There’s no arguing SUVs are hot right now. They may have ample cargo space, but they usually can’t match lower-riding vehicles when it comes handling. Fortunately, there are many sedans on the market that are both practical and ideal canyon carvers. Keep reading for 11 sporty sedans that we enjoy driving. All of the sporty 4-door cars on our list start under $40,000.
It may be a Kia, but this sporty 4-door car has the right formula to make European luxury carmakers uneasy. The Stinger benefits from strong acceleration and nimble handling even with the base 2.0-liter turbo-four with 255 hp, not to mention the GT’s potent twin-turbo V-6 with 365 hp. For the performance you get, you can’t beat its starting price of $33,985.
Hyundai’s Genesis luxury brand has already made its mark after coming into existence only four years ago. Along with the luxurious G80 and G90, Genesis offers the small and sporty G70. It sits on the same platform as the Kia Stinger, but offers a stiffer ride and even quicker reflexes. From its competent four- and six-cylinder engines to its well-appointed interior and quiet road manners, this is a well-balanced pick. This could be the 3 Series fighter to beat all 3 Series fighters. We like it so much we named it our 2019 Car of the Year.
Tesla Model 3
Tesla’s early production woes with the Model 3 were well worth the effort. The sleek EV has minimal body roll thanks to its low center of gravity, and we love its quick responses. While technically priced under $40,000, prices climb quickly with higher-performing variants like the Model 3 Dual Motor Performance.
Alfa Romeo Giulia
Very few sporty sedans, if any, handle better than the Alfa Romeo Giulia. Starting just under $40,000, it tackles corners with poise and precision. The base 280-hp turbo-four engine impresses with strong acceleration, while managing 33 mpg on the highway. These are just a few of the reasons we named the Giulia our 2018 Car of the Year.
This isn’t your traditional sporty 4-door car. The Dodge Charger handles well for a large sedan—especially one based on an aging platform. If you want to maximize fun-to-dollar ratio, go for the R/T trim with a 5.7-liter V-8 packing 370 hp.
Honda Civic Si
With small performance and design updates for 2020, the Honda Civic Si sedan sells for a very comfortable $25,930. Not only has it survived the war against manual transmissions, it is available exclusively with a row-your-own option. We enjoy the light-shifting six-speed manual paired with a competent 1.5-liter turbo-four engine with 205 hp.
Honda Civic Type R
We’re impressed by this sporty 4-door sedan’s bargain price tag and all-wheel-drive grip. Its 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four will taunt you with some turbo lag off the line, but once you’re going, you’re rewarded with a strong 268 hp. Buyers can choose a six-speed manual or a surprisingly capable CVT.
Volkswagen Jetta GLI
It may look like a regular Jetta with some red lipstick, but you’ll feel the difference when you get it on the road. The Jetta GLI gets its magic from the famed Golf GTI hatchback. This sporty sedan now makes the same 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque as the GTI, borrowing its sprightly 2.0-liter turbo-four engine. It benefits from balanced handling and remains sure-footed when carving a corner.
Hyundai Elantra Sport
Priced from $26,895, the 2019 Acura ILX is a sharp-looking vehicle, especially in A-Spec trim. And it’s quite the performer, too. Although it only has 201 hp, it benefits from precise handling and a very smooth eight-speed dual-clutch.
Sporty 4-door sedans starting under $40,000
Kia Stinger – $33,985 | 255 Horsepower
Genesis G70 – $35,895 | 252 Horsepower
Tesla Model 3 – $36,200* | 235 Horsepower
Alfa Romeo Giulia – $38,990 | 280 Horsepower
Dodge Charger – $31,769 | 292 Horsepower
Honda Civic Si – $25,930 | 205 Horsepower
Honda Civic Type R – $35,595 | 306 Horsepower
Subaru WRX – $30,155 | 268 Horsepower
Volkswagen Jetta GLI – $27,890 | 228 Horsepower
Hyundai Elantra Sport – $24,730 | 201 Horsepower
Acura ILX – $26,895 | 201 Horsepower