Top Gear’s top 20 sedans in the US
Sedans definitely aren’t dead, and these are some of the best
Look, we know the Sentra isn’t exactly an exciting proposition at first glance. But you know what? There’s a lot to be said about getting a fully loaded compact sedan for less than $25,000 including destination. The Sentra isn’t too bad to drive, it comes nicely equipped with lots of comfort and convenience goodies, and you know, it doesn’t look half bad. Seriously. It’s a good little car.Advertisement - Page continues below
Wow, talk about a glow-up. The Prius went from dreary and dumpy to, dare we say it, hot as heck. It’s decent to drive, too, and gets 57mpg in standard form. Need some extra efficiency? The Prius Prime has 45 miles of fully electric range on top of 52mpg combined. Good stuff, all around.
The Lexus ES isn’t an immediately appealing automobile, but spend a day with one, and you’ll get why we love it. This thing just oozes serenity – it’s quiet, comfortable, incredibly well-built, and easy-peasy to drive. It’s proof positive of Lexus’ longtime strong attributes, and you can get it with optional gasoline-electric hybrid power, so you can add fuel-sipper to the ES’ long list of creds.Advertisement - Page continues below
While the standard Acura TLX is a pretty solid compact luxury sedan, with turbocharged power and optional all-wheel drive, the uplevel Type S is absolutely where it’s at. The TLX has a twin-turbo V6 engine with 355hp as well as Acura’s torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system. It makes this otherwise innocuous sedan into a fast and formidable long-distance cruiser. Plus it comes in gold. Like, a good gold.
If you’re the kind of person who wants a car to be fun to drive above all else, the Mazda3 is a pretty sweet deal. It’s not terribly expensive, starting around $25,000, but it’ll out-handle bona fide sports cars, with light and accurate steering and a really nicely tuned chassis. The interior’s great, too. Also, the Mazda3 is available as a hatchback, which is what we’d normally highlight but, you know, sedan list.
We’ve always loved the Subaru WRX; it’s got this thrash-it-and-bash-it aura that makes you want to get it sideways on a dirt road. The new version might not be as sharp as its predecessors – and it’s not offered as a hatchback, either – but the WRX is still a riot, with 271hp, a 6-speed manual, and all-wheel drive. No sedan on this list wants to play in the mud quite like the WRX.
Bentley Flying Spur
While the Bentley Flying Spur isn’t the largest, most opulent sedan you can buy in the States (heya, Rolls-Royce Phantom), it’s arguably the best to drive. Get it with a V8 or a not-long-for-this-world W12 and the Spur’s a joy. Maybe avoid that half-step plug-in hybrid powertrain, though.Advertisement - Page continues below
Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing
In terms of outright bang for the buck, there’s no better car than the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing. For less than $100,000, you get a supercharged V8 with 668hp, which is, frankly, insane. But like, a great kind of insane. It’s also got rear-wheel drive and a manual transmission, making it endlessly entertaining. Sedans like this won’t be around for long.
Okay, look, the Polestar 2 is technically a hatchback, but it looks like a conventional sedan and it’s a super good car, so we’re putting it on this list. Technicality. Let it go. Anyway. The Polestar 2 got a bunch of updates recently, including more power, more range, and a switch to rear-wheel drive for the base car. It’s one of our favorite electric cars on sale today – and not terribly expensive, either.Advertisement - Page continues below
The Lucid Air is many things. It’s a beautiful and beautifully appointed sedan, but it’s also the electric car with the longest driving range of any new EV on sale today. Not enough for you? In hot-dog Sapphire trim, it’s one of the best-handling sedans we’ve ever tested – gas, electric, or otherwise. It might be expensive, but man, this thing rules.
The Kia K5 flies under the radar; it’s an incredibly competent midsize sedan that comes with lots of features at an affordable price. It doesn’t quite have the same longstanding name recognition as competitors like the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry, but the K5 is, in many ways, a better all-around package. Give it a shot. You won’t be disappointed.
The K5’s cousin, Hyundai’s midsize Sonata, is another solid sedan. This one also got a pretty dramatic refresh, with excellent exterior styling and fresh interior design. The Sonata also comes with an optional hybrid drivetrain and there’s a hot-ish N-Line get-up, too. It might not be as wholly well-rounded as a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, but it’s got a bit more pizazz – and that’s gotta count for something.
Which leads us to the Honda Accord, the absolute benchmark for midsize sedans. The long-standing Accord is a staple of Honda’s lineup, and it’s better than ever these days, with attractive design, an incredibly spacious cabin, efficient hybrid powertrain, and plenty of standard cabin tech. Need a fantastic daily driver with a sleek sedan shape? It’s hard to do better than the Honda Accord.
Holy moly, is this thing good. If you want proof of the Korean automotive industry’s progress, look no further than the Genesis G90. This thing has the chops to compete with Teutonic full-sizers like the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but for tens of thousands of dollars less. The Genesis G90 manages to out-Lexus the Lexus LS. What a car.
The Honda Civic is the benchmark of compact cars. It's got a perfect balance of efficiency, tech, and great road manners, and it'll never let you down thanks to Honda's proven long-term reliability. Don't sleep on the Civic Si, either, it's got a sweet turbo engine and manual transmission, and it's one of the most fun cars you can buy for less than $30,000.
Say what you will about the buck teeth up front, the BMW M3 is a total riot among sport sedans. Whether you go for the base, manual, rear-drive version or the razor-sharp M3 CS, this thing reminds us that BMW hasn’t lost the driving mojo so many people think are missing from its cars.
Hyundai Ioniq 6
The Ioniq 6 deserves a spot on this list for its design alone. This is Hyundai’s little spaceship, with styling that manages to blend futuristic and retro touches simultaneously. It’s a great-driving little EV, too, with generous range and fast charging speeds. We’d totally rock one of these everyday.
A lot of people freaked out when Porsche said it would build an electric car, worried that this car wouldn’t embody the same great-driving principles of the company’s other products. But here we are, years later, and the Taycan is one of the best-driving EVs you can buy. And like any good Porsche, it’s available in a whole mess of models and power outputs, and you can option one any way you want it. Sedan not your jam? Grab a Cross Turismo wagon.
BMW 7 Series
The 7 Series might not be the looker it once was, but this sedan is nevertheless an exemplar of BMW’s know-how with its flagship offering. Smooth gas engines, a great chassis, and some of the best interior tech around makes the 7 Series a total banger. You can even get it with a fully electric powertrain, too, without sacrificing any of the aforementioned goodness. Win-win.
But when it comes to luxury cars – specifically, luxury sedans – nobody does it like Mercedes-Benz. The S-Class is the flagship of flagships, the benchmark of benchmarks, the… well, the S-Class of Mercedes-Benzes. It blends power and serenity with killer styling and incredible luxury inside. Honestly, we’d rather have this than ultra-luxury competitors from Bentley and Rolls-Royce. Seriously, you guys, the S-Class is that good.