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These Are Your Favorite Sleeper Cars – Jalopnik

by Nov 6, 2022Blog0 comments

As we grow older, our tastes mature — or, so I’m told. I still want a Civic Type R in full Asuka Langley Soryu itasha, but I get that other people want to be a bit subtler in life. Should maturity mean banality, though? Or can we find a collection of cars with impressive performance hidden behind unremarkable looks? Yesterday, we asked for your favorite sleeper cars, and you gave us hundreds of answers. Here are some of the best.
2 / 17
600+ HP AWD lots of room, invisible to radar due to the “Mom Aura”
I’ve seen these, on the roads, driven by actual moms. Kids in the back seat and all. Yet, even with a whole extra passenger of weight penalty, they could still pull on my Legacy from a roll.
Submitted by: Bob
3 / 17
Mercedes R 63 AMG. Costco and soccer practice runs? Check. Taking a nap sprawled out in the back seat? Check. Flying under the radar of the law? Check. 0-60 in 4.2 seconds? Also check.
Fast wagons are cool, but how about fast minivans? Sure, the R-Class didn’t have the classic sliding doors, but you look at that tail and tell me it’s not a minivan. With a straight face, now.
Submitted by: paradsecar
4 / 17
If you know, you know.
Normally I don’t include writer responses in AOTD, but this one gets in for two reasons. First, it seems like a lot of you agreed with it. Second, c’mon, it’s Bisi’s 1,000-horsepower burnout machine minivan. I can’t not include that.
Submitted by: Collin Woodard
5 / 17
Ford Fairmonts
These are basically Fox Body Mustangs with 4 doors in an ugly package.
This particular one runs 10.3 quarters over and over on a youtube video
The trick with Fairmonts is to leave the paint in absolutely wretched condition. While searching for this video, I found at least two more of Fairmonts at the drags with garbage paint. I think it’s a form of weight reduction.
Submitted by: hoser68
6 / 17
[Photo of a Kia Stinger GT]

[Photo of a Chevy SS]
Take your pick of a sleeper sedan.
I actually worked at a Chevy dealer once that had one of these in stock. For months. Untouched. I don’t remember what they had to do to finally get rid of it, but it just languished in the showroom.
Submitted by: FijiST
7 / 17
I’ll through my daily in there. Modded to stage 3, pushing ~400hp
I had no idea these could push 400 hp on a stock block. Please don’t make me start looking these up on Craigslist. I’m resisting opening the tab, but I’m not sure how long I can keep that up.
Submitted by: 3PedalsOrNothing
8 / 17
Ford Flex Ecoboost with the Twin Turbos. Massive on the inside. Can comfortably wear Abe Lincoln’s top-hat with all the headroom. Easy double-bed sleeping capacity with the seats all down. And a rocketship when the pedal is mashed to the floor.
People seem so fixated on the “Eco” part of the Ecoboost branding. Trust me, the Boost is still there.
Submitted by: NRNLAW
9 / 17
Nothing to see here, just a boring old Vauxhall sedan….
I imagine a Carlton in the U.S. would at least get some glances, given that it’s a model we never got here. Maybe I’m giving the non-car world too much credit, though, for what’s largely a generic sedan.
Submitted by: OUScooby
10 / 17
Audi RS6 (C5)
This is when Audi was peak sleeper unlike the current RS6 Avant.
I would argue that the following generation RS6 was also very subtle. Even the one after that didn’t stand out too much, beyond being an Audi. The current RS6 Avant, though, is no sleeper.
Submitted by: Witchy Whale
11 / 17
The best sleeper ever. No one expected this Wagon from Civics to Dodge Rams they challenged it conquered. I miss this car.
I spent a very long time in the market for a Fozzy XT before ending up with my Legacy. There’s still a part of me that wants one, and it keeps growing louder by the day.
Submitted by: Overdrv
12 / 17
From the turbo Caravans boosted more than a kid that’s had one too many juice boxes to that Montana with an LS4 swap to the GOAT Porsche-swapped Vanagon, as great as normal minivans are, sleeper vans are even better.
Who doesn’t love a van? Bisi’s Odyssey is the apex, but don’t sleep on older Voyagers. They’ll light those front tires up almost as easily.
Submitted by: Maymar
13 / 17
Someone already mentioned the late model Ford Taurus SHO, but I think the first go-’round was a better car. It had a high revving Yamaha V6 and could be had with a manual transmission. They’re not fast by today’s standards but neither is an M5 from that era.
Another excellent sleeper is the late 2000's Chevrolet Impala SS. It came standard with the most anonymous styling of the era, complimented by some very slick looking polished 20" wheels. The Impala SS also featured all of the torque steer in the world, courtesy of the 5.3L V8 that Chevy crammed under the hood.
This is how you’re likely to see a first-gen SHO today — rusty, dirty, and covered in stick-on vents and chrome. It’s a shame, for such an interesting car to meet such an end.
Submitted by: NEBcruiser
14 / 17
Gen 3 Toyota Avalon in silver or beige.
Close to 300hp, can cruise all day in the left lane without getting a second look or raising an eyebrow.
Hell, I’m falling asleep as I write this.
Whuh — sorry, what’d you say? I must’ve dozed off there. Oh, the Avalon? Yeah, that’s… uh… zzzzzzzzz.
Submitted by: 900turbo
15 / 17
I’d say the Rivian R-1T. It looks cutesy and maybe a little derpy, and it’s a truck. But it also runs the 1/4 mile in the 11s. You can sleep in the bed- there’s even a factory tent accessory for it.
The Rivian R1S (and, by extension, the T) is the fastest-accelerating vehicle I’ve ever driven. But it’s all hidden behind that kind, unassuming face. And how many other performance vehicles can carry an entire kitchen?
Submitted by: golfball
16 / 17
Many people are saying that my Volvo V90 is actually the perfect sleeper.
This V90 is more or less bone stock. Totally normal. Nothing to see here, they were just that fast from the factory.
Submitted by: Darwin Brandis on Twitter
17 / 17