Driving up to your next client meeting in a crusty hatchback probably won't win you any points. Your business has had a little success. Isn’t it finally time to upgrade your ride? Check out these high-tech sedans with cutting-edge features, sleek business-friendly designs, and much better fuel economy.
Available sometime this year, this elegant-looking Cadillac XTS will challenge even Mercedes-Benz and BMW in terms of high-tech features. The Cadillac Cue voice-control system lets you speak commands for navigation and music. The 8-inch touchscreen provides tactile feedback when you press options on the screen. And, you can now connect up to 10 digital devices at one time over Bluetooth and the on-board USB ports. The 3.6-liter V6 engine provides extra power for quick starts and zipping around corners. The AWD system uses new torque-vectoring technology to manage power to each tire to reduce the chance of slipping on an icy road. Cadillac has not officially announced pricing or availability for this brand new model.
Released late last summer, the Buick LaCrosse eAssist is a tech marvel—both because of the safety features to help you drive smarter, but also because of the new powertrain. The new LaCrosse, priced at $31,045, is a “hybrid of a hybrid” in that you never use the electric motor by itself to propel the car. Instead, the electric motor assists the power train to add more pep—about 15-horsepower. The motor re-charges itself when you glide to a stop or step on the brakes. Most importantly, the eAssist turns off the gas engine in those situations to save on fuel economy. Expect about 37MPG for highway driving—quite high for a large 5-passenger sedan. The tech features are impressive: A blind spot system that warns you if there is a car in the next lane, and an improved sync feature for your smartphone that lets you play Pandora and Stitcher radio.
This sleek four-door sedan is a powerhouse of engineering. The super-charged version adds a 5-liter V8 that provides 470-horsepower to help you merge quickly into traffic. (The 0-60 rating is just 4.7 seconds.) For this model year, Jaguar made several refinements including LED headlights that are noticeably brighter, new more comfortable seats, and a DVD player. The real draw for business owners, though, is the eye-catching exterior design. That goes a long way in impressing potential customers and business partners, even if the $68,100 price tag is a bit high for some.
Nothing says “smart entrepreneur” like a stylish sports sedan. The Infiniti M56, priced at $58,450, has a bulbous look that sticks out from more staid-looking sedans. The 420-horsepower, 5.6-liter V8 engine provides plenty of punch. The interior accoutrements include white ash wood inlays, a Bose surround sound system, and several options for air purification including a “breeze mode” setting. The M56 has some of the most impressive tech features of the bunch, including a new blind spot intervention system that looks for drivers near you and nudges you back into your lane if the car senses danger.
One of the most impressive hybrid sedans around, this Lexus luxury model (no pricing announced yet) will hit dealerships this spring. The updated model uses a V6 engine that runs at 338-horsepower, which is often found on models with a V8 engine. The benefit is that the GS has about 30 percent better fuel economy than sedans with a V8, yet goes from 0-60 in just 5.7 seconds. Like recent Toyota models, the GS will connect to your smartphone to play Pandora stations, search with Bing.com, and even works with Facebook Places to notify friends about your whereabouts. There’s also an option for night vision (which helps you spot pedestrians at night) and a blind spot warning system. — John Brandon