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Performance sedan reviews

How do the different types of sports sedans in Australia compare? Find out in our performance sedan comparison guide.

Performance sedans first became relevant in the 1930s, with many crediting the Rover 14 and Rover 16 (essentially a Rover 14 with a larger engine) as the first real performance sedans. Sports sedans became more popular with car manufacturers in the 1960s and were simply one-off versions of existing mainstream cars that were designed with performance in mind so that they could be entered into motor races.

However, car manufacturers ran into problems because the modifications they had made to their existing models made the new performance versions ineligible for racing according to the rules at the time. Instead, manufacturers began selling limited numbers of the modified performance sedans to the general public, and thus began the first varieties of performance sedans. While performance sedans traditionally were rear-wheel drive with a manual transmission, today they come with all the drivetrain layouts and transmission types available in other car types.

Compare these performance sedans & read our reviews

By clicking "Find a Deal" on the table below, you will be redirected to our partner, Georgie. Thanks to their "bulk buying power", Georgie are able to help you buy the car you want and potentially save you money too. In fact, the average saving through Georgie is $4,616.

Name Product Maximum Power ANCAP rating Price (from) Finder Score
BMW M5 Competition
BMW M5 Competition
467 Kw
5 stars
$269,600
89%
Mercedes-Benz E63
450 Kw
5 stars
$270,469
88%
Porsche Taycan
5 stars
$280,300
87.75%
Tesla Model 3
202 Kw
5 stars
$83,400
83.5%
Kia Stinger
Kia Stinger
274 Kw
5 stars
$50,050
82.67%
Mercedes Benz C Class
375 Kw
5 stars
$134,900
82%
Alfa Romeo Giulia
206 Kw
5 stars
$74,950
82%
Lexus GS F
351 Kw
5 stars
$90,300
80.67%
Audi RS5
331 Kw
5 stars
$159,069
80.5%
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What is a performance sedan?

A performance sedan – also known as a sports sedan or sports saloon – is a specific subtype of sedan vehicle that has been designed with speed, performance and handling in mind. While storage space, fuel economy and plenty of legroom are the prime characteristics of a family sedan, a performance sedan is foremost designed around sports racing characteristics.

Today, performance sedans combine the versatility and seating of a family sedan with the power and performance of a sports car. Before you think that the extra set of doors that turns a two-door sports car into a four-door performance sedan might slow you down, remember that today's performance sedans are considered some of the fastest and most powerful non-exotic vehicles ever produced.

The features of performance sedans

Performance sedans can differ widely between various makes and models; however, most performance sedans share the following features:

  • Four doors. It is the extra set of doors and the additional two or three seats that come with them that set performance sedans apart from traditional sports cars.
  • Sedan shape. Performance sedans feature the characteristic rear shape with the roof of the car sloping down to a separate boot area, which is walled off from the main passenger space.
  • Luxurious extras. From the ultimate in comfortable seating to the latest entertainment technology, performance sedans are built for luxury, comfort and style.
  • Price tag. Performance sedans are not cheap. Part of the appeal of a performance sedan is the message it sends to the world: one of luxury, opulence and even extravagance. While some performance sedan models are much more reasonably priced than others, if it's value for money you're looking for, you may be better with a family sedan or SUV.

The benefits and drawbacks of performance sedans

Like any other type of car, performance sedans have their benefits and drawbacks. When considering whether a performance sedan could be the right vehicle for you, consider the following pros and cons.

Benefits

  • Seating. Unlike sports cars, performance sedans feature a second set of doors, allowing you to comfortably transport at least four people at any one time.
  • Enjoyment. Some performance sedans have superb handling skills, while others boast enormous horsepower. No matter what flavour it comes in, performance sedans have that little something extra that makes them fast, powerful and very enjoyable to drive or be driven in.
  • Luxury. Performance sedans are built for enjoyment, and this usually includes luxury of every description inside the passenger cabin. The seating in some performance sedans is more reminiscent of a reclining lounge chair than a vehicle seat, and even the backseat passengers won't miss out when it comes to a luxurious, comfortable ride.
  • Safety. Performance sedans may be built for speed, but they are still some of the safest cars on the road. Sedans tend to have a low centre of gravity and are less likely to tip over or roll than taller cars like SUVs.
  • Fuel economy. All that power and performance will come at a cost, but much of this is offset by the relatively low mass of a performance sedan. A lower weight makes it easier to accelerate and brake since there is less mass to move around. All this equates to better fuel economy for you than a comparable vehicle with a heavier mass.

