Best Performance Sedans
Sedans are still popular enough, and buyers are still willing to integrate four-door usefulness with driving pleasure while SUVs continue to increase in popularity. And buyers looking to do so have a plethora of alternatives. As a result, we’ve compiled a list of the greatest sports sedans available for you to select from. This list is arranged alphabetically and contains vehicles from various prices, engines, and body style ranges. That means we’ve compiled a list of cars that range from inexpensive to pricey, gasoline-powered to electric, rear-wheel drive to all-wheel drive, and conventional four-door to liftback. For these vehicles to qualify for this list, they had to be designed for fun driving and have a low, sedan-like form. As a result not only are these our favorite sports sedans, but there’s one for every budget or other requirement. Let’s find the best performance sedans together!
Alfa Romeo Giulia Review
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is the first on our list because it’s one of the most conventional. Yes, the Italian sports sedan is enjoyable to drive, but the fact remains that it is. The Giulia comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 280 horsepower, making it one of the most powerful in its class. It’s coupled with an exciting and smooth eight-speed gearbox, depending on whether you have rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.
The driving experience is engaging and torqued, if a little short on revs, and the chassis feels incredibly light. The car comes out of corners with vigor. We also suggest opting for one with large and magnificent aluminum paddle shifters that make selecting gears more entertaining. And when it comes to the inside, it’s lovely but the various controls and knobs feel cheap, as does the infotainment system.
Of course, there’s the amazing Giulia Quadrifoglio. It has a Ferrari-derived twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 that produces 505 horsepower and is rear-wheel drive only. Thanks to its precise, talkative steering, great traction, and nimble feel, it’s one of the most enjoyable vehicles to drive on earth. And it’s no surprise that it goes fast since it has all of that power. You’ll need to be pretty well off to pay for its starting price of over $80,000.
BMW 3 Series and M3 review
Despite the fact that it has fallen in the past, the tiny luxury sports automobile benchmark is more solid today. The 3 Series boasts a number of features that appeal to customers. It’s available with a turbo four-cylinder, a plug-in hybrid four-cylinder, or a variety of turbocharged straight-six engines. It also has an outstanding interior made up of premium materials and ergonomic seats that are quite comfy. With fast and responsive displays and a user-friendly interface with plenty of options, each version comes standard. Of course, each variant comes equipped with a quick and exciting chassis as standard.
The base 330i comes standard with a 255-hp turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It’s really quick and offers excellent low-down torque. The eight-speed gearbox, which is available in all 3 Series variants, is smooth and quick, and it’s one of the finest in the class. Steering is rather numb, but the chassis is solid and eager to turn. The BMW rides well too . For an extra bit of power, there’s the plug-in hybrid that produces 288 horsepower and has up one to 22 miles of electric range (it doesn’t come with climate control). It isn’t much more expensive either.
The four-cylinder vehicles are quite reliable, but the six-cylinder cars, as you would expect, are more thrilling. The turbocharged six-cylinder in the M340i produces 382 horsepower. The M3 also gets improved suspension, brakes, and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential. The Performance upgrade raises power to 503 hp for the base model and 473 hp for the top-of-the-line M3 sedan.
The German-made M models also get better suspension, braking and gearbox modifications, allowing them to compete with the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio in terms of sports sedans. The basic M3 is one of the few manual transmissions in the class. It’s not cheap, but it’s a lot less expensive than the Alfa.
Cadillac CT4 Review
The 21st century has been a time of transition for Cadillac, from floaty barges to world-class sports sedans. The Cadillac CT4 is one of the final internal combustion Cadillacs and is a fantastic example of the breed with excellent handling, impressive refinement, and the option of a spectacular halo model.
The engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 237 horsepower or a 310-hp turbo 2.7-liter four-cylinder, both of which are standard. All-wheel drive and a six-speed manual gearbox are available as options. The basic turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder produces 237 hp, while the optional 310 hp version has three more cogs (sixth through second versus fifth through fourth). Above that is the CT4V with a 325-hp version of the same 2.7-liter engine, and the CT4V Blackwing with a 472-hp twin turbo V6. Only the Blackwing is offered with a six-speed manual gearbox, while only the four cylinder cars come standard with all wheel drive.
