Top 10 Least Fuel Efficient Luxury Cars

Luxury, excess, extravagance, low mpg, they all fit together like your hand on a golden stick shift embossed with your family crest. ForbesAutos rounds up the top ten least fuel efficient luxury cars. There are more than 10 as some cars tied for the same lack of fuel efficiency.

10. Audi S4
9. Audi S6
8. BMW 760Li
7. Cadillac STS-V, Audi S8, Audi A8L W12
6. 6. Audi RS 4
5. Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG,
4. Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG
3. Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG, Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG,
2. Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG, Mercedes-Benz SL600
1. Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG, Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG, Mercedes-Benz S600, Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG, Mercedes-Benz CL600, BMW M6, BMW M5,


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  1. PatrickIs2Smart says:

    What do you mean these 12 cylinder luxury sports cars get horrible gas mileage?!

  2. medcat2010 says:

    Oh well, guess I’ll be taking mine back tomorrow.

  3. rmz says:

    My computer is probably pretty energy-inefficient too. But it’s not supposed to be as efficient as an eMachines.

  4. pinkfreud says:

    all the frat boys don’t mind

  5. Laffy Daffy says:

    I’ll admit I don’t know squat about the luxury segment of the market but I’m counting 21 cars … what gives?

  6. dorkins says:

    At least they don’t use crop-based biofuels, which are “bad for the environment”:

    “The clearance of grassland releases 93 times the amount of greenhouse gas that would be saved by the fuel made annually on that land, said Joseph Fargione, lead author of the second paper, and a scientist at the Nature Conservancy. “So for the next 93 years you’re making climate change worse, just at the time when we need to be bringing down carbon emissions.” []

    or cause food shortages for the poor: []

    or consume as much energy as a Prius:

    “Comparing this data, the study concludes that overall hybrids cost more in terms of overall energy consumed than comparable non-hybrid vehicles. But even more surprising, smaller hybrids’ energy costs are greater than many large, non-hybrid SUVs.

    For instance, the dust-to-dust energy cost of the bunny-sized Honda Civic hybrid is $3.238 per mile. This is quite a bit more than the $1.949 per mile that the elephantine Hummer costs. The energy cots of SUVs such as the Tahoe, Escalade, and Navigator are similarly far less than the Civic hybrid.”


    Life is so complicated!

  7. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Hmm.. Most/all of these cars are performance luxury cars. People that buy cars for performance don’t necessarily care about fuel economy.

    Why does Forbes keep churning out these worthless lists?

  8. sp00nix says:

    What about my 1975 Mercedes 280s?

  9. brosnan6 says:

    All right! I made the top 5 :)

  10. satoru says:

    It’s somewhat of a silly rating. Of course all the AMGs are going to be in there. For god sakes they put an AMG engines in Zondas! It’s like complaining that your Lambo doesn’t get good gas mileage.

    No one buying these kinds of vehicles care about its gas mileage, no matter what the cost of gas. You’re buying into a lifestyle, and in that lifestyle cost isn’t a factor.

  11. Notsewfast says:

    Top 7… damn…

  12. Yogambo says:

    Wait a minute, these are all German aside from one Cadillac (that’s tied and may have a German engine)!! Is this a conspiracy? Does Forbes hate the Germans? Or are the Germans up to something here, particularly those hot-rodders at AMG.

  13. Buran says:

    @Yogambo: AMG doesn’t care about fuel economy. It’s pretty sad that so many companies blatantly don’t care. We can make high-performance cars that get good mileage too — like VW’s GTI.

  14. Topcat says:

    @Buran: Comparatively, the VW GTI is not exactly a high-performance car. That is, off the line next to an AMG or M5, you’d need a calendar to express accurately the difference between them.

    Really, the Economist has covered this before: the German manufacturers posit, rather correctly, that their luxury cars make up a very small proportion of cars on the road. Removing them because of their high emissions would cause relatively little change in total emissions by cars, compared with imposing stricter standards on inexpensive cars that make up the bulk of road-going vehicles.

    If I had the cash, I’d certainly be driving something with an ‘M’ badge from BMW before I’d plunk myself in a Prius.

  15. itmustbeken says:

    This list brought to you by the Ford Motor Company.
    “See, we’re not that bad!â„¢”

  16. redhelix says:

    @rmz: Energy efficient as an eMachines?

    Oh, you mean how they don’t work at all, thus consuming less power

  17. takethecanoli says:

    Big deal. Add up the total # of every one of those cars sold in the US and it’s likely a fraction of Suburbans sold.

  18. takethecanoli says:

    Big deal. The total # of every one of those models sold is likely a fraction of the # of Suburbans sold over the same time period.

  19. Claystil says:


    The first study you cite has yet to receive any professional peer review.

    The second “study” has major holes and has been destroyed time and time again by major organizations. If you want citiations I can look later.

  20. Claystil says:

    @dorkins: The first study you reference has yet to receive peer review. The second has been ripped apart repeatedly by major scientific org.’s.

  21. Bernie530 says:

    Top 10? I count 21 cars.

  22. docb says:

    i just went from a prius to the rs4. i used to fill up every 3 weeks, now i fill up every 6 days.

