15 Best New Sleeper Cars You Can Buy In 2024

By automotive-mag.com 10 Min Read

What is a “sleeper car?” Most enthusiasts will tell you it typically refers to a vehicle that is unusually fast or sporty—even if it isn’t marketed as such. A compact SUV or a family sedan can be a sleeper, depending on what’s under the hood or how it performs in corners.

Throughout history, there have been some epic sleepers. But for this list, we’re keeping it to cars that you can still buy new in 2024. That includes a few fast SUVs, some rugged trucks, and even a coupe or two that you might not have considered.

312 Horsepower
$52,395

The BMW X2 probably isn’t the first thing you think of when you hear “sleeper,” but this compact SUV has one thing going for it: It’s stonking fast. The newest version for 2024 has 312 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque from a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, which launches it to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. All-wheel drive comes standard, as does a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and as with all M cars, it has an adaptive suspension and big brakes.

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe M35i

302 Horsepower
$49,295

Like the X2 SUV, BMW offers a lightly uprated M version of its oft-forgotten 2 Series Gran Coupe compact sedan. It, too, is quick, with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine giving it 302 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, enough for a 0-60 mph time of 4.6 seconds and a limited top speed of 155 mph. It also has standard all-wheel drive, big brakes, and an adaptive suspension—but it’s not the most thrilling thing in corners.

Chevrolet Silverado Trail Boss

420 Horsepower
$52,445

The Ford F-150 Raptor and Ram TRX get all the headlines, but don’t sleep on the Silverado Trail Boss. This off-road truck comes with an optional 6.2-liter V-8 engine making 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque to go along with an exceptional amount of off-road equipment, things like all-terrain tires, monotube shocks, and more. You still won’t win a drag race against a Raptor, but even with the 6.2, the Silverado is significantly cheaper.

Ford Edge ST

335 Horsepower
$48,700

The Ford Edge is sticking around for one more model year after it was rumored the SUV might be discontinued this year. And with that, you can still get your hands on the hotted-up ST model with a turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 making 335 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. The ST trim also adds a stiffer suspension, optional performance brakes, and sport bucket seats.

Ford F-150 XL V-8

400 Horsepower
$38,565

Remember the original F-150 SVT Lightning with its 5.8-liter V-8 driving the rear wheels? It turns out Ford still offers a similar vehicle today. The base F-150 XL’s stock engine is the 5.0-liter V-8 making 400 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. Plus, buyers can select 4X2 or 4X4 configurations. Unfortunately, you don’t get the earlier Lightning’s handling upgrades, but this modern truck starts at $38,565.

Genesis G70 3.3T

365 Horsepower
$51,200

The secret has been out on the Genesis G70 3.3T, but it’s still a viable sleeper that isn’t as well-known as the BMW or Mercedes alternatives. The G70’s twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V-6 engine makes 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque, plus it comes with an adaptive suspension and a Sport+ mode that turns off traction control. It’s a seriously sporty sedan.

Hyundai Sonata N-Line

290 Horsepower
$36,100

Sure, Hyundai has a full gamut of N products in the Veloster, Kona, Elantra, and soon the Ioniq 5. But if you want something more subtle than a full-on Hyundai N model, the Sonata N-Line could be a solid option. It still has a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine making 290 horsepower, paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. N bucket seats add extra sportiness to the cabin, and 19-inch wheels grace the wheel wells.

Infiniti Q50 Red Sport

400 Horsepower
$58,050

The Infiniti Q50 Red Sport gets overlooked amongst the more popular and powerful German alternatives. But there’s still a lot to like about this sporty four-door. It has 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque from a potent twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6. The suspension is adaptive, the chassis is balanced, and you can choose from rear- or all-wheel drive. Our biggest gripe with this car is the disconnected steer-by-wire system—but you can find versions without it.

Kia K5 GT

290 Horsepower
$33,145

The Stinger was Kia’s first true rear-wheel-drive sports sedan. Now it’s gone. But don’t worry, the company fills that need for performance (somewhat) with the K5 GT. It may not be the rear-drive phenom that the Stinger was, but the K5 GT has a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine making 290 horsepower and pound-feet of torque, paired to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. The biggest issue with the K5 GT is that it doesn’t have a limited-slip differential, so there’s a ton of torque steer.

Land Rover Defender 90 V-8

518 Horsepower
$109,675

There aren’t many big, powerful two-door SUVs out there these days. But Land Rover still lets you option its very-good 5.0-liter V-8 engine on the Defender 90. That motor has 518 horsepower and launches the off-road SUV to 60 mph in only 4.9 seconds. The body-on-frame Defender won’t wow you with its handling, surely, but the V-8 model is sneaky fast. And it’s still an excellent off-roader.

Lexus RC 350 F Sport

311 Horsepower
$53,970

The Lexus RC F gets all the attention for its 5.0-liter V-8 and ferocious soundtrack. But it’s a pricey proposition at more than $67,000. The RC 350 F Sport, meanwhile, offers some of the same thrills for a fraction of the price. This version has a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6 making 311 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and either rear- or all-wheel drive. It isn’t blistering quick, reaching 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, but it is nearly $15,000 cheaper than the full-bore F model.

Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor

421 Horsepower
$49,200

The Polestar 2 does come with a Performance Pack option, which gives it bigger brakes and tires, and a hearty 455 horsepower. But if you don’t want to spend the extra $5,500, the standard Long Range Dual Motor model still has 421 hp and a 0-60 mph time of 4.3 seconds. That’s only two-tenths of a second shy of the Performance Pack. The Dual Motor Long Range model costs $49,200 with destination and gets a pretty decent 276 miles of range.

Subaru Legacy Sport

260 Horsepower
$35,585

The Subaru WRX gets all the attention among folks looking for a sporty sedan from the brand. But there’s a second, stealthier option available. The Legacy Sport gets a 260-horsepower turbocharged 2.4-liter boxer four-cylinder. The only exterior cues that indicate this model is vaguely performance-oriented are the red accent on the grille and the small Magnetite Gray trunk spoiler. Inside, there’s two-tone black and gray cloth upholstery with red stitching. At $35,585, the Legacy Sport is only a bit more than a base WRX at $33,855.

Toyota RAV4 Prime

302 Horsepower
$45,040

You’re never going to look at a Toyota RAV4 and think, “There goes a real sports car.” That’s what makes the RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid a perfect sleeper, though. The combination of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and two electric motors provides a total of 302 horsepower. That’s enough power to get the SUV to 60 miles per hour in 5.7 seconds. Plus, there’s the ability to go 42 miles solely on electric power. The mix of power and efficiency makes the RAV4 Prime a potent package—and a $45,040 base price is a reasonable ask.

Volvo EX30

422 Horsepower
$34,950

Other than the limited-run Polestar models and the 850R, there aren’t many Volvos where
“sporty” is the first adjective that comes to mind. This reputation helps the new EX30 fall under the radar, in addition to the SUV’s unassuming appearance. The two electric motors make a total of 422 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque—making it one of the most powerful Volvo models ever. The electric SUV can reach 60 miles per hour in 3.4 Seconds and can drive 275 miles between charges.

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *