One of the better handling luxury cars for around C $14,000 is the 2010 or newer Buick LaCrosse. My Mother has one with the 2.4l and the handling and tossibilty with the smaller engine up front is quite fun. This car competes with with the Lexus ES when it came out and Edmund's picked the Buick over the Lexus.
The LaCrosse will have superior handling compared to the Toyota Avalon which is one of the worst handling, large cars today. Her sees 26 mpg in mixed rural setting running the AC. Your could go with more luxury in a MKC or XTS, but they sacrifice some ride quality for better handling. But those will have better materials inside and also have the curb appeal.
Remember too that tire quality and age play a big factor in the attitude of the car. A newer tire will have a much better ride and lower noise than an older tire.
Another car to consider is the smaller Lincoln MKZ. It is essentially a Ford Fusion and will ride better with it's longer wheelbase while still looking the part.