You don't have to spend six figures to get an awesome sports sedan.
BMW recently revealed the latest version of its M5 sedan, internally known as the F90. Power from the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 has been upped to 600 hp and BMW added an advanced AWD system that can send 100% of the power to the rear wheels at the press of a button. The new M5 may be an incredibly fast sedan, and the first AWD M car, but it is also the first M5 that starts at over $100,000. Even a base M5 with no options costs $102,600, but what could that money get you if you were willing to toss it around on a used car?
For starters, how about a car that is actually more powerful than the new M5? The third generation Cadillac CTS-V was first sold as a 2016 model. Amazingly, we found a certified pre-owned Red Obsession model for just $58,994. The CTS-V is powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged LT4 V8 that it shares with the C7 Corvette Z06. This engine is down 10 hp compared to the Z06, but it still produces 640 hp. It may not have AWD, but the CTS-V can hit 60 mph in 3.6 seconds (.2 seconds slower than the M5). Thanks to depreciation, the third generation CTS-V is now great value.
The Jaguar XFR has been out of production since 2015, so it isn't as powerful as the most modern sport sedans. Don't worry, because the XFR still packs 510 hp from a 5.0-liter supercharged V8. Jaguar models have always been heavily hurt by depreciation, so XFR prices are hilariously low (less than $30,000 in some cases). We even managed to find an XFR-S, which had a more powerful 550 hp engine. Jaguar only sold 100 units of the XFR-S in the US, and the 2013 model that we found is being sold for $52,884 with 17,000 miles on it.
The newest performance version of the Tesla Model S, the P100D, costs a whopping $135,000. Luckily, there are some used Tesla models that are now much cheaper than that. We found several P85D models for as low as around $65,000. The P85D may not be the fastest Tesla anymore, but it still has 691 hp from its twin electric motors. Starting from around around $90,000, used P90D still undercuts the price of the new M5. The BMW may be faster around a track, but the Tesla will still win in most drag races.
Perhaps none of the super sedans on this list have been special enough for some of our readers. We recently discovered that the Aston Martin Rapide has become a huge bargain on the used market. The Rapide may not be able to match the M5 on performance, even with a 6.0-liter 470-hp V12. Buying a used Rapide is a bit of a gamble in terms of maintenance, but it is worth it to experience the prestige of driving an Aston Martin.
For the final option on this list, we took the easy way out by recommending any previous generation of the M5. It doesn't matter which generation you choose, pretty much all of the old M5 variants can be purchased for well under $100,000. For those who are seeking the best performance bargain, we recommend the F10 M5, which comes with a 560 hp 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 that helped spawn the new M5's engine. Prices of the F10 M5 have gone down to less than $40,000. For those who value sound over anything else, the E60 M5 with its high-revving V10 is the best option as well as one of the most affordable choices. E39 prices have been on the rise, but even a perfect example will be less than $70,000.
The E34 is one of the cheapest options, although we don't recommend buying one that has been beat up. Likewise with the original E28 M5, which can be difficult to find in good condition.