If you can, we recommend stretching to one of the 2.7-liter models, but every CT4 is extremely composed and responsive in its motions, with excellent communication. It’s one of the most engaging vehicles in the class. And of course, the Blackwing adds a lot more excitement to the mix, making it a unique manual choice in the high-end small sports sedan market. It’s that good that one of our editors purchased one. If that isn’t a ringing endorsement, we don’t know what is.
Dodge Charger Review
The Dodge Charger isn’t a typical sport sedan, but that’s part of its allure. You can’t get large rear-drive sedans with big, naturally aspirated V8s anyplace else. And they’re driven by a velvety transmission and adorned in curvy, aggressive bodywork. Surprisingly, when cruising or turning corners, they’re even pleasant to drive due to the compliant suspension and surprising grip.
Sure, it’s still hefty, and the steering isn’t particularly responsive, but it isn’t all that terrible, and the engine’s infectious charisma makes up for any faults. Take a look at our comparison of an SRT 392 with a Kia Stinger GT (the latter of which you’ll find much further down the list). The Charger also has plenty of power for the money, especially when equipped with a V8: 370 horsepower R/T, 485 horsepower Scat Pack, 707 horsepower Hellcat, and 797 horsepower Hellcat Redeye. In every regard, those are ridiculous numbers.
Of course, the Charger isn’t without its flaws. The interior, while equipped with a really nice infotainment system, is dated, claustrophobic, and doesn’t have the spaciousness that you would anticipate from such a large vehicle. The Dodge Charger is a somewhat unassuming vehicle. It has a turbocharged V6 engine that produces 300 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, which isn’t bad at all, but it doesn’t appear particularly sporty. Of course, the V8 models you want for fun driving have below-average fuel efficiency (every V8 model gets less than 20 mpg combined). Nonetheless, the Charger is a one-of-a-kind and character-filled automobile that deserves your attention.
Genesis G70 Review
The Genesis G70 is the best deal in our large luxury sport sedan category. It’s available with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 252 horsepower, or a supercharged 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 that generates 365 hp. Both come standard with an eight-speed automated transmission and rear-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is optional for both. And if you choose the four cylinder over the Alfa Romeo or BMW, you can save money while gaining much greater power (or if you want the four cylinder, you may save money).
The Genesis doesn’t disappoint in terms of quality or driving enjoyment at this low price. The V6 in particular is a lot of fun. It feels underappreciated, owing to the two turbines keeping you pinned to your seat as they spool up. The chassis is extremely solid, balanced, and communicative. The transmission isn’t as fast as the Alfa and BMW models, but it’s not an issue while driving. While the four-cylinder engine isn’t quite as thrilling, the car’s chassis is equal to that of its bigger competitors, and the lighter engine makes it a bit more nimble.
The materials inside are functional but not particularly attractive, and there are some concerns about panel gaps. Everything appears to be sturdy, although the panels may have been better fitted together. The infotainment system is also far simpler to use than either of the European automobiles on this list. In fact, the G70 has gotten even more appealing since its debut. You can’t overlook the G70 if you’re considering a fun sedan from this category.
Honda Civic Si and 2022 Civic Si Review
The Civic Si may be the most inexpensive sports sedan on our list, but it isn’t necessarily due for retirement. The previous generation began at about $26,000 and was both performance- and value-packed. The turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder produced 205 horsepower, which is rather modest in this class of vehicles, but it was exclusively mated to a six-speed manual gearbox with a real, mechanical limited-slip differential. Aside from the improved suspension, it also had upgraded spring rates and a lighter body. It was light, quick, and nimble, with some nice bodywork and comfy seats inside the spacious cabin. It also had efficient gas mileage with a combined fuel efficiency rating of 30 miles per gallon.
The next-generation 2022 Civic Si (pictured above right) is very similar, with the same turbo engine. It now produces somewhat less power at 200 rpm, but it generates greater torque throughout the rev range. The manual and limited-slip differential are retained, although there’s more customization with drive modes and even a variable exhaust system now available. The same number of convenient features are also retained. The car also takes advantage of new-generation Civic improvements such as a nicer interior, vastly enhanced infotainment system, and generally improved chassis. It’s a touch more expensive at around $28,000, but it’ll still be an outstanding and reasonably priced sports sedan.
Kia Stinger Review
The Kia Stinger is a brand-new model that was introduced during the 2017 New York Auto Show. This compact crossover starts at $35,800 and comes with all of the great features we’ve previously seen in the Genesis G70. There are, however, certain distinctions between them. The most apparent of which is shape. It’s considerably larger than the G70 and has a practicality-enhancing hatchback roofline that masks its size. It’s arguably even more attractive than the traditional G70, and interior capacity benefits from increased size as well.
