My dad had a '99 Mercury Grand Marquis with the 4.6L V8 when he passed away and regularly got 27-29 mpg on the highway at speeds varying from 65-75 mph. My mom still has the car and I drive it occasionally usually on shorter trips and I can get 24-26 mpg by simply watching my speed, coasting up to stop lights and trying to time stop lights correctly. This has to be one of the best coasting cars I've ever driven in my 35 years of driving. I can usually let completely off the gas a half mile before a turn and still have to brake during the last 1/10 of a mile before making the turn. I'm hoping one day to drive it on a longer highway trip and see what the best is I can squeeze out of it. I've always thought I would be able to break into the low 30's with it by simply keeping the speed at 55-60 mph on the highway.
Other than the poster who mentioned a Jag, (which is nice but not really a big car), I wouldn't classify a Mercury Marquis, Buick Park Ave, Olds Royale, let alone a Taurus as "Luxury" cars?
Where are the Mercedes, Lexus, BMW7 or other Audi A8 owners? Do any of the big cars mentioned in posts have have all wheel drive, actual wood dash and standard leather with heated, front AND rear power seats standard? Not to be be a price snob, and I certainly did not buy my car new, but the original owner, in 2000, took a $80,000 hit to drive it off the lot. A new average equipped A8 today (that's without the optional 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen advanced sound system upgrade) is in the area of of $90,000. Other options, including a 593 hp W12 can drive the ticket well up over $110K With the standard V8, it's EPA rated at 17-27. I'm sure I could get more but I can't get 90K out of my wallet.
you seem like a nice enough guy Jim, so i'll tell you not what you want to hear, but the truth...
you're not gonna achieve great FE in a full size luxury car, so let's move on. you can improve your FE by driving mods like anticipating red lights, avoiding hard acceleration, pulse and glide(engine on), etc.
if(not sure) you can get a car to your liking with a manual tranny, and if you want too REALLY make a difference(and get radical), you could pulse and glide(engine off). can you bump start?
Don't forget, the thread is titled "big car MPG" not "big luxury car MPG".
Most users of this forum prefer more cost-effective choices, so there's not a whole lot of experience with the more decadent $80,000 end of the luxury segment, which may depreciate more or less percentagewise than full-size non-luxury cars but is always more expensive. Generally, those willing to spend more on the (used or new) purchase are also willing to spend more on the fuel and don't end up on this forum.
Of course, if you're interested in saving fuel for reasons other than cost, or if you'd like to strike a balance so that fuel savings can help cover the purchase cost, I can see how important the question is.
The closest thing I have to experience:
I had a 1987 Cadillac Deville with the HT4100 V8. I got 15-17MPG according to the DIC, and I was absolutely beating the everliving hell out of it (dumb kid). I probably could squeeze 23MPG or more out of it now, and that's an emissions-crippled V8 >4000lb car with the primitive computer-controlled fuel injection and a decent (but not great) automatic transmission.
i assume Jim is good and secure in his finances. what i take issue with is when people are struggling financially, but refuse to give up their spoiled lifestyle.
case in point...many years ago an associate of mine went thru a divorce. altho he made $100K+ a year and was now single, financial adversity came with his new life alone. he refused to given up his full size infiniti, even in the face of common sense.
edit: btw, $100k 15-20 years ago in florida was a boat load of money for context
...I won't repeat everything I wrote in the my post mentioned above, but are there any drivers of full size cadilac, buick, pontiac, mercedes, lexus, etc (perhaps with a V8) who get good mileage?
I agree, the original question posed was for big V-8 vehicles, and I would consider a Grand Marquis on par with a Buick.
As the sticker price of a vehicle climbs, the manufacturers care less and less about its economy. Nobody walks into a Rolls Royce dealer and balks at the 12MPG that most of their models get, (however, some of their models are rated at 18 highway, and could probably achieve low 20's if driven carefully on the highway.) The only "economy minded" high end vehicle (if you can call it that) is the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, which is rated for 20 City and 23 Highway, and all that luxury & "economy" will run you about $90,000.
I still feel that a Grand Marquis is probably the highest MPG full size V-8 sedan available in the US, maybe even the world. Its rated at 16 city/24 highway/19 combined. The 4.6 liter V-8 in those cars puts out more power than most will ever need, and they ride very smooth. When I drive my grandfather's Grand Marquis I have to set the cruise control, otherwise I end up going 100 MPH in that car and not realizing it. Just setting the cruise on 70, my grandfather's car gets 27 MPG. With a little work in the hands of an experienced hypermiler, 30 might be attainable.
I must digress though, I'm not trying to sell you a Mercury, it just fits the original question very well. if you are looking at specific market segments, you can search for them here: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/byclass.htm Among the classes that can be searched are "Upscale Sedans", "Large Sedans", and "Luxury Sedans". This is probably the best way to get a complete sortable list of the types of vehicles you're looking for.
I certainly did not buy my car new, but the original owner, in 2000, took a $80,000 hit to drive it off the lot.
Anyone else ever heard the old saying "a fool and his money are soon parted"? This has lots to do with why the economy today is in the condition it's in, many people buying things they couldn't afford $100,000 cars and $1,000,000 homes and now they have nothing, because the banks have repossessed their cars and foreclosed on their home because they couldn't make the payments. I'd much rather live within my income level and own something long term that to own something I can't afford for 6 months then have nothing at all. I too could own a $100,000 car, but putting back something for my future so I can enjoy life when I get older has always been much more important to me than driving a luxury car or living in a 5000 sf home.
Just give me something that rides like an overstuffed couch on 4 wheels with ice cold a/c and I'm happy. That's all the luxury I really need. Every vehicle I own can fit that description, even my 1986 pickup truck. I have always paid cash for vehicles, with the exception of the Harley, and that was paid off in 4 months.