Best-Selling Luxury Cars in America

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience; BMW of North America; Infiniti North America; Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.Luxury Car Sales Drop
Strong sales in December 2016 pushed annual auto sales to another record level, topping 2015’s number by 0.3 percent at 17,539,052 units. As trucks and SUVs continue to gain favor, the slide in luxury car sales is evident with a 12.8 percent drop for 2016. The biggest change came in entry-luxury cars; sales dropped by 15.7 percent. A total of 880,744 luxury cars were sold in 2016, down from 1,010,027 in 2015.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBest-Selling Luxury Cars
Of the top 10 best-selling luxury cars for 2016, the Audi A4 was the only model to improve, posting a 16.2 percent increase over 2015. Five of the top 10 models had sales decreases of 20 percent or more. BMW was hit hardest with sales drops for the 5 Series, 4 Series and 3 Series, although all remain top 10 sellers. Despite the sales decline, it’s important to note which models topped the charts for 2016, according to sales numbers compiled from individual auto manufacturers’ reports and goodcarbadcar.net.

© BMW of North America20. BMW 2 Series
2016 Sales: 15,519
Vs. 2015: +19.2%
Of the top 20 best-selling luxury cars in 2016, the 2 Series is one of only two cars reporting sales increases. Sales of the 2 Series were strong earlier in the year but slowed during the last few months, with December 2016 sales down 49.4 percent year-over-year. A modern example of the sporty cars on which BMW built its reputation in the ‘60s, the 2 Series replaced the 1 Series for the 2014 model year, then benefitted from a convertible version during 2015. The high-performance M2 joined the lineup for 2016, powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine that produces 365 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque in overboost mode.

© General Motors19. Cadillac CTS
2016 Sales: 15,911
Vs. 2015: -18.3%
The CTS is Cadillac’s midsize sport sedan, and the third-generation CTS debuted as a 2014 model powered by either a turbocharged 2.0-liter or a 3.6-liter V6. For 2015 Cadillac added the CTS V-Sport with a 420-horsepower twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6, and for 2016 GM’s luxury brand added the CTS-V, powered by a 640-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine. Sales are down 18 percent for 2016; that said, the CTS receives a new grille design and a new rear fascia for the 2017 model year.

© Audi USA18. Audi A6
2016 Sales: 18,686
Vs. 2015: -18.2%
Audi’s A6 is a beautifully designed midsize luxury sedan, but sales dropped for 2016 as Audi’s Q7 SUV had a 60 percent increase for the period, and the smaller Q5 sold 49,550 vehicles. The A6 can be equipped with the latest safety technologies designed to help drivers avoid collisions. Two engine options are available: a 252-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter or a supercharged V6 delivering 333 horsepower. Of course, the A6 is available with Audi’s legendary quattro all-wheel-drive system.

© Mercedes-Benz USA17. Mercedes-Benz S-Class
2016 Sales: 18,803
Vs. 2015: -14.3%
Sales of Mercedes-Benz’s flagship sedan, coupe and cabriolet fell for 2016, despite an extensive lineup of variations. The cabriolet joined the lineup in the spring of 2016, joining the luxurious Maybach, the high-performance AMG S63 / S65, and for the first time a plug-in hybrid. Overall sales for the Mercedes-Benz brand were steady for 2016, with a 71.6 percent increase for the compact GLC crossover.

© General Motors16. Cadillac ATS
2016 Sales: 21,505
Vs. 2015: -20.0%
Cadillac’s compact luxury sedan debuted as a 2013 model, and the ATS coupe joined for the 2015 model year, but sales were down 20 percent last year. For 2016 the high-performance ATS-V Sedan and ATS-V Coupe were added, which accounted for additional sales. Engine choices for the ATS sedan and coupe include a 202-horsepower 2.5-liter, a 272-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter (standard for coupe), and a new 335-horsepower 3.6-liter V6. Both the ATS-V sedan and coupe are powered by a 464-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 engine, combined with either a 6-speed manual transmission or an all-new paddle-shifted 8-speed automatic transmission.

© General Motors15. Cadillac XTS
2016 Sales: 22,171
Vs. 2015: -4.1%
Despite the 12.8 percent drop in luxury car sales overall, Cadillac’s full-size XTS stayed fairly strong in 2016 with a 4 percent decline. Updates for 2016 included a new grille design, Surround Vision with a 360-degree overhead view, wireless phone charging and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Offered with front-wheel drive or available all-wheel drive, the XTS is motivated by a 305-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine combined with a 6-speed automatic transmission with tap-shift control. The XTS Vsport is powered by a 410-horsepower twin turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 with standard all-wheel drive.