The Stinger’s engine is identical to that in the G70, with a few exceptions. It also gets similar powertrains, although not precisely the same ones. A turbocharged four-cylinder is standard on the base model, however it’s a bigger 2.5-liter unit producing 300 horsepower. The twin-turbo V6 is essentially the same and generates 368 horsepower. Both are mated to an eight-speed automatic and have either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. Although we preferred the Stinger GT to the more powerful Charger Scat Pack (listed above), it was a very tight race .
The Stinger’s interior is less attractive than that of the G70, but it’s still attractive and much more roomy. It’s also cheaper than the Genesis variant because it is not a Genesis. The four-cylinder starts at around $37,000, while the V6 begins at about $44,000, which is slightly more expensive than the Genesis version. A limited-slip rear differential is standard on the V6 Stinger; this is an option on the Genesis.
Porsche Panamera Review
It’s difficult to discuss sporty cars without mentioning at least one Porsche, if not many more, and the same may be said about sedans. The Panamera is a great example of this, with a wide range of tastes. The entry-level twin-turbo V6 model has 325 hp and completes the sprint in 5.3 seconds, which is still pretty quick for its class. And there’s the Turbo S E-Hybrid with a whopping 690 hp from its electric and twin-turbocharged V8. The plug-in hybrid is just one of the several types, as you may have the V6 linked with the plug-in hybrid system with 455 or 552 horsepower. And depending on trim, each plug-in may have anywhere from 17 to 19 miles of electric range. All-wheel drive is available, much like most other Panamera models.
The driving experience is fantastic, and the reason you’ll want one is because it’s so enjoyable to drive. It has great steering with precise accuracy, despite being heavy yet not hefty. It goes round corners flat and informs you what’s going on. In the more powerful versions, it takes off with authority, and the gearbox shifts fast without issue. It’s not about whether you’ll use it for a short trip or an extended one, because the third-row seats fold down flat and the liftback has plenty of cargo capacity. With its liftback (there’s even more area if you opt for the Sport Turismo wagon), it does everything with ease, including handling large items with aplomb. The V8 models offer the most auditory excitement, but this isn’t necessary for a good time. It is somewhat heavy, the back seat is cramped, and prices are costly both to start and for the lengthy options list.
Porsche Taycan Review
The Porsche Taycan is a fantastic sports vehicle that doesn’t need to consume a lot of gasoline. It’s positively amazing, as the name implies. It has one motor and rear-wheel drive on the base version and two motors and all-wheel drive on higher trims. They come in three different variants: fast, faster, and fastest. The basic model produces 321 horsepower, while the 4S develops 429 horsepower, and the Turbo S makes 616 hp. All of these engines can produce more power for a period of time, but the last two have “overboost” maximum outputs of 670 and 750 horsepower, respectively.
The new Porsche Taycan Turbo is a wild animal, with all of the features that one expects from a Porsche. It has all of them, obviously offering plenty of immediate torque. You’d expect the typical Taycan to push you into your seat, but the Turbos would try to squash you; and the rest of the driving experience is exactly what you’d anticipate from a Porsche. The steering is effectively weighted, precise, and provides good feedback, as expected from a Porsche. There’s little body roll and it feels neutral and balanced. Despite the batteries’ weight, it seems to be lighter and smaller than previous models. Range varies by model; we’ve found that it frequently surpasses EPA estimates.
The vehicle’s interior is comparable to that of other Porsche models; well-built with excellent materials, but a bit uninteresting in terms of design. Due to its small door aperture and low, swooping profile, rear passengers will find the cabin to be a little cramped. The Turbo S starts at $186,000 and gets pricey quickly if you add any options. The base model starts at $84,000. In 4S and Turbo, you’ll be deep into six figures with options. The entry-level models are still quite quick and enjoyable, but for far less money than the Turbo variants. There are Sport Turismo wagon variants if you need additional space.
