Concerned about gas mileage but still need a business sedan that doesn't scream "economy car"? These models cut fuel costs while maintaining your image as a successful entrepreneur.
Acura TL: The hottest-selling sedan from Honda's luxury division lists for just under $30,000, gets 19 mpg city/29 highway with automatic transmission and boasts a 3.2-liter, V6, 225 horsepower engine. Currently available 2002 models have simple, clean lines and are spacious enough for six-footers. With included antilock brakes, the TL was tabbed a Best Buy by Consumer Guide magazine.
Audi A4: Top gas-miser on our list. If you choose the 1.8-liter engine and manual transmission, this four-door gets 23/32 mpg. The more powerful 2.8-liter engine, with 190 horsepower, drops mileage to 18/26. A well-built, nicely detailed sedan, the A4 has several engine options, with prices beginning at $30,340 for a V6 powertrain. Try to sticker-dicker: A 2002 redesign is due in November, and dealers will be eager to clear current inventory.
Chrysler 300M: With a 3.5-liter, V6 engine that pumps out 253 horsepower, mileage is a surprisingly decent 18/26. The near-luxury, roomy $30,000 300M beats out most rivals for passenger and cargo space and has a split folding rear seat. The lengthy standard equipment list includes antilock brakes and snazzy 17-inch chrome wheels, and the car is available with sporty AutoStick manual-shift automatic transmission.
Saab 9-5: Saab's 2.3-liter, 4-cylinder, turbocharged engine delivers 185 horsepower with manual transmission and ekes out 21/30 mpg. Automatic transmission decreases mileage a mere 1 mpg. Standard equipment includes OnStar and a free 3-year/36,000-mile scheduled maintenance program. Price: $33,000 to $40,000.
Editor and consultant Jill Amadio has reported on the automotive industry for 23 years.