© Tesla Motors14. Tesla Model S
2016 Sales: 24,000
Vs. 2015: -4.8%
With a modest 4.8 percent drop for 2016, the Tesla Model S is not immune to the decline in luxury car sales. Still the only full-electric luxury car in the market, the remarkable Model S stands out for its technological prowess and fantastic driving range. The Model S 60D has two motors that produce a combined 328 horsepower, and Tesla says this Model S will hit 60 mph in slightly over 5 seconds. Although a standard charge time at 240 volts is 12 hours, that can be significantly reduced with an 80-amp dual charger. The S60 D has an estimated range of 218 miles.

© Mercedes-Benz USA13. Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
2016 Sales: 25,792
Vs. 2015: -13.0%
In its third year on the U.S. market, CLA-Class sales dropped 13 percent for 2016. The redesigned 2017 model began arriving in fall 2016 with a facelift that includes new front and rear bumpers, new wheel designs, new seat covers and chrome-plated controls inside. The CLA-Class arrived on the U.S. market as a 2014 model as an affordable alternative to the C-Class. With front-wheel drive or available 4MATIC all-wheel drive, the CLA250 has a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine producing 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The AMG CLA45 4MATIC sports a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine producing 375 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque.

© Ford Motor Company12. Lincoln MKZ
2016 Sales: 30,534
Vs. 2015: -1.2%
Lincoln MKZ sales held steady for 2016 with the redesigned 2017 model arriving in showrooms last summer, although sales were off 17.4 percent for December. The most noticeable update to the MKZ is a new front-end treatment with a grille similar to the one on the Lincoln Continental concept, flanked by adaptive LED headlights. Inside, the controls have been updated for easier access to the most common buttons and USB ports. MKZ also gets a power upgrade, featuring a 400-horsepower twin-turbo V6 engine as well as an advanced hybrid system.

©Audi of America11. Audi A3
2016 Sales: 31,538
Vs. 2015: -12.4%
Redesigned for the 2015 model year, the Audi A3 maintained its sales pace early in 2016 but ended the year with a 12.4 percent drop. The A3 originally arrived in the U.S. as a 2006 model in 4-door hatchback configuration only, then the A3 Sedan and Cabriolet arrived in the U.S. for the 2015 model year. The sedan and cabriolet are powered by a 170-horsepower 1.8-liter engine with front-wheel drive, or a 220-horsepower 2.0-liter engine with quattro all-wheel drive. The A3 Sportback eTron gasoline-electric hybrid joined the lineup for 2016, featuring a 1.4-liter engine combined with a liquid-cooled permanent-magnet electric motor for a combined output of 204 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.

© BMW of North America10. BMW 5 Series
2016 Sales: 32,408
Vs. 2015: -26.6%
BMW’s midsize sport sedan, the 5 Series has been successful in this highly competitive market for dozens of years, but it took a 26 percent hit in sales for 2016. The current sixth-generation design debuted for 2011 and a new model just debuted at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, which should move sales in the right direction. This seventh-generation 5 Series makes extensive use of aluminum, magnesium and high-strength steel to improve handling while reducing weight. The 5 Series will be available in multiple configurations beginning with the 530i, 530i xDrive, 540i and 540i xDrive. The new 5 Series has the familiar BMW kidney grille with integrated twin circular LED headlights.

© BMW of North America9. BMW 4 Series
2016 Sales: 35,763
Vs. 2015: -22.4%
One of four BMW models in the top 10 for 2016 luxury car sales, the 4 Series joined the BMW lineup for 2014 when the 4 Series Coupe and Convertible replaced the 2-door 3 Series variants. Then for 2015 BMW added the 4 Series Gran Coupe (which is actually a 4-door) sporting a coupelike profile. BMW just announced that the 2018 4 Series will go on sale in March 2017, with design updates to distinguish 4 Series cars from other BMW models. The 2018 4 Series Coupe, Convertible and Gran Coupe will be available as the 430i and 440i xDrive, with 430i xDrive and 440i arriving later. Updates include stiffer suspension, revised steering, new alloy wheels and new exterior colors.

© Audi AG8. Audi A4
2016 Sales: 36,987
Vs. 2015: +16.2%
The best-selling model in Audi history, the redesigned 2017 A4 went on sale early in 2016, making the A4 one of only two luxury models in the top 20 to post a sales increase for 2016. The new A4 is unmistakably an Audi, although it possesses crisper styling, a new horizontal grille and sharply angled headlights. Power comes from a revised turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that now produces 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft or torque at 1900 rpm, combined with a new 7-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission with either front-wheel drive or quattro all-wheel drive.

