What do you think of when you hear the word sleeper? It can mean quite a few things. Most people think of it as something that looks tame but hides its power behind closed doors.
These cars could be considered this way, although they aren’t hiding their power! We’ve gathered 10 of the best sleeper cars to give you an idea of what we mean.
Table of Contents
- Hyundai Veloster Turbo
- 2021 Mercedes-AMG C63
- 2013 BMW M3 (E90)
- 2018 Buick Regal GS
- 2016 Cadillac CTS-V
- 2003 Volvo V70 R
- 2018 Toyota Camry V6
- 2019 Honda Accord 2.0T
- 2015 Polestar Volvo V60
- 2006 Mazdaspeed 6
- 1995 Audi RS2 Avant
- 2003 Mercury Marauder
- The Volkswagen GTI TCR
- 1987 Buick Grand National GNX
- 2004 Chrysler 300M
- Ford Flex Ecoboost
- 2019 Ford Taurus SHO
- Vauxhall Lotus Carlton
- 2018 BMW M550I XDRIVE
- 2017 CHEVY SS
- GMC Typhoon
- 2010 Dodge Magnum SRT8
Hyundai Veloster Turbo
This car is first on our list of ten best sleeper cars that will shock you with their performance. The 2014 Hyundai Veloster is a small, stylish, and affordable vehicle. It’s a car that looks like it would be pretty dull to drive but wait until you get inside.
The notable features on the outside are its turbocharged six-cylinder engine, rear spoiler, and signature asymmetrical front headlights.
However, it’s not an overly exciting vehicle, but you’d be shocked if you saw what was under its hood. Some of its notable features are, Its 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 276 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. This makes for a completely different car compared to other economy vehicles available today.
2021 Mercedes-AMG C63
Mercedes-AMG just unveiled its plans for a range of high-performance models. These include two C63s that are expected to go on sale in 2021. The first C63 is expected to be an improved version of today’s fast and furious car.
The second will be slightly slower. It is a more comfortable four-door coupe that could replace the CLK (code name: C209) and CLS (code name: C219). Rumors suggest Mercedes will add a wagon model called C919.
In addition, their new model will include an even more powerful M version called C619. What do you think? Which best sleeper car sounds like it would best fit your needs? Let us know in our comments section below.
2013 BMW M3 (E90)
The 2013 BMW M3 (E90) is known for its horsepower and acceleration. There is, however, one more aspect of performance that many forget about.
The 2013 BMW M3 (E90) has a comfortable ride quality. Even if you’re driving on a bumpy road, you can be sure to be riding In luxury.
This is due to its shock dampening and suspension setup. It has excellent features, no doubt. It is a fine example of the best sleeper car you might want to add to your collection.
However, it lacks out-of-the-box comfort. Give your 2013 BMW M3 (E90) some time and add aftermarket components such as lowering springs or wider tires. You’ll soon find yourself enjoying a comfortable car that still performs exceptionally well on all types of roads.
2018 Buick Regal GS
The Regal GS comes equipped. We’re talking about a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 310 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
The GS is especially impressive when it comes to passing maneuvers. It is an exceptional feature for a car of its size.
Standard features include HID headlights with LED signature lighting, Brembo brakes, and sport-tuned suspension.
These features make driving even on bumpy roads easy while providing unparalleled control and performance. It is a vital best sleeper car.
2016 Cadillac CTS-V
The 2016 Cadillac CTS-V is a beast. It’s one of our picks for best sleeper cars because it doesn’t look like anything special on paper.
This car seems nothing more than a luxury sedan. However, it is one of the ten best sleeper cars that will shock you with their performance.
Furthermore, when you look at its 0-60 times and what it can do in racing conditions, you’ll know there’s more. This car is pure, raw power on wheels. Your passengers will never see it coming until they’re left in your wake!
2003 Volvo V70 R
It has a V8 engine, but it’s only pumping 300 horsepower. Volvo’s engineers did a fantastic job. They ensured that though there’s a ton of power under the hood, drivers will still have comfort and luxury.
This means you’ll be getting leather seats, heated mirrors, and an excellent navigation system with real-time traffic updates. The car’s safety features are top-notch as well.
Furthermore, It gets five stars from NHTSA for front and side-impact protection and four stars for rollover protection. This means you can drive confidently, knowing that your loved ones will be safe inside your sleeper car!
2018 Toyota Camry V6
One of America’s favorite best sleeper cars is the Toyota Camry when it comes to sedans. This car has been in production since 1982, with 2018 being its 40th anniversary! Although many don’t consider it a sports car.
