We’ve come to expect speed and performance from classics like the Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, and Dodge’s Challenger and Charger. We know the Ford GT, Chevrolet Corvette, and Dodge Viper (RIP) are built to compete with other track stars in the luxury world of Ferrari, Lamborghini, and even Acura. But what about the other cars that we don’t always think of first? Cars that don’t always get the name association for great engineering and design. Some of the cars on this list have been stars in their own right, don’t get me wrong. But what do you think of when you think of fast cars? How about famous actors and actresses? Did John Boyega or Amy Adams immediately pop into your head? Exactly.
This list consists of new or 2017 vehicles that look fast and are fast but at their base, aren’t first considered sports cars or supercars. Some of the vehicles listed are performance or racing variants, and that is ok. Fast means less than a six-second 0-60 time, which is fast enough to shame the punk kid in his mom’s minivan rolling up to you at the stop light. Or, fast enough to maneuver in traffic or not stress about merging onto the highway. In some instances on this list, it’s faster than a Camaro, Mustang, or Challenger. The point is, your head is hitting the headrest but you aren’t breaking your neck. Or maybe you are, some of these are pretty fast.
2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT
- 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds
The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is a bit of an outlier on this list. But it exists, so we are going to talk about it. With a 6.4 L HEMI V8 engine, it produces 475 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. It literally has a Launch button.
Even with the boxy Jeep body, the Grand Cherokee SRT manages to look fast, too. A lot of thought was put into making it look like a street racer instead of an off-roader. I imagine some secret branch of the government purchased a fleet of these specifically for high-speed car chases and investigating UFO sightings. In any case, this is a rare gem that should be cherished.
2017 Infinity Q60
- 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds
The 400 horsepower Twin Turbo V6 is a bit of a marvel. Paired with an AWD powertrain and aerodynamic body, the Infiniti Q60 moves and is everything you want in a coupe. It has sharp looks, comes loaded, and gets you where you want to go in a hurry. For the price, you get a lot of value, which will help with those speeding tickets. *Please drive responsibly.
2017 Ford Focus Hatchback RS
- 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds
Ford placed a 2.3 L 4-Cylinder EcoBoost engine in the Focus RS, giving it a little edge. 350 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque kind of edge, to be exact. This AWD hatchback was also given a unique design that maximizes downforce while creating zero lift and let’s be honest, it just looks really cool. It comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission and is an impressive feat of engineering thanks to the torque vectoring technology and a slew of other advancements made for this car. It’s an exciting car for Ford that looks to be in the right place at the right time for its segment.
Note: The Ford Focus Hatchback ST is impressive in its own right and just missed this list by .3 seconds.
2017 Subaru WRX STI
- 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds
Carrying over the 2.5 L turbo 4-Cylinder engine, the 2017 Subaru WRX STI produces the same 305 horsepower and 290 ft-lb of torque as it did last year. When you have something that works, and really works, messing with it can be disastrous. The WRX underwent some exterior changes, however, but still looks fast thanks to the hood scoop and spoiler. As for the actual performance of the car, the customizable AWD, stiffer suspension, and 6-speed manual transmission make for a fast, fun drive and loyal enthusiasts don’t seem to be going anywhere with the latest redesign.
2017 Lincoln MKZ
- 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds
When upgraded to the available 3.0 L V6, the AWD Lincoln MKZ pushes 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft torque. With the Driver’s Package, a sport-tuned suspension, Dynamic Torque Vectoring, and exclusive 19” wheels are added with a unique grille. What you get is great performance from the underpinnings of a Ford Focus, with the looks of an Aston Martin or a Jaguar. You also get the Driver Assist features and enhanced technology that comes with a luxury line of vehicles.
Note: The 2017 Lincoln Continental shares the same 400 hp V6 and just missed the list.
2017 Volkswagen Golf R
- 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds
Hatchbacks, hatchbacks, hatchbacks. Ok, the Volkswagen Golf R looks fast in the way that it looks like something your parents would drive. But given the right performance package and accessories, it looks like something your parents would drive if they were going through a midlife crisis. Is that is what is going on with the Golf, Volkswagen? The Golf R is still young at heart, just like your parents, with a 2.0 L turbo 4-Cylinder engine pumping 292 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. It handles extremely well and has all the insides of what makes a great racer or daily driver.
Note: The Volkswagen Passat almost made the cut thanks to its quick performance and sporty looks.
2017 Audi A3
- 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds
The 2017 Audi A3 cleans up nicely, particularly the 2.0T Quattro Premium Plus. The new, more angular headlights and aggressive front fascia flow nicely into the rest of the A3, continuing strong lines toward the rear of the vehicle. It looks fast when it comes at you, and as it zips by, you’re not quite sure if you just saw a four-door. With a 2.0 L turbocharged 4-Cylinder paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission, the A3 pushes 220 horsepower and 258 lb-ft torque through all four wheels.
2017 Honda Civic Type R
- 0-62* mph in 5.7 seconds
Honda touts a 5.7 second 0-62* mph (0-100 km/h) time for its Racing variation of the 2017 Honda Civic, landing a 5.5 second 0-60 mph calculation. With the Honda Civic SI numbers not in yet, we thought the Type R was a great addition to the list and hoping that the SI will give us something close to the 6-second range. The Type R is an aggressive looking hatchback with sharp aerodynamics and an array of features. It certainly looks the part and the bite matches the bark (the bark sounds really good, too, if you haven’t already heard the engine rev). The Type R has 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft paired with a manual 6-speed.
2017 Chrysler 200
- 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds
The aesthetics of the Chrysler 200 are dang near perfect. There isn’t a line, curve, cut, or shape that isn’t beautiful on this car. Like all good things, this car came to an untimely end but left us with a great mix of features and performance. Opt for the 3.6 L V6 and for the price, you get a great list of features and excellent crash test scores.
2017 Nissan Maxima SR Midnight Edition
- 0-60 in 5.9 mph in seconds
The 2017 Nissan Maxima is a bit luxury, a bit sporty, and all value. Pushing 300 horsepower from the 3.5 L, 24-valve V6, it moves when you need it to. It has sporty style with nice moving lines and an aggressive fascia. Now add a little bit of the Nissan GT-R’s performance features and you get the SR Midnight Edition. Given a sport-tuned suspension and slew of features, the SR is a sedan in disguise, or is it a sports car in disguise? The 19” alloy wheels, sport spoiler, and floating roof add to the appearance. If you’re in the market for a luxury sports car or the next closest thing, the Maxima SR is a bargain.
One more to watch out for: The 2018 Buick Regal Sportback
The 2018 Buick Regal Sportback is scheduled to hit showrooms in late 2017, which means we have to wait to see what it can do with its 2.0 L turbocharged 4-Cylinder engine, slated to produce 250 horsepower and 295 lb-ft torque. Intelligent AWD models with Active Twin Clutch get an 8-speed transmission so you get both fantastic traction and a smooth transition between gears. The car itself is sleek and sporty and is a nice blend of hatchback, with hints of its Buick Regal roots.
Are you looking for a fast car on a budget? Check out our list of Top Fast Cars Under $10,000.