The most fuel-efficient luxury cars sold in the United States aren't homegrown -- they're imported.
Europe and Japan lead the fuel-economy crusade for the luxury sector, in part because economic conditions in those regions have given local automakers major incentives to develop cars that conserve fuel while still providing amenities that luxury shoppers crave.
"European automakers have had to be conscious of fuel economy for decades," says Mike Omotoso, senior manager of global powertrain forecasting for J.D. Power and Associates in Westlake Village, Calif. "In Europe, high-tech includes good performance coupled with good fuel economy."
Seven of the top 10 most fuel-efficient luxury cars sold in the U.S. come from European manufacturers. Most are versions of models developed for Europe, where high gas prices (due to high taxes on fuel) make efficiency a higher priority than it is in the U.S., Omotoso says. Japanese luxury-car companies Acura and Lexus make the remaining three models on our list.