While assembling this list of the best V8 sedans, we noticed how much the market has changed over the years. Once upon a time, V8 engines were so ubiquitous they could be found in nearly every class of automobile. But that was then—and this is now. And now, if you want a V8 in a four-door sedan, odds are you’re going to be looking at some pretty pricey hardware folks. With but one or two exceptions, V8 power these days comes bundled with seriously luxurious trappings. Thus, when you start talking about the best V8 sedans out there these days, you’re almost exclusively discussing storied nameplates with a long history of blending luxury and performance. Although ironically, in the case of the Porsche, we’re talking about a marque seldom associated with more than six cylinders; let alone eight.
When Audi launched the flagship A8 sedan back in 1994, it was the first production car to offer an aluminum space frame, giving it a remarkably low curb weight considering the lavish manner in which it was equipped. The A8 was cutting edge then, and it remains so today. A rolling paragon of technological achievement, the body of Audi’s all-wheel drive flagship is the only thing about the car rightly considered “lightweight” though. The Audi’s sumptuous interior is the envy of the automotive world. Beautiful, fast and remarkably sophisticated, the Audi A8 easily ranks amongst the best V8 sedans. Its 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 makes 435 horsepower and 444 ft-lbs of torque. All-wheel-drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission are standard. Pricing starts at $77,400.
BMW M5/M5 Competition Package
Easily numbered among the best V8 sedans, the BMW M5 delivers a seductive combination of sports car like handling, road searing acceleration, and pavement shredding braking—while comfortably transporting four adults (five if needed). The M5’s twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 produces 560 horsepower and 500 foot-pounds of torque. Get the Competition Package; you’ll enjoy 575 horsepower along with more aggressive suspension and brake calibrations. Compared to the standard M5, the Competition Package rides a bit more stiffly, but it handles better too—so it’s really a matter of personal preference. Pricing starts at $93,600; the Competition Package adds $7,300.
Proof one of the best V8 sedans needn’t come with the equivalent of a small-town house payment, the powerful Chevrolet SS is the car driving enthusiasts in need of four doors have clamored for since time immemorial. Consider it, a Corvette-sourced engine good for 415 horsepower, huge Brembo brakes, a magnetorheological suspension system, an available six-speed manual transmission, rear-wheel drive, and an extensive list of contemporary comfort and convenience features; all wrapped in an unassuming—yet handsome—body. And, at a price most of us can deal with. Pricing starts at $45,745.
Another relatively reasonably affordable V8 sedan, Chrysler’s flagship is in many ways a throwback to the large rear-drive American land yachts of yore; except the 300 corners and brakes just as well as it goes. Further, the big Chrysler is exceptionally smooth and quiet, offers an upscale interior environment, and features a wealth of standard features. The 5.7-liter V8 makes 363 horsepower and 394 ft-lbs of torque. Plus, you’ll get keyless entry and ignition, an 8.4-inch touchscreen interface, and dual-zone automatic climate control—as standard equipment. The Chrysler 300C also offers all-wheel drive as an option. Pricing starts at $38,070.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know—the 707-horsepower supercharged V8 fitted to the Charger makes it the most powerful production four-door sedan ever offered. And as beautiful a thing as this is, it isn’t why the Charger is listed among the best V8 sedans. Exceptionally spacious with a large trunk, handsome styling, and an affordable price, the agile Charger is also one heck of a family sedan. Plus, there’s a pair of other V8 engines with output varying from 370 horsepower to 485. An eight-speed automatic transmission is employed for all Charger models. Standard features include keyless entry and ignition, automatic headlights, dual-zone climate control, and a touchscreen interface. Dodge Charger V8 pricing starts at $33,595.
Hyundai Genesis 5.0
The Hyundai Genesis 5.0 is one highly competent automobile. Completely redesigned for the 2015 model year, Hyundai’s Genesis now easily ranks among the best of the industry’s V8 sedans. Right off the top, you’ll savor 420-horsepower and 383 ft-lbs of torque from the 5.0-liter V8. Further, standard equipment includes navigation, automatic wipers, headlights and climate control. A touchscreen, leather, heated seats, a panoramic sunroof, and a carbon dioxide sensor are all standard features. Further, the Genesis 5.0 Ultimate package adds a driver-adjustable suspension system so you can go from plush-ing it to crushing it at the touch of a button. Hyundai Genesis 5.0 pricing starts at $51,500.
