8. Ford Focus ST
For years, the previous two cars in this list locked horns with little else to challenge them. Ford changed all that this year by finally bringing U.S. buyers a version of the sports-tuned Focus sold in Europe.
It isn’t quite as powerful as the Mazdaspeed3, but the 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder is still very potent. It offers 270 lb-ft of torque and 252 hp, which is more than enough to soar past speed limits without realizing it.
If you fancy the idea of having a powerful car that people won’t notice right away, this low-flying Ford is a fantastic choice. It starts at $24,495, which makes it slightly cheaper than the Mazdaspeed3.