Who says you can’t have a family car that’s also sexy? And what qualifies a car as sexy, anyway? Beauty is, as they say, in the eye of the beholder, but plenty of horses under the hood also ranks right up there. Men and women alike appreciate a car with sleek good looks that can barrel down the road with ease – and some pretty impressive fuel economy as well.
That said, here are five sexy family cars for 2011 – at least, in FamilyCarGuide’s humble opinion.
With an exterior design that just looks awesome standing still, the five-passenger 2011 Cadillac CTS-V sedan (and wagon) also carries a monster-performer beneath the hood. Cadillac claims to have the fastest-production sedan in the world and the stats bear this out: track-tuned 556-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine and zero to 60 time of 3.9 seconds flat and Brembo brakes for massive stopping power. But the interior is also driver focused with hand cut-and-sewn accents, available RECARO performance seats, loads of standard safety and luxury features. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 14 mpg city/19 mpg highway. Cost for this high-performance classy chassis? The 2011 Cadillac CTS-V sedan starts at $63,465. Of course, you can get a regular CTS sedan with starting prices a bit more affordable at $35,165 – and a 304-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 engine. Same great looks, a lot less performance. But since we’re talking ultimate sexy here, even in a family car, the CTS-V stands out in our book. Be sure to see The Car Connection review of the 2011 CTS-V where editors give it an 8 (out of 10) overall rating.
How does a heart-pounding 510-horsepower 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 engine with adaptive dynamics and active differential control features sound? Exclusive to the top-of-the-line Jaguar XFR (the XF features the same engine rated at 385 horsepower), zero to 60 mph takes a scant 4.7 seconds. But the XFR’s stunning, taut lines and its luxurious interior with just about everything standard are equally compelling. Of course, all this performance, good looks and luxury doesn’t come cheap. The 2011 Jaguar XFR starts at $79,600. Oh, and it gets an EPA-estimated 15 mpg city/21 mpg highway – not bad for this family rocket sedan. Check out The Car Connection review of the 2011 Jaguar XF penned by Bengt Halvorson.
Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG
The four-passenger, rear-wheel drive 2011 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG, with a starting price of $99,050, coddles driver and occupants in ultimate luxury: Nappa leather, sports seats, all the bells and whistles included. Besides eye-catching exterior design, the power beneath the hood tells the rest of the story: 507-horsepower 6.3-liter V-8 engine mated with AMG Speedshift plus seven-speed automatic transmission reaches 60 mph in 4.3 seconds. Yes, there’s a tradeoff in fuel efficiency, EPA estimated at 12 mpg city/18 mpg highway (versus 14/21 for regular CLS550, which starts at $74,000). Still, small families with luxury sports sedan tastes and cash to spend can get by with either the CLS63 AMG or CLS550.
BMW Alpina B7
Based on BMW’s flagship 7-Series, the 2011 BMW Alpina B7 offers high-performance and luxury in a family sedan – albeit one that carries a base price of $122,000. Power comes from a 500-horsepower, Alpina-tuned, twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 engine generating 516 pound-feet of torque that still achieves an EPA-estimated 21 mpg highway. Intelligent all-wheel drive system, standard and optional safety features like night vision with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning system, and blind spot detection – and zero to 60 time in 4.5 seconds – call out for applause. Of course, consumers can also go for the $137,000 BMW 760Li with its 535-horsepower 6.0-liter twin-power turbocharged V-12 – that gets an estimated 19 mpg highway. Either way, BMW’s 7-Series top-line models (in terms of horsepower, performance and price) are pretty appealing.
Here’s the only non-500-horsepower sexy family car on the FCG list – but it’s a good one, especially because it’s so unexpected. Hyundai stunned the automotive world with its all-new luxury performance sedan, the 2011 Hyundai Equus. With MSRP starting at $58,000 (Signature) and $64,500 (Ultimate), the rear-wheel drive Equus is powered by the award-winning 385-horsepower 4.6-liter Tau V-8 engine paired with a ZF six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway. Inside, there’s leather everything, including four heated and cooled premium seats and 12-way power driver seat that offers massage. Nine standard airbags, vehicle stability management system, available lane departure warning system and more add to driver and occupant safety. Free maintenance, valet service, and impressive warranty are other standout Equus selling points. See The Car Connection review of the 2011 Hyundai Equus here.
This story originally appeared at Family Car Guide