The 5 Best Affordable American Sedans (of the Last Five Years)
SUVs have stabbed sedans straight through the heart—or is it the back?—but that doesn't mean there aren't still a few recent models out there that are worth a look. In fact, Detroit has produced a litany of intriguing four-door automobiles over the course of the past few years that stand as appealing alternatives to the sport-utility group-think that has gripped the automotive industry.
Here are our picks for the 5 best affordable American sedans of the last five years.
2017-2019 Ford Fusion Sport
The Ford Fusion was the Blue Oval's all-around champ, a four-door mid-size model that was equally comfortable as an inexpensive entry-level commuter as it was chugging down electrons in hybrid or plug-in hybrid trim. It's no surprise, then, that towards the end of its lifespan a performance-oriented version of the Fusion, the Fusion Sport, was added to the mix.
The Ford Fusion Sport benefited from the installation of the brand's 2.7L EcoBoost V6, which made use of twin turbochargers to churn out 325 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. Those are solid numbers for any sedan, and thanks to the vehicle's standard all-wheel drive system (which adds rear traction should the front tires begin to slip), the Fusion Sport can hit 60 mph in a respectable 5.1 seconds. This makes it faster than many, if not most of its front-wheel drive contemporaries, and its speed is paired with a set of adaptive shocks that help give the Fusion Sport an edge when it comes time to corner.
Despite being legitimately fun to drive, the Sport sailed mostly under the radar during the brief few years it was on the market. It's a steal as a used car, if you can find one, and just as comfortable and useful as any other Fusion of its era.
2015-2022 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack
If a V8 and rear-wheel drive is more your speed, then the Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack represents the sweet spot of four-door Detroit fun. There's a lot to like about the Charger package, as it’s incredibly roomy, comes with an enormous trunk, and delivers one of the best infotainment setups in the game in the form of Uconnect. It's also styled more aggressively than most other family cars, especially when found in R/T Scat Pack trim.
The real benefits of selecting the Scat Pack, however, reveal themselves as soon as you hit the ignition. Featuring a 6.4L V8, this version of the Charger delivers 485 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque, along with the kind of exhaust roar more typically associated with cinematic kaiju.
With a 0-60 time of under 4 seconds, and available widebody edition for those who intend to do more than terrorize the drag strip, the Scat Pack is a less expensive alternative to the Charger's more famous Hellcat cousin.
2017-2019 Cadillac CTS V-Sport
Like the Charger R/T Scat Pack, the Cadillac CTS V-Sport has a family member that gets a lot more press (the CTS-V). Although its supercharged sibling may benefit from the shock and awe of its phenomenal V8 drivetrain, the CTS V-Sport quietly stood apart as one of the quickest luxury sedans you've never heard of.
At the heart of the V-Sport (which was intended as an interim step between the standard CTS and the full-on V model) is a 3.6-liter V6 that's been twin-turbocharged to produce 420 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. The sedan's eight-speed automatic transmission dumps that power to the rear wheels, spinning them to a sub-5 second 0-60 sprint. The best part, however, is that the CTS chassis is in many ways just as enjoyable as that found in the true V model, making it an absolute blast to drive when the roads start to get curvy.
2018-2020 Buick Regal GS
When General Motors began importing Opels from Europe in the late 2000s and rebadging them as Buicks, few could have imagined that it would result on the automaker's best-handling front-wheel drive sedan in decades. By the time its second generation rolled around, the Buick Regal GS had lost its manual transmission and turbocharged engine but gained a super-practical liftback, an upgraded interior, and standard all-wheel drive.
Not quite as lithe as its predecessor, the later Regal GS is still worth a look thanks to its ability to match Japanese near-luxury brands such as Acura and Lexus in terms of amenities, while also providing quick acceleration thanks to its 310 hp, 3.6L V6 (which further produces 282 lb-ft of twist). It also features an adaptive suspension and sleek styling for thousands of dollars less than what you'd pay for an equivalent TLX.
2017-2020 Lincoln Continental
The final Lincoln to bear the Continental nameplate couldn't quite live up to the flagship expectations that came with its revival. That being said, given its affordability as a secondhand car there's a lot to like about the large and comfortable four-door.
The Continental was the first vehicle to get a taste of Ford's now-ubiquitous 3.0L EcoBoost V6 variant, which checked in with 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive models are available, but it's worth seeking out an all-wheel drive edition for better performance. Lincoln stuffed the Continental with gear, especially Black Label editions, and while the vehicle might not be as refined as its European competition the interior represented a big step-up for the brand at the time.
The Continental is an uncommon car available at a surprising price, and as close as the company is likely to get in the near future to a truly impressive four-door sedan.