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25 Top-Rated American Sedans To Ever Grace The Highways

Vukasin HerbezSeptember 7, 2020

Recently, Ford announced it would drop all sedans, compacts, and wagons in favor of pickups, SUVs, and the Mustang. This disturbing news demonstrated how SUVs have conquered the industry and killed almost every other segment of the car market. After Ford’s announcement, GM published the same intentions.

However, there are still millions of sedan fans out there. Back in the day, when the SUV was a real off-road vehicle and the family car meant a big station wagon with wood inserts, sedans were the dominant class.

Even today, sedans are still relevant, but they are slowly disappearing in a sea of shapeless SUVs and crossovers. They haven’t exactly gone the way of these classic cars whose values are rising. This is a compilation of the 25 best American sedans ever made. Keep reading to discover the models that are or will become classics and are recognizable to any car fan.

25. Tucker Torpedo

The Tucker Torpedo featured numerous innovations including safety glass and a central headlight that followed the movement of the steering wheel. It had a roomy interior and an engine in the back with lots of power and torque. Basically, the Tucker Torpedo was so advanced that the Big Three, Chrysler, Ford, and GM, were afraid it would cripple their market share.

So, while Tucker prepared for full-scale production, the Big Three prepared to set him up with a lawsuit. Eventually, they stopped the production and sunk the company.

24. Chevrolet “Tri-Five” Series

The everlasting battle between Ford and Chevrolet for supremacy in the medium-priced car market was at its height in the mid-’50s when Chevrolet presented the legendary “Tri-Five” series. These cars got that nickname later because Chevrolet produced this body style for three years. from 1955-1957. When people started calling them “Tri-Five,” the name stuck.

One of the biggest features of the iconic Tri-Five series is the availability of the legendary Chevrolet Small Block V8 engine. It brought power to the masses and gave those ’55 to ’57 Chevrolets some serious performance to go with its everlasting style and legendary chrome fins.

23. Cadillac Eldorado Brougham

The Eldorado Brougham featured a special design, quad headlights, and suicide doors. Cadillac trimmed the interior was lots of chrome and the finest leather. Buyers could even opt for sheepskin rugs and special seat patterns.

A particularly interesting detail was the stainless steel whiskey glasses that came with the car. Drivers could place the glasses on a small tray in front of the co-driver. Underneath the sculpted body was the latest air suspension technology and a 6.0-liter V8 engine that produced 325 HP. Definitely one of the more impressive sedans of the era.

22. 1961 Lincoln Continental

Back in the late ’50s, Ford’s luxury division Lincoln was far behind Cadillac in sales numbers and popularity. Despite building big luxurious cruisers with powerful engines, those late ’50s Lincolns just weren’t as high-quality or as attractive as the comparable Cadillacs. Ford decided that had to change and the 1961 Lincoln Continental was born.

When Lincoln revealed the new model, the automotive public was stunned. The beautiful, elegance style, conservative use of chrome, straight lines, and then-futuristic design transformed the four-door luxury model into a work of modern art. All of a sudden, sales doubled. Soon, the new Continental became the official car of the White House because of its stately appearance and restrained elegance.

The best exterior feature was the suicide doors with the rear doors opening towards the traffic. Although this wasn’t the best solution, it added to the charm of the Continental. Lincoln also offered a cool-looking four-door convertible model. It proved to be highly popular and quite unique on the market making the Continental one of the best sedans ever.

21. 1962 to 64 Chevrolet Impala

Chevrolet continually battled Ford for supremacy among sedans. In 1962 the company took a gamble by introducing an elegant new generation of the Impala that departed from design standards of the day. Similar to the 1961 Lincoln Continental, the 1962-64 Impala had elegant styling featuring straight lines. Chevrolet wanted to dominate the extremely lucrative full-size sedan market and equipped the new Impala with everything it had.

The new model featured five body styles, six engines, and three transmission choices. Chevrolet included a long list of optional equipment and one influential and innovative version: the Impala SS. First debuting in 1961, the Impala SS returned in 1962 in a new body style with the same engine, the mighty 409 V8 producing up to 409 HP.

