Top 10 Best American Sport Sedans

Mike Schlee
by Mike Schlee

Even if the world has gone crossover crazy, there are still several tire-shredding, pavement-pounding American sport sedans that are both practical and fun to drive.

Available in sizes ranging from compact to full-size, these red, white and blue sport sedans are sure to satisfy a deluge of tastes. How many cylinders are wanted – four, six, eight or none at all? Would front, rear or all-wheel drive be preferred? Should the transmission be manual or automatic?

To help sift through the choices, we have listed 10 of the best American sports sedans on the market today. Here they are in alphabetical order.

2016 Buick Verano Turbo

Buick Verano Turbo

A Buick may not be the first manufacturer that comes to mind when discussing performance sedans, but the compact Verano has all the goodies to back up this claim. Packing a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that makes 250 hp, the Verano is easily the most powerful American compact sedan on the market.

SEE ALSO: 2015 Buick Verano Review

And even if the thought of front-wheel drive doesn’t get the blood pumping, there is one item that should – a manual transmission. Paired up with a decent chassis and large 18-inch wheels, the Verano is definitely more fun than the average compact sedan.

  • Engine: 2.0 L turbocharged four-cylinder, 250 hp, 260 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual, six-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • Starting Price: $30,095 after destination charges

2016 Buick Regal GS AWD in Quebec, Canada.

Buick Regal GS

Wait, another Buick on this list? What’s going on? The Buick Regal GS with all-wheel drive weighs a hefty 3,981 lbs and only makes 259 hp. How is that sporty?

The answer lies in the details. First, there is torque. With 295 pound-feet of grunt on tap, the Regal GS has more torque than the Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu or even the V6-powered Chrysler 200S.

SEE ALSO: Buick Regal GS Review

Next is the handling. Available with front or all-wheel drive, the Regal GS comes standard with Buick’s innovative HiPer Strut front suspension and optional 255/35ZR20 Pirelli P-Zero summer tires. It’s just too bad the Regal GS no longer offers a manual transmission and the pricing isn’t exactly cheap either.

  • Engine: 2.0 L turbocharged four-cylinder, 259 hp, 295 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive
  • Starting Price: $37,415 after destination charges

Cadillac ATS-V

There may be no V8 in the Cadillac ATS-V, but it doesn’t matter. With 464 hp pumping out of a 3.6-liter turbocharged V6, power is not an issue for the compact Cadillac super sedan.

SEE ALSO: 2016 Cadillac ATS-V Review

Cadillac did a lot more than just make a straight-line monster when applying the V treatment to the ATS. Every aspect of the car’s controls from the steering, braking and throttle has been quickened. The suspension setup is dialed in with such a neutral turn-in point that a novice driver may find it to be a bit twitchy upon corner entry. Oh, and did I mention it can be had with a manual transmission?

This is a scalpel of a sedan ready to perform precise surgery to any piece of tarmac it can get its rubbery paws on.

  • Engine: 3.6 L turbocharged V6, 464 hp, 445 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual, eight-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • Starting Price: $61,460 after destination charges

Cadillac CTS-V

If the ATS-V is the rambunctious youthful sport sedan, then the Cadillac CTS-V is the smooth, powerful veteran. Under the hood lies a 6.2L supercharged V8 engine that churns out 640 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque. A quick acting eight-speed automatic sends power to the rear wheels in this monster Caddy.

SEE ALSO: 2016 Cadillac CTS-V Review

Unlike the lively ATS-V, the CTS-V is more buttoned down and behaves more like an Autobahn annihilator than an autocross athlete. Burt that doesn’t mean it can’t hold its own in the corners, because it can.

  • Engine: 6.2 L supercharged V8, 640 hp, 630 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • Starting Price: $85,990 after destination charges

Chevrolet SS

What could easily be the most underrated car on the market today, the Chevrolet SS is a serious performance sedan. For starters, it packs a 6.2-liter V8 engine that makes 415 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. It can be paired to a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission, both of which send power exclusively to the rear wheels. Chevrolet claims this is good for zero-to-60-mph runs of 4.7 seconds.

