With no signs of SUV and crossover lust slowing, sales for the humble sedan are in a death spiral. Too bad, because there
are a few sporty models that still offer thrills behind the wheel, with room to spare for friends and groceries.
Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S
Zero to 60: 3.1 sec
MSRP (From): $159,000
Is the latest flying four-door from AMG a family hauler, a loaded weapon, or just some cosmic joke? We found the answer during a triple-digit run on Austin’s Circuit of the Americas F1 track: It’s all of the above.
A roughly 4,500-pound sedan simply shouldn’t be able to reshape the contours of your face in a straightaway, then carve through a series of chicanes like a chef’s knife. Yet the GT 63 S does just that by combining plenty of power—a four-liter twin-turbocharged monster V8—with a high degree of wizardry, including an all-wheel-drive system, rear-axle steering, and an electronically controlled rear differential, all tweakable from the driver’s seat. Feel like torching some tires?
The drift mode lets you get loose while keeping the car right-side up.
But despite its pyrotechnics on the track, the GT 63 S provides admirable comfort on lei- surely drives—with room for four life- size adults. Just go light on the pedal so your passengers aren’t nauseous when you pull up to the valet.
Zero to 60: 4.7 sec
MSRP (From): $39,300
When you climb out of the low driver’s seat in this roomy Korean sports sedan, its name feels perfectly appropriate. With your hands off the paddle shifters and the keys given back to their rightful owner, that’s when it stings a little—it’s the car you should’ve bought.
From its brawny, stately silhouette to its rousing handling (even on a base, non-GT model), the Stinger is a smartly put- together, spirited car that outclasses nearly everything else at its price. No wonder: A former director at BMW’s performance division led the team that tuned its chassis, while an ex–Audi manager handled the design. And unlike the German competition’s, the Stinger’s powertrain warranty lasts a decade.
Zero to 60: 5.2 sec
MSRP (From): $68,000
The lithe and louche fastback form of Audi’s nearly decade-old A7 is one of the few recent designs that seem timeless, without an errant line. Luckily, a mild revamp—nips, tucks, and narrower LED lighting—don’t make this grand tourer a fashion victim; they just emphasize its strengths.
Underneath the aluminum and high- strength steel shell are a host of changes, from a two-screen infotainment system that’s intuitive (auf Wiedersehen, scroll wheel) to a 48-volt hybrid system that recaptures braking energy to boost the turbocharged V-6 engine’s fuel economy. And the drive? It’s smooth and sublime, whether you’re carving up back roads or haul- ing high-speed across the country. Word of caution—should you go on an extended trip in the A7, back-seat guests may complain about the fast- back’s lack of headroom. Explain that it’s a small price to pay for greatness. Or just crank the stereo.