Today, the 1962 to 64 Impala is still quite popular among sedans. Since they produced it in large quantities, it is one of the best generations of the Impala ever. During its three-year model span, the design endured subtle changes without affecting the elegance and classic proportion of these timeless sedans.

20. Pontiac Bonneville

The success of the GTO affected the whole Pontiac line. Suddenly, all Pontiacs became sportier and more powerful. Even four-door sedans become performance machines. The biggest and most luxurious Bonneville is the best example of that.

They restyled the Bonneville for 1965, but in 1966 and 1967 its design matured. It evolved into a low, sleek form that was perfect for this performance sedan. The Bonneville came as a hardtop with Pontiac’s signature wide-track design, a split grille, and nine-bolt wheels. Customers could get a lot of optional equipment and powerful engines. The 389 V8 with 325 HP was standard, but you could also get the mighty 421 V8 with the famed Tri-Power option delivering 360 HP.

19. Imperial Le Baron

Chrysler’s luxury division Imperial offered a quality alternative to the Cadillac and Lincoln models. With powerful engines, plush interiors, and upscale styling, Imperials were a good choice if you were looking for the most exclusive of sedans.

The last year this brand featured a significantly different design than the rest of the Chrysler lineup was 1968. It came with unique interior styling and several luxury appointments. A class throwback to those boat-like sedans.

18. Cadillac Seville

The 1975 Seville was shocking to Cadillac purists as the first downsized Caddy ever. It was an affordable luxury car, an extremely smart move by the company. In fact, the Seville is one of the best U.S. sedans of the late ’70s. The 1970-77 period was marked by big land yachts and heavy cruisers.

However, Cadillac realized the market had turned to nimbler, more precise foreign cars, such as the Mercedes W116 S Class. The company decided to introduce a smaller, more modern car every bit a Cadillac so the market would accept it as such.

The 1975 Seville was the perfect car for the time. Sales went beyond expectations. The Seville was elegant, perfectly-sized, and reasonably powerful. Also, it came with a long list of options and trim choices, including an interesting Slantback body style. Customers could even get a Gucci-themed trim package. This will go down as a model when Cadillac gambled with their sedans and won.

17. Pontiac Grand Ville

Despite the fact that the Bonneville sold reasonably well in the luxury field, Pontiac wanted more. It had to be something that would be closer to a Cadillac or Oldsmobile than to a Chevrolet Caprice. So they presented the Grand Ville using a Bonneville platform. It came with most of the sheet metal, but with a few trim details differentiating the two models. Pontiac decided to offer a 400 V8 engine as standard and 455 as an optional engine with high-level equipment.

For those who wanted something extra, Pontiac offered a leather interior, climate control, a heavy-duty suspension, AM/FM radio, and even adjustable brakes and accelerator pedals. The Grand Ville came as a two and four-door hardtop as well as a luxury convertible, but the market didn’t respond well. Sales figures were low among sedans. At the same time, the energy crisis hit the USA, making big gas-guzzling sedans fall out of favor with most customers.

16. 1970 Lincoln Continental

After the popular, influential 1961-1969 Continental, Lincoln presented the elegant 1970 model. It sold for a full nine years until 1979. The design was similar to other Lincoln and Mercury models, yet it still retained several unique details.

They mounted the front headlights under the automatically operated cover, a nice touch. Under the hood was a 460 V8 that gradually lost power due to tightening emissions standards. However, the Continental retained its signature comfort, luxury, and equipment. Surprisingly, it sold well among sedans despite having a heavy price tag.

15. Ford LTD

Ford’s main full-size offering in the mid-’70s was the LTD. It was a big sedan, wagon, and two-door coupe Ford marketed as one of many affordable luxury sedans. Because the company drew design cues from Mercury and Lincoln, LTD buyers got everything they needed but for less.

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Ford redesigned the LTD line for 1977 and it sold well although the end for luxury cruisers was in sight. The standard engine was the 351 V8, but many customers opted for the 400 and 460 V8, although the latter only delivered 197 HP.