Drawbacks

  • Storage space. Performance sedans generally feature a separate boot area that is walled off from the main passenger area. Depending on the model, you may not be able to extend the storage space by lowering the rear seats like you can with a hatchback. However, despite not having as much storage room as a hatchback, performance sedans still boast plenty of room in the boot. It is only if you regularly carry bulky equipment that you may be a little cramped for space.
  • Transmission. While some performance sedans come with a manual or automatic transmission, others are automatic transmission only. This can prove to be a disappointing limitation for those drivers who prefer the feel of a manual transmission.
  • Ground clearance. While a low-to-the-floor body can make performance sedans safer and easier to manoeuvre, this can also prove to be a problem: particularly on some Australian roads. There's nothing worse than bottoming out on a curb or hearing the bitumen hitting the undercarriage as you drive on an unsealed road, especially when you've paid a tidy sum for your new performance sedan.

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How to compare performance sedan models

When comparing different makes and models of performance sedans, consider the following:

  • Number of passengers. How many people will you need to transport on a regular basis? Most performance sedans will comfortably fit four passengers including the driver, while some models will have other seating configurations.
  • Your budget. The cost to buy a performance sedan can be more than $100,000, making it easy to blow your budget when you start comparing luxury features and sheer performance. Before taking a performance sedan for a test drive, ensure that it is within your budget.
  • How you'll use the car. Be realistic about how you'll use your car before comparing performance sedan models. Will you be staying on city roads or heading out to the country? Will you ever need to tow a trailer or caravan? Will you be taking long road trips or weekends away, or will you keep the car in the garage most of the time except for short Sunday drives? The answers to these questions will shape your choices and should guide you when comparing different models, so you don't get blindsided by luxury features.

Are performance sedans worth it?

Is a performance sedan the right type of car for you? It all comes down to what you're looking for in a vehicle and whether a performance sedan will suit your needs.

Sports sedans exist as an unlikely hybrid between the power and speed of the sports car and the people-carrying capacity of the family sedan. If you have no interest in high-powered driving, a family sedan might be a better option. Similarly, if you love the idea of a performance car but are unlikely to bring more than one other person along for the ride, a sports car could be a better choice for you.

However, if you want all the luxury and opulence associated with a sports car – including extravagant extras like heated seats and the latest in-car entertainment systems – but want the room to bring your family or friends along for the ride, a performance sedan could be a perfect choice, especially since you do not need to compromise on safety or manoeuvrability in order to achieve the luxury of a performance sedan.

