5. 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Base price range: $56,395-$65,059
Corvette is as much a state of mind as it is a sports car. You’re stimulated by its cocky persona or you’re not. Either way, this jet-fighter on wheels will not be ignored. Happily, it’s got brass to back its bravado. Available in two-seat coupe and convertible form, its fiberglass body is pierced with functional air scoops and vents and its aluminum structure contributes to a 50/50 weight balance. Equipment packages and trim levels abound, all with a 6.2-liter V-8, rear-wheel drive, and choice of seven-speed manual transmission or paddle-shifted eight-speed automatic.
With 455 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, 0-60 times in the high-3-second range, and astounding cornering capabilities, the mainstay models have more performance than any public road can safely contain. Supercharged to 650 horses and 650 pound-feet and with even higher levels of grip and downforce, the track-tuned Z06s do 0-60 in as little as 2.9 seconds. Yet, any Stingray is fine as a daily commuter or Interstate rambler. Engines are tractable; outward visibility from the roomy cabin far better than the low-slung design would suggest; and cargo space generous, at 15 cubic feet beneath the coupe’s hatch, 10 in the convertible’s trunk. Drive sanely and fuel economy is good. Resist throttling the engines to bask in their glorious roar and noise levels are livable. So is ride quality, helped by automatic-adjusting magnetic shocks that for 2016 are available on all but the entry-level 1LT model. Also new: a flat-bottom steering wheel and optional curb-view parking camera.