However, people who take care of their cars will tell you that there is plenty of room for upgrades. Its rankings make it exceptional as one of the best ten sleeper cars that will shock you with its performance.
If you’re patient and enjoy tinkering with things, you can turn your standard vehicle into a proper sports car. It takes time to upgrade vehicles like these and many other models on our list. You’ll have a killer ride that gives some new meaning to the sleeper.
2019 Honda Accord 2.0T
The Honda Accord 2.0T ranks among one of my favorite brands of best sleeper cars on sale today. It is one of the best ten sleeper cars that will shock you with its performance.
It’s comfortable, rides smoothly, and delivers excellent power from its turbocharged engine without any lag.
It also gets excellent fuel economy and starts at just $31,000 for a model equipped with an all-wheel drive. The new Honda Accord has earned many awards since it first went on sale in 2018. The 2019 Honda Accord 2.0T is a fantastic sleeper car!
2015 Polestar Volvo V60
Not many Volvo owners realize they own one of history’s best sleeper cars. The super-quiet Swedish automaker has become famous for its self-described Drive-E engine technology.
It marries a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a compact electric motor. This allows it to produce similar power numbers as larger six and eight-cylinder engines.
However, during testing, we discovered that more power is available. If only you take advantage of an added feature on the 2015 Volvo models — launch control.
Furthermore, at $45,000 in the base price, there is no better value proposition in all of luxury and sport sedan land. There is none than Volvo’s 523 horsepower (470 kilowatts) V60 Polestar version.
2006 Mazdaspeed 6
The Mazda RX-8 has always been one of the best sleeper cars you will want to pay attention to. It is because of its rotary engine or its sleek sports car lines. The 2006 Mazda RX-8 has 240 horsepower and 185 ft-lbs of torque from its 2.3 L inline 4.
Furthermore, when paired with a manual transmission, you will get an excellent driving experience that is smooth and fast. Even if you opt for automatic transmission, your RX-8 will still start strong.
This is because it has two computer-controlled throttle bodies. While most people tend to focus on how powerful these cars are, they often overlook another trait that makes them good sleepers. I’m talking about their subtlety.
1995 Audi RS2 Avant
Another one of the best ten sleeper cars that will shock you with their performance is the 1995 AUDI RS2 AVANT.
The 1995 Audi RS2 was a speedy sedan that weighed only 3,100 pounds. It certainly wasn’t lacking in performance, producing around 450 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque.
It’s scarce today because it only sold 1,500 units before being discontinued in 1999. Suppose you find one of these bad boys at a used car dealership and have access to some dough (the used market will probably run you around $40k). Don’t think twice about purchasing this fantastic best sleeper car.
2003 Mercury Marauder
Another example of best sleeper cars worthy of note is the 2003 Mercury Marauder. The Mercury Marauder is an American vehicle introduced in 2003 by Lincoln.
To replace Mercury’s luxury coupe, last seen in 1992, the company developed this car. Its platform is derived from Ford’s Panther platform.
Its drivetrain is also borrowed from other vehicles, including Lincoln LS and Ford Mustang Cobra. All Marauders are powered by a 4.6 L DOHC V8 engine which produces 225 hp (168 kW) at 5250 pm. It also has a 302 lb·ft (409 N·m) of torque at 3600 pm.
The Volkswagen GTI TCR
The Volkswagen GTI TCR can surprise many people with its performance. It also has a large turbo engine and front-wheel drive.
The GTI is relatively lightweight, even compared to other cars in its class. This makes it more fun to drive on challenging roads where extra power may be needed. It is an excellent example of the best ten sleeper cars that will shock you with their performance.
In addition, its front-wheel-drive system means that it has better traction than most of its competitors. Other qualities that make it one of the best sleeper cars include a low center of gravity and excellent handling overall.
This gives drivers confidence while driving at high speeds. They are not worried about losing control when making sharp turns or driving over rough terrain.
1987 Buick Grand National GNX
The Buick Grand National GNX is one of the best sleeper cars that will surprise you when you see it in action. For much of its production run, few even knew it existed. A combination of factors was responsible for that.
Lack of marketing was one of the existing factors. (it was sold mainly to loyalists and current GM customers). During most of its decade-long lifespan and appearance, its higher-than-average gas prices were also a factor.
However, its performance figures initially seemed laughable at face value. In short, few people took notice until they saw one in action.
By the time they paid attention, it had already passed them by. At that point, they realized what they were looking at: an automotive legend.
2004 Chrysler 300M
The Chrysler 300M is a huge sedan that can fit five to six people. It has as much interior space as many SUVs.