    I LOVE IT!!!!

    however, this will be the last guzzler i ever own.

  23. JustAGuy2 says:

    Honestly, if you’re buying an S65 AMG for $100k-plus, I very much doubt gas prices are much of a concern.

  24. fishing-ace says:

    notice how they’re all german…. zero japanese cars up there….

  25. chartrule says:

    interesting that most of the vehicles on that list if not all are tuned for performance not economy the fact that they are not fuel efficient makes sense

  26. chartrule says:

    oops missed the earlier posting of the same thing I said


  27. Hawk07 says:

    I think those are the lower end of the luxury car spectrum. I would imagine Bentley’s and RR’s get worse, considering they are touring cars and tend to be very heavy, but with powerful V8-V12 engines to compensate.

    Also, if you’re buying cars in that class, you’re unlikely to pay much attention to rising fuel costs.

  28. wesrubix says:

    @satoru: Amen!

    And how can this be a top 10 list with multiple entries in each list item? Talk about poor ranking methodology.

  29. goodywitch says:

    Anyone else reminded of the Janis Joplin song?

  30. @Claystil: It’s OK. He’s probably just a conservatarian who thinks that not only should the government not tax him for anything, but that anything you’d ever want to do is OK, whether it hurts the community long-term or not.

  31. FLConsumer says:

    @Hawk07: There are quite a few cars left off this list. Bentley, Rolls-Royce, and even Mercedes’ Maybach are noticably missing.

    Rather than this, why doesn’t Forbes focus on how inefficient mid-size cars are (especially American brands) to luxury cars? I had the misfortune of driving a stripped-down bare bones Ford Tarus as a rental car. I only got 20-21mpg with that car. My Infiniti has a 4.5L V8 and I get 22-25mpg actual city driving out of it and I’ve added a larger alternator, separate 110vAC system, and 2nd compressor in the car, and I drive the Infiniti far harder than the Ford Tarus rental.

  32. satoru says:

    @FLConsumer: That was exactly what I was thinking. I mean when you think ‘actual’ luxury, those are the brands that come to mind. BMW’s and Mercedes’ are the ‘poor mans’ luxury car! :)

    I recall that on that rather short lived Victoria Beckham show she went to the DMV for a license. The clerk remarked that “oh so you must drive a Mercedes” and Victoria replied “Oh no I have a Bentley”. She said it like it was an insult to even be seen in a Mercedes. And the clerk looked at her with this blank stare, so you know he had no idea what a Bentley was. The show was dumb but I got a good laugh out of that bit!

  33. FLConsumer says:

    Having driven both, the Bentley really is in a whole other league. The fit & finish is exactly what every car SHOULD be. Prior to driving Bentley, I thought they were waaay overpriced. I still think they’re overpriced, but only by about 10-20%.

  34. ARP says:

    @dorkins: As others have mentioned, the studies you cite are full of holes. For example, they assume the most expensive components from the most expensive suppliers, that travel the greatest distance. In essence, they use the maximum possible cost per mile. While on the hummer, they assume the most (or much more) efficient use of resources and transportation. These are the same people who still think that it costs more to create a solar energy panel than the energy you get out of it.

  35. Buran says:

    @Topcat: So? How exactly is it legal to make full use of these things? How many people actually go to a track? Not many. OK, so the GTI is a second slower to do 0-100 kph. So what? I can buy FIVE GTIs for what some of those things cost.

    People who sit there and compare fractions of seconds when checking how fast their cars are probably need to get out more.

  36. Oface says:

    what i want to know is….what person besides a Prius driving tree hugger gives a crap? I mean….really? People don’t buy these cars for fuel economy. Seriously.

  37. shoegazer says:

    Feck these lists. Obviously SOMEBODY’s got to be the “Least Fuel Efficient” in a population of cars, just as some electric hybrid shoebox made of reycled toilet paper is going to be “Most Fuel Efficient”. What WOULD be news is if the Toyota Pious somehow got into a list of “Cars I Wouldn’t Be Embarrassed to Drive”.

  38. shoegazer says:

    BTW at the end of the article, they link you to the Mercedes, Benz and Audi showrooms. Now I’m confoosed.

  39. ppiddyp says:

    Oh look, the list of the top 21 cars I’d like to own (minus the sole american car).

    The mildly ridiculous part of this is that those fuel economies are way lower than the 15-20 years older versions of those cars. The e28 M5 got more like 20 mpg, not 13. Likewise, the current S4 gets 15 mpg compared to the 25 mpg that the ’91 200TQ or 23 mpg that the UrS4 got.

    Still, you know what I love? Backing out of the garage in the morning in my ’88 535is and smelling that delicious cloud of incompletely gasoline hanging around after a cold start. It’s wrong, I know, but part of me just loves filthy, nasty old cars.

  40. zarex42 says:

    What’s the point of this list? These are all high performance sports/luxury cars. Of COURSE they don’t have good mileage. But so what? Dumb.

  41. fergthecat says:

    @dorkins: Um, a Civic consumes $3.24 *per mile* in energy over its life? So, if you drive it 100,000 miles it costs $324,000 in energy? I’m not too good at math, but that makes no damn sense. I wonder who funded that research?