Rumors of the sedan's demise are greatly exaggerated.
The sedan is not dead. And don't worry, it won't be dying off anytime soon. Crossovers might be the current trend, but it is just that, and the automotive industry lives and dies by trends. It was station wagons in the 1970s and into the 1980s, minivans from the 1980s and into the 1990s, then everyone was complaining about SUVs. Yet, the sedan has survived and, if anything, flourished as car companies have had to work hard to keep them relevant and interesting. It looks like 2022 is going to be a great year for the sedan as much of the current generation is choosing not to buy a crossover, eschewing the choices of its parents just as the generations before it did.
Hyundai's approach to development that mainly consists of poaching BMW's best and brightest engineers and designers is starting to pay off for the automaker and us. The Elantra is a great car, but if you want some genuine excitement in your life, the N-badged performance version is terrific. Its 2.0-liter turbocharged engine's 276 horsepower is delivered with urgency and supported by 289 lb-ft of torque. The suspension is tuned, there's an electronic limited-slip differential added, and the brakes are ridiculously good. The end result is that the Elantra N has the ability to go around corners way faster than you would expect and for a price that will only help keep the smile on your face. Oh, and it has an option for a manual transmission.
The CT5-V Blackwing is an absolute monster of a sedan, but it's also going to be in short supply. It's also likely the last supercharged V8 model we'll see from Cadillac. However, it's getting one hell of a send-off with the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine producing 668 hp and 659 lb-ft of torque, and, unlike the German M4 and M5, it's rear-wheel-drive only. The CT5-V Blackwing will hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds with the automatic transmission installed and isn't restricted in top speed. Cadillac won't tell us its exact top speed but is happy to let slip that it's over 200 mph. The unspoken words are that the Caddy is faster than its abovementioned German rivals because Munich restricts those cars.
When BMW isn't trying to be all things to all people, it can still make the most cynical of automotive journalists reach for the phone and start begging for a press car loan. With its 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 making 627 hp, the M5 CS is currently BMW's most potent offering while also being lighter and stiffer than the regular M5 Competition. You don't buy an M5 just for the ability to slay supercars at the track while carrying two extra doors, though. Inside, the M5 CS is BMW's purest take on sporting luxury and has all the tech to back it up that you could possibly want.
The Civic coupe is dead, and may it rest in peace until its inevitable resurrection with an electric drivetrain. In the meantime, a new generation of Civic means a new generation of Si is on the way, and it promises to be a corker. The key ingredients to a great Civic Si are all the creature comforts and affordability of a Civic, but with enough tweaks to make an enthusiast smile when they drive it. The 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is good for 200 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque, and the power is delivered through a short-throw six-speed manual. There's not even an automatic transmission option here, but there are choice tweaks from the engineers like a new single-mass flywheel to aid throttle response and an eight percent increase in torsional rigidity in the chassis.
If you want a Mercedes S-Class with all its luxury and technology but never want to visit a gas station again, then you'll want the Mercedes-Benz EQS. Like an S-Class, it has the same waft Mercedes should have trademarked by now and is powered by two electric motors producing 516 hp and 631 lb-ft between them. The list of technology is mind-bending, though. Highlights for us include the rear-axle steering system that makes the long sedan chuck u-turns like a compact car, 56 inches of screen real estate on the inside, a Burmester 3D surround sound system, and an optional augmented reality head-up display. It also starts at $102,310, which is less than an S-Class.
The new 2022 A3 sedan arrives a bit wider and a bit longer, with upgraded technology, more efficiency under the hood, and a complete departure in styling from 2021's model. We love the new A3's balance across the board, but we also love the unbalanced and decidedly unhinged RS3 model. It looks spectacular, and the entry-level RS model packs a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-five cylinder engine making 394 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, which comes fully on tap at 2,250 rpm and stays there up to 5,600 rpm. Zero to 62 mph takes 3.8 seconds, and the chassis can be upgraded with the RS Dynamic package (including a drift mode) and ceramic brakes as well as adaptive suspension with active dampers. The small ballistic performance market is small and all German, not to mention made up chiefly of the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45, which we don't think looks anywhere near as good.
Porsche is going from strength to strength with its Panamera sedan and frankly, the German automaker isn't screwing around. Let's be even franker: The Panamera Turbo is a supercar with four doors. Porsche says the twin-turbo V8 making 620 horsepower and 604 lb-ft of torque takes the Panamera Turbo S to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, but, if it even makes a difference anymore, independent tests have got that time down to 2.6 seconds. This isn't a Tesla with a complicated launch system you can only use intermittently; this is a gas-powered sedan.
The Porsche Panamera Turbo S is a stunningly quick car, but that means it needs a chassis to match. It drives like a big Porsche 911, and that's in no way a bad thing. It has that level of precision and enjoyment, but you can carry people in the back comfortably and with luxury-level ride comfort. Unfortunately, it's still pretty ugly.
So, you want something that can go toe-to-toe with a BMW M3 and possibly win, but you want more style and less reliability? Well, the Giulia Quadrifoglio is still all of the above. The 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 engine delivers 505 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque, and it's blisteringly quick, as is the transmission as it snaps through its shifts. Chassis-wise, the balance is damn near perfect, and the tuned active suspension is a work of art. Expect the comments to contain reliability comments, but there's a reason people still roll the dice and buy the Giulia Quadrifoglio. It's a delight of a car, and now it's had a few years of problems being ironed out, well, it's a delight of a car.