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Sporty Sedans?

When people say car is very sporty what does that mean? For example Honda Civic or Accord are considered to be more sporty than Corolla or Camry respectively.

It means they handle a little better, or are more rewarding to drive. Some people care about that, some people don’t.

There are people who think there is nothing whatsoever “sporty” about an Accord or Civic. It’s a matter of opinion.

I’ve driven Honda and Toyota sedans. I consider the Hondas to be more sporty than the Toyotas. Unfortunately, they’re also noisier. Goes with the territory, I suppose.

Sporty, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Mazdas are often considered to be sportier than either Hondas or Toyotas.

It has to do with “handling”, which refers to how well they corner/hold the road, particularly at higher speeds.

Generally speaking, Toyotas do not handle nearly as well as Hondas, Mazdas, Subarus, and Nissans.

How does RWD play into role? Most german cars are sporty in terms of handling but most also comes with either RWD or AWD.

How does Audi A4, BMW 328i vs G37 compare in terms of sportiness?

The Accord is definitely sportier then the Camry. Stiffer suspension is definitely a factor…so is RWD vs FWD. FWD is fine until taken to the extreme’s…how many people do that…

IMO, sporty sedans are confind to the really good handling ones from the likes of BMW, Caddie etc. How anyone one could put sporty and FWD in the same sentence is beyond me. Even the best handling fwd cars, Hondas included are lacking. How can a Camry be considered sporty when half of it’s own SUV (car based with awd) line out handle it.

I agree with MikeinNH that FWD can be made adequate up to a point. But the extreme for a FWD is no where near that of a good rwd “sports” sedan. Extreme is what it’s all about for sporty handling. Otherwise, it’s just “what handles better on the off ramp ?” I know the question is “what is more sporty?”…but that’s like asking “what year was the most reliable Yugo made ?”

Quick, name the 10 (or even 50) best handling sports sedans made. How many are fwd…ahhhh !

Thanks for replies.

Would BMW 328 iX (AED) be considered sporty even though it has all wheel drive or it is still considered sporty but less sporty than 328i?

I have a friend with an AWD BMW 3 series and yes…It is sporty. Todays modern awd cars, give away much less to handling than fwd cars. Some modern systems actually enhance handling by allowing more power to safely be applied in awd cars than in fwd (and rwd in some cases too), especially when cornering.

A Honda Accord is not a sporty sedan. A BMW 3-Series is.

With respect, I don’t think you’ve driven a modern, properly set up FWD car.

With respect, Have you driven a properly set up, rwd sports sedan ? We’ve had Accords and Acuras, in the family. Any car you have to back off the accelerator to that degree to increase handling, is not sporty. Neither handled as well as wife’s Legacy, or the crown Vic (hardly a spoRty car either) I drove at the time as a police cruiser. If set up means anything more than proper tires, why bother buying one. Btw, ANY aggressive driving in a fwd car eats up tires at a much higher rate than comparable rwd/awd car.
Can you get a civic or Mini to out handle a crown Vic or a 60s-70s-80s etc. Rwd
Sure. But in comparable cars, it’s an obvious difference.

[i] When people say car is very sporty what does that mean?[/i]  

 It will mean 10 different things to 10 different people.

Yes, in fact, I have. Where I think your logic breaks down is that “sporty” does not mean “race car.” It’s pretty obvious that a TL-S is a sporty sedan, without having to be a race car.

That is an excellent point, Joseph.

I’m sure that, to some people, the presence of a fake hood scoop would qualify a car as “sporty”.

Others may somehow think that a particular paint color or tape stripe marks their car as being “sporty”.

Older Pontiacs were frequently perceived as being “sporty” because of their louder-than-normal muffler and heavy lower-body cladding–even though the car was essentially a pimped-up Chevy.

And, of course, let us not forget the styling affectation of the moment, namely the small chrome vent (frequently fake) placed on the front fenders, supposedly to vent hot air from under the hood. I am sure that this marks a car as “sporty” to many buyers of those vehicles.

“Sportiness”, like beauty, lies in the mind of the beholder to a great extent.

Thanks again for replies.

How does sport suspension helps a sports or non sports car? I have heard sports suspension make car stiffer so with a bump, shock do down and back to neutral position faster than non- sports suspension.

Does sports suspension over kill a sports cars like 328i or make a some what sporty to a non sporty car like Camry SE?

There is a difference between a harsh suspension and a firm suspension. My 1953 Chevrolet 1 ton pick-up truck had a harsh suspension, but its handling was hardly sporty. A firm suspension coupled with precise, steering with a quick ratio goes a long way to “sporty” handling.

I personally prefer a firm suspension to a car with a soft, marshmellow ride. The ride is less tiring with a firm suspension. In 1966, for his 20th anniversary with Mechanics Illustrated, Tom McCahill compared the first car he tested, a 1946 Ford with a 1966 Ford. A 1946 Ford was rounded up for the comparison. On the test track, driving the 1946 Ford, he could run away from the 1966 Ford driven by another tester on the curve. Of course, on the straight stretches, the 1966 would leave the 1946 Ford in the dust. The 1946 Ford had a firm suspension–a transverse leaf spring in both the front and back and did not have independent front suspension. The 1966 Ford was set up for a “luxury” ride. I always liked driving the older Fords (Fords made before 1949) with their “horse and buggy” suspension.

If I were to purchase a sports sedan today, I would first look at a Jaguar. I know about Jaguar’s reputation for not being the most reliable vehicles, but I like the looks. However, it is a moot question, since I wouldn’t spend that kind of money in the first place.

I’m with Joseph on this. “Sporty” can mean different things to different people. I think of it as being a judgement of the aesthetics. If it looks sleek and fast, it’s “sporty”, regardless of how it actually runs and handles.

I think the Chrysler 300 was “sporty” and in truth it’s a family wagon.