When people think of luxury cars, brands like Rolls-Royce and Lamborghini are usually the first ones that come to mind. And while the phrase “sensible luxury” seems like an oxymoron, at JustLuxe we have a broader definition of luxury that goes beyond the ultra-premium segments. In today’s automotive world, you can get a lot of luxury without paying six digit amounts if you are looking for an everyday driver who will comfortably get you between two points without feeling like your car’s unhindered power (or your unhindered purchasing power) is on display to have to ask. In addition, 2021 seems to be a year in which people are cautious and environmentally conscious, especially as top brands continue to expand their options for hybrid and electric drives. This list highlights some unusually sensible and practical vehicles – all hybrid or fully electric, purposely avoiding boat-like sedans, oversized SUVs, and cars that are so fast that you can only fully enjoy them on a racetrack – that always still fit very well into most definitions of luxury.
2021 Porsche Taycan
PRICE: Starting at $ 79,900
Porsche presented the fully electric Taycan in 2015 as a concept car (then called Mission E) and expanded it into production for the 2019 model year. The four-door sports car received numerous updates for 2021; Perhaps most notable is the addition of a single-engine, rear-wheel drive base model, where the 4S, Turbo, and Turbo variants all have a twin-engine setup that directs electrical power to all four wheels. What you lose with the base model is the race-ready speed and the handling of the all-wheel drive variants. As a participant in a list with the title “reasonable”, however, this additional service appears completely unnecessary.
The Porsche Taycan basic modelStarting at $ 79,900, it offers more than enough juice for the practical everyday driving that we’re interested in for this round-up. The standard battery option gives you 300 kW of power (that’s 402 hp) and the ability to go 60 mph in 5.1 seconds (when using the Launch Control function) and a top speed of 143 mph to reach. Anything faster would certainly be less than useful.
Porsche hasn’t announced the range for the base Taycan’s electric motor yet, but it is expected to run at least 200 miles on a single charge. Essentially everything else about the Taycan is borrowed from the more expensive variants, and regardless of performance, the Taycan remains a Porsche inside and out, making it a luxury car by definition.
2021 BMW 330e
PRICE: Starting at $ 44,500
The BMW 3 Series compact sedan has long been a sensible choice for everyday driving. For the 2021 model year, BMW presented the first plug-in hybrid in the series: the BMW 330e, starting at a very accessible $ 44,550. The 330e recently received an EPA rating of 75 MPGe and can travel 22 miles on power alone.
The 330e has a new feature for 2021 called XtraBoost that the driver can activate when the car is in Sport mode by pressing the accelerator. This leads to an increase in power of 40 hp for up to 10 seconds. Furthermore, don’t expect supercar performance from the 4-cylinder 2-liter engine, whose 288 horsepower will get you to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds with the XtraBoost (but that’s still more than enough speed for everyday use Drive).
If you need more 3-pieces, for an additional $ 10,000 you can get the motorsport-powered M340i, which has about 100 horsepower more and exactly 100 percent less electric motor. Or you can opt for the xDrive upgrade to the 330e, which does not offer you more power, but offers additional all-wheel drive – although the xDrive reduces the mileage to 67 MPGe. Given that it is reasonably in a spectrum, depending on how you define the term, every 3 here is arguably a worthy shot.
2021 Jaguar iPace
PRICE: From $ 69,850
Jaguar introduced its first fully electric vehicle, the I-Pace, for the 2019 model year. While it has received widespread media coverage and industry awards, not many of it are seen on US roads. That could change in 2021, however, as the demand for electric vehicles and compact crossover SUVs continues to grow.
The 2021 Jaguar I-PaceValued at at least $ 69,850, there is at least one major improvement over the two previous models: a three-phase 11 kW on-board charger (compared to the single-phase 7 kW charger from previous years) that increases home charging time compared to last year shortens almost 13 hours to about 8.5 hours. The upgrade also allows for a greater range when switched on at public charging stations, so that the new I-Pace has a range of 39 miles in around 15 minutes when connected to a 50 kW DC fast charger. (A 100 kW charger increases this range to 78 miles in 15 minutes.)
In many reports, the I-Pace is ranked as the closest competitor to Tesla’s electric SUV, the Model X. While the I-Pace’s range of 234 miles is more than 100 miles shorter than the Model X’s range, it makes up for it with loads of British handcrafted luxury. The I-Pace is also about $ 10,000 cheaper than the Model X, making it a sensible (and still luxurious) alternative. Perhaps less sensible is the I-Pace’s considerable output: the two electric motors deliver 392 horsepower and allow the car to accelerate to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. If that combination of electrical power, power, and British luxury is a welcome combination, then be on the lookout for the I-Pace this May when it is expected to hit US dealers.
2021 Audi Q5 55 TFSI e
PRICE: Starting at $ 52,995
Audi has long been a leading hybrid manufacturer in the luxury segment and introduced the first production hybrid about a decade ago (although Audi introduced a hybrid concept car back in 1989). For the 2021 model year, Audi improved its Q5 series crossover SUVs, including a hybrid version since 2011, especially the Q5 55 TFSI e plug-in hybrid.
In addition to changes to the exterior design, Audi has given the hybrid SUV, which comes from a 2-liter four-cylinder turbo engine with a 141 hp electric motor, more power. Thanks to Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive, these four wheels achieve a peak power of 362 hp and torque of 369 ft lbs. The 14.1 kWh battery enables a range of 30 km with just electricity and helps the Hybrid Q5 achieve a combined output of 50 MPGe. Combine these specs with the famous comfort of the Q5 and you have what is probably the most reasonable hybrid crossover SUV on the market.
2021 Lexus LC 500h
PRICE: From $ 97,610
The 2021 Lexus LC 500h Hybrid is perhaps the least sensible car on our list. But when it comes to sexy hybrid sports cars, it’s the most down-to-earth option out there. (Even with a base price of nearly $ 100,000, the LC 500h is significantly cheaper than other luxury hybrid sports cars like the nearly $ 150,000 BMW i8.) Lexus was an early adopter of hybrid powertrains and added the first hybrid variant and has now brought the combination of gas and electricity to its popular LC 500 sports coupé, which was introduced last spring as the 2021 model – and we just couldn’t ignore it.
The LC lines are sleek and sporty, and the non-hybrid model delivers legitimate performance with a surprising engine growl from a Lexus. Yes, the hybrid system leads to a significant reduction in power – from 471 hp for the LC 500 to 354 hp for the hybrid, from a 5-liter V8 to a 3.5-liter V6 – but ultimately not the hybrid that much slower . The standard LC reaches a speed of 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, while the hybrid takes 4.7 seconds.
Much of the engine grunt is gone on the hybrid variant, but the sexy LC styling is still there, and freeway mileage increases from 25 to 34 MPG, making it one of the most fuel-efficient sports cars on the market. And while this certainly results in reasonable performance, the head-turning design of the LC 500h may generate some less-than-reasonable responses from viewers.