Infiniti Q70 5.6
If you enjoy the feel of a responsive automobile, you’ll really appreciate the driving characteristics of the Infiniti Q70. The car is nicely balanced with exceptional throttle response, accurate steering, and proficient braking. Ride quality is a bit on the tight side, but if you like your cars to bite in the corners, you’ll likely accept the tradeoff. The V8-powered Q70 5.6 runs a 5.6-liter V8 delivering 420 horsepower and 417 ft-lbs of torque. Standard equipment includes a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic bi-xenon headlights, foglights, a set of power folding heated and auto-dimming exterior rear-view mirrors, automatic windshield wipers, and a moonroof with a sliding sunshade. Pricing starts at $62,850.
In true Jaguar fashion, the Jaguar XJ is just as fast as it is beautiful and luxurious. Crafted primarily of aluminum, the Jaguar XJ offers a vast array of luxury features within its distinctively styled interior, while still maintaining a relative svelte curb weight for its class. Standard amenities include soft-close doors, dual-zone automatic climate control, a heated steering wheel, heated seats, and voice controls. There are two V8 options. The first, fitted to the XJ Supercharged, makes 470 horsepower and 424 ft-lbs of torque. The Jaguar XJR gets 550 horsepower and 502 ft-lbs from a modified version of the same engine. The Jaguar XJ Supercharged pricing starts at $90,600.
Those who have taken the leap, have found the full-size Kia K900 absolutely deserves to be considered among the best V8 sedans. An outstanding value for its price, the Kia luxury sedan is wonderfully appointed and strikingly styled. Further, the Kia K900 has an air of understated elegance to go along with its 420-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 engine and sumptuously appointed interior treatment. Despite its comparatively low starting price, the K900 offers pretty much every convenience you’ll find in the best of the best. Standard features include adaptive xenon headlights, a power trunk lid, front and rear cameras as well as front and proximity sensor arrays and tri-zone automatic climate control. Pricing starts at $54,500.
By all accounts, Toyota forever altered the luxury car landscape when it introduced the Lexus marque back in 1989. Sumptuously appointed, heavenly quiet, and smoother than molasses, the original Lexus LS 400 was so good Mercedes-Benz just went ahead and moved the S-Class farther upmarket rather than try to compete with the LS head-to-head. Today’s Lexus LS remains one of the most finely crafted automobiles in the world. It’s also one of the best V8 sedans. Standard equipment includes power door closers, dual-zone climate control, a 12.3-inch touchscreen interface, navigation, and Siri Eyes Free voice activation. Power comes from a 386-horsepower 4.6-liter V8 with 367 ft-lbs of torque. Pricing starts at $72,520.
The technological mastery of Mercedes-Benz automobiles is legendary—so we won’t belabor the point here. Let’s just say absolute state of the art is a succinct description. The main difference between the Mercedes-Benz S550 and the recent crop of upstart luxury sedans from Asia is the Benz’s specific attention to detail. Yes, tray tables and rear-seat controls for comfort and convenience systems are nice touches, but the Mercedes-Benz S550 goes them all one better with ideas like a cabin fragrance system dispensing an atomized bouquet into the car at periodic intervals. Power comes from a turbocharged 4.7-liter V8 with 449 horsepower and 516 ft-lbs of torque. Pricing starts at $94,400.
Porsche Panamera Turbo S
Of course the Porsche Turbo of four-doors resides on this list of the best V8 sedans. Here’s why—570 horsepower, 590 foot-pounds of torque, 192 miles per hour top speed, all-wheel drive, and 0 – 60 in 3.6 seconds, all from a twin-turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 engine. More than just fast though, the Porsche Panamera Turbo S handles like a slightly larger 911. If you can imagine a long wheelbase four-door sedan whipping through a slalom course like a two-seat sports car, then you just pictured the Panamera Turbo S on the track. And, as with all mega-dollar sedans, you’ll find hedonistic levels of luxury accoutrements inside the big Porsche. Standard features include navigation, a power rear hatch, front and rear parking sensor arrays, a chilled glovebox, auto-leveling bi-xenon headlights and two-tone leather upholstery. Pamamera Turbo S pricing starts at $180,300.