SEE ALSO: 2015 Chevrolet SS Review

But the SS really shines when tackling corners. Standard equipped includes a limited-slip differential, Brembo brakes and suspension more at home on the track than the highway. Not only is this Chevy sedan fun to drive, but it also sounds great, thanks to the dual-mode exhaust system.

  • Engine: 6.2L V8, 415 hp, 415 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual, six-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • Starting Price: $48,870 after destination charges

Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack

Paying homage to the legendary Dodge performance cars of the 1960s, the 2016 Charger R/T Scat Pack is more than just a trim and badge upgrade. The R/T Charger gets a thorough overhaul, transforming the big sedan from decently quick to seriously fast.

First the engine is replaced by a meaty 6.4-liter HEMI V8 making 485 hp. Paired to an eight-speed automatic, power is sent to the rear wheels and managed by an electronic limited slip differential. The suspension is upgraded for better vehicle control, the steering ratio is lowered, the tires are higher performance and the brakes are larger, complete with a set of Brembo calipers. The Scat Pack Charger is a serious performer.

  • Engine: 6.4L V8, 485 hp, 470 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • Starting Price: $40,990

Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

But if the Charger Scat Pack isn’t quite enough car, don’t worry, there is always the SRT Hellcat. Packing a 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V8 engine, the Hellcat makes a ridiculous 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. Yeah, the car weighs 4,570 lbs, but with this much power, who cares?

SEE ALSO: 2015 Dodge Charger Hellcat Review

Being a true SRT model, the Hellcat receives all the usual SRT upgrades include a three-mode adjustable suspension, massive Brembo brakes and optional summer tires. Taking things a step further on the Hellcat model are exclusive performance upgrades like hydraulic steering and a mechanical limited slip rear differential.

  • Engine: 6.2L supercharged V8, 707 hp, 650 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • Starting Price: $68,640

Ford Taurus SHO

Want power, all-wheel drive and anonymity? The Ford Taurus SHO might just be the answer. Packing a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine, this isn’t your father’s Ford Taurus. Power is rated at 365 ponies and is sent to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.

SEE ALSO: Ford Taurus SHO Review

Brakes are upgraded to handle the speed and weight of the SHO, as are the wheels and tires. Hey, if it’s good enough to be a high-speed Police interceptor, then it’s good enough for us regular folk, right?

  • Engine: 3.5L turbocharged V6, 365 hp, 350 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • Starting Price: $41,150

Lincoln MKZ 3.0 Turbo

A Lincoln sport sedan may seem like an oxymoron, but for 2017, that may change. On the horizon is a substantially refreshed MKZ model that doesn’t just incorporate new styling – it also houses a lot more power.

SEE ALSO: 2017 Lincoln MKZ Video, First Look

Topping the range will be a new 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that should make around 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. That is a hefty upgrade over the current MKZ and to ensure it handles corners with ease, the new car will also be available with dynamic torque-vectoring all-wheel drive.

  • Engine: 3.0L turbocharged V6, 400 hp, 400 lb-ft. (est.)
  • Transmission: TBD
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • Starting Price: TBD

Tesla Model S P85D

What a wondrous world we live in. One of the fastest American sport sedans is an all-electric luxury car from an independent startup. By now, most of the world has heard of Tesla motors and the company’s Model S sedan. Constantly improving, it was the addition of all-wheel drive last year that really elevated the car’s performance.

SEE ALSO: Tesla Model S Review

When equipped as the P85D, the Model S can make 532 hp and 713 lb-ft. of torque in ludicrous mode from its dual electric motors. That’s enough juice to propel the large sedan from zero to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds. And best of all, it does so in a quiet, unsuspecting manner.

  • Motor: Dual electric motors, 532 hp, 713 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Single-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • Starting Price: $106,200
Mike Schlee
Mike Schlee

A 20+ year industry veteran, Mike rejoins the AutoGuide team as the Managing Editor. He started his career at a young age working at dealerships, car rentals, and used car advertisers. He then found his true passion, automotive writing. After contributing to multiple websites for several years, he spent the next six years working at the head office of an automotive OEM, before returning back to the field he loves. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). He's the recipient of a feature writing of the year award and multiple video of the year awards.

More by Mike Schlee

Join the conversation