Skip to main content
  • The Volkswagen GTI deserves an honorable mention for affordable fun
  • The 2022 Honda Civic Si is slower and better than the Elantra N
  • Each of these sports sedans comes with a manual transmission

Contrary to what you may have thought, we actually quite like Hyundai’s latest foray into sports sedans. The Hyundai Elantra N gets a manual transmission or a dual-clutch, and loads of other performance goodies. But what if you just don’t like it? Does the styling set you off? Do you hate turbocharged four cylinders? These are the best sports sedans to buy instead of the Hyundai Elantra N.

A white 2022 Hyundai Elantra N sedan shot from the front 3/4
The 2022 Elantra N is a killer sports sedan | Hyundai

The 2022 Honda Civic Si is a sports sedan with VTEC

An orange 2022 Honda Civic Si sedan shot from the front 3/4
The new Civic Si is simply incredible | Honda

We all know how good the 2022 Honda Civic Si is. It’s got 205 hp, a manual transmission, a limited-slip differential, and the classic lightweight VTEC Honda formula the brand has been perfecting for years. Plus, unlike the depreciation-proof Honda Civic Type R, you can actually get one at its $27,900 MSRP. We’ll take one of these over the Hyundai Elantra N any day.

A Subaru WRX is good enough for you and everyone else

A Rally Blue 2022 Subaru WRX, which swayed Doug DeMuro's opinion, shot from the front 3/4 in the rain
Doug DeMuro liked the WRX more than anyone thought he would | Subaru

Now for something a little more controversial. People hate the black cladding on the 2022 Subaru WRX because it tricks your eyes, but if you ask us, it adds to the rally-bred toughness the brand is known for. Plus, despite its crossover engine, the WRX pulls hard all the way to redline with the help of a manual transmission. For those seeking a more daily-drivable sports sedan, the WRX GT trim is also available. We expect pricing to be in the low $30,000 range.

Is the 2022 Kia K5 GT better than the Hyundai Elantra N?

A dark blue 2022 Kia K5 GT sports sedan shot from the front 3/4
The 2022 K5 | Kia

This is effectively the sister car to the Hyundai Elantra N. It’s got Hyundai/Kia’s dual-clutch transmission, optional AWD, and a killer 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty. Plus, it doesn’t drive half bad either, and it’s surely one of the best sports sedans out right now. However, if you don’t like the Hyundai Elantra N, maybe stay away from the 2022 Kia K5 GT. The 2022 Kia K5 GT can be yours for $31,090 MSRP.

The Volkswagen GTI is the best hot hatch under $30k

A grey 2022 Volkswagen GTI at sunset
The GTI is still the king of cheap hatches | Volkswagen

The 2022 Volkswagen GTI is part of the old guard of hot hatches. No, it’s not one of the best sports sedans, technically, but we felt the 230-odd hp 2022 Volkswagen GTI deserved an honorable mention on our list of the best sports sedans. There’s your choice of transmission, either VW’s outstanding dual-clutch, or a six-speed. Just be wary of the new VW infotainment. It’s not great, especially at the 2022 Volkswagen GTI’s $29,545 MSRP.

A used Audi S4 is a reliable bargain luxury sedan

A white Audi S4 shot from the front 3/4 at sunset
The S4 is a sports sedan steal | Christopher Evans via Getty Images

The Honda Civic and the Worst JDM Cars to Import in 2022

Finally, there’s the AWD Audi S4. If you’d rather go used, it’s hard to argue with a 330+ hp AWD sports sedan that can be had with a manual transmission. Plus, it’s far more luxurious than anything else on this list. Expect to pay around $30,000 for cars with roughly 30,000 on them. If you’re lucky, it’ll still be in warranty. If the Hyundai Elantra N isn’t your jam, these sports sedans will get you well on your way to find perfect daily drivable nirvana.