You need a car that can eat up the miles to and from work every single day. On the other hand, you want a car that’s not going to put you to sleep when the time comes to enjoy yourself behind the wheel. Fortunately, there are a number of automobiles out there that offer precisely that delicate mixture of pleasure and practicality, vehicles can put in a respectable daily driving performance while also offering a wild streak that can satisfy even the most demanding enthusiast.
Let’s take a quick look at 10 daily drivers with bite.
01. 2011 Ford Mustang GT
The 2011 Ford Mustang GT is a far cry from the era when muscle cars were at best bouncy bone-rattlers when riding over anything but the smoothest pavement. The Ford Mustang GT’s suspension system provides much better steering response and comfort than its live-axle design would at first suggest, and the coupe offers solid power from its 412 horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8 engine. Also capable of generating 390 lb-ft of torque, the Mustang GT’s mill is yoked to either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic, and posts solid highway fuel mileage of 25-mpg to go with a blazing 4.8-second sprint to 60 miles per hour.
02. 2011 BMW M3 Sedan
The 2011 BMW M3 sedan is the proverbial “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” To most of the world, the BMW M3 sedan comes across as a respectable, four-door luxury car. To those in the know – and more importantly, to anyone in the driver’s seat – the M3 sedan is most notable for its almost telepathic handling and eight-cylinder power that serves up 414 horses and 295 lb-ft of twist. The M3’s output is managed by either a traditional six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual featuring steering wheel-mounted shift paddles. A 4.6-second zero to 60-mph time ensures acceleration that can only be described as “breathtaking,” while a host of premium features help to make each and ever drive to the office as pleasant as possible.
03. 2011 Jaguar XJ
The 2011 Jaguar XJ’s high end luxury status conceals the fact that, underneath its extensive list of luxury features and slickly-styled outward appearance, this full-size sedan is a serious high performance contender. Completely redesigned for the 2011 model year, the 2011 Jaguar XJ features an aluminum chassis, surprisingly communicative steering for a vehicle of its size and pricing that makes it somewhat of a steal in the executive car segment. The XJ also comes with a 5.0-liter V-8 engine that is good for 385 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque, and thanks to its well-programmed six-speed automatic transmission, the Jaguar can hit 60-mph from a standing start in a spirited 5.4 seconds.
04. 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS
The 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS is another retro-themed sports coupe that visually reminds owners of its muscle car past while delighting their other senses through a generous investment in modern technology. The Chevrolet Camaro SS features a fully-independent rear suspension, two six-speed transmission choices (manual and automatic) and an efficient, yet powerful V-8 engine. This 6.2-liter unit delivers 426 ponies and 420 lb-ft of torque, allowing for the vehicle to launch itself to 60-mph in five seconds flat, and it also offers 24-mpg while cruising down the highway. The latter figure makes it a more than viable driver even for those facing longer daily commutes.
05. 2011 Audi S4
The 2011 Audi S4 enjoys an advantage over some of the other vehicles on this list, as it provides full-time quattro all-wheel drive as standard equipment. This makes the Audi S4 a formidable option for owners who live in areas where winter weather can sometimes discourage spirited driving. In addition to offering one of the finest interior designs in the industry, the Audi S4 also benefits from a 3.0-liter V-6 engine that makes use of a supercharger to help produce 333 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. The S4 can be ordered with a torque-vectoring differential that further enhances its handling prowess, but even in stock form the sedan can reach 60 miles per hour in 4.9 seconds. Considering that the sedan gets 27-mpg on the highway, its clear as to why the Audi S4 has such a loyal following amongst luxury sport fans.
06. 2012 Dodge Charger R/T
The 2012 Dodge Charger R/T is all new, offering full-size sedan shoppers the chance to sample a car that is both a comfortable cruiser and a legitimate performer when the go-pedal is pushed to the floor. Revamped exterior styling gives the Dodge Charger an even more aggressive look than in years past, and its 5.7-liter V-8 engine puts out a hearty 370 horsepower and 395 lb-ft of torque. Available this coming fall, the Charger R/T should feature a five-speed automatic transmission and deliver a 0-60-mph time in the five second range. All-wheel drive will also be offered as an option with the large four-door automobile.
07. 2012 Hyundai Genesis R-Spec
The 2012 Hyundai Genesis R-Spec adds a dash of vigor to the attractively-priced full-size luxury sedan. The Hyundai Genesis R-Spec represents a new trim level that not only offers a substantial degree of comfort and high tech equipment when compared to the base model, but also provides a stiffer suspension system, larger 19-inch wheels and more aggressive programming for the vehicle’s eight-speed automatic transmission. The R-Spec’s 5.0-liter V-8 has been poked and prodded to the point where it produces 429 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque – enough motivation to rocket the large sedan to 60-mph in 5.3 seconds. Highway fuel mileage for the plus-size Genesis R-Spec checks in at an eyebrow-raising 25-mpg.
08. 2011 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG can be thought of as a gilded hammer, a full-on luxury sedan that packs in neck-breaking acceleration (0-60-mph in 4.4 seconds), sports car-level handling and subtle, yet important styling changes that separate the E63 AMG from other E-Class offerings. The centerpiece of the E63 AMG is its exceptional engine, a 6.3-liter V-8 that grinds out 518 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque. Sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission that can be manually controlled via paddle shifters, this enormously potent edition of the E-Class still somehow manages to return a highway fuel economy rating of 20-mpg.
09. 2011 Lexus IS F
The 2011 Lexus-IS F is without a doubt the most engaging sedan to drive in the Japanese luxury automaker’s lineup. The Lexus IS-F comes with the kind of steering and suspension technology required to keep a high-powered sedan glued to the pavement, and it also offers exceptionally aggressive body work that is a far cry from the traditionally conservative looks favored by Lexus. The IS-F’s engine bay also dazzles thanks to the installation of a 5.0-liter V-8 engine that is tuned to provide 416 horsepower and 371 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is relied on to channel the IS-F’s exceptional thrust and help to deliver a zero to 60-mph time of 4.8-seconds.
10. 2011 Porsche Panamera Turbo
The 2011 Porsche Panamera is the first sedan to be produced by the renowned sports car builder. As such, the Porsche Panamera is capable of delivering thrills that are nearly on par with the company’s iconic 911 coupe. The Panamera, which can be ordered in a number of different engine and drivetrain configurations, truly shines when found in Turbo trim. The Porsche Panamera Turbo’s twin-turbo, 4.8-liter V-8 engine squeezes out 500 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, and the vehicle also comes with a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission and all-wheel drive and can hit 60-mph in a shocking 3.7 seconds. Not bad for a four-door luxury car.