4. Audi S4 B6
Most drivers consider the Audi S4 to be a special car in the compact performance sedan class. Like most Audis, it features a powerful engine and elegant styling. But, what sets it apart is the famous Quattro all-wheel drive system as standard. This feature transformed handling and separated the S4 from the rest of the competitors, such as the Mercedes C-Class AMG or the BMW M3, which only had a rear-wheel drive configuration.
Audi introduced it in 2003 and sold it through 2005. The B6 generation of the S4 was a highly-praised and accomplished car. Under the hood was a 4.2-liter V8 with 340 HP, which sounded great and revved all the way up to 7,000 rpm. The performance was equally impressive with a 0 to 60 mph acceleration times of just five seconds. However, they electronically limited its top speed to 155 mph.
The great thing about the B6 S4 is the availability of a manual six-speed gearbox with close ratios. It is ideal for driving enthusiasts who want to explore the capabilities of the V8, all-wheel drive and manual transmission combo. The prices are around $10,000 for decent models, and the car is also available as a station wagon.