lexus IS and Mercedes-​Benz C‑Class.

Let shoppers know which of these models are on your lots with magazine (print, online, mobile or on tablet) advertising. The new AudienceSCAN data revealed 74% of Luxury Car Shoppers took action after reading magazine ads in the past year.

For the Challenge, vehicles were equipped with turbocharged four-​cylinder engines that are ubiquitous to the class and are, for most models, the volume-​selling engine. The price range was $45,830 to $53,025. Evaluation resulted in the following ranking:

  1. 2017 Audi A4
  2. 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia
  3. 2017 Mercedes-​Benz C‑Class
  4. 2017 Cadillac ATS
  5. 2017 Jaguar XE
  6. 2017 BMW 3 Series
  7. 2017 Lexus IS

"Even if you've never owned a luxury car, you know the big players from Audi, BMW and Mercedes because they've been around so long," said Jennifer Newman, Cars.com's editor-​in-​chief. "These veterans of the luxury sports sedan class have fresh targets on their backs from the all-​new Alfa Romeo Giulia and Jaguar XE. Now with more choices than ever, we gathered seven luxury sports sedans to see if the segment stalwarts still have the goods."

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.