New 2022 WRX Subaru Preview and WRX Review
Another cheap sport sedan on the market is another value-packed automobile. The standard engine of the Subaru WRX is a turbocharged 2.0-liter flat-four that produces 268 horsepower. It’s mated to a six-speed manual transmission, but if you want something to shift for you, there are also CVT options available. That being said, we’d recommend choosing the manual over the CVT if at all possible. The CVT’s fuel efficiency of 21 mpg versus 23 for the manual is just one example. It’s not only more enjoyable, but it also saves gas and has a combined economy of 23 mPG compared to the CVT’s 21. Of course, it comes with improved suspension and a bigger body than the Impreza.
The WRX offers excellent traction due to its all-wheel-drive system, which makes it feel fairly neutral under throttle. The engine is classic turbo in nature, so it’s calm until the boost builds and arrives in a big rush higher up the rev range. It’s very responsive and enjoyable at high speeds when kept revved up. The STI produces 310 horsepower and has a more mellowed character owing to its 2.5-liter engine, which is even older than the WRX’s 3.6-liter V6 engine (which itself was originally developed by another Japanese manufacturer). However, it gets additional suspension tweaks, Brembo brakes, and a mechanical limited-slip center differential with adjustable front and rear power distribution.
The Forester is a fantastic vehicle for those who want to get most out of their money. It’s less than $30,000, though it’s somewhat spartan in terms of features. For a bit more money, you can purchase higher-end trim levels with better features. The WRX is about $10,000 more expensive to start. All WRX models suffer from an outdated, cheap-feeling interior that isn’t very comfortable, but the seats are excellent. However, if you’re primarily concerned with performance rather than comfort, the WRX is an excellent choice. It’s worth noting that a completely redesigned model will be available soon with a considerably improved interior however , it will feature the same drivetrain as now
The Audi S4 is a well-rounded sedan with the manufacturer’s aspirational contemporary design emblazoned on its back, powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter, 354 horsepower V6 engine, and a plethora of high-quality peripherals that give it an unmistakable German style. To bring the tried-and-true sedan in line with the brand’s newly updated models, an updated version of the S4 was released in 2015, giving it a hostile presence on the road while departing from conventional Audi formulae. For even more power, the V40 Cross Country gets multi-piston calipers, quad tailpipes, and an adapted HSI (Hot Side In) engine layout that mirrors those of the brand’s top performing vehicles, the S6 and S7.
BMW M6 Gran Coupe
Following an industry-wide surge into the realm of sporty 4-door sedans, BMW sought to secure its position with a rambunctious new variant as part of its attempt to extend its reign as one of the world’s best selling manufacturers. As a result, the M6 Gran Coupe was developed – a 560-horsepower twin-turbo bruiser with the same exquisite sheet metal as its smaller brother, but with a wider wheel base to allow for additional seats and doors. The 4.4-liter V8 is as huge as they come, providing drivers with a blistering 3.7-second 0-60 time and outstanding dynamic reactions due to the car’s well-tuned suspension, optional ceramic brakes, and sleek aerodynamic profile.
The Cadillac CTS-V was already a kingly figure among many of the country’s luxury sedans, with a well-known chassis that would become one of the most powerful vehicles produced in the past decade. After its predecessor, Cadillac’s decision to include the CTS-V Sport into the game has surely cemented its dominance even further.
This massive, barreling behemoth sports a gaudy 640 horsepower (and 640 lb-ft of torque), making it one of the most powerful sedans on the road. Borrowing from Chevrolet’s legendary performance automobile, the Corvette Z06, this big, barreling beast has an ostentatious 640 horsepower (and 640 lb-ft of torque), making it one of the most powerful sedans on the road.While the original CTS-V is near-undrivable on conventional American blacktop owing to its over-the-top power, the V-Sport takes everything into the realm of manageable, with all of the great features of its successor without all of the excessive figures. A finely tuned chassis and Aisin gearbox keep everything in order to complement the Sport’s power plant.
Lexus ES 350 F Sport
With the in-house tuning performance to match, some of their vehicles have become the go-to choice for individuals seeking a little style and elegance. The ES 350 F Sport is one such product, bringing a spacious, comfortable, and powerful addition to the manufacturer’s wide selection. The ES 350 F Sport, which has a naturally aspirated, 3.5-liter V-6 that produces up to 302 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque, is all about precise handling, steering, and chassis control. The car’s powerful eight-speed automatic gearbox allows it to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in under seven seconds (6.6). That, combined with the inclusion of paddle shifters on the wheel, should provide you with an exciting driving experience — at least when it comes to a strong four-door sedan that can also carry family and friends on weekends.