Furthermore, it’s about on par with any other midsize car in terms of performance. The 5.7-liter V8 under its hood puts out a modest 255 horsepower and 350 lb-ft torque.
It is no more than what you’d get from many small cars these days. The manufacturer claims 0 to 60 mph times in around 7 seconds. Do not expect to see those numbers unless you put some work into it yourself.
Moreover, with its large size and dual rear tires (standard for an executive vehicle), handling leaves something desired.
It doesn’t matter even at higher speeds where wind resistance becomes quite an issue—such an amazing feature for the best sleeper car.
Ford Flex Ecoboost
The 2019 Ford Flex EcoBoost is a 3-row SUV that gets 16/23 MPG. It looks like a big family vehicle. However, its 2.0L turbocharged engine cranks out 335hp, giving it a 0-60 time of 5.9 seconds.
It also adds a quarter-mile time of 14.1 seconds @ 98mph. It’s not just fast. It drives lovely and has tons of room for people or cargo.
2019 Ford Taurus SHO
One of these cars won’t just startle you with its performance. It’ll prove a new standard for the future’s best sleeper cars. The Taurus SHO was developed as an all-new model in 2013. It is based on a vehicle that dates back to 1997.
(Spoiler alert: we haven’t forgotten about it). Thanks to Ford’s 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine, which produces 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque.
The Taurus SHO can accelerate from 0–60 mph in 4.6 seconds! That makes it one of the fastest and best sleeper cars available today.
Vauxhall Lotus Carlton
If you are looking for a fun car to drive, you should consider buying a Lotus Carlton. However, it doesn’t look like it will be much of a performer.
The car’s styling shows off its performance as the best sleeper car and its handling capabilities. It also has some minor design cues coming from Lotus designs from decades ago.
Furthermore, from 1992 to 2000, this model was produced. Many of these models were sold in North America, but it wasn’t until 1996 that their popularity took off.
It was classified as one of the best sleeper cars ever to exist. This was because it had great looks yet could handle better than any sedan on the market at production.
2018 BMW M550I XDRIVE
The 550i comes with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine that produces 335 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. This is enough to hustle it from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds.
A standard eight-speed automatic transmission transfers power to all four wheels. It also includes a launch control feature for maximum acceleration off of your mark.
In addition, those who enjoy extra legroom have an optional 10-way power front seat. It includes a massage and withers functions available on higher trim levels.
Other perks include:
- Available four-zone climate control.
- LED headlights.
- USB charging ports.
- An advanced infotainment system with Apple Carly.
It also has Android Auto compatibility to keep up with your favorite tunes while staying connected on longer trips.
2017 CHEVY SS
Chevy’s tried-and-true Camaro platform may be one of our favorite platforms in any genre. It doesn’t need a reminder. If you’re looking for one anyway, the SS for SuperSport is a beast.
It has a 6.2-liter V8 engine that pumps out 415 horsepower, plus all kinds of go-fast goodies. It also includes Brembo brakes and Magnetic Ride Control Suspension.
This is a bona fide muscle car, so fast (0–60 mph in less than 4 seconds) and comfortable that it could give even Germany’s most OK an exotic sports car a run. One of the best sleeper cars will sweep you off your feet!
The GMC Typhoon is one of those cars we love because it’s quirky. Few people know it exists, and fewer still have ever heard of it, but take care of it if you’ve got one. Why? Because for such a tiny SUV, there’s nothing else quite like it on four wheels.
Additionally, It has a V6 engine with about 200 horsepower (149 kilowatts) and 180 pound-feet (246 Newton-meters). It’s not even a modified engine.
This thing was produced specifically for the Typhoon/Firestorm vehicles in 1993 as an option package. The first year was limited to 10,000 units, and over 16 years later, not many survive today on public roads.
2010 Dodge Magnum SRT8
Last on our unique and best sleeper cars list is the 2010 Dodge Magnum SRT8. Dodge’s Magnum SRT8 may not be a minivan, but it is an SUV. It looks says otherwise.
However, if you want to surprise everyone with your performance at a stoplight drag race, get behind its wheel.
Furthermore, this baby packs an enormous punch under its hood. It has a 6.1-liter V8 engine that makes 470 horsepower and 476 lb-ft of torque.
It will eat up any minivan or full-size luxury vehicle on American roads – from Lexus RX350 to Mercedes GL350 CDI.
Now you know about some of these stunning rides. Are there other best sleeper cars that you think we should have included? If so, let us know in the comments below.
We love hearing from our readers and enjoy answering questions when we can. It’s fun to see how people react to things they didn’t even know were there!