Base Price: $42,500
If you’re looking to cop an S3, don’t go into it thinking you’re buying a typical Audi. It’s different, but in a good way. It feels very much like a luxed up Volkswagen Golf R (because it pretty much is). It has all-wheel drive, 292 horsepower, and room enough for four. If you’re willing to pay the premium over the already expensive Golf R, the S3 is the way to go.
Base Price: $34,065
At one point, Buick only offered the Regal GS with a manual. An admirable proposition, to say the least. Today you can snag a Regal GS with either an automatic or manual, but that doesn’t discount its performance credentials. 259 horsepower is unleashed from a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. It’s cheap too, at only $34,065 starting off.
Base Price: $46,575
The Chevrolet SS isn’t exactly the one-two punch Chevy was hoping for (I blame poor branding). But that doesn’t mean it’s a vehicle that should be written off altogether. The opposite, in fact.
You get 415 horsepower, choice of automatic or manual, all for under $50,000. Why aren’t more people buying this car?!
Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack
Base Price: $39,995
Say the word Hellcat and ears perk up like a dog about to get a treat. But the Hellcat is overrated as a performance sedan, especially when you consider what the R/T Scat Pack has to offer.
485 horsepower in an extremely balanced, relatively affordable ($39,995) American sedan. If you ever get a chance to drive this spec on the track (I have), you’ll see what I mean.
Jaguar XF S
Base Price: $62,700
M3, RC F, and even ATS-V seem like obvious choices here. But before you go out and buy something your neighbor already has in his driveway, consider the Jaguar XF S. It’s not perfect, but the F-Type-inspired suspension really gives you a connection with the car not many other vehicles can. The 380-horsepower V6 ain’t half bad either.
Base Price: $32,510
How can a car with a CVT be so much fun to drive? Nissan has figured out the formula to make the Maxima more fun than most vehicles in the segment. The steering is tight and responsive, and the CVT delivers a healthy heaping of torque. Pair that with some dramatic styling, and you have a recipe for an underrated sports sedan in the making.
Tesla Model S
Base Price: $70,000
No engine? No problem. America’s electric sedan of choice, the Tesla Model S, hit the market with green aspirations and dreams of a cleaner future. That quickly turned into drag racing Vipers and making gas-powered cars look silly. In the top trim P90D with Ludicrous Mode, the Model S will hit 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds. Oh that sweet, sweet torque.
Volvo S60 Polestar
Base Price: $60,900
It’s like spotting bigfoot, or the loch ness monster. That flash of Riviera Blue in the corner of your eye can only mean one thing—Volvo. Not just any Volvo, a hotted-up S60 Polestar.
Like the XF S, the S60 Polestar is an outcast in the typical luxury performance sedan segment. But don’t underestimate what the Swede’s are able to accomplish on a six-year old platform.