There are two types of performance cars. Some ignore frills to focus solely on delivering exceptional handling. Being sparsely equipped, they can be challenging to live with. Other performance cars provide speed and excitement that doesn’t come at the expense of comfort. If you prefer the latter and you’re shopping for a used car, you’ll want to take a look at the five models listed below.
1. 2013-2016 BMW M5
The M5 is the performance variant of BMW’s 5 Series sedan. It perfectly marries the refined luxury of the rear-wheel-drive 5 Series with the performance-tuning wizardry of BMW’s M Division. The fifth generation of the M5 was offered between 2013 and 2016, and it’s powered by a turbocharged V8 that kicks out 560 horsepower, which increases to 575 horsepower with the optional Competition Package. The engine also delivers a staggering 502 pound-feet of torque through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and this wealth of low-end grunt gives the M5 prodigious acceleration capabilities. Getting to 60 mph takes 4.2 seconds.
BMW’s M5 treats drivers to standard and optional amenities that include a plush, leather-and-Alcantara lined cabin, heated front seats, night vision, automated parking assistance and a head-up display.
2. 2016 Cadillac CTS-V
With its sculpted panels and angular front fascia, the Cadillac CTS is one of the more visually striking choices in the luxury segment. The rear-wheel-drive CTS-V is the performance version of the CTS sedan, and it elevates the proceedings by bringing the supercharged V8 from the Chevy Corvette Z06. The result is a high-performance sedan with 640 horsepower and 630 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to reach 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. The CTS-V handles this surplus of power effortlessly, and it proves to be a refined companion in all circumstances.
The current generation of the CTS-V was launched in 2016 and brought a major boost in power. Luxury touches include a sueded heated steering wheel, wireless phone charging, a Wi-Fi hot spot and a Curbview Camera to protect the front end while parking.
3. 2008-2016 Audi S5
The first generation of the Audi S5 expanded on the A5’s premium content by adding performance upgrades such as a more athletic engine and a sport-tuned suspension. The earliest models were offered with a V8 good for 354 horsepower. By the 2013 model year, the V8 had been dropped. It was replaced by a muscular supercharged V6 that generates 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. Offered as a coupe or convertible, the S5 provides exhilarating driving dynamics, while its standard all-wheel drive makes it a solid pick for those who frequently travel in muck, rain or snow.
With the S5, you get a truly opulent cabin crafted with top-notch materials. Luxury features include xenon headlights, heated and ventilated front seats and leather upholstery.
4. 2012-2016 Porsche 911
Sold in coupe and convertible body styles, the iconic Porsche 911 has become synonymous with high standard of sports-car achievement. The car’s aerodynamic sheet metal telegraphs its formidable performance capabilities, and it offers engine options with output ranging from 350 to 560 horsepower. Both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available. The 911 offers the track-ready handling you’d expect from a nameplate that’s become a performance legend, and that agility is paired with a friendly, easy-to-live-with disposition.
Leather upholstery and bi-xenon headlights are standard, and the 911 is available with premium options such as adaptive sports seats and a Burmester sound system.
5. 2014-2016 Maserati Quattroporte
Voluptuous and supremely talented, the Maserati Quattroporte brings dazzling levels of Italian glamour to the luxury-car segment. This large sedan boasts sheet metal that makes a stunning impact, catching the eye with its sinuous curves and sleek profile. But you’re likely to be even more impressed with what’s under the hood. The Maserati Quattroporte offers a choice of two engines: a 404-horsepower V6 and a 523-horsepower V8. Regardless of which engine you choose, the Quattroporte delivers crisp acceleration and sharp handling. Both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available.
The current generation of the Maserati Quattroporte was launched in 2014. Standard features include adaptive headlights and leather upholstery. Upgrades include a bespoke silk interior, heated rear seats and four-zone climate control.