When you start talking comfortable sedans, cars like Rolls-Royce Phantom and Ghost, Bentley Flying Spur and Mulsanne, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and other similar megabuck cars would easily rule the list. And why not, given cost is no object for these cars. In the game of lush interiors, car makers challenge themselves to see just how good they can make these cars. But when you impose a $50,000 price cap on the potential entrants, suddenly you have a horse race. For a Sedan to qualify as one of the most comfortable sedans, its builder had to meet challenges with creativity, keeping an eye on the bottom line.
Among the primary considerations for comfort in an automobile are the entertainment options as well as a quiet and smooth ride. The Acura RLX offers so many entertainment choices your biggest problem will be choosing one. Further, the Acura flagship is exceptionally smooth, quiet, and comfortable—with outstanding legroom front and rear. The 3.5-liter V6 fitted to RLX offers 310-horsepower, so high speed cruising is a breeze, with plenty of passing power to boot. Plus the big Acura returns 31 miles per gallon on the highway and boasts 15 cubic feet of cargo capacity. Pricing starts at $48,450.
One of the most affordable German luxury sedans, the Audi A6 was designed with long distance comfort in mind. As a result, the A6 loves long drives and accomplishes them while returning some 33 miles per gallon. Its 220-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine generates 258 ft-lbs of torque. Boasting some 14 cubic feet of cargo capacity, as well as a comfortably spacious interior, the mid-sized Audi will transport four people and their luggage with ease. Further, when it comes to personal tech, the Audi has few rivals. Known for the nicest interiors on the road, Audi starts A6 pricing at $44,800.
In the grand tradition of comfortable American sedans, Buick’s LaCrosse flagship is capable of devouring exceptionally long distances while imposing minimal wear and tear upon its occupants. As the top model in Buick’s contemporary lineup, the LaCrosse is loaded with comfort and convenience features. Meanwhile Buick’s “Quiet Tuning” keeps the interior serene. One can even spring for the Buick’s optional 3.6-liter V6 and come in well under our $50,000 price cap. With 303 horsepower and 264 ft-lbs of torque, it returns up to 28 miles per gallon on the highway. LaCrosse pricing starts at $33,635.
The words Chevrolet Impala and family car are fully interchangeable. One of the primary missions in life for the Chevrolet Impala is comfortable cruising. Further, given the Impala’s price, you can affordably choose between miles per gallon or smiles per gallon. For frugality, go with the 195-horsepower turbo four and revel in 31 miles per gallon. If you prefer power, the Impala’s 305-horsepower V6 will return 28 mpg on the highway. In addition to the roomy interior, the Chevy’s trunk offers 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Pricing starts at $27,060.
The Dodge Charger does pretty much everything the Chrysler 300 does (which arguably deserves a spot on this list too), while costing some $4,000 less. You’ll forego some features and three cubic feet of trunk space (Charger has 15.4), but the mechanical stuff is largely the same. The Dodge’s more aggressive face means making time on the highway might come a bit more readily because slower drivers will get put of its way more quickly. It also gets a bit more power out of the 5.7-liter V8 (370 horsepower vs. 363), while still returning 25 mpg on the highway. Pricing starts at $27,995.
Ford’s Taurus, introduced back in 1986, led the way to today’s contemporary full-size American sedan. Highly innovative, the front-drive four-door brought with it a number of efficiencies. Today’s Taurus isn’t quite as groundbreaking, but it does an admirable job of comfortably transporting people and luggage over long distances. The Ford’s huge 20.1 cubic foot trunk nicely complements the spacious passenger cabin. Plus, its relatively low starting price means you can get a Taurus with all the options—including the 365-horsepower V6 all-wheel drive powertrain—and still be well under $50,000. Pricing starts at $27,055.
Lexus ES 350
Quiet, sophisticated, comfortable, and low-key, the Lexus ES 350 lives solidly up to its marque’s reputation for comfort. Power comes from an exceptionally smooth-running 3.5-liter V6 engine capable of producing 268 horsepower. The niceties start with a broad range of luxury features including Bluetooth, auto-dimming mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry and start, as well as a plush interior treatment. The trunk offers 15.2 cubic feet of capacity, while the V6 returns 31 miles per gallon on the highway. Pricing starts at $37,550.
Lincoln has stood for quality American transportation since the inception of the brand. The Lincoln flagship MKS sedan is justifiably noted for offering one of the nicest interior treatments of all American cars. Further, it loves long distance cruising. Smooth, quiet, handsome and comfortable, it’s a perfect platform for motoring in comfort. Further, you can pretty much get the Lincoln’s entire suite of safety kit and still be well beneath our $50,000 price cap. Highway fuel economy is 28 mpg with front-drive and the 305-horsepower V6; cargo capacity is 19.2 cubic feet, and pricing starts at $38,850.
The formerly frumpy Avalon was recently reworked with a nice new suit of stylishly attractive clothes. Proclaimed by many to be Toyota’s “Buick”, Avalon does share that marque’s penchant for exhibiting a relaxed composure. Power comes from a 3.5-liter V6 generating 268 horsepower and 248 ft-lbs of torque. Available features include keyless entry and start, Toyota’s Entune smartphone application integration, rain sensing windshield wipers, a tri-zone automatic climate control system, and heated and ventilated seats. The V6 returns 31 miles per gallon on the highway, the trunk is good for 16 cubic feet of cargo, and pricing starts at $32,285.
Stylishly sleek and sophisticated, the Volkswagen CC brings solid German road manners and an abundance of luxury features to your daily transportation needs. With Volkswagen CC you’ll get dual-zone climate control, navigation, and a rear-view camera all as standard features. You could also get the 280-horsepower V6 along with all-wheel drive and still be under our price cap, or you could opt for the 200-horsepower turbo four and see up to 32 miles per gallon. The CC can carry 13 cubic feet of cargo in its trunk with four people on board. Pricing starts at $32,995.
Perhaps the most comfortable car on this list, the Volvo S80 is also the most conservatively styled. This means you can enjoy the full array of luxury features the Swedish auto manufacturer offers without attracting undue attention to yourself. On the highway, the S80 is as solid as a train at speed, even as its 240-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder returns 29 miles per gallon. For more power, you could go with the turbo’s 300 horsepower, but fuel economy drops to 25 mpg. The S80’s trunk offers 14.9 cubic feet of capacity and its pricing starts at $41,700.