Compare sedan finance

Name Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp. Rate (p.a.) Application Fee Monthly Fee Monthly Repayment
OurMoneyMarket New Car Loan
OurMoneyMarket logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $2,001 - $75,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.57%
to 18.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
7.19%
to 21.78%
Application Fee
$250
min.
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
Go to siteMore Info
loans.com.au - New - Variable Rate Special
loans.com.au logo
Variable3 - 7 Years $5,000 - $150,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.24%
to 7.74%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
7.36%
to 8.85%
Application Fee
$400
Monthly Fee
$8
Monthly Repayment
Go to siteMore Info
Stratton Finance New Car Loan
Stratton Finance logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $10,000 - $300,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.52%
to 18%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
6.95%
to 23%
Application Fee
$395
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
Go to siteMore Info
You'll receive a fixed rate from 6.52% p.a. depending on the lender you are approved with.
Apply for up to $300,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
RACV New Car Loans
RACV logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $5,000 - $150,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
7.29%
to 16.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
8%
to 17.77%
Application Fee
$499
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
Go to siteMore Info
You'll receive a fixed rate from 7.29% p.a.
A larger loan of $5,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees.
OurMoneyMarket Used Car Loan - No Vehicle Age Limit
OurMoneyMarket logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $2,001 - $75,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.57%
to 18.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
7.19%
to 21.78%
Application Fee
$250
min.
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
Go to siteMore Info
Stratton Finance Used Car Loan
Stratton Finance logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $10,000 - $300,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.52%
to 18%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
6.95%
to 23%
Application Fee
$395
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
Go to siteMore Info
You'll receive a fixed rate loan from 6.52% p.a. with a comparison rate of 6.95% p.a.
A used car loan of up to $300,000 with quick approval times and balloon payment options.
loans.com.au - Variable Rate Used Car < 5 years
loans.com.au logo
Variable3 - 7 Years $5,000 - $150,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
7.74%
to 7.74%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
8.85%
to 8.99%
Application Fee
$400
Monthly Fee
$8
Monthly Repayment
Go to siteMore Info
RACV Used Car Loans
RACV logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $5,000 - $150,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
8.49%
to 16.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
9.21%
to 17.77%
Application Fee
$499
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
Go to siteMore Info
You'll receive a fixed rate from 8.49% p.a.
Benefit from no ongoing fees, 5-hour approval and a 21-day satisfaction guarantee. Interest rate discounts for members.
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Compare car insurance side-by-side and get quotes

Name Product Roadside assistance Accidental damage Storm Choice of repairer Agreed or Market Value
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: The 2023 winner of our Best Features Car Insurance award. Plus, it's one of the only insurers to automatically include roadside assistance.

Who it might be good for: Those who want good customer service with lots of inclusions.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary: Our data shows it’s the cheapest comprehensive policy. It just covers the basics such as damage to your car, theft and storms – it doesn’t go in for add-ons and extras.

Who it might be good for: Those wanting a low-cost, no-frills policy.
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: The 2024 winner of our Best Value Car Insurance award. It's cheaper than most, plus you can lower costs by adding age restrictions.

⭐ Current offer: 15% off your first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Anyone who wants a good value policy.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You need car insurance so why not get one that lets you earn Qantas Points? It's good value too (it's underwritten by the same insurer as Budget Direct).

⭐ Current offer: Earn up to 30,000 Qantas Points with every car insured by 30 September. Plus save 15% on your 1st year’s premium when you purchase online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who want more bang for their buck with Qantas Points.
Australia Post Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Covers a little more than other insurers. You don’t need to pay an excess for windscreen repairs and cover applies to anyone who uses your car.

⭐ Current offer: Get $75 off your first year's comprehensive car insurance premium when you buy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Multiple people using one car.
ROLLiN' Comprehensive
Agreed
Finder's summary: One of the most cost-effective insurers for under 25s, according to Finder research, with no aged-based excess.

Who it might be good for: Young drivers looking to keep costs down and anyone who’d like to get more flexibility from their car insurance.
QBE Comprehensive
Green Company
QBE Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Our best-rated Car Insurer for Customer Satisfaction in 2021/2022 and Green Insurer for the last 3 years.

⭐ Current offer: Save $75 when you purchase a new comprehensive policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those who want a trustworthy insurer and more cover than other brands, such as 3-year new car replacement (e.g. they'll give you money for a new car for up to 3 years if yours is written off).
Kogan Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Kogan comes with all the perks that most comprehensive car insurance policies include, but you'll also be entitled to some benefits from its online store. This usually comes in the form of a gift voucher or discount if you buy online.

⭐ Current offer: Get $80 off first year premiums when you purchase Kogan Comprehensive Car Insurance online + $10 monthly kogan.com credit. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Kogan shoppers and those after a good range of policy options.
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Written by

Author

Stacey Cole has degrees in law and science, but happily left the busy world of litigation to be a full-time mother and writer. In her spare time she loves travel, roller coasters, and old-school gaming, even if her daughter can already beat her at most games. See full bio

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