14. Checker Marathon

One of the most characteristic American sedans is the legendary Checker Marathon, better known as the “New York taxi.” They presented the Marathon in 1960 and sold through 1982.

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Available with a straight-six or V8 engine from Chevrolet, they designed the Marathon to be a highly-dependable and tough machine. Although most of them were taxies, Checker produced a small number of cars for private owners.

13. Chevrolet Caprice Classic

In 1977, after modernizing their range, Chevrolet introduced the Caprice Classic. The combination of elegant looks, tough mechanics and all-around usability made this model one of the most popular and longest-lasting sedans on the market.

With minimal changes, they sold this sedan for a full 13 years all the way to 1990. Many law enforcement agencies as well as the government used this car.

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12. Ford Crown Victoria

Ford’s Panther platform is one of the longest-serving platforms in the car industry. First used in 1978, it served until 2011 and underpinned many models like Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis or Lincoln Town Car.

This chassis proved sturdy and durable in extreme conditions, so it was the base for many police cars and taxis. Even today, years after Ford discontinued it, millions of Panther-based models are still on the roads.

11. Lincoln Town Car

The early ’80s brought some much-needed downsizing to American sedans. Those enormous cars with monster engines were a thing of the past. Lincoln responded by presenting the popular Town Car they built on Ford’s venerable Panther platform. They powered it with a 5.0-liter V8.

The Town Car was a recognizable boxy shaped sedan with a big chrome grille and bumpers. A comfortable ride, it was a typically-styled luxury model and buyers loved its proportions, soft ride, and plush interior.

10. Ford Taurus

Back in the mid-’80s, Ford caused a revolution with the introduction of the Taurus. This was the first truly modern American sedan that ditched the heavy ladder-type chassis and big engines. It went in a different direction with an aerodynamic body, new technology, and front-wheel drive.

The Taurus sold in volumes and even featured a performance SHO version. Although Ford still sells the Taurus, they will soon discontinue it like the rest of their sedans.

9. Buick Roadmaster

The legendary Roadmaster name returned to the Buick lineup in 1991 after a 33-year long hiatus. The car was basically the same as other sedans from General Motors in the same class. However, the Roadmaster had some more luxury options and one interesting engine which turned this comfy cruiser into a muscle car.

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Buick engineers found a way to install a Corvette LT1 5.7-liter V8 engine into the Roadmaster’s engine bay. The LT1 produced 300 HP in the Corvette, but in the Buick, it produced 260 HP. That was more than enough to turn this heavy car into a proper hot rod. Despite the curb weight of over 4,400 pounds, this car could outrun most muscle cars of the day.

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8. Chevrolet Impala SS

The Impala SS is one of the most legendary names in Chevrolet’s performance history. The original Impala SS was available from 1961 to 1969. They were full-size muscle cars that could beat many other performance cars on the stoplight drags. Powered by big-block engines and equipped with a close-ratio four-speed transmission unit, the Impala SS was a street-legal drag racer of the highest order.

However, as the muscle car era came to an end, the Impala SS was discontinued, only to be resurrected in 1994 as an option on the seventh generation of this legendary model. Since the early ’90s marked the return to performance for most American manufacturers, Chevrolet installed the famous 5.7-liter LT1 V8 engine in the full-size rear-wheel-drive sedan. They equipped it with a heavy-duty suspension and components to create a modern-day muscle legend.

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For two years, Chevrolet produced almost 70,000 Impala SS models in several colors. However, the dark purple was the most popular and sought-after hue. The engine delivered 260 HP and propelled these big sedans from 0 to 60 mph in just seven seconds. Those are not exactly spectacular numbers, but for the mid-’90s, they were good results.

7. Chrysler 300C

The early 2000s saw the return of these classic Chrysler sedans. The perfect homage to one of the quintessential American sedans is the 300C. They built it on a modern platform with a range of powerful engines including the 5.7 Hemi. The 300C was big, strong, well equipped and well-built. It sold well and is still is the car to own if you’re looking for that classic style and feel.