© American Honda Motor Co., Inc.7. Acura TLX
2016 Sales: 37,156
Vs. 2015: -21.1%
Acura TLX sales were better than the luxury category overall early in 2016, but ended with a 21 percent drop for the year. The TLX debuted as a 2015 model, replacing the TL in the Acura lineup by combining sport-sedan performance with luxury refinement. Available in three different powertrain combinations, the standard engine is a 206-horsepower 2.4-liter unit combined with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission with a torque converter. The available 3.5-liter V6 produces 290 horsepower when combined with a 9-speed automatic transmission, and is also offered with Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive.

© Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.6. Lexus IS
2016 Sales: 37,289
Vs. 2015: -19.7%
Lexus offers two models in the entry-luxury category: the IS sport sedan and the ES luxury sedan — both are top 10 sellers in the luxury segment. The third-generation rear-drive Lexus IS debuted as a 2015 model with more aggressive styling. It is now offered in three trim levels defined by three engine choices: the IS 200t, the IS 300 AWD and the IS 350 with available all-wheel drive. The IS 200t has a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine producing 241 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The IS 300 AWD gets power from a 3.5-liter V6 producing 255 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque, and the IS 350 has a 306-horsepower 3.5-liter V6.

© Nissan North America, Inc.5. Infiniti Q50
2016 Sales: 44,007
Vs. 2015: +0.3%
The Q50 is Infiniti’s top-selling model, which maintained sales year-over-year for 2016. A replacement for the G sedan in the 2014 model year, the performance-oriented Q50 has standard rear-wheel drive as well as available all-wheel drive. For 2016 the Q50 2.0t joined the lineup, powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine producing 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, with available all-wheel drive. The Q50 Red Sport 400 also joined the lineup for 2016, powered by a twin turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine producing 400 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. The Q50 Hybrid Premium has a gas-electric system combining a 3.5-liter V6 engine with a 50-kW electric motor for a total output of 360 horsepower, rated at 34 mpg highway.

© Mercedes-Benz USA4. Mercedes-Benz E-Class
2016 Sales: 46,915
Vs. 2015: -5.7%
E-Class sales were slow early in 2016 but climbed with the arrival of a new 10th-generation 2017 E-Class Sedan in summer 2016. The 2017 E-Class Sedan boasts a new exterior design, a new luxurious interior and world-premiere technologies. Inside, a high-resolution display combines a wide navigation screen and a traditional gauge cluster integrated into a single unit behind the steering wheel. The steering wheel features two touch-sensitive control pads that respond to swiping motions, allowing the driver to control the infotainment system with thumb motions without removing hands from the wheel. The E-Class has a new turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that produces 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, mated to a new 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission.

© Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.3. Lexus ES
2016 Sales: 58,299
Vs. 2015: -10.3%
The second Lexus model to break into the top 10 best-sellers for 2016, the ES was redesigned for 2015, and the front end received further updates for 2016 with a bolder grille with satin chrome trim, standard LED headlights and fog lights sculpted at the outer corners. The second-best-selling Lexus model behind the RX crossover, the ES is front-wheel drive; a hybrid version is also offered, but all-wheel drive is not an option. The ES 350 gets motivation from a 268-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine, and the ES 300h combines a 2.0-liter gasoline engine with an electric motor for a total system output of 200 horsepower.

© BMW of North America2. BMW 3 Series
2016 Sales: 70,458
Vs. 2015: -25.5%
Long known as the benchmark sport sedan, the 3 Series has always reigned at the top of the luxury sedan sales charts, but it took an uncharacteristic 25 percent sales loss last year. For 2016 the 3 Series received minor exterior styling updates including available LED headlights, revised suspension for improved handling and new interior trim. The 340i replaced the 335i as the top trim level, powered by a new turbocharged inline 6-cylinder producing 320 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque. The lineup includes 320i, 328i and 328d diesel trim levels, all with rear-wheel drive or available xDrive all-wheel drive. The 330e iPerformance plug-in hybrid joined the lineup for 2016 .

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class
2016 Sales: 77,167
Vs. 2015: -10.4%
Although C-Class sales are down 10 percent for 2016, the compact Mercedes-Benz sedan continues as the top-selling luxury model and the best-selling vehicle in the entire Mercedes lineup. The C-Class Sedan was redesigned for the 2015 model year, offered with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, a Biturbo V6 or a Biturbo V8 engine. The 2017 C-Class Coupe and the first-ever C-Class Cabriolet joined the lineup for 2016, offered in the following versions: C300, C300 4MATIC, AMG C43, AMG C63 and AMG C63 S. The Biturbo 4.0-liter engine produces 469 horsepower for the C63 and 503 horsepower for the C63 S.

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