The midsize luxury sedan segment is a competitive one made up of well-established names and newcomers alike. Some are on the more sporty side, while others prioritize keeping the driver and passengers comfortable, while a select few can truly deliver the best of both worlds.
Here are the best midsize luxury cars of 2020, ranked.
1. Lexus ES— $39,900
Score: 4.8 / 5
The 2020 Lexus ES might not be the sportiest car in its segment, but it’s so well-rounded and such an excellent value that it has earned a top spot on our list. It’s smooth, comfortable and quiet, which is exactly what a lot of drivers shopping for a midsize luxury sedan are looking for. On top of that, it has a roomy interior, a ton of standard features and the rock-solid safety and reliability scores you would expect from a Lexus. A super-efficient hybrid option is available and it doesn’t cost that much more than the standard ES. Lexus has been doing luxury sedans for a few decades now and they have the formula just right.
2. Mercedes-Benz E-Class— $54,050
Score: 4.7 / 5
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz E-Class continues its reputation as a standard-bearer in the midsize luxury car segment. Available as a sedan, coupe, convertible or wagon, there’s a ton of variety within the E-Class lineup plus plenty of powertrain options ranging from affordable and efficient to the high-performance AMG models. It has the posh presence one associates with the Mercedes-Benz brand and one of the most luxurious cabins in this competitive class. The ride quality is smooth and comfortable in everyday driving but sporty and agile when the roads get curvy.
3. Audi A6— $54,900
Score: 4.7 / 5
The 2020 Audi A6 has a dignified presence that few competitors can imitate. Audi has built a reputation for having some of the nicest interiors in the luxury car world and that well-earned reputation is on full display inside the A6 with almost unrivaled interior quality and design. The A6 strikes a near-perfect balance between comfortable luxury and exciting performance and we love that the Quattro all-wheel drive system comes standard. On the downside, the A6 is a questionable value proposition with the highest starting price of any car on this list.
4. BMW 5 Series— $53,900
Score: 4.6 / 5
It’s almost impossible to talk about midsize luxury cars without talking about the 2020 BMW 5 Series. Like the A6, the 5 Series is a sedan that strikes an almost ideal balance between performance and luxury but edges a little more toward the performance and handling end of the equation than the Audi. There’s a wide range of engine options available under the hood, all of which are quite exciting in their own ways. This BMW continues its reputation as a true driver’s car that will satisfy any enthusiast. The 5 Series is an impressive and well-rounded sedan, but it has a high starting price and quickly gets more expensive when you add options. Also, given the price, you’ll be surprised which features are not standard.
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5. Genesis G80— $42,550
Score: 4.4 / 5
Genesis is still a relatively new luxury car brand and the 2020 Genesis G80 shows what the brand is made of. Much like its Japanese rivals, the G80 has the goal of going toe-to-toe with the more expensive German luxury cars while providing a better value. It does a fantastic job achieving that goal with a premium cabin that’s packed with standard technology, a pleasant, quiet ride and performance that may surprise you. There are three engine options and they’re all fantastic, from the base V6 to the twin-turbo V6 to the muscular V8. If you value individuality but still like to drive, get the G80.
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6. Lexus GS— $51,065
Score: 4.4 / 5
The 2020 Lexus GS is a bit of a sleeper sport sedan that’s great for drivers looking for a fun-to-drive luxury car that flies under the radar. The interior is roomy and family-friendly and the ride quality is comfortable, making it a great daily driver. The base price is a bit high, especially when you compare it to the Lexus ES, but it has a generous standard features list that helps to justify the price tag. The Achilles heel of this car is its frustrating infotainment system, but once you get past that learning curve, the GS is a rewarding luxury sedan.
7. Acura TLX— $33,000
Score: 4.3 / 5
Value is the name of the game with the 2020 Acura TLX. This Acura doesn’t pretend to be the sportiest or most luxurious car in this class, but it is the most affordable car on this list. This is a midsize luxury car that is more affordable than most compact luxury cars. The TLX is classy, comfortable and pretty good on gas. The standard features list is pretty impressive, especially considering the price of the base model. The base 4-cylinder engine in the TLX is a bit dull and we recommend upgrading to the optional V6, which isn’t too much of a price hike. Pair that V6 with the A-Spec package and the TLX is a fairly fierce sport sedan that might get you to rethink that next 3 Series purchase.
8. Cadillac CT5— $36,895
Score: 4.1 / 5
The 2020 Cadillac CT5 is an all-new model that replaces the outgoing CTS as Cadillac‘s midsize luxury sedan. It’s a strong value with an attractive base price and we love the sharp exterior styling that makes it look a bit more expensive than it is. The interior, however, just isn’t up to par with most rivals. That said, the ride is comfortable and this Caddy has a generous list of standard features plus available options that can be added without the price getting out of control. Don’t expect the fire-breathing performance of the outgoing CTS-V, but the new CT5 is a competent luxury sedan and a strong value.
9. Volvo S90— $50,550
Score: 4.0 / 5
The 2020 Volvo S90 gets high marks for its impeccable safety scores, elegant styling and comfortable seats. It sits toward the bottom of this list not because it’s a bad car but simply because most of its competitors are a little better and because there are simply SO many good cars in this category. The ride quality isn’t quite as smooth as you’d expect from a luxury car this size and it has a poor predicted reliability rating that could give you some headaches down the road. That said, we like its fuel-efficient engines, unique styling, standard AWD and an intriguing plug-in hybrid option. Also, the Volvo dealer experience is excellent.
10. Jaguar XF— $51,100
Score: 3.7 / 5
The 2020 Jaguar XF has the same problem as the Volvo S90. It’s not a bad midsize luxury car, it just isn’t as good as the best midsize luxury cars. It delivers the stylish appearance and engaging performance you’d expect from a Jaguar plus good fuel economy, a smooth ride and a generous amount of cargo space helping with its practicality factor. However, the interior design and quality just aren’t as nice as most of this class and the pricing is a little steep for what it is. The XF is good if you’ve always wanted a Jaguar, but if you’re not hung up on the brand, you might want to shop elsewhere.
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11. Lincoln MKZ—$36,750
Score: 3.7 / 5
The 2020 Lincoln MKZ sits at the bottom of this list because it’s showing its age. It got a major face-lift for 2017 making it look more like the Lincoln Continental, but it hasn’t gotten a full redesign since 2013. If Lincoln has in store for the MKZ the same treatment they’ve given the Navigator, Aviator and Corsair, we feel confident it will be near the top in the near future. The optional twin-turbo V6 engine is quite strong and we like the hybrid option, which is both efficient and affordable. This Lincoln is reasonably comfortable and practical and it has one of the lowest starting prices on this list, but if you’re shopping on the more affordable end of this segment, we’d recommend other sub-$40k luxury sedans like the Acura TLX and the Lexus ES.