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Interestingly, sales are still strong. That just shows there is still a market for sturdy American, rear-wheel-drive sedans with comfortable interiors and big V8s.

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6. Cadillac CTS-V

The CTS is a mid-sized Cadillac sedan with the performance V option. Arguably the most successful was the second generation produced from 2008-2014. Under the hood was a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 delivering 556 HP, making the CTS-V the most powerful performance sedan on the market.

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The suspension and the rest of the drivetrain were advanced and up to the task. The CTS-V was the full package and one of the best drivers’ cars available.

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5. Mercury Marauder

Despite the fact the Grand Marquis was never intended to be a performance car, Mercury decided to turn it into one. They installed a highly-tuned 4.6-liter V8 that delivered 302 HP, and a revised suspension, gearbox, and brakes. All those changes turned this sleepy, comfy sedan into a sharp muscle car.

One of three colors available, the black paint gave the Marauder menacing looks and an aggressive stance, clearly differentiating it from its more sedate cousins. Performance was surprising for a big, heavy sedan with a 0 to 60 mph time of around seven seconds. But the biggest asset was its appearance. Just the sight of a big black sedan in your rearview mirror made most people move over.

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4. Dodge Charger Hellcat

Ever since they released the four-door Charger, it’s been a popular model. Even many law-enforcement agencies used it. In 2011, they introduced the second generation. It featured a fresh design and more options, but a mostly unchanged platform and engine choices.

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Dodge kept the SRT model in the lineup and even offered several interesting performance versions, but everybody knew the Charger was capable of much more. Finally, in 2014, the car community went crazy when Dodge released the Hellcat Charger and Challenger models. After all, the reaction was totally expected since the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 with 707 HP was a proper monster of a muscle car that shouldn’t be on the streets.

But Dodge did just that, allowing the public to buy one of the fastest, most powerful muscle cars and muscle car sedans ever built. Despite being overpowered in any aspect, the Dodge Charger Hellcat is surprisingly good to drive and docile at low speeds.

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3. Chevrolet SS

Unfortunately, the Chevrolet SS is out of production but dealers have enough unsold cars that you can buy one right now. And you should do that since the SS is one of the best affordable performance sedans on the market today. With a 6.2-liter V8, 412 hp, precise steering, and neutral handling, this car rivals Europe’s finest sports sedans. Of course, this is a Holden from Australia they rebadged as a Chevrolet and fine-tuned for U.S. customers.

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Performance numbers are very respectable. A 0 to 60 mph sprint is possible in just 4.7 seconds, while the top speed is over 150 mph. Chevrolet SS is a good proposition for people who need a practical sedan but want a sports car. The styling is elegant and unassuming, which is a good thing since this car can surprise many regular sports models with its performance.

This is one of the best sleepers on the market since it blends in with traffic. Nobody can tell you have 400 HP under your right foot ready to jump at a second’s notice. The Chevrolet SS is destined to be a future classic, so grab one today.

2. Ford Taurus SHO

With its powerful EcoBoost V6 engine displacing 3.5-liters and delivering 355 HP to all four wheels, the new Taurus SHO can outhandle and outperform many current sports cars.

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The modern Taurus is the perfect evolution of an American sedan. It retains its proportion, design, and feel, yet incorporates modern technology and performance.

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1. Cadillac ATS-V

Introduced in 2016, the newest American muscle four-door car is the compact but immensely powerful Cadillac ATS-V. With this model, Cadillac attacked the likes of the Mercedes C Class and BMW 3 Series with a modern executive sedan famous for its recognizable styling and brutal power.

Under the hood is the twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 engine with 464 HP and 445 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough to launch the ATS-V from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds with a top speed of an astonishing 189 mph. Even though the ATS-V doesn’t have a V8, it is still a proper muscle car available in two-door form, as well.

These are the greatest American sedans ever made. Which one was your favorite? Some of these cars are long gone while